THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- We meet again: Fun on the after-date date

The background

Although readers would never guess it, being a dating columnist can be hard work! It's not just clacking away at a computer all day– to be a first-rate maker of matches, one has to be familiar with one's contestants and, naturally, know the local dating scene inside and out.

And all those restaurants, bars, and movie theaters can really wear a Matchmaker down!

But don't fret, dear readers. This columnist is nothing if not a trooper, and as long as there are Charlottesvillians looking for love, rest assured she'll be out on the town, keeping her finger on the pulse of Charlottesville's singles scene.

Last Saturday night was no exception, when Matchmaker was surveying the scene at a local bar frequented by Hook-town's 20-somethings. Imagine her surprise when her eyes lit upon Ashley, a UVA third-year, and Paul, an NYU graduate, for whom she'd arranged a dinner date earlier that evening.

Naturally, she rushed right over and got the scoop on their night. Here's how it went, in their own words...

The date

Ashley and Paul met for dinner and drinks at Mellow Mushroom on the Corner.

Did you do anything out of the ordinary before the date, to plan for it?

Ashley: No.

Paul: I bathed for the first time in a while and thought, why not go all out and brush my teeth, too? Besides that, no.

What did you wear?

Ashley: Jeans, a purple shirt, and heels

Paul: Jeans and a button-up plaid shirt (hip plaid, mind you). She said I looked like a dork. I said, "Thats not possible." She said, "But a cute dork." So I let it slide.

Were you first or second to arrive?

Ashley: I thought I was second, but we had a sort of mix-up. We were seated separately for a bit, so he was actually first.

Paul: We both arrived around the same time, but it was really crowded, so neither of us knew the other one was there. I had a beer at the bar, and sat for about 20 minutes. I thought she had just blown off the date.

What did you do while waiting?

Ashley: Played Tetris on my phone.

Were you nervous or excited?

Ashley: No... Interested, but not really excited.

Paul: The bartender thought I was kind of nuts for dating blind, and he started asking everyone who came in whether she was my date. That made me a trifle nervous/excited/mortified. I paid my tab and was leaving when a waitress told me my date had been waiting for me at a table.

When did you calm down?

Paul: I'm not really that nervous when it comes to meeting people.

First impression:

Ashley: I thought he looked like a computer programer.

Paul: Shes a pretty girl. Great cheekbones and a very urban club-trotting style. Thats all I could tell at first because she was sitting down. I found out later she was not enormously fat underneath the table, nor an amputee, which was great.

Would you say this person was your type?

Ashley: I don't really have a type.

Paul: Not really.

How did you like their style?

Ashley: I hated his shirt, but I really liked his jacket.

Paul: A little too club-esque.

Mellow Mushroom

Had you been to the restaurant before?

Ashley: Of course!

Paul: Many, many times.

Did you order drinks?

Ashley: Purple haze, a raspberry wheat ale. He had the same.

What did you have to eat?

Ashley: A chicken calzone.

Paul: I had some pizza.

Did you share meals? Sample each other's dinners?

Ashley: No.

How was the food?

Ashley: Really, really good.

How was the service in the restaurant?

Ashley: Our server was definitely attentive.

How was the conversation?

Ashley: It went really smoothly. I don't think there were any moments of silence.

Paul: It was great. Ashleys really sharp and has strong opinions about many different things.

What did you talk about?

Ashley: A lot of really random stuff... school, race, sex.

Paul: Why Southerners are so religious. Race and integration at UVA. New York City and urban living. Why she hates annoying, drunk people. A word or two about past relationships. And, what kind of people try the BDC, anyway? (Resolved: really, really cool people)

Did you have a lot in common?

Ashley: I think we had a lot of surface things in common.

Paul: I think so.

What did you find out that was interesting about this person?

Ashley: He majored in screen-writing at NYU; I like that because I'm into theater.

In your opinion, what was your date's best characteristic?

Ashley: His height.

Paul: She's a good conversationalist.

What was the most memorable moment of the date?

Ashley: When I thought I was being stood up in the beginning! I didn't know he was at the bar, and he didn't know I was at the table.

Was there anything you really disliked?

Ashley: His shirt.

Paul: She was a little high-maintenance.

Did your date do anything that impressed you?

Ashley: He offered to walk me back at the end of the evening, which was nice.

Was there "chemistry" between you? Interesting body language?

Ashley: We got along really well.

Paul: No, not really. Shes a student and is living the life of one. That just isnt what Im looking for.

Did anything out of the ordinary happen?

Ashley: We ended up hanging out later the same night.

How did dinner end?

Ashley: We went outside for a bit after dinner. He wanted to go for a walk, but I was wearing heels.

Did you decide to go somewhere afterwards?

Ashley: We ended up at O'Neil's later on for drinks.

Did you walk each other to the car?

Ashley: I walked to the restaurant, so I headed home afterwards, but after we met up for the second time at O'Neil's, he took me home

What was the VERY end like?

Paul: I drove her home and told her it was nice to meet her and maybe we'd hang out sometime later.

A hug? A kiss?

Ashley: No.

Did you have fun?

Ashley: For a blind date, it was great!

Paul: Yes.

Did you make plans for a second date?

Ashley: We traded phone numbers, but didn't make any plans.

Paul: I think we agreed it would be fun to talk again.

Overall experience?

Ashley: Definitely a good time.

Paul: It was fun.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?

Ashley: 8.5

Paul: 8