Trevor Edwards, 29, program analyst, and Catherine Traini, 23, director of marketing and communications. (Daniele Seiss/For The Washington Post)

The moment Trevor Edwards realized that Catherine Traini was his date for the evening, one word ran through his head: “Yesss!”

Trevor, a program analyst for the Navy, had arrived 20 minutes early at Aperto, the intimate Italian eatery in downtown Washington. (He was literally just off the plane from an impromptu trip to Paris with friends.) As he sat nursing his wine, two people walked in. “One was a woman in her 40s who looked really upset,” said Trevor. “The other one turned out to be my date, and she was stunningly gorgeous!” He spent the rest of the night “coyly” eyeing the restaurant’s other patrons and thinking, Yeah, you’re jealous.

Catherine, who does marketing and communications for a cybersecurity firm, promptly revealed the devilish streak behind the angelic face. After introducing herself, she ordered a Jameson and ginger ale, only to be told there was no ginger ale. The server suggested Sprite instead. Catherine opted for ginger beer, and the server zipped away. Trevor recalled: “She looked at me and was like, ‘Sprite? What an a--hole!’ ”

Beautiful and salty. Trevor was hooked.

Catherine cheerfully cops to being a “high-maintenance,” “extremely extroverted” handful. “I have a very obnoxious personality,” she says. “I come from a loud Italian family where, if you want something heard, you have to yell louder than the person next to you.”

She also credits her family for her “sick sense of humor.” She boasts, “There’s really nothing I find offensive.” Promisingly, Trevor’s application had also boasted a twisted sense of humor. He has a thing for “politically incorrect” women.

Having been coached by friends to be on their best behavior, both daters eased gently into the usual getting-to-know-you chatter. (“What do you do?” “Where’d you grow up?”)

A couple of questions in, Aperto’s head chef came bounding over, gushing about how Catherine was a “princess” and insisting on giving the daters a tour. Catherine, a “big foodie” who also loves to cook and garden (she calls it her “grandma hobby”), was over the moon. “I love restaurant people and being in restaurants,” she enthused. “They’re the weirdest people I know! I love that they always have a story.”

As fun as it was, however, hanging out with the chef wasn’t helping her get to know Trevor. Catherine thought he “seemed a little uncomfortable” during the tour, despite being “a great sport about it.”

Back at the table, she pushed Trevor to share his stories, starting with the trip to France. As he told it, a week earlier, he and a half-dozen buddies had been sitting around the airport waiting to go their separate ways. One of them noticed there was an open flight to Paris that would be leaving soon, and “we decided to jump on it.” Catherine was impressed. “I can totally understand a spontaneous trip with one friend. But six? And they went for six days!”

Alas, as it turned out, Trevor may have peaked with this story.

As dinner progressed, Catherine grilled Trevor on topics from work to family to friends. “If there was a moment of silence,” he said, “she would say, ‘I have three more questions for you.’ I was like, That’s awesome! Let’s keep going.”

Catherine shared her stories as well. Weirdly, Trevor can’t remember the content of those stories (except for one about skydiving). He does, however, recall her “infectious smile” and “incredibly addicting” laughter.

For her part, Catherine was frustrated that Trevor remained so polite and “reserved.” When he mentioned that his buddies had pitched him all sorts of horrible questions to ask her, she demanded that he share them — the raunchier the better!

“Come on, give it to me! Be real. Be funny!” she recalled saying to him. But Trevor told me he was committed to being “as conservative as possible.”

So how is a gal supposed to get to know the real him? I asked. His answer: “By additional dates.”

Great plan — assuming the woman wants to see you again. At evening’s end, Trevor told Catherine he’d like to go out again and gave her his number. But Catherine told me she sees no need for an encore: “We both knew when we saw each other that it was not a fit.”

Rate the date

Trevor: 5 [out of 5].

Catherine: A solid 3 or 3.5.


No further contact.