Love on the brain: Couple probe each other's minds

The background

 Andrea's a 27-year-old neuroscience grad student. Dennis is a 29-year-old Canada-born teen counselor. Both are outdoorsy, and expressed an interest in conversation, spontaneity, and travel. Both were raised Catholic.

Will she be able to get inside his head? Will he ask the right questions? Will they confess all before the evening's over?


The date

 Dennis and Andrea met for dinner at Garden of Sheba, in the former Live Arts building on Market Street. After their meal, Garden owner Scottie B. invited the duo to hang around and check out the reggae band.


Dennis: I arrived exactly at 8:30 and was the second to arrive.

Andrea: I spent some time talking with the waitress and perusing the menu.


Were you nervous?

 Dennis: Yes. I was the most nervous just before walking into the restaurant and in the first minute of meeting her.

Andrea: If anyone on a blind date says that they aren't just a wee bit nervous, I would say they're lying.


First impression?

 Dennis: Wow! She was very pretty, well dressed, and had an air of confidence. She did not appear shy or nervous at all. I also noticed her beautiful smile.

Andrea: I am drawn to eyes and smiles since they say a lot about the personality of an individual, and in this case I was pleased with both.


Dennis: She was wearing black boots with a high heel, black pants, a red turtleneck, and a classy necklace.

Andrea: He was wearing an olive-colored sweater that brought out his eyes.


What did you order at Garden of Sheba?

 Dennis: Blackberry wine and salmon with jerk seasoning on a bed of white rice with a side salad. The service was excellent, very friendly.

Andrea: We shared an appetizer of coconut bread and plantains. There was no need to sample or share dinner since we both had the salmon as it was highly recommended. The service was commendable. I think the waitress was a bit nervous about how we would hit it off, so I bet she was relieved once she saw us talking and laughing and knew that the night wouldn't end in fisticuffs.


Dennis: We had excellent conversation flow right from the beginning. We talked about our work, our families, things we found funny about the '80s, foreign and domestic movies, places we have traveled, college experiences, wine, etc.

Andrea: I'm inherently a very tangential person in terms of conversation, but I would say that the topics segued nicely into each other throughout the evening. During dinner we mainly talked about the things that occupy our daily lives and about our geographical histories in terms of both residence and travel.


Anything particularly interesting about your date?

 Dennis: She's familiar with the sex lives of lab rats.

Andrea: I'm interested in finding out the paths that lead people to what they are doing in life; Dennis has had some interesting experiences in Canada, overseas, and in Virginia.


Any major turn-offs?

 Dennis: There was no deal breaker that I could see. She had perfect white teeth.

Andrea: Nothing was revealed at this juncture.


Sounds promising... Did you stay for the band?

 Dennis: It was too loud. You couldn't talk! We ended up leaving because of it.

Andrea: The end of dinner was fine, and the music was enjoyable, but we were both in agreement about the fact that the band was too loud for talking and that we didn't want to try conversing in sign language or mime for the rest of the evening. Therefore, we decided to move on to another locale.


Dennis: We went to the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar and had a pot of melon tea while listening to a live band.

Andrea: After the Tea Bazaar, we decided to move to another venue for a more fortified drink and went to C&O for a cocktail and conversation. It was a bit quieter there, which was a plus. Since we felt a bit more comfortable with each other by this time, some more mischievous aspects of our pasts started to reveal themselves.


So what happened at the end?

 Dennis: She was parked near the C&O, so she gave me a lift to my car. When we exchanged numbers and email addresses, it got a little awkward for a second about how to end the evening.

Andrea: We exchanged numbers and a hug and said goodnight.


C'mon, no kiss?

 Dennis: Sorry, no juicy details.


Would you go out again?

 Dennis: Yes.

Andrea: Our paths will most likely cross again in the near future. (Mysterious!)


How would you rate the date on a scale of 1-10?

 Dennis: 8

Andrea: 8


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