It didn’t take Robert Munk, 28, a research economist for the Census Bureau, and Charlotte Cameron, 26, an IT specialist for the State Department, long to figure out two reasons they were matched. Both are in the 6-foot range, which they realized when he stood to give her a hug hello. Both are also a little obsessed with David Bowie. We sent them — along with Major Tom — to Occidental Grill & Seafood on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Mall — to see if they made the grade.
Charlotte: I was like, Oh, wow, he’s handsome. And then he stood up and I thought, Date Lab did me well.
Rob: She was pretty, and really tall.
Charlotte: I told him I was really nervous. He said, “I’m nervous, too.” It took us a little while to order.
Rob: It was definitely the fanciest first date I’ve ever been on. I had lamb braised with cumin, and we had black truffle mashed potatoes.
Charlotte: They were to die for.
Rob: We were trying to figure out why we were matched up. Our mutual interest in David Bowie seemed to be a key fact.
Charlotte: I am a huge David Bowie fan. I died inside from excitement because he told me the picture he selected [for his application to Date Lab] was a David Bowie face with a lightning bolt.
Rob: I once dressed up as Ziggy Stardust. It was the highlight of my Halloween career.
Charlotte: He told me he didn’t fall in love with David Bowie until after [his Halloween costume].
Rob: We also talked about museums. She’s interested in art. I said I am, too, but I would consider myself a novice in terms of understanding art.
Charlotte: He said he wanted a creative girl. So we were talking about art museums. He told me about one exhibit he went to and listened to an audio through the whole exhibit. It was a common theme through the night — when he found something of interest, he took the time to continue the subject.
Rob: She told me her guilty pleasure on TV is “Survivor.” One of my roommates is really into that show. I’ve been watching it with him. Other than my roommate, I didn’t know anyone else who watched it.
Charlotte: I told him it was an interesting game to play to see why they do the actions they do, and how they think.
Rob: She is interested in trying to understand the psychology. That was a lot of overlap — I’m an economist, and what I find interesting is the ability to understand people’s decision-making.
Charlotte: We also talked about books. He used to love nonfiction, and he kind of transitioned into fiction. I thought that was pretty cool. I might start. I really like nonfiction.
Rob: She told me she liked “The Bell Curve” [by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein].
Charlotte: I said that especially since he’s an economist, [he] should read that book.
Rob: When people find out I’m an economist, they either have some hot stock market tips or try to change the subject as quickly as possible.
Charlotte:The whole time, I was thinking, Wow, Date Lab did a great job.
Rob: She’s from Southern Maryland; I’m from Michigan. We both tend to get along pretty well with our parents.
Charlotte:We both had never been out of the country before. I work for the State Department, and people think I travel to all of these places.
Rob: Wehad a pretty decent conversation. It could have been a great match on paper and terrible in person.
Charlotte: There were no awkward silences and no awkward pauses. We almost forgot to take a photo, and it was getting dark.
Rob: Were there sparks? To the extent that I would go on a second date, there were sparks.
Charlotte: I thought [there were sparks].
Rob: I mentioned that [my faith] is something I’m involved in. It’s at the top of the docket for date number two to understand better. We ended up staying at the restaurant the whole time, and the evening came to a natural close.
Charlotte: I said I would love to get together again. He said that sounds good. We hugged, and he texted to make sure I got home.
Rob: 4 [out of 5]. I’m definitely interested in a second date.
Charlotte: 5. It was a really fun experience.
The two scheduled a second date.