BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- On the money: Financiers hit the town

Blind Date Challenge

Robert has dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and a muscular build.  He is 41 years old, enjoys reading, history, and exercise–- in particular running, lifting, and swimming–- and deems himself a moderate conservative.  He has a bachelors degree in political science and accounting and is now a financial representative. Robert doesn't have any kids, but sees rug rats in his future. His favorite book is Lord of the Rings, and if he could have a superpower it would be to make people happy.  Robert is looking for a "voluptuous" woman who is nice, educated, values family, and would like to have children. Two of them.

Tina is a 5'2" blue-eyed brunette who describes herself as pleasantly plump, but warns that she is "very fit and can take you down if the mood strikes." She is 38 and likes running (she has participated in nine marathons) as well as hiking, gardening, history, traveling, and architecture. She's a consultant with a degree in finance from UVA who describes herself as a "goddamn independent" who votes on platforms versus party lines. Tina doesn't have any children but is open to having kids herself or even acquiring some through marriage. The most recent book she read was The Elegance of the Hedgehog by French philosopher Muriel Barbery, and if she had a superpower it would be the ability to read minds. Tina is looking for someone with character, intelligence, and a sense of humor.

The date begins at Charlottesville's Melting Pot— will things steam up?  Will their hearts melt?  Or will the fondue pot be the only thing that's hot & steamy...

What did you do to get ready for the date?

Robert: I made sure I wore unwrinkled pants. I arrived 20 minutes early to make sure Melting Pot was open and located where I thought it was. Then I sat on a bench on the mall and waited until 7:00pm to arrive at the restaurant.  

Tina: My Monday meeting schedule tends to be out of control, so I ended up needing to come straight from work. I simply applied some lip gloss in the car once I had parked near the restaurant.

How long did that take to get ready? 

Tina: 30 seconds!

Robert: I took about 10 minutes to get ready. I showered and changed clothes.

Did you get there first? 

Tina: Yes. I pounced on Karen, the bartender, to plead that she quickly mix my favorite libation of a lemon drop martini to help put me at ease. 

What was your first impression of your date? 

Tina: He had a nice smile.

Robert: I recognized her as I met her before, a couple of years ago at a social function. I thought she was attractive, so I was relieved that this could have some potential.

What was he/she wearing? 

Robert: Brown pants and a black short-sleeved shirt with a low neckline.

Tina: A black shirt and slacks– professional and relaxed at the same time.

Was he/she your type?

Tina: No. While he is attractive and we had things in common, we didn't seem to have much chemistry.

Robert: She could be. I'll know more if we go out a couple of times.

Did you order drinks? 

Robert: Yes, she had a cocktail and I had a glass of red wine.

How was your meal?

Robert: The meal was very good and the portions were large so I only hate about half of what was served. The servers were very attentive and knowledgeable, and the owner was very gracious.

Tina: Excellent! The Melting Pot staff were all fun and attentive. Fondue-style is a fun way to do a blind date or other special occasion because it's relaxed, delicious and gives you something to laugh about when your food item gets lost in the pot.

What did you order? 

Tina: Cheese fondue, salads with a delicious shallot vinaigrette, then the main course that had a variety of steak, chicken, shrimp, lobster.  For dessert, a white chocolate fondue.

How were your date's table manners? 

Robert: She needs to learn how to use utensils and not lick her fingers.  

Tina: Overall fine, but he did do a few things I found disconcerting... like trying to remove my fondue forks from the pot for me. Perhaps he was trying to be courteous, but I know how long I like my fondue to be cooked.

What did you talk about? 

Tina: Careers, hobbies, and movies we might like to see at the Film Festival.

Robert: Wide range of topics, mostly the trials/tribulations of dating in Charlottesville, our jobs, hobbies, interests.

How did the conversation flow?

Robert: There weren't any awkward moments of silence, and we didn't leave until almost 10:00pm. I made sure I only had one drink; otherwise, I would have talked too much.

Tina: Easily. My job requires that I talk with people from all walks of life, but I was glad when it flowed quite naturally without any effort on my part.

What did you find most interesting about your date? 

Tina: The most surprising thing was we had met briefly once before.

Robert: She seems like a real go-getter. 

What was the weirdest/most uncomfortable topic of conversation? 

Robert: When she was trying to determine why I'm still single and asking me what went wrong in past relationships.

Tina: He kept bringing up the Blind Date Challenge questions in the middle of another conversation, and wondering what he or I might say in response. I felt a little "coached" on what he might have wanted me to say.

Anything you didn't like about your date? 

Tina: No, he was a very nice person.

Robert: No.

Did you feel any chemistry? 

Robert: Yes. I think she's attractive.

Tina: No.

What was your favorite part of the date? 

Tina: Laughing with the Melting Pot staff. I love fondue anyway, but they took such great care of us and really made it a special experience.

Robert: Just talking with her and getting a feel for her personality and interests. She smiled most of the time, and I felt at ease.

How did the date end? 

Robert: I asked her if she'd like to go out again, which she agreed to, and we exchanged e-mails.

Tina: We each paid for our share of the check and then shook hands outside the restaurant before walking to our respective cars.

What would your theme song for the date be? 

Tina: The Gilligan Island's theme song... "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, the tale of a fateful trip!"

Robert: "Getting to Know You"

Rate the Date: 1-10

Robert: 7.

Tina: 7.

Matchmaker will tell you if these two take a second "fateful trip." But in the meantime, are you brave enough to take the Challenge?