The Courtship Connection has been on hiatus since the infamous night of the melon-baller. We are back with a vengeance now. We’re doing a last sweep of D.C.’s single lawyers and then moving on to a new town. We’ll let you vote on which lucky city and its lawyers get to be subjected to my questionable matchmaking attempts.
First, we need candidates. Send suggestions for the next Courtship city to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll then let you vote. Don’t worry: Miami, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas are already on the candidate list.
Now on to news of our latest victims match. I brought a previous candidate off the bench for this one, as I’m short on men (and lesbians — D.C.’s problem is that it has too many single ladies, and not enough of them like the other single ladies). Do you remember the guy who refused to get lost in his date’s brown eyes? Sex-starved but with high standards for chemistry. He agreed to go out on another blind date, but had a request: he wanted his match to be from the T14, even though he is not a grad of the upper echelon of law schools himself. I granted his wish.
Was prestige all that was needed to set his loins afire?
I had these two meet at a Dupont Circle bar chosen by Prestige Whore (hereinafter “PW”). He says:
We met at Urbana, the wine bar in Hotel Palomar just outside of Dupont Circle. Location was my choice, as it was convenient for me for work and home, but was also a place I had been once before and imagined as the perfect date location, for its amazing semi-circle booths that look private, romantic, and isolated (from the din of the bar)—perfect for someone like me who experiences social ADD sometimes, distracted by the constantly changing visual stimuli of a busy bar scene.
Unfortunately, you have to order food to score a booth, and PW wasn’t willing to commit to a meal with his date sight-unseen, so he chose a place at the bar instead. His date, who is a top-tier hottie as well as a T14 grad, said she’d be wearing a blue ribbon in her hair as a way for him to identify her. If she weren’t a lawyer, she’d be “making nature documentaries.” PW described himself in “three words” with “Spunky/energetic, funny, old school/1950s-ish, conservative,” while she went with the alliterative “spunky and sweet, yet snarky.” Appropriately, given his self-description, Prestige Whore said he’d be carrying a Wall Street Journal as his detail for identification.
Blue Ribbon Prize says she got a sneak peek before the date began:
I got a bit of an asymmetric sneak preview because I think we were on the same metro and I saw someone a bit ahead of me going up the escalator holding a newspaper, and then I trailed him down the block (not to sound like a stalker, but hey, am I really supposed to run up to some stranger on the street and ask if he’s heading to meet a girl with a blue ribbon in her hair with whom he’s been set up by a legal tabloid?). He kept wiping off his forehead with his shirt sleeve a bunch of times and re-tucking his shirt, so he seemed like he might be nervously heading into a blind date. (Not that I judge! I’m fidgety too.)
I resigned myself to the bar area, and just as I was about to comb the bar for Ribbon, she caught my attention, having entered Urbana just after me, noting that she had been walking just a few steps behind me as I walked down P Street towards the bar (which knocked me off my game at first– it meant she likely saw me furiously tucking and retucking my shirt and giving myself the pre-date pep talk…
Luckily, it seems she didn’t overhear the self-motivational speech!
…but whatever). She was not awkward at all, which was great b/c I was slightly at first, but her comfortability was contagious.
Comfortable enough to start making up words. Excellent.
He was attractive and well-dressed in a preppy way. It was overall pretty easy to talk to him. He had a really interesting academic background and more varied interests than a lot of people I meet. I told him he seemed like a Renaissance Man.
Blue Ribbon Prize knows how to flirt. Score.
You probably paired us up because we both work on energy/environmental issues. But three other things we randomly shared in common: we were both biology majors, have the same favorite U.S. city, and our parents don’t use ATMs. Exciting stuff… But the high point of the date was when he suddenly excitedly said, “Now I know why Kash paired us up!” And according to him, it wasn’t for any of the aforementioned reasons.
You may be thinking: “Wow, he told her about the prestige obsession.” Nope. He fudged:
Apparently he’d already been on an ATL set-up (which I told him made me feel like sloppy seconds!) and had specified for Round 2 that he wanted someone who was “very smart” and had brown eyes (who knew that was a preference?). I was flattered by the former And I’d never met a blue-eyed self-hater before.
Ribbon and I got along fine. Over two drinks each (with a third quaff tentatively proffered by me, but quashed by her), the conversation never really lingered… talking about DC life (we both have semi-non stressful jobs, which is why we could keep our 7pm plans), the dating scene (both agreed it favors men here), our Memorial Day weekend plans (we’re getting the heck out of DC, like everyone else), the impending wedding season (luckily we only have a few this summer), Boston (both of us were there for school at some point), and our families. Ribbon is smart, attractive, and at ease socially. While her 5K time (29 minutes), and [STATE SHE'S FROM REDACTED] heritage were glaring red flags, I magnanimously looked passed them. In the end, I had a good feeling about her as a person, her values, etc., and felt she was someone worth staying in touch with, even if non-romantically. The date ended with us hugging it out on P street and me promising to find her on facebook by name (and spelling out loud, incorrectly—nice note to end on), which, after walking home, I promptly did.
He said it was “as good a blind match as [he] could have hoped for.” How did she feel about it?
Overall it was a nice evening with good conversation that flowed more easily than I expected for a blind date (or, in a throwback to our science backgrounds, what he referred to as “double-blind.” I appreciated that nerdy reference.) We were both pretty chatty and swapped some funny stories, but we didn’t really scratch the surface and I got hints that we have differing political views. I don’t know that there was much chemistry, but given the circumstances, it was pretty enjoyable…
The date exceeded my expectations, which, to be fair, consisted of two things: (1) it being a blind date, and (2) your email noting he’d have a WSJ with him as the interesting/distinctive thing for me to identify him by. I have a soft spot for paper publications but was bracing myself for some pretty dry conversation after finding out (2) as something someone would bring to a bar…
Takeaway: bring your A game to a blind date, not your WSJ game.
My sense is that he was more gung-ho about this than she was, but I see potential here. Men know whether there’s chemistry right away, but it can sometimes take women two or three dates. I hope you two make a second go at it, despite my spilling the beans on the prestige appeal.
Kash is an editor emeritus of Above the Law. She now spends her days at Forbes writing about privacy, technology and the law at The Not-So Private Parts. For a background on the creation of ATL Courtship Connection, see My Weird Hobby: Matchmaking Lawyers.