Date Lab Rat: The student becomes the master

When former Voice editor Mike Stewart called me at the beginning of the summer to tell me that the Washington Post wanted to talk about my Date Lab reviews, I naturally assumed that I was being sued, or at the very least being told to cease and desist my commentary on the weekly blind date feature. Imagine my delight, then, at learning that I was going to be a guest matchmaker.

Unfortunately, my first foray into Date Lab-ing wasn’t a raging success. Of the four couples that I chose during a two-hour stint in the Post‘s newsroom (I only crashed the computer once due to overly enthusiastic database searching), one or both of the daters in each pair was no longer interested in being set up. Disheartened, I trekked back to 15th and L for another try.

When the DL editor told me that both daters in my first second-round pair were ready and willing, I was way pumped…until she emailed again to tell me that, after seeing each other’s names on the email about where to go for the date, the daters realized that not only had they already met, they had already dated. For two years. Hey, at least I was on the right track.

Sixth time’s the charm, though, and the result is this week’s Date Lab. He’s a Georgetown law student, she’s a law school-bound research assistant; they’re both sarcastic Jewish D.C. locals with quality taste in music and movies. As a few people have pointed out, substitute med for law and they’re basically me, but we’ll leave that where it is.

Luckily for my credibility as a Date Lab critiquer, the date was definitely solid, if not love at first sight. They bonded over TV shows and hating on preppy types, and both rated it a 4. She stopped by his apartment a few nights later for a drink, and while she told the Post they don’t have any other plans, I’ll call it a success even if things stop here. The DL writers say I’m “not bad for a beginner,” which, while a backhanded compliment, is one nonetheless.

Rating: 4. I’m not enough of an egomaniac to give it a first-ever 5.

Chances of Success: 3. They made it to a second hang-out, so there’s definitely potential. And since they both talked about DL as “the enemy,” I think there’s a chance they’re more into it than they let on.

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