Computer blues: First Wendy, then Lisa
Remember John? He's the 34-year-old software engineer Matchmaker sent out back in May. A softball fanatic from New Jersey, he also loves basketball, golf, hiking, biking and, for a bit of the bad-boy thing, riding his motorcycle. But while his first date was far from disastrous, it certainly could have gone better. Finding himself in a sweat on his way to the restaurant, John traded his collared shirt for a Yankees t-shirt– a move his date, 26-year-old Wendy, did not appreciate.
"His manner of dress was similar to my father's," she sniped, citing his t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers on a 90-degree night. Fortunately, John showed remarkably thick skin– and a willingness to give the Challenge a second try.
For round two, Matchmaker found Lisa, a 30-year-old biology researcher who enjoys reading, music, movies, and good food.
Wait a second. Wendy? Lisa? Software engineer? Remind anyone of a Prince song? Let's hope John doesn't end up with the computer blues...
John and Lisa met at La Cucina on Water Street.
Who arrived first?
Lisa: Technically, I suppose I arrived first, but he walked up to the restaurant right behind me. So, really, we arrived at the same time.
John: We were seated right away. The waitstaff at La Cucina knew who we were as soon as we walked up. Noticed a little grin on their faces.
Were you nervous?
Lisa: Yes. I had never been on a blind date before, so I really didn't know what to expect. John did a good job of trying to make me feel comfortable.
John: Not really nervous... more unsure, as is typical when you meet someone for the first time.
When did you calm down?
Lisa: Halfway through dinner.
John: As soon as I sat down.
Lisa: That he was attractive and courteous. He just generally looked cute standing there in the rain holding a rose for me.
John: I was impressed. She's very laid back and cute.
Would you say this person was your type?
Lisa: I'm not sure that I would say that I have a "type," but I found John to be an interesting and fun person.
John: Yes. I do tend to get along with most anyone, but I did like the fact she was laid back and quiet.
What was your date wearing?
Lisa: Khaki pants and a dark blue polo shirt.
John: A button-down top with a second layer. Also a skirt. I only noticed since I walked up behind her. She was very classy and proper.
What did you order?
Lisa: We each ordered a glass of wine.
John: She had the pasta primavera, and I had the tortellini. The quality of food was excellent. Being an Italian from New York, I was impressed with the taste and portion size.
Did you get dessert?
John: With a little persuasion.
Lisa: He had the cheesecake, and I had a cappuccino creme brulé.
How was the service?
Lisa: It was good. The table was a little wobbly when we sat down, but the waitress quickly came and fixed it for us. During the meal the waitress was attentive, and the chef circulated the room checking on each table to see if diners were enjoying dinner.
John: Great– we were checked on periodically, and the staff made sure we had what we needed.
What did you talk about?
Lisa: The conversation went all over the place, the typical "get to know you" type questions of likes, dislikes, activities, etc. He said I was too quiet, though, which was true, but he is an interesting person.
John: We talked about a range of topics. I tended to monopolize the conversation and told myself to shut up a few times.
Did you have a lot in common?
Lisa: He is definitely more adventurous than I am. But underneath, I think we both enjoy spending time with good friends, and place family as a high priority.
John: Other than being UVA football fans... nothing yet, working on it.
Was there anything you found out that you really liked?
Lisa: That he seemed to know how to have fun and was interested in learning what things I like to do for fun.
John: Her personality. And she has a shyness. Cute smile when caught a little off-guard.
Was there anything you really disliked?
Lisa: Not really
John: Not at all
Was there "chemistry" between you? Interesting body language?
Lisa: Oh, I hate the "chemisty" question. I usually can't tell right off the bat. But I did enjoy spending the evening with John.
John: Yes, I think so. We did exchange a few flirtatious looks. I asked if she was nervous. She did say she was, in the beginning. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable but did look in her direction once in a while just to catch her reactions, which were good.
How were your date's table manners?
Lisa: Fine. He joked that his mother would be proud that he was using a napkin, but he seemed completely comfortable with dinner in a fine restaurant.
John: Very proper. I kept resting my elbows on the table like I was eating chicken wings. I need to stop doing that!
How did dinner end?
Lisa: We finished dessert, discussing how we each thought the evening had gone... and continued by discussing whether we wanted to do anything after dinner. We had talked about possibly going for a walk on the Downtown Mall, but as we reached the door of the restaurant it started to pour. He shared his umbrella with me as we walked across to the Mall. We decided to go see a movie at the downtown theater.
John: Back to the body language from earlier, we sat in one of those double-seats at the movie, and I nudged her twice. Got a nudge back, too.
What was the VERY end like?
Lisa: After the movie, he walked me to my car, or really our cars since he was parked nearby. We said goodnight with a hug.
John: I found out that this was the first blind date she had ever been on. Have to give her credit to trust a newspaper on her first experience. We did exchange a hug. I wasn't sure about the kiss and didn't want to push it.
Did you have fun?
Lisa: Especially after I got over my nervousness.
John: I had a very nice and relaxing time.
Would you see this person again?
Lisa: Yes, we exchanged numbers after dinner, and he sent me a text message wishing me goodnight after we parted ways.
John: Yes, definitely would, and have already. We took a motorcycle ride up to Crozet a few days after.
ON a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?
Go John! It just goes to show, if at first you don't succeed...