The Date Lab Experience

So it finally happened.

I went on a blind date.

not just any blind date, this date was set up by the pros from Washington Post Date Lab.

DateLab Photo

In case you don’t read WaPo, there is a column called “Date Lab” where applicants give all sorts of personal information and then the Date Lab gurus try to set up a potential match for a blind date. Based on input from the daters, a restaurant is selected and the daters only know of a place, time, and the first name of the other person. WaPo contributes $125 for dinner, and provides the cameras to take photos of yourselves. The follow-up interviews, coupled with the photos from the camera, provide the information needed for a Date Lab article. I’ve known two people who have been on Date Lab(Nate and Efrain), it seemed dinner was great, but a second date never surfaced. My guess is Date Lab has about a 30% record for people to see each other past the initial blind date – but this wasn’t going to deter me.

So out of the blue, I get the following email:

You applied to Date Lab a ridiculously long time ago. We know, where have we been? Well, we do think we found you a great match and we’d love to send you out but since it’s been so long since you applied we figured we’d first ask if you’re still: a) single; b) interested; c) in the DC area?

This was followed by me updating my application from 3 years ago. A little bit of a backlog, but thats ok, right? Think about what has changed about you and your surroundings in 3 years- I had a lot to update. I don’t live at home anymore, I have a different job, and my array of hobbies/activities has seemingly multiplied.

Date Lab set me up on a date at Georgia Brown’s at McPherson Square. You can read the article here. As you can read, the date went well, they set me up with someone who likes to talk , into photography, and athletic. The only thing they may have overlooked is that she keeps kosher.

Now, this isn’t about conflicting religious ideology (she’s actually quite open minded about religion), but rather a matter of tastes. my favorite 4-legged edible is pig(pork). I have made a Bacon Sundae and Bacon Explosion, and I even have a quart of bacon drippings in my freezer to season my cast iron or to grease the pan when I make cornbread. kosher + pork = oil + water

aside from the kosher part, Date Lab did a good job matching me up to someone with similar personality and overall fun-ness.

The day after the date, I was called by a date lab writer for the post-date interview – a 30-45 minute conversation which inevitable ends with the “so how would you rate the date on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the worst, 5 being the best”. The interview ran pretty smoothly, it’s kind of interesting knowing that what you say is going to be printed – I may have been more PC with Date Lab than I really needed to be.

So as a lot of you know already, the Date Lab got published a few weeks ago in the Washington Post Magazine. And that same friday, I found out there are a ton of people I know who regularly read the WaPo Magazine or DateLab. I got text messages and phone calls about it – being that I was out of town for a wedding, I asked someone to bring the article so I could read it. WaPo doesn’t give the Date Labbers a preview of the article before it goes to publish.

From the comments I got from coworkers and friends, I kind of knew what to expect – but the article turned out to be much better than expected. I got a lot of positive comments about the Adour Macarons, which hopefully will catch on as a food trend, but not necessarily a Date-Lab trend. I would absolutely do it again if I could, but after you’ve been selected once, they don’t let you apply again.

So now that some of the Date Lab dust has settled, I think it was fun – well worth the time to do. I got the idea after the date to actually interview someone on the DateLab staff to pick their minds about being blind-date matchmakers.

Up Next: I interview the Date Lab!!

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