About the daters ...
Danny Watch a drama-free guy get dragged into one drama-laden situation after another. Will he play along?
Laurie Quirky brunette goes through a date a week on her quest to settle down. Her misadventures and odd luck don’t get her down. NOTE: There is a strong possibility that this could be turned into a musical.
Laurie: My perfect guy plays guitar, dives, is a better cook than me but doesn’t hold it against me, never wears too much cologne and lets me stop in the middle of whatever for a photo op. If he works for an animal reserve or museum, that would be magical.
Danny: I am a ton of fun. Especially in situations where there is live music, as you got to put on your dancing shoes. Was told that I was artsy (didn’t know just playing the guitar qualified), but I like to think I’m pretty talented in that I have hobbies that I’m good at. I just don’t highlight them enough.
Laurie: I have a lot of life experience: have lived in three different countries (four if you count a four-month volunteer gig) and seven states. I have a pretty smile and a contagious laugh. I bring creativity, energy, passion and pasta from scratch to the table.
Danny: I would hope she’s more of a dreamer than I am. I’m entrenched with my career, and my days are pretty scheduled. I would like it if she wouldn’t be as structured and knew when to pull me out of my routine to loosen up.
Laurie: More financially aware; I tend to be a little impulsive. Someone who is a little more social and could bring out that side of me.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Marco Polo Restaurant, Vienna
Laurie: My [teenage] cousin had a homework assignment to write a Date Lab [column] for Romeo and Juliet. I was like, “Oh, I’d be happy to help, but I have no idea what this is.” I looked it up and thought, That sounds fun, and I’m single, so, why not give it a whirl? [Friends] were lecturing me on all the things NOT to do [on the date]: Do not talk about your cats, do not sit in his lap for the picture, and really, DO NOT talk about your cats.
Danny: I probably wasn’t nervous; I was excited to go on the date. The type of work I do has me interacting with new people all the time and so [on a date] my mind just sort of shifts into hey, why don’t we just sit down, talk with them, get to know them. It’s almost like a fact-finding process of finding out if they would be interested in hanging out again. It’s a little bit too methodical, but, hey, it’s how my brain is wired.
Laurie: [At work before the date], I was doing an arts and crafts project with kindergartners and was caught out in the rain. So, I ended up not only with my hair that I’d taken forever to blow-dry and straighten going back to its crazy-frizzy-curly mess, but the craft supplies stained my hands so I ended up having bright blue hands, and I couldn’t get it off. I figured, if that puts him off then we’re never going to have a successful relationship, ‘cause I do crafts all the time. I got [to the restaurant] about 7:15-ish. I ordered a glass of wine, and I think he showed up close to on time.
Danny: They walked me over to the table. I was certainly pleasantly surprised. She’s definitely cute. I’m not exactly certain I have a type, but if I were to have a type I’d probably say she’s closer than not. In the D.C. metropolitan area, in my experience ... some women are pretty flashy with regard to name-brand stuff. She’s not that type. She seems more down to earth. Approachable would be a good way to describe her. Halfway through the evening, I noticed a slight [blue] tint [on her hands], but it didn’t cross my mind as important enough to ask.
Laurie: He was not what I was mentally picturing, though I didn’t have anything to base my mental picture on, anyway. I like guys with beards, so all of my imaginary dates have nice beards. He seemed at least well-groomed and friendly, not, like, cheerleader-excited, but he definitely seemed happy to be there. Honestly, no, [I didn’t find him attractive], but he’s not unattractive. I stood up, and we shook hands. I think he was actually trying to go in for a hug, but he got cut off with a handshake. I’m not a big hugger.
Danny: I couldn’t tell whether it was appropriate to give her a hug. Especially in a situation like that, so I decided to stay a little bit reserved and made up my mind that the handshake was the way to go. [We started by] trying to discern what Date Lab saw within our respective profiles, how they matched us up together.
Laurie: He was very aware that everything we were talking about was going to be a public issue. I tried to make it, like, a running joke about how it was going to show up in the paper how much I love cheese. I would have liked to move off of it, because it was making the date feel very forced.
Danny: I think I asked a majority of the questions throughout the course of the night, which is not uncommon to me. We talked about food a decent amount ... her almost irrational hatred for tomatoes [and] issues with the grammatical correctness of Double Stuf Oreos. We were kind of superficial on a majority of our topics.
Laurie: He had just come back from vacation, so we talked about that. It turned out that he’s a diver, which I am as well, and from there it kind of evolved to all the different places we’ve been throughout the world. We talked about Batman for a pretty long time. I’m a big fan of Batman.
Danny: We both have a goofy sense of humor. Hers is probably a bit goofier than mine.I don’t know if this will be taken as a negative connotation, but she seems like she can be a bit of a nerd, which is pretty cool. She was talking about her movie collection, and how it’s ordered thematically versus alphabetically.
Laurie: Toward the end, I felt [the conversation] flowed much better. We definitely got to real conversations and connected over other things.
Danny: I think I would say we’re a little bit incompatible in the sense that [it’s] not like we had a ton of things in common. But she’s somebody I can get along with. We probably got out of there around 11:30-ish. I walked her back to her car. I [said], “At this point in the night, if somebody wants to see the other person again, they generally ask for their number, so that’s what I’m doing.” And she was nice enough to say, “Yeah, totally.”
Laurie: I certainly hope that I was being as friendly and charming as one can, but like I mentioned, I didn’t really feel a huge amount of attraction. I’d certainly hate for anyone in any context to feel led on. I did genuinely like him, I enjoyed talking with him, I enjoyed our evening. [But] it didn’t feel like there was any romantic attraction. I think I’ll [rate the date] a 3.5 [out of 5].
Danny: I’d probably give it a 4. I had a good time, there were a couple of moments of awkward silence that we had to push forward on, but for the most part we enjoyed the scenario for what it is. I’ll probably touch base with her sometime, just to see if she’s interested in hanging out again, but I don’t have expectations one way or another.
UPDATE: Danny, who’d been out of town for work, did call Laurie shortly after we prodded him for an update. He left her a message, but we’re doubtful that will spiral into a second date.