This match might turn out to be a home run for Date Lab — or whatever you call a home run in cricket. American Alison Percich, 24, a communications associate for a think tank, and Brit Harry Horton, 26, a broadcast journalist, hit it off right from the start and — before they knew it — four hours had passed and the clock struck midnight. But will this magical evening spill over into future fun? Or, dare we say it, wedding bells? They started at Cafe Soleil at the Club Quarters Hotel in downtown Washington.
Harry: As soon as I saw her, I knew she would be really fun. She was really good-looking as well.
Alison: My first impression was, Oh, he’s, like, really handsome. Cool.
Harry: Obviously, I’m not from America, so we talked about why I was in D.C., about my work.
Alison: We’re both in the same area, but we’ve had completely different experiences. He covered the election and the rallies. It was fascinating to hear about [that] from his point of view.
Harry: It’s normally the first thing people ask me: “Oh my God, what’s a Trump rally like?” It was a medieval-type ritual environment. It’s great theater, fascinating to be at.
Alison: I was telling him what think tanks do. He was interested in that. I thought we shouldn’t discuss [our jobs]. But we both realized we love our work, and it’s really refreshing to have someone passionate about work.
Harry: I find it difficult to have that Washington conversation with people who are too obsessed with Washington. But she was very grounded and wasn’t pretentious.
Alison: He thinks it’s a fascinating time to be a journalist and so interesting to be in America — there are stories everywhere.
Harry: I talked about my recent trip to Vegas, which was dreadful. No, it wasn’t dreadful. It was ... interesting, but I wouldn’t go again.
Alison: His friend was going to Vegas for eight days, so he went, too, but I don’t think he realized what it was like. He eventually got out and went to the Grand Canyon.
Harry: We talked about hobbies. She likes to work out and take gym classes early in the morning, something I’m envious of. It sounds like her life is very much in order.
Alison: We both realized we had been at the same bar for Halloween. I was going to show him a picture of my costume [on Halloween], but then the conversation went to a different place, so I went to put my phone away. He stopped me [so he could see the photo]. I like that level of conversation. He was so invested in the conversation.
Harry: She’s a big film fan, and so am I. We talked about the Oscars and different films. She told me her favorites , and I told her my favorites , and she suggested we should see [one] together.
Alison: Honestly, I don’t even think I finished my meal because I was talking to him. We shared a bottle of wine, and then we were goofing around, trying to get the right photo. We both wanted it to be really funny.
Harry: After dinner, we went to another bar and had another couple of drinks and exchanged numbers. It was a really fun night.
Alison: I didn’t tell anyone I was going on this date. I was so nervous I was shaking. Then we went to my favorite bar, Bar Charley. The bartenders know me. No one was there. I said, “No one wants to be around us!”
Harry: As the night went on and we got to know each other better, there were sparks, definitely. I think we kind of chimed together.
Alison: There was chemistry. We were drawn to each other. It was so effortless.
Harry: We talked about meeting up again and have been texting already.
Alison: It was a really natural ending. He finished his drink, and he walked me home.
Harry: I’m already thinking about our wedding!
Alison: I feel you notice points of conversation on a bad date. For us, it was fluid. I was sad when it ended.
Harry: I’m going to go for 5 [out of 5].
Harry and Alison had a second date and are planning a third.
Alison: Someone laid-back who can hold a conversation and is confident, a guy who can make fun of himself and is always lookingto learn about something new.
Harry: A human rights lawyerwho knows how to party.
Alison: A journalist whois involved in a ton of different topics and subjects.
Harry: Heavy smoker, someone too obsessed with themselves, or someone who takes themselves too seriously.
Alison: Someone incredibly cocky or fratty whostill drinks like they’re in college. Also, please, no interns.