Charles “Chaz” Littlejohn, 33, is originally from St. Louis and has lived on and off in the District over the past decade. The small-business owner and consultant describes himself as “sentimental” and digs Sour Patch Kids, Kanye West (before he said slavery was a “choice”) and live music. He is looking for a confident, flirty gal who knows what she wants.
He told me that lately he has met dates at concerts, at house parties or through friends. “I’m biased against apps,” he said, because they seem “like an experience that will jade you. Everything is sort of measured, a little dystopian.” He quickly added, “But I’m gonna probably try it out eventually.”
We set him up with Houston native Kerrie Ford, a 26-year-old contractor in nuclear and government affairs. This “excitable” gal likes Houston sports teams and George W. Bush’s cheeks and is seeking a spontaneous dude who isn’t afraid to challenge her. “I can be a little bossy sometimes,” she said. “I like having a guy who is confident and pushes back.”
Unlike Chaz, Kerrie has tried dating apps. She’s also been on several “accidental dates.” “I’m bad at picking up cues. When a guy friend asks me if I want to go to dinner, I think of it as friends. I wouldn’t have said yes if I knew it was a date,” she said.
The duo met at Espita Mezcaleria, a restaurant featuring authentic Oaxacan cuisine in Shaw. Over appetizers of ceviche, guacamole and queso, they sized each other up. Kerrie said: “He was a good-looking guy. He had a nice smile.” Chaz thought she was “pretty,” but ... “I tend to like more alternative or nerdy types of girls,” he explained, while Kerrie was “more conventionally attractive.” Still, he said, “I wanted to find out more about her before making judgments.”
They tried the mezcal sampler, and Chaz said he found Kerrie to be “a great person to talk to. She had interesting questions and a positive outlook.”
Kerrie liked that he made eye contact. (“Lack of eye contact during conversation” is a pet peeve of hers.) Only, Chaz has “a really penetrating stare,” she said. “At some point I felt a little bit violated. Like, ‘You’re looking into my soul — stop!’ ”
Perhaps Chaz was staring at her so intently because he was trying to solve what he calls “the mystery of why we were paired.”
Over dinner (adobo pork tacos for her, pork loin for him), they covered the standard information on families and hometowns, then they got down to interests. Chaz said: “She asked me what kind of music I like, and I said, ‘I like electronic, I like rap, I like pop. How about you?’ She said she really just likes music from 20 years ago.” Chaz, an avid concertgoer, was disappointed: “I thought it was peculiar that I got set up with someone who didn’t really care for music.”
It didn’t get any better from there. Kerrie told me that Chaz said he loved living in Washington because he felt he could talk to everyone about politics. “And I was like, ‘Actually I hate talking about politics.’ ”
Kerrie described Chaz as “nerdier than guys that I tend to go out with.” She explained: “When he filled out the Date Lab form, he put it into a Google doc and had his friends proofread it for him. Whereas, I said to myself, ‘This looks kind of fun! Screw it!’ and filled it out in 15 minutes.” (Fun fact: Word count on her profile was 881; his was 1,582.) Though she found his effort “endearing,” she said it lacked spontaneity and was “a little calculating.”
The fact that Kerrie played soccer in college and spends her weekends playing soccer didn’t help. “I walked off the soccer field crying when I was 5 years old and I never looked back,” Chaz told me. “I don’t tend to abide by the idea that opposites attract.”
They found one thing they agreed on, though, which was that dying in a plane crash would be a “pretty sweet” way to go.
He explained: “She was telling me about her friend who is afraid of flying, and Kerrie said, ‘Well, on the off chance the plane does crash, it’s a hell of a way to go!’ And I said, ‘Yes, exactly! At least you’ll be in the paper.’ ”
They ended the night with churros and agreed that they were not compatible. On the bright side, at least they got in the paper.
Chaz: 4 [out of 5]. “It was an enjoyable date ... but not a match.”
Kerrie: 3.5. “Nice guy, easy to talk to, just not someone I’m interested in dating.”
No further contact.