Love lesson: Teachers hit the town

The Background

  There's no end to the lengths Matchmaker will go to make a match. Melinda, a 35-year-old special-ed teacher and single mother, had been waiting patiently for her Blind Date match-up. Though plenty of guys entered the challenge, none seemed quite right for Melinda.

So when Drake– a 41-year-old lawyer who's also involved in education and is a single dad– walked into the Hook office on unrelated business, Matchmaker's neurons started firing. The problem? He hadn't entered the BDC.

Not a problem for Matchmaker, who set to work persuading Drake that going on a Blind Date– and then having to write about it– really did sound like fun. Finally, Drake agreed (on the condition his real name not be used), and the date was set. (Melinda's name has also been changed for fairness' sake.)

Would he be hot for teacher? Would she keep him after school? Read on.


The Date

  Melinda and Drake met at Blue Bird Café on West Main Street for dinner.


Any special preparations?

  Melinda: I looked his name up on the Internet hoping to find a photo.

Drake: No.


Who arrived first?

  Melinda: I was the first one to arrive but only by a few minutes.

Drake: When I got to our table, she already had a glass of white wine. Hoping that I did not commit a major faux pas at the outset, I inquired if I had mistaken the time, and she assured me that I was right on schedule. "Whew," I thought to myself, "that was close."


First impression ?

 Melinda: How well he was dressed. He had on a tweed overcoat that was very attractive. He wore a blue button-down shirt and dark pants. I noticed his dark hair and brown eyes. He was quite the gentleman, very polite and friendly. I thought he was cute.

Drake: All positive. She is quite attractive, and she had a nice disposition. It was hard to tell what she was wearing because she kept beaming her deep, beautiful sapphire eyes at me. When she looked away once, I noticed that she wore black pants and a nice top that outlined the curves of her body. I kept thinking, "Thank you, Hook!"


Was your date your "type"?

  Melinda: In the beginning I did not see him as my type. However, after spending the evening with him and having enjoyed his company so much, I changed my mind. Someone who is very intelligent and ambitious and yet still knows how to have fun and is fun to be with is very appealing. He's also incredibly witty ­ and cute too.

Drake: I don't know that I have a "type." There was very nice chemistry.


At Blue Bird Café...

  Melinda: We both ordered wine. I had Chardonnay while he had a red wine, though I don't remember the name of it.

Drake: Sacre-bleu! No Kluge wine?


What did you eat?

  Melinda: I had had a very big lunch earlier in the day, so I just ordered an appetizer and we ordered Nachos to start.

Drake: I had the vegetarian ravioli.

Melinda: He gave me a bite of his ravioli (it was delicious), and we shared the nachos. He's a vegetarian and doesn't eat cheese, but he did eat the Nachos and told me he would eat them just for me.

Drake: Our waiter was outstanding. He obviously was clued in to the "blind date" situation and knew what to do to make us feel at ease. I was particularly impressed that, knowing that I'm a vegetarian, he already had saved the last ravioli dish for me.


How was the conversation?

  Melinda: We didn't have any problem finding things to talk about. We're both interested in education and children. Most of the time we discussed our work, and since we each have a daughter we talked about our children. We also talked about growing up in Richmond and the Richmond area in general. In addition, we've both attended UVA and are into healthy lifestyles. So with all of this, we had quite a bit in common.

Drake: We did the mandatory "get to know you" questions. Afterwards, we talked about our children, education, we almost talked about politics (but I successfully turned the steering wheel).


What did you find interesting about your date?

Melinda: That he described himself as spiritual. He meditates and is a strict vegetarian (well, except for the nachos...). He's very positive about his life and grateful for his good fortune. It's refreshing and rare to meet someone who focuses on the positive side of life rather than the negative. I was also impressed with how committed he is to his daughter. It was obvious that he adores her. I could also tell he has strong ethics, and he struck me as someone who's honorable and who stands up for what he believes in.

Drake: She's working on a PhD at Mr. Jefferson's university.


Melinda: I was especially impressed by his knowledge of so many things as well as his spontaneity. He told me about traveling across country to San Francisco and his work there as an educational aide to children of diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds. He also talked about flying a date to New York City for dinner. That sounds like fun.

Drake: That she's a good mom impresses me very much. That's not easy in today's world. I have beaucoup respect for that.


Anything you didn't like?

Melinda: No, I can't think of anything.

Drake: Vague on the smoking issue. Although I found no evidence to suspect a (cough, cough) smoker.


Was there flirting?

Melinda: Yes, but it was subtle. He expressed both verbally and in body language his interest in what I had to say.

Drake: The body language had the renowned three "eyes": interesting, intense, and intertwined.


Did you go anywhere after dinner?

Melinda: We wanted to go dancing, and our waiter, Bill, suggested Club Rio. So we left my car at the restaurant and Drake drove us to the Club. When we arrived, the place was pretty empty, so at first we just sat and talked. The music was sort of hip-hop which for me is hard to dance to, but we did dance– both fast and slow dances. He's a very good dancer. We were there for quite awhile, but it got smoky, so we decided to leave. We went to a new club on the Downtown Mall-­ Zocalo. We drank green tea and talked some more. It was getting late.

Drake: I had never been to Club Rio before. It was very obvious that all the guys there were quite jealous of me. As the place filled up, it got hot and steamy. She's a wonderful dancer, and we laughed a lot and had fun. Around midnight or so, I suggested that we go to the Downtown Mall for some tea or coffee. We wound up at Zocalo and we had some green tea and more conversation. It was a nice spot to wind the evening down before saying good-bye.


What happened at the very end?

Melinda: He drove me back to my car.

Drake: I drove her back to the Blue Bird Café parking lot. Before she left the car, we conversed for a good while. Then I pulled right up to her car and made sure that she got in safely.


Any smooching?

Melinda: Hmmmmm. Yes.

Drake: It's common folklore somewhere that the Roman Empress Theodora once told a lover: "Pray you never kiss and tell. Otherwise, never you drink from this well."

Did someone learn a lesson the hard way? –Matchmaker


Would you see this person again?

Melinda: Absolutely

Drake: Yes. Another date is already set.


On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate this date?

Melinda: 9. Overall, I enjoyed my date thoroughly. He was such a gentleman, good looking, smart, witty, entertaining, and fun.

Drake: 9. It was a very fun and memorable evening.

Matchmaker is delighted to announce that, four dates later, Drake is, indeed, hot for teacher. But whether he's had to stay after school remains a mystery...