It's probably a good thing that neither Philip Goo, 31, nor Megan Wilburn, 25, expected much from Date Lab. They both ended up pleasantly surprised, and each made their date sound like a whirlwind of hilarity in recollection. Philip estimates that 75 percent of their time together was taken up by laughter.
Funny that, because they're both in the market for something serious. Both exited relationships last year, and both have been casually dating since then. Though in the case of Philip, who went on a Date Lab date in 2012 (and rated it a 4.5), "lately, not all that much." Megan recently deleted all of her dating apps because of the many "meaningless conversations" they yielded.
We sent them to Nazca Mochica, a Peruvian spot off Dupont Circle. Their attraction was immediate. "I was definitely impressed," said Philip, noting her denim jacket and casual black-and-white dress. Megan described Philip as "cute." He also went in for a hug. "I thought that was good," she said.
Philip said they "instantly" got to talking and laughing. They discussed family, his dog and her food restrictions (after multiple scarring experiences with spaghetti, Megan no longer touches the stuff).
Megan does admit that she laughs "at pretty much anything." So then was her laughter with Philip a good thing or merely a neutral indication that Megan was in her waking state? "I think it was a sign it was going well," she clarified … with a laugh.
So binding was their chemistry that discovering their careers exist in literal opposition to each other did nothing to deter them. When Philip revealed he's an environmental lawyer who works for the Sierra Club, Megan naturally laughed out loud — but this was no ordinary laugh.
"It was more like a 'Ha!' " recalled Megan. It turns out that she works for a PR firm whose client roster includes fossil-fuel giants such as Chevron. Philip acknowledged that Megan works for the enemy — "in a manner of speaking, yes, you could stay that" — but so what!
They shared all the food they ordered, including ceviche and anticuchos (beef skewers). At a certain point, Megan mentioned that she doesn't need a man, prompting a thumbs-up from a guy at the table next to them. Enter Raj and Prachi, partners who had been observing our Date Labbers and noticed that their jubilance starkly contrasted with the rest of the unhappy-seeming couples in the restaurant.
Raj and Prachi bet Philip and Megan dessert that they could guess which number date they were on. Prachi guessed it was their first, and since she was right, Philip and Megan ponied up for their dessert, which they all ate together.
"Imagine they were playing tennis — they were playing tennis really well," Raj told me. "They bantered words and ideas back and forth. They could appreciate the sense of humor in one another."
In the company of Raj and Prachi, Megan revealed she was interested in a second date. Philip asked when she decided she wanted to see him again, and she said it was when he played her the viral "What What (In the Butt)" video not five minutes into the date. A discussion of Megan's home base of Rosslyn led Philip to tell her a story about meeting Samwell, the star of the 10-year-old video, at a party in Arlington. Megan had heard of but never seen the video, so Philip showed it to her then and there.
He appreciated that she didn't take him for a weirdo when he showed it to her. "What What (In the Butt)": still uniting people after all these years.
After dinner, Philip told Megan that he'd drive her home, eager to travel to the exotic wilds of Virginia. It is, as the motto goes, for lovers.
Philip said once he rolled up to Megan's place, they capped the night with a "make-out session … but not anything over-the-top or anything like that."
"I would not classify it as a make-out session," clarified Megan. "It was a legit kiss, but it was not a make-out session. Lord!" Awwwwww!
Philip: 5 [out of 5]. I think it has to be a 5 based on the lack of expectations I had going in and the amount of fun I had going out.
Megan: 5. Is that too much? If I didn't think it was a 5, I probably wouldn't want to go out on a second one.
Megan says she and Philip have met up once since the date and plan to hang out again.