Rain can provide a romantic backdrop

New York readers can attest to the nasty weather on Monday night. Unfortunately, I had scheduled two blind dates for ATL Courtship Connections that evening. Everyone was wet and not in the good way.

Well, actually, there was some good wetness on one of the dates. One date ended with a make-out session in the rain. That would be the first official first-date kiss in the ATL Courtship Connection series.

I may be as excited as those involved. If this journalism thing doesn’t work out for me, I’m going into matchmaking as a career. Though, admittedly, the second date did not turn out as well as the wet t-shirt one…

I sent one couple to Monkey Bar in midtown. They met there at 8:30 p.m. Both are firm attorneys, which means they’re hot. She’s over 30 and practices international law. He’s under 30; though he does corporate law now, international law was his favorite class in college. I imagined these two getting hot and heavy talking about Rwanda tribunals and the future of the International Criminal Court. I also liked that they named completely random people as their favorite legal characters in our Courtship survey. Her favorite was, “Maybe Bruce Willis from Moonlighting, but i can’t remember if he was a lawyer,” and his favorite is, “The dude from Scrubs.”

He g-chatted with me before the date, revealing that he was nervous. But things appear to have turned out well. Here’s his account of the date:

The photo this couple sent me. Drinking makes first dates so much more fun.

I entered the bar, and my date recognized me right away by my dashing good looks (or maybe just the bluebook I was carrying). After a quick introduction, we sat down and started to talk. Monkey Bar was a neat spot (great choice Kash!), we ordered drinks and some light dinner, and enjoyed the primate wallpaper and classic decor. At first, we did the obligatory personal history talk. Mostly it was the rather banal factoids that seem to be the staple of first dates.

Within an hour though, we were rhapsodizing about politics, philosophy and the world, all over wine and caipirinhas (fig. 1). Although both of us had to go back to work before the night was done, the hours stretched on and we kept ordering drinks. The conversation never got dull–my date was interesting and open-minded, and it turns out we had a lot to talk about. When we finally rolled out of Monkey Bar at about 11:30, it was pouring. I was heading back to my office, and she said she’d walk with me partway, then catch a cab. When we found ourselves alone on a deserted stretch of fifty-fourth, she suggested we put down our umbrellas and kiss in the rain. Two points: she was a good kisser, and we both got soaked.

Definitely a memorable first date, I have a feeling we’ll see each other again.

I can’t take credit for the venue. She suggested it. Here’s her account of the date:

We met at Monkey Bar on East 54th and Madison, which is close to both our offices. It was Monday, 8.30 pm and raining, so the bar wasn’t as crowded as usual which was good.

I was quite nervous before he showed up, because it was a completely blind date, ie I didn’t know his name, what he looked like, or anything about him beyond the facts that he was an ATL reader (and thus presumably a lawyer), tall w a beard, and would be carrying a bluebook for identification purposes…. The bluebook was a good call on his part, as it saved me from smiling at/approaching random tall dudes in the bar before he arrived, ie being mistaken for a prostitute.

My fears were allayed when he turned up and was cute, smart, funny, and tall (taller than me even in heels – on me, not him – which is awesome). We had a lot in common – interest in pro bono, travel, international law/policy, general nerdiness, eg into philosophy and politics, but also sociable – so the conversation was easy, and we laughed a lot which is always a good sign. At 11.30 pm ish when we left the bar, it was pouring w rain and we kissed, without umbrellas, on the street behind MOMA – maybe that sounds lame, but it was actually really romantic/hot (yes you can have both at the same time).

We texted that night and subsequently, and we’re having dinner again next week.

Finally (and obsequiously), thanks to Kash and the ATL team for having the idea, and for implementing what I’m sure is a logistical nightmare. It was an unusual if not unique experience – I’ve never written a report card on a first date, let alone one written with the knowledge that the guy will read the report [um, hi X!] – and an excellent reminder of why we should all get out of the office (and pash during rainstorms) whenever possible.

Kissing in the rain = hot. Thanks for the raciest Courtship Connection so far, you two. Keep me posted, and please feel free to send graphic emails as your relationship progresses.

My matchmaking skills were not as sharp when it came to the second rainy Courtship date on Monday. These two were the hardest to schedule. That should have been my first clue that things were not going to work out. Both are Biglawyers under 30. I paired them based on their answer for “numbers of hours one can work in a year and still have a decent social life.” They both said 2000 hours. I guess I won’t use this as a primary criterion for compatibility in the future.

The photo the Coffee Shop couple sent me.

I had them meet at the Coffee Shop in Union Square at 9 p.m. on Monday. Here’s her account:

When I walked in, I saw him standing at the bar, and although it was dark, I could tell from a distance that he was supercute. My first thought was, “I hope that’s him! I would totally have picked him out for myself.” Well, it was him, so we sat down and ordered some drinks. Here is the life lesson I am taking from this date: DO NOT go on a blind date and drink two glasses of wine on an empty stomach. I barely drink and am a lightweight as it is, and so I was sloshed in no time. He must have thought I was an alcoholic because I kept trying to convince him to drink more so that we’d be on a level playing field, and he kept saying he was trying to cut down on drinking.

Despite not knowing a damn thing about each other, the conversation flowed pretty smoothly. Our practices are very different, so we spent some time talking about that, as well as our answers to the Courtship Connections application–His favorite fictional legal character was a paragon of virtue who inspired him to be a lawyer, and mine was the prosecutor on SVU. We had a lot in common, e.g., our mutual love of animals, the 90′s, and certain TV shows. We seemed to get all of each other’s cultural references.

However, as I said, I was if not three sheets, at least two sheets to the wind, and I’m pretty sure I said some overenthusiastic/inappropriate things that put him off, which is absolutely in my character. He did say a couple of odd things that but me off and belied his self-characterization as a “bleeding heart.” First, he said that his friend had been in a relationship with a girl who “totally controlled him,” and he disagreed with it because in his view, the man should be the dominant one in the relationship. He also said in the context of TV that if he saw two men kissing, he’d have to look away. I mean, really? REALLY? I can’t really think of two statements I’d disagree with more, and they seemed antiquated to me.

The end of the date was semi-akward. We left the restaurant, and as we were standing on the street, he said something like, “Well, it was fun.” And I said, “Yeah, bye.” So overall not a bad time, especially for a totally blind date. As I said, he was interesting, smart and cute. But seeing as we didn’t have each other’s contact information, and we didn’t take each other’s contact information, I don’t think we’ll see each other again.

Here’s his account:

We were set to meet at 9pm in Union Square on Monday but with the pounding rain, I contemplated cancelling. Still, with my umbrella and Inspector Gadget trench coat, I ventured out. Stepping in one massive puddle coming out of the subway, I otherwise arrived unscathed, almost precisely on time. The identifying characteristic I had for her was surely unmistakable and it in a semi-crowded bar it was clear I arrived first. Standing there drying off I awaited her arrival.

When she entered the bar I was certain it was her, but I hesitated just to let the dust settle. About a minute later I walked over and introduced myself and we sat down to have a few drinks. The requisite, yet thankfully brief, job discussion came and went with our work in different departments going over each other’s heads like ships passing in the night (and yes, I know that simile doesn’t make sense directionally). We did have plenty in common when it came to some family quirks as well as music and TV interests and I got a huge laugh with perhaps the dirtiest, or certainly the most inappropriate, joke I know.

We stayed a couple hours and had a good time, but I think our lives are in different places. She would make an awesome friend, but with the goal of this experiment to make a more intimate connection, alas it was not to be. However, if opposites did truly attract (I’m 6’3″, run marathons, and have a jump shot worthy of March Madness highlights), it was a job well done in certain respects.

I’m disappointed that the date didn’t go well, but I did get to add a horrible new joke to my roster. With some prodding, I got him to spill it:

What’s the best part about having sex with twenty eight year olds?

Both Elie and I were stumped. The answer:

There’s TWENTY of them!!

With that, we’re on to more Courtship Connections. We’ll be rolling these out in other cities. Feel free to send me an email arguing on behalf of your city as the one in which I should next play Cupid.

Earlier: Previous ATL Courtship Connections


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