THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- Brush off: Dog lovers bark up wrong trees
<P></B>Dating may get harder by the year in Charlottesville, with many women over 40 claiming a total dearth of eligible single men (who aren't still looking for breeders), but it's not easy even for fertile twentysomethings.
<P>Karin's 24, a Longwood graduate who recently moved to town to work as a recreational therapist. She loves Charlottesville, but meeting datable guys has been tough. Micah's a 26-year-old entrepreneur, whose latest business venture has him moving and painting all over town.
<P>"I'm really laid back," he says, asking for someone with a similarly quirky, easy-going style. He dates, he says, but hasn't found the right woman to suit his bohemian tendencies.
<P>Will Micah's "moves" be slick enough for Karin? Will her idea of recreation match his?
<P></B>Micah and Karin went to <B>Starr Hill</B> for dinner.
<P><I>How did you get ready for the date?
<P></I><B>Micah:</B> Took a shower, trimmed my beard, and had a beer.
<P><B>Karin: </B>I was busy all day at a horse workshop that ended an hour and half later than I had expected. I had already committed to helping two girls do their hair for prom, so by the time I was finished helping them get ready, I barely had enough time to get ready myself.
<P><I>Who arrived first?
<P></I><B>Micah:</B> She got there first.
<P><B>Karin:</B> I got there about 10 minutes early and figured I'd go ahead inside the restaurant. The staff was really nice and kept coming by to speak to me.
<P><I>Were you nervous?
<P></I><B>Micah:</B> A little bit.
<P><B>Karin:</B> Definitely. When Micah walked to the table, I stood up to greet him and was so nervous that I didn't notice that there was a step by the table and I slipped a little. Oops!
<P><I>If so, when did you settle down?
<P></I><B>Micah:</B> Right away.
<P><B>Karin:</B> It didn't take long. Micah greeted me with a hug and a handshake, so that kind of set a pretty comfortable, relaxed mood.
<P><B>Micah:</B> She was very sweet.
<P><B>Karin:</B> This guy seems pretty cool and down to earth.
<P><I>What was your date wearing?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> Pants and a black top with sparkles. Kind of conservative, but my dress was pretty conservative as well.
<P><B>Karin: </B>Jeans and a blue Polo shirt
<P><I>How did you like his/her style?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> It seemed nice.
<P><B>Karin:</B> His style was fine– how I dress on a normal day. I'm all about being comfy!
<P><I>What did you order?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> She had a drink, and I had a couple of beers. For an entrée, I ordered the fish and chips, which was the cheapest thing on the menu; she got the tuna steak, the most expensive.
<P><I>Uhhh, Micah, when the restaurant's picking up the tab, you probably should go for the good stuff... –MM
<P></I><B>Karin:</B> We shared the sundried tomato spinach dip for an appetizer and it was really good– very flavorful. I ordered the tuna for my meal and was very pleased. The mashed potatoes served with it were very tasty.
<P><I>How was the service?</I>
<P><B>Karin:</B> Terrific. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Our waitress was very attentive with taking our orders and making sure our drinks were full. My only complaint would be the music– it was playing so loud that it was difficult to hear each other across the table.
<P><I>What did you talk about?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> Basic stuff; work– she works with autistic kids, so she must have a lot of patience. We talked the whole time, but it was small talk. She's trying to get a place in Charlottesville, I'm a connoisseur of the rental market.
<P><B>Karin:</B> We talked about where we lived, went to school, and what we do for jobs now. We also talked about animals, music, and hiking. There were definitely some awkward moments of silence, though.
<P><I>Did you have much in common?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> A little bit– not a lot. We're both big dog lovers. She has her career intact, she's more of a professional. I'm more of a slacker probably. She's one who's going to have her life more planned out, I'm more of a go-with-the-flow kind of guy.
<P><B>Karin:</B> Yes, we did have a lot in common. I had recently been on a trip to the British Virgin Islands and found out that Micah had spent time sailing around the islands in the past. It was cool to talk about that with someone who had experienced it, too. We both also have a love for dogs (especially the big breeds). Micah and I also share an interest in the local music scene as well as hiking and camping. We both also used to live in Augusta County.
<P><I>Was there anything that particularly impressed/interested you about your date?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> Her professionalism– not only in her current job, but in past jobs. She has a good résumé, she has a well-paying job that she really enjoys. She uses dog and horse therapy in her work with autistic kids, and that seems like an awesome aspect of her job.
<P><B>Karin:</B> Micah's brother can't have dogs where he lives, so Micah has taken in his brother's puppy. I thought that was pretty thoughtful of him.
<P><B>Micah:</B> She was allergic to beer. That makes her allergic to me.
<P><B>Karin:</B> The moments of silence were awkward, but I think we were both nervous and didn't know what to say. There wasn't anything about him that I disliked.
<P><I>Was there chemistry? Any flirting?</I>
<P><B>Karin:</B> I don't know that there was really any chemistry. He's definitely a really nice guy, though. I enjoyed the evening and would like to hang out again.
<P><I>Did you do anything afterwards?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> I invited her to get more drinks, cause she had just had one glass of wine, but she lives 40 minutes out of town and said she'd take a rain check.
<P><B>Karin:</B> Micah invited me to go out for a drink at South Street Brewery, but I asked him if I could take a rain check on it. We exchanged phone numbers.
<P><I>How did the date end?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> Where it started. I walked her to her car, and we left.
<P><B>Karin:</B> I was really impressed that Micah offered to walk me to my car, especially since I had parked two blocks away in the opposite direction of where he had parked. When we got to my car, I offered to take him to his.
<P><I>Kiss? Hug? Exchange numbers?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> No, we didn't kiss. She gave me a hug and her phone number.
<P><B>Karin:</B> We hugged and said goodbye and that we'd call each other.
<P><I>Overall date experience?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> We had good conversation. I was comfortable talking to her; she was friendly and sweet. It was a good time.
<P><B>Karin:</B> It was a great experience, and I always love meeting new people. Hopefully Micah and I can hang out again as friends.
<P><I>Would you see this person again?</I>
<P><B>Micah:</B> Probably not.
<P><B>Karin:</B> Yeah. We have a lot in common. It would be nice to go out for a drink, go to a concert, or take our dogs for a hike.
<P><I>On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?</I>
<P><I>Well Micah and Karin won't be painting the town red, but it wasn't a dog of a date either... Maybe they'll both find better trees to bark up.–MM
<P>Stay tuned for news of an upcoming Blind Date Challenge shindig, where local singles can meet and greet, and, most importantly, sign up for the challenge!