Sunday, May 2, 2010

LolaRuns’ and her second weekend without BoyGenius

LolaRuns had a spectacular weekend with her girlfriends! On Friday night, April 30, 2010, LolaRuns and her girl friends Miss T, Miss A, and Miss AS, all met at Miss AS’s house near Restaurant Nora on Florida Avenue. From there, LolaRuns and friends walked to Raku, a scrumptious Asian diner in Dupont Circle where we feasted on edamame, yellowtail and avocado rolls, sashimi, sushi, noodle dishes, and downed Raku cooler cocktails and wine. Over dinner, we celebrated Miss T’s imminent move to the West Coast and Miss AS’s preparation to join Afterwards, we cabbed it over to the Tony & Joe’s waterfront to hop on our good friend Mr. N and Mr. M’s boat – the Miss Guided. On Miss Guided, we enjoyed vodka sodas and mingled with the boating crowd. It wasn’t until close to 2am when LolaRuns returned home to her South Riding, VA residence and she was exhausted!

The next morning, Saturday, May 1, 2010, LolaRuns had truly ambitious plans. She was going to a spin class and then to run errands before getting ready for a wonderful cocktail party at the Marwood estate in Potomac, Maryland to celebrate the wonderful union of two dear friends. But because LolaRuns was so exhausted, she didn’t wake up until close to 10am and missed spin class. LolaRuns felt very sick as well and spent the rest of the morning in bed, reading her book, and sleeping. Finally at 5pm, she dragged herself out of bed to dress for the cocktail party.

LolaRuns arrived at the Marwood estate in Potomac, Maryland at 7:45pm and the party was already in full swing. Dressed in a delicate pale pink gauzy sleeveless cocktail dress with feathers at the shoulders, a flowing multi layered hemline, a bejeweled v neckline with a braided sash tied loosely at the fitted waist, open toed silver shoes, and diamond barrettes festooned in her hair, LolaRuns looked and felt like Charlotte York. Once she arrived at Marwood estate and greeted the generous hosts and the two dear friends who were the guests of honor, LolaRuns mingled amongst friends and colleagues for the entire night. She danced to wonderful music, sat in the theatre room to watch the slide show, and indulged in the delectable food. The night was beautiful and an unforgettable tribute to two people who deserve the best!

The next day, on Sunday, May 2, 2010, LolaRuns met her girl friends Miss T and Miss A at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC at 1pm. For the next four hours, LolaRuns and her friends walked through the Berlin Wall exhibit, the Elvis exhibit, the September 11 exhibit, the Pulitzer prize photos exhibit, and the newsroom exhibit. LolaRuns enjoyed them all and had such an emotional reaction to the Pulitzer prize photos exhibit because of the extreme severity of the events captured through the photo lens. There were pictures that LolaRuns had seen before and some that were new to her but each photo made LolaRuns sad for the tragic people and events across the world. LolaRuns cried at the Pulitzer Prize photos exhibit because of the lives lost and the poor circumstances in other countries because of political unrest, hunger, natural disasters, war, and terrorist events.

The Newseum was not all tears though! LolaRuns also had a fun time with her girl friends in the newsroom where each was video taped and read from a teleprompter to report the news. Miss A chose the Cherry Blossom backdrop and reported on the history of the cherry blossoms. Miss T chose the weather backdrop and reported on the weather and global warming. LolaRuns chose the White House and reported on President Barack Obama’s approval rating. The girls had such a wonderful time reporting individually that Miss T thought of the great idea to report together simultaneously – on the Elin and Tiger Woods divorce! For twenty five seconds, LolaRuns played the part of the moderator while Miss A played the role of the marital expert with Miss T as a Washington, DC attorney. Caught on camera with semi impromptu responses, LolaRuns knows that the video will forever be a memory keepsake of the fun Sunday afternoon.

Afterward, LolaRuns and friends walked two blocks to Hotel Monaco to dine at Poste Moderne Brasserie. Seated in the atrium, the girls enjoyed red wine and four tasty cheeses before diving into an assortment of grilled goat and asparagus polenta with morels, halibut and vegetables, and truffle frites and mussels. The early dinner at Poste and intimate chatter topped off a memorable afternoon at the Newseum.

So what of BoyGenius? Had he disappeared from LolaRuns’s heart and mind? Truthfully, despite the break up, LolaRuns thinks of BoyGenius every day. BoyGenius continues to text sporadically through out the day and the week but even without the texting, BoyGenius is not far from LolaRuns’s mind and heart.

BoyGenius’s texts since the break up on April 20, 2010, have been bittersweet. Some are wonderfully poignant and heart breaking while others are filled with anger and frustration. All of the texts make LolaRuns sad. But true to her word and her attempt to have a clean break, LolaRuns reads but never responds. Why? LolaRuns does not want to be drawn back into a dialogue with BoyGenius and because LolaRuns has said everything that is to be said.

However, during the wee hours of Sunday morning, while LolaRuns was driving back to the Marwood estate to return a cell phone that the valet person had left in her car, she responded to BoyGenius’s texts regarding his house key. During the course of the texts, BoyGenius communicated that he had not spoken to another live human being all week. [Earlier in the day on Saturday at 1:15 pm, BoyGenius had even dropped by LolaRuns’s residence after texting to say that he would drop off the Spock graphic novel that he gifted LolaRuns while they were dating. But not only was LolaRuns groggy, slightly sick, and tired from Friday night, she concluded that seeing BoyGenius while she was vulnerable was not a good idea. So LolaRuns stayed in bed with her book and did not get up to let BoyGenius into her home.] The news that BoyGenius had not spoken to another human being in a week did make LolaRuns worried and she decided that it was time to call BoyGenius . [By the way, LolaRuns loves the Bluetooth technology in her BMW 335ix – it is fabulous – and it is the only reason that LolaRuns would drive and talk. Otherwise, LolaRuns wouldn’t be able to shift gears and focus on the road.]

Since LolaRuns did not want to encourage more discussion, LolaRuns did not respond fully to any of the questions that BoyGenius asked. How did LolaRuns’s Mom take the news of the breakup? Why wouldn’t LolaRuns give BoyGenius a chance when BoyGenius gave LolaRuns two chances to work on her issues? Does LolaRuns miss BoyGenius? Has LolaRuns really made up her mind? Does LolaRuns want to hear about the MRI results on Tuesday? Will LolaRuns share her MRI results with BoyGenius once she gets her MRI?

LolaRuns answered as concisely as she could and BoyGenius, who is after all, quite intelligent, took the hint. After five minutes, he said good bye and good luck to LolaRuns.

LolaRuns has not received a single text today from BoyGenius. LolaRuns is sad because she will likely not hear from BoyGenius again. Thirteen days after it ended, she wonders sometimes if the breakup was all a mistake.

Monday, April 26, 2010

LolaRuns and the "Newton Running: A Love Story" blog

In the wee hours of April 20, 2010, after a lengthy and emotional telephone conversation, LolaRuns and BoyGenius gave up.

Approximately ten hours later, at noon, LolaRuns received an email from BoyGenius that began with:

“Well, I couldn’t write something this sad and poetic if I tried. Was poking around the Newton web site this morning and guess what I came across? An excerpt about us posted on the Newton running BLOG! With links to your “secret” BLOG, meaning that since last November, your BLOG was probably read by a decent amount of people. You can check it out at the link that I have provided below. Of course when I clicked the link to see if it really went to your blog, I found out that you have deleted your blog, I am assuming since I found it last week…”

LolaRuns agrees that it was indeed sad and poetic for BoyGenius to stumble upon the Newton Running blog, on the day of the breakup.

The Newton blog entry, titled “Newton Running: A Love Story”, begins with:

"We stumbled upon this fun story of a budding (?) relationship from blogger Lola Runs, who is chronicling her adventures in the world of online dating on her blog. LolaRuns’s second date with ‘BoyGenius’ turns into a discussion of natural running form and Newton Running shoes. Will true love ensue?"

And how does the Newton blog entry end?

"Read the rest of LolaRuns’s post here. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure rooting for BoyGenius!"

LolaRuns was rooting for BoyGenius too and is still heartbroken that it is over. But as Charlotte York says:

"Everything happens for a reason. Even if you don't know what it is yet."

Amen to that.

LolaRuns and how the blog came down

When LolaRuns and BoyGenius agreed to date exclusively, did LolaRuns come clean to BoyGenius and reveal her online dating blog?

No dear readers – she did not. LolaRuns made the executive decision to keep that part of LolaRuns’ life private. Afterall, LolaRuns was convinced that her readership was limited to her sister Miss E and her male confidantes Mr. M, Mr. C, and Mr. J.

But in the last month of LolaRuns’ relationship with BoyGenius, the subject of blogging came up in conversation and LolaRuns decided to share the subject of her blog. BoyGenius mentioned that he too kept up a blog but the subject matter happened to be common day observations. LolaRuns did not feel particularly curious about BoyGenius’ blog and did not bother to ask for the web address. BoyGenius had the opposite reaction about LolaRuns’ blog and wanted to read it. For reasons unknown to her, the idea of BoyGenius reading her thoughts about other suitors did not sit well with her so LolaRuns compromised. She excerpted the two entries about BoyGenius, substituted the first person for every instance of “LolaRuns” and emailed it off to her sweetheart.

The reaction that LolaRuns received from BoyGenius was not what she expected. Initially, BoyGenius expressed appreciation that the excerpts were shared and remarked at the sweet nature of the entries. The appreciation turned quickly into suspicion – why did LolaRuns not want to share the entire blog with BoyGenius? Was LolaRuns trying to hide something from BoyGenius? No, nothing to hide LolaRuns replied! LolaRuns just wasn’t ready to share that part of her self and her dating strategy. But it’s a blog and by that very nature – other people – strangers are reading it and I can’t ?!- BoyGenius fumed.

The next day, when LolaRuns left for work, BoyGenius did a handful of searches and promptly texted LolaRuns. His text, “You are LolaRuns. I found your blog but I didn’t read any of it – just the two BoyGenius entries to see if you had changed them”, made LolaRuns panic. Then BoyGenius responded with the link to his own blog.

LolaRuns quickly went to her blog site and deleted all of her precious entries (which were conveniently and already backed up). But she wondered if BoyGenius read her blog. Wouldn’t anyone read the entries after going through the trouble and hassle of finding a blog? But BoyGenius responded that he thought of it as a puzzle challenge and that had he not informed LolaRuns that he found her blog, she never would have known. How true LolaRuns thought. But the fact that BoyGenius searched and found the blog even though LolaRuns made it clear that she did not want to share the blog irked her.

LolaRuns and BoyGenius never really worked through the blog issues – in particular LolaRuns’ unwillingness to share and BoyGenius’ suspicion and disregard for LolaRuns’ privacy.

Ultimately, LolaRuns concluded it was not worth ruining a weekend nor was it a reason to end a relationship.

LolaRuns returns from blog hiatus when two hearts get broken

On November 28, 2009, LolaRuns and BoyGenius decided to take a leap. We leapt into a relationship – head on – without helmets.

BoyGenius had been married for two years and divorced for six. In between college and marriage and post divorce, he had done his fair share of dating. BoyGenius was a dating Subject Matter Expert and brought to the relationship all of the lessons learned.

Unfortunately, LolaRuns was not so well equipped. She had a significant relationship with her high school/college sweetheart and a hot relationship with a secret paramour that spanned close to two years. Because of her relationship inexperience, LolaRuns vowed to open her mind and her heart to new experiences with BoyGenius.

In the beginning, BoyGenius was fantastically optimistic. He introduced LolaRuns to his parents within two weeks of their relationship and talked a lot about marriage. LolaRuns was overwhelmed – things were moving fast and she was busy learning, adapting and making changes.

So what happened?

After just four months and three weeks, LolaRuns realized that she wasn’t truly happy. The relationship with BoyGenius ended just yesterday on April 20, 2010.

LolaRuns wishes that she continued to blog or at least kept a private journal while she was with BoyGenius. But in between working, trying to return to running, spending time with BoyGenius, and just plain living, LolaRuns wasn’t able to sit down and capture the nuances of the relationship in a blog or other format.

If LolaRuns did, maybe she would be able to articulate better the things that slowly began to shake her faith in the relationship, BoyGenius, and their shared life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LolaRuns goes to Thai Basil with BoyGenius

One day after LolaRuns’ first date with BoyGenius, BoyGenius text LolaRuns to request a second date. A second date would be lovely LolaRuns responded.

Throughout the week, leading up to the date schedule for Friday, November 13, BoyGenius and LolaRuns text about BoyGenius's running program and Newton running shoes. Please recall that LolaRuns hasn't been running because of a pounding ache in her lower back when she attempts to run. When LolaRuns shared this information with BoyGenius during the first date, he immediately peppered her with questions and concluded that it was her running form that was producing the back problems.

Him: "What is your running style? How do you land? Are you a heel striker?"

Me: "I tend to lean back and strike with my heel."

Him: "It's your running form. You need Newton running shoes. They have a patented technology with exposed grooves that encoourages mid to forefront running. Let's walk over to the Potomac Running store and I will show the shoes to you. You have to strike with your midfoot or forefoot if you want to run healthily."

This is where cute BoyGenius even demonstrated the proper running form while walking on Market Street. LolaRuns was a bit smitten at that point.

The texts during the week followed the same vein with questions about LolaRuns workout - the stairclimber for an hour for the past two months - and the new Newton training shoes that would be available in the next month. BoyGenius also encouraged LolaRuns to check out the Newton web site and watch all the videos - which LolaRuns promptly and attentively reviewed. LolaRuns was sold on the Newtons - and quite possibly on BoyGenius.

Friday evening came and because LolaRuns was so smitten, she agreed to let BoyGenius pick her up at her house! BoyGenius arrived promptly at 7:30pm and when he walked into her home, he looked so cute that LolaRuns wanted to be close to him immediately. But she held herself back and promptly gave him the requested tour of her home.

After the tour, LolaRuns and BoyGenius made their way to Thai Basil. Located down the street off of Route 50 in a strip mall that LolaRuns has often seen from her car but never visited, Thai Basil is known for its chef who challenged the Iron Chef on television and beat him. Her pad thai noodle signature dish was renowned because of the competition.

BoyGenius and LolaRuns settled in for a delicious meal. Starting with puff pastries filled with vegetables, BoyGenius and LolaRuns also shared the drunken noodles with tofu, the pad thai with tofu, and the mango with sticky rice. BoyGenius and LolaRuns served each other mounds of food and enjoyed good conversation. LolaRuns will admit that she was still incredibly nervous - too nervous to even eat but she did her best. During the course of dinner, BoyGenius suggested seeing the movie "Scrooge" at the Imax theatre at the Udvar Hazy Museum. LolaRuns readily accepted and off they went.

In the car, BoyGenius played Lily Allen and sang along to a very cute girly song. LolaRuns wasn't sure if she liked that. Once at the museum, BoyGenius and LolaRuns discovered that the movie theatre wasn't open and on their way out of the museum, both enjoyed a good laugh when they noticed that the gates were shut and they were locked in. But thanks to BoyGenius who ventured up to the automated box, the gates were automatically opened.

BoyGenius and LolaRuns decided to travel to Blockbuster in LolaRuns' neighborhood to rent a movie to watch on LolaRuns' projector in her basement. Once home, with a glass each of red wine in hand, LolaRuns and BoyGenius settled in for a horror movie. Was the movie watched? Of course not! As soon as LolaRuns sat down next to BoyGenius, he smothered her with passionate kisses and she responded in like manner.

For the duration of the movie, BoyGenius and LolaRuns made out like adolescents. He couldn't believe that she had winked at him on Match and she couldn't believe that he would want to be involved with someone who was so obviously not his intellectual equal.

Close to midnight, BoyGenius mentioned that he had to get home to Rocky. With a hug and kiss, BoyGenius went on his way.

LolaRuns gets Starbucks with ConsultantDude

After the date with BoyGenius that made her tongue tied and weak in the knees, LolaRuns met with ConsultantDude the next day on Sunday, November 8, 2009.

Unlike BoyGenius, ConsultantDude had no effect on LolaRuns. She wasn't intimidated, overwhelmed, or weak in the knees. LolaRuns knew that she was chatting with her intellectual equal.

LolaRuns met with ConsultantDude at the same Starbucks in Reston Town Center at 11am. To make things more comical, the Starbucks employee that served LolaRuns her coffee the day before with BoyGenius recognized LolaRuns because LolaRuns decided to wear the same outfit.

LolaRuns and ConsultantDude took a seat outside near the fountains across from the ice skating rink with coffees in hand and indulged in a leisurely conversation about the usual - careers, education, family, and interests over the course of two hours.

It turns out that ConsultantDude works for PRTM - a boutique consulting firm that LolaRuns is quite familiar with because of the project that she manages. ConsultantDude speaks Spanish fluently and was a former Navy officer with a consulting position first at Deloitte and then at PRTM. He owns his own 100 year old row house in DC that ConsultantDude is currently remodeling on his own. ConsultantDude is also active in community projects and described in great detail a piece of land located behind his property that used to be a veritable junk yard and meeting place for drug dealers. By joining a community board of directors, ConsultantDude helped raise money and contributed a great deal of time, energy, and materials to transforming the land behind his property into a pleasant park with benches, gardens, and inviting paths. LolaRuns was quite impressed with ConsultantDude's enthusiasm and commitment for his neighborhood and his ability to repair and remodel his own home.

From a physical perspective, ConsultantDude is definitely attractive. At 6'2 with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, an inviting smile, and a physically fit build, ConsultantDude has good looks to balance out his intellect.

Was LolaRuns attracted to ConsultantDude physically and mentally? Sure. But did he make her nervous? Not so much. LolaRuns couldn't help but compare ConsultantDude to her good friend Miss T. The similarities in personality, career, linguistic abilities were so similar in fact that LolaRuns told Miss T about ConsultantDude and encouraged Miss T to wink at him later that Sunday evening.

By the end of the date, ConsultantDude and LolaRuns sat side by side on a bench at the ice skating rink discussing lifestyles, children, and nannies - topics that ConsultantDude raised on his own. It was apparent that ConsultantDude wants a family, daughters preferably, and looked forward to being a father.

ConsultantDude walked with LolaRuns down Market Street and at the corner where a Thai restaurant sits, ConsultantDude gave LolaRuns a hearty hug and made sure that her phone number was in his phone. With a smile and wave, LolaRuns headed off.

LolaRuns gets Starbucks with BoyGenius

On Saturday, November 7, 2009, LolaRuns met with someone that she'll call BoyGenius. Why the moniker?

BoyGenius has quite an impressive profile that caught LolaRuns eye. So much in fact that after she read it, she decided immediately to wink at him. LolaRuns liked BoyGenius's profile because it was well written and focused on all of BoyGenius's accomplishments - like the fact that he held two technical patents, is an accomplished painter, an unpublished science fiction writer, and in executive management at a well known think tank - Mitre.

BoyGenius and LolaRuns corresponded via Match email before the Saturday date and LolaRuns knew already that she was communicating with someone who is well read, articulate, with a higher than average intelligence quotient. Brainy men turn LolaRuns on so she was very excited when she approached the Starbucks at Reston Town Center next to Morton's.

Seated outside in a casual black jacket, sporty black shades, a pair of nice jeans, stylish black loafers, and a grey v-neck sweater with a white tee shirt underneath - was BoyGenius. He jumped up when he saw LolaRuns, made eye contact and smiled. BoyGenius whipped off his sunglasses, gave LolaRuns a brief hug, and together excitedly walked inside where both ordered coffees.

Because there was a dog adoption event on Market Street at Reston Town Center and because it was a beautiful morning with temperatures in the upper 50s, LolaRuns and BoyGenius agreed to walk through the event, pet dogs, and chat. LolaRuns noticed that BoyGenius was very talkative and liked to think outloud. He was gregarious in a very approachable manner and spoke to most people and their pets. After ten minutes of wandering through the festival, LolaRuns and BoyGenius agreed to sit in the lobby of the Hyatt and chat over coffee.

Inside the Hyatt, at a sofa against the wall, BoyGenius sat very close to LolaRuns and off we went on a conversation that would take us through an impromptu lunch at Big Bowl and a visit to the Apple store.

LolaRuns learned a great deal about BoyGenius during the date that started at 11am and lasted until 2:30pm. She learned that BoyGenius was an honors graduate of the University of Virginia with a double major in English and Psychology. With a high IQ, BoyGenius excelled in his corporate career but loved to paint and write science fiction. At the restaurant, LolaRuns learned that BoyGenius recently decided to become a vegan because of stomach problems and because of his desire to lose weight. In fact, BoyGenius had lost 60 pounds recently and had taken up running and quit smoking to get in shape. BoyGenius had been married for two years and divorced for six years. BoyGenius lives in a large 5000 square foot home in Ashburn with Rocky his rescue dog and aspired to become a full time writer and painter one day. BoyGenius is an only child with elderly parents in their seventies who live in Newport News. They are the only reason BoyGenius hasn't relocated outside of the metropolitan area.

LolaRuns will be honest. She was tongue tied through most of the date because she was intimidated and a bit overwhelmed by BoyGenius's intelligence. His talents and intelligence made LolaRuns feel wholly inadequate and she did not think she stood a chance. When BoyGenius pulled up pictures of his paintings on his blackberry at the Hyatt, LolaRuns was quite impressed with his talent. When BoyGenius described a part of his science fiction novel to LolaRuns, she became quite turned on by the fact that BoyGenius is truly a creative and original thinker with an imagination and a propensity to learn numerous things and apply them simultaneously.

At the end of the date, when BoyGenius asked LolaRuns if she would like to accompany him into JCrew for khaki pants, LolaRuns was mentally exhausted in trying to keep up. With a half hearted hug, she parted ways with BoyGenius, doubtful that he really would contact her again.

LolaRuns ponders when to cut bait

LolaRuns has a confession to make. On Friday, November 6, 2009, she made a spur of the moment decision.

LolaRuns was on the phone with her good friend T who was busy writing her profile to join During the course of the conversation, the topic of knowing when to call it quits came up.

So far, LolaRuns has been very impressed with the type of men that she has met through A majority of her dates have been with accomplished, career driven, well read, well traveled professionals who are physically fit and look nothing close to their true ages.

If that is the case, what's wrong? There has even been a certain degree of chemistry between LolaRuns and Salesdude and LolaRuns and Employment Attorney. Is she motivated by either one to stop looking? No. Does LolaRuns feel like she wants a serious relationship with either candidate? No.

Would going out on a third date with Salesdude that very evening be a waste of time if LolaRuns knew that he wasn't "The One"? Would the realization that he could be "The One" come on date number 4 or 10 or 21 or never? When is it appropriate to throw in the towel?

LolaRuns' good friend Miss. T said that despite how great someone looks on paper, if the spark isn't there on the second date, then it's time to move on. But can we define spark? Salesdude and EA are attractive men - and LolaRuns would be lying if she said that chemistry didn't exist. But LolaRuns can not picture either man fitting into her life. Is that the point of a relationship - i.e. to make the person fit into one's life?

LolaRuns was very confused and the date with Salesdude was scheduled for 7pm - just a mere 2 hours away. Egged on by her friend Miss. T and lured by a great meal at Bourbon and a movie with the girls, LolaRuns decided to break things off with Salesdude.

How did she do it? In the most cowardly manner possible. LolaRuns is ashamed to admit that she did not have the courage to call Salesdude to explain herself. Instead, she opted to break off the "relationship" by text and slunk away to have dinner with her friends.

LolaRuns gets the creeps

Although Halloween has passed us by five days, LolaRuns describes some creepy occurrences that are a result of her Match endeavors.

Remember Salesdude - the fellow with whom LolaRuns is scheduled to go on a third date this Friday? LolaRuns generally has a positive feeling for Salesdude. He appears intelligent, intuitive, conservative, and of upstanding moral character. But LolaRuns had a tingly spine moment when LolaRuns and Salesdude were at the bar at Il Fornaio discussing the telecommunications industry and landline telephones. LolaRuns stated that she has no landline to which Salesdude responded, "You must not have a security system either then." Ummm...this is where LolaRuns said "I have a wireless security system and a neighbor who is a police officer. Plus I live in a neighborhood where everyone watches my house and my coming and going since I am the lone single girl!" To which Salesdude said "Landline security systems aren't good anyway because you can cut the phone lines and still get in the house."

Alright folks. Creepy.

The next one takes the prize for spine chilling in true Halloween fashion.

LolaRuns, in keeping with her promise to be proactive, ran across a profile that seemed interesting and sent an email. The person is 6'4 with brown hair, green eyes, a graduate degree, and an interesting array of photos that indicated a well traveled person. The gentleman also stated in his profile that he was learning Chinese.

In striking up conversation, LolaRuns' email basically said "It sounds like you may be more Chinese than me. :) You can speak it to me and I will pretend that I understand."

Him: "Hi LolaRuns - No - no my Chinese is terrible. Honestly I think I might feel uncomfortable with someone so goodlooking. Do you have a lot of men who try to talk to you randomly?"

Me: ":) It's Match. Of course I have a lot of men who try to talk to me randomly! :) Joking aside - in real life too - guys are predators no? How long have you been studying Mandarin and why that language?"

Him: "Hmmm. Well we are all like that. We have to try to talk to beautiful women. They won't talk to us. If I saw you though I might not talk. U r in the model category. Really cute."

Me: "Great - thanks. So how long have you been studying Mandarin and why did you choose it?"

Him: "We should just have a coffee or a beer and chat. Online process is so slow. But it's ok. For u I'll be patient."

Not that scary right? Before responding to his last email, LolaRuns decided on the spur of the moment, to re-read the fellow's profile to make sure that he really is someone that she wants to waste time meeting with. Much to LolaRuns' surprise, the following excerpt had been updated to the fellow's profile page:

"I know they are coming for me and my family. They are looking for us and we are hiding. I can hear them even now as they search."

??? That was enough for LolaRuns to stop all communications with the guy. LolaRuns has since blocked him from contacting her. The next day, out of curiosity, she went back to his profile page to see if the strange excerpt was there. He was smart enough to remove it and LolaRuns was lucky enough to have seen and copied it down when she did.

You never know what you get online. There are people with mental illnesses. In this situation, whether it was a joke or mental illness, LolaRuns is not interested in finding out.

LolaRuns goes to Il Fornaio with Salesdude

By Friday, October 30, 2009, LolaRuns was wiped out. She had already been on two consecutive dinner dates with two different men on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

But LolaRuns was committed to go on yet another dinner date on Friday evening at 7pm at Il Fornaio in Reston Town Center with Salesdude.

From work, LolaRuns changed out of her suit into a bright blue clingy dress with ruched sides and black heels. Over the dress, she wore her cream coloured rain coat and diamond earrings.

LolaRuns arrived at 7pm at Il Fornaio and proceeded to the bar where she scanned the people for a sign of Salesdude. With him nowhere in sight, LolaRuns took the lone empty seat at the crowded bar and occupied herself with facebook updates from friends on her Palm Pre. At 5 minutes after 7pm, she turned her head to the right first and then to the left to search for Salesdude and as she did so, LolaRuns and Salesdude made eye contact and smiled delightedly. Hopping down from the bar stool, LolaRuns and Salesdude hugged briefly.

"Would you like to come down this end of the bar where there is more room?" he asked. I nodded dutifully while Salesdude took my coat and we made our way to the end of the bar. We sat down and over two glasses of champagne each, got lost in conversation for an hour before Salesdude realized that the maitre'd had overlooked us and our table. At 8pm, Salesdude checked with the maitre'd who apologized profusely and led us to a table where we sat down to a delicious meal of canneloni. From dinner, we went to Passion Fish for drinks. What was happening as we went from bar to restaurant to bar? Really good conversation on both sides. Salesdude asked great questions about family, friends, career, aspirations, the past and I reciprocated. He even went so far as to ask about how I would select my person for a serious relationship. In LolaRuns style, I opened up about my Matrix. Salesdude was a bit shocked at first but was intrigued.

At the end of the date, Salesdude walked me to my car and even though it was just Friday, October 30, 2009, he was smart enough to ask me out for Friday, November 6, 2009. LolaRuns was smart enough to say yes.

LolaRuns goes to Iota Cafe with Mechanical Engineer

LolaRuns is a glutton for punishment.

On Thursday, October 29, 2009, one night after dinner with Executive Recruiter, LolaRuns met with Mechanical Engineer for dinner at Iota Cafe in Clarendon.

Who is Mechanical Engineer? He is a 37 year old that LolaRuns was exchanging Match instant messages with for a period of a week and a half. LolaRuns had mixed expectations for Mechancial Engineer because she saw that his spelling was atrocious through instant messaging. The other cause for concern was that Mechanical Engineer did not appear to be very well read. Case in point? He has no knowledge of the great literary classics and could not speak to Vladimir Nabokov and Lolita. But LolaRuns reasoned that mechanical engineers are by trade more quantitative and perhaps this one in particular - put less emphasis on literature and more on math and science.

Regardless, LolaRuns courageously battled on in her fight to find a soulmate. She dutifully met with Mechanical Engineer despite her reservations.

After work, LolaRuns changed into jeans and a white shirt and grey wide strapped heels. Why? Because this is her lucky first date outfit - that's why! Through experimentation, LolaRuns discovered that men love women who look hot in jeans. Based on simple observation, LolaRuns concluded that she does not disappoint in this seemingly simple outfit.

LolaRuns was the first to arrive at Iota Cafe. The band was warming up in the room adjacent to the restaurant and LolaRuns chose a seat against the wall looking toward the doorway entrance. She received a text from Mechanical Engineer that he was searching for parking and would be there in a few minutes.

At 5 minutes past 8pm, in walked Mechanical Engineer. LolaRuns stood up to greet him and saw that he was about 6' tall with short hair shaved close to his head and nice blue eyes set against a very boyish face. Mechanical Engineer was in jeans and a simple grey Guess tee shirt with a biker jacket that he promptly removed. He looked great - just like his pictures - but as soon as conversation began, LolaRuns was disappointed.

To put it bluntly, Mechanical Engineer was very soft spoken. In fact, his voice reminded LolaRuns of a girl - not high pitched or anything - but girlish. LolaRuns was immediately turned off. But she soldiered on with dinner and conversation.

Mechanical Engineer had many positives. He is scuba certified and just finished running his first marathon - the Marine Corps Marathon - the previous Sunday. Mechanical Engineer went to community college where he received his associate's degree and than went on to the University of Maryland where he received his mechanical engineering degree. This is where it gets shaky. LolaRuns probed Mechanical Engineer but he did not seem knowledgeable about his field of expertise. However, that could be attributable to Mechanical Engineer's inability to articulate and describe his field of work. Regardless, Mechanical Engineer also shared that he worked in IT for the State Department and was able to travel extensively as a result. He scuba dived in Phuket and because of his employ with the State Department, Mechanical Engineer got to see a bit of the world.

Some things became very obvious to LolaRuns during the course of dinner with Mechanical Engineer. Although a very nice person, LolaRuns saw that Mechanical Engineer was really immature and not very sophisticated. She felt like she was having dinner with an 18 year old boy who fumbled his way through conversation and was not worldly or knowledgeable.

LolaRuns did not learn anything about Mechanical Engineer's family nor did he learn about LolaRun's family or history. LolaRuns did learn that Mechanical Engineer likes to dabble in real estate. He bought three townhomes and sold two in 2006. Mechanical Engineer currently lives with roomates in the last townhome located in Woodbridge and was looking for a new job. It was obvious that Mechanical Engineer has good financial discipline and lives within his means. Mechanical Engineer also spends his time between jobs in a very productive manner. Mechanical Enginner studied for and took the exam for the Professional Engineer certification the previous week. He trained for and ran the Marine Corps Marathon. LolaRuns was able to conclude that Mechanical Engineer, despite his inability to articulate his profession and world travels, is a productive and smart person with a good heart.

After a little more than an hour, dinner came to an end. Mechanical Engineer walked LolaRuns to her car where we parted ways with a hug.

LolaRuns experiences rejection

All of this dating may lead the average reader to believe that LolaRuns calls the shots in the Match universe.

Au contraire! When LolaRuns signed up for Match, she knew that she was signing up for a bit of rejection. And Match has not disappointed in the rejection arena.

Please recall that according to the LolaRuns Match rulebook, LolaRuns vowed to initiate winks and emails on her own for profiles that piqued her interest. LolaRuns kept her word and sends emails and winks to profiles that she finds particularly intriguing on an ongoing basis.

The most passive form of rejection comes in the form of unanswered emails and winks that are ignored. LolaRuns is used to passive rejection and doesn't take it to heart.

But this past week, LolaRuns experienced another form of rejection. She received two emails from two different Match men who communicated their rejection! It was analagous to purring hello and smiling coyly at a stranger that one finds attractive - only to have that stranger approach and communicate why the smile and any hopes of getting to know the stranger will not be reciprocated!

These two well meaning men penned two emails that essentially said "thanks, but no thanks".

Gentleman #1 - DC_Runner2009 - wrote:

"Hi LolaRuns - Thanks for the email. I'm probably looking for someone closer to my area... I know Chantilly isn't exactly another state but it's not exactly close. Good luck: DC_Runner2009"

And where does DC_Runner2009 live? He lives in the far away county of Arlington, Virginia folks! That's right. :) But in all honesty, when I reread his profile, I could tell that we were two different people. It was obvious that he is well read and smart, but he loves to go camping. LolaRuns' idea of camping is checking into the Ritz Carlton for an overnight stay and scheduling a massage.

Gentleman #2 - Rchances1 - wrote:

"Hi LolaRuns - yes ... living overseas is fun ... I really enjoy it. Madrid was great ... but next it's on to Kinshasa, Congo. Well ... I finished the MCM ... not as fast as I wanted ... but I was just hoping to finish. You seem very interesting ... and I love your photos. I recently met someone offline and we're going to see where it goes. Good luck on Match ... but I don't think you'll need it. Chance"

Please keep in mind dear reader that the "I recently met someone and we're going to see where it goes" reason is an option in the drop down rejection box on the Match email template. I know this because I have used it many times when I am forced to respond to people who continue to send me emails that I have ignored.

Because LolaRuns is a glutton for punishment, she also checked to see the last time that Chance signed into Match - and his profile was active within the last 24 hours. Alas, much to LolaRuns' dismay, Chance has not met anyone. If that were the case, Match would be the last thing Chance would be checking.

To make matters worse, Rchances1's profile wins the blue ribbon for most well rounded male as judged by yours truly. He is fluent in French and Spanish, travels the world in an executive management position at a company with world wide operations, scuba dives, runs, hikes, mountain bikes, skis, climbs, reads the Economist, and is currently tackling classic literature in Spanish. Can we say brainy, physically fit, and drop dead gorgeous at 6'1 and 40 years of age with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes? Sigh - but LolaRuns can't play in his playground. Chance kicked her out, locked the gate, and took his ball home.

So is it better to send an email to reject someone outright or is it better to ignore the email in the hopes that they get the picture?

LolaRuns has done both but admits that she tends to send the email with the drop down box rejection reason only if the suitor sends multiple emails that have never been answered by moi.

It has been approximately 3 weeks since LolaRuns joined Match and during that time, she has learned a great deal. In the hierarchy of class and love, there will always be men who pursue LolaRuns whom LolaRuns will never acknowledge. There will be men who pursue LolaRuns whom LolaRuns will reciprocate with flirty attention. And then there are those men that LolaRuns will coyly tempt, only to have her flirtations denied. That dear reader, is the cycle of love and life.

LolaRuns goes to Lebanese Taverna with Executive Recruiter

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, LolaRuns made an exception - by going out on a date on a school night!

Lolaruns met with someone who is an Executive Recruiter by profession. Actually, he is an entrepreneur because he now owns and runs his own executive search firm. The executive search firm employs eight people who focus on different aspects of the recruitment process in the non profit sector. Executive Recruiter intends to redirect his search firm so that it also focuses on the commercial sector and eventually branch out internationally.

How did LolaRuns come across Executive Recruiter? Actually, Executive Recruiter found LolaRuns and sent her an email in the Match universe. The email was a straight forward simple request to discuss 3 Cups of Tea over tea or coffee! LolaRuns reviewed Executive Recruiter's profile and was generally impressed despite the fact that at 50 years of age, he was over her age range of 35 to 45. Aside from running his own company, Executive Recruiter is a spin instructor at the Sport and Health in Tenley Town. His pictures show a physically fit man who could easily pass for 40. LolaRuns also liked the fact that Executive Recruiter plays drums in a jazz band and travels extensively. During the course of our email exchanges, Executive Recruiter even demonstrated a written proficiency in French.

It was obvious that Executive Recruiter deserved a first date!

A little more than a week after the first email exchange, LolaRuns showed up at the Tyson's Galleria Starbucks on the dot at 7:30pm. As I approached the seating area, a blonde blue eyed man, 6'3 tall, wearing blue jeans, a blue button down shirt tucked in with a houndstooth blazer and nice brown loafers stood up and walked towards me. We shook hands and smiled at each other. Up close, Executive Recruiter looked as young as he did in his pictures. There was not a wrinkle to be found and he has a lean but muscular and youthful build. Spinning definitely pays off!

I grabbed a short cup of coffee with half and half and we got down to the business of chatting. Not quite fifteen minutes into our discussion, Executive Recruiter asked if LolaRuns would like to continue over dinner at Lebanese Taverna. That's one of my favourite restaurants I exclaimed!

Over a delicious meal, Executive Recruiter and I bonded over stories of our childhood, family histories, travels, and careers. Late into the dinner, we even meandered over to the book discussion before touching lightly on the Vietnam War and its similarities to current US activities in the Middle East.

Dinner did not end until very late. It was close to 10:30pm when Executive Recruiter walked LoalRuns to her car and suggestively asked if she would trick or treat at his house in her spider girl costume.

I already have plans for Halloween she replied with a smile. :)

LolaRuns gets Starbucks with Salesdude

LolaRuns woke up on Sunday morning at 9am tired and groggy. She had less than five hours of sleep since the date with EA did not end until 3am and LolaRuns did not make it home until 3:45am!

In less than six hours, LolaRuns was scheduled to meet with Salesdude. So I dragged myself out of bed, ran my errands, and went to the gym.

At approximately 3pm while approaching the Starbucks on Market Street in Reston Town Center, LolaRuns received a text. It was Salesdude. His text read: "Hi LolaRuns, I'm here at the Starbucks in the Reston Town Center". At that point, LolaRuns was standing at the entrance to the coffee shop when a very fit attractive blond man, approximately 6'2, in casual jeans, a blue striped button down shirt untucked with a grey tee shirt peeking out, and casual black shoes immediately jumped up from a chair positioned next to the doorway.

With one hand, Salesdude removed his sunglasses while he excitedly shook my hand with the other. Salesdude opened the door as I walked inside and he immediately asked what I would like to drink. "A short coffee" I replied as he directed me to a window seat in the corner. Just as I removed my raincoat and scarf and got settled, Salesdude came over with my coffee. I took it appreciatively and followed Salesdude to the center of the store to get half and half. When I turned around, Salesdude was waiting for his coffee order so LolaRuns took the opportunity to make small talk with Salesdude. Salesdude smiled and politely but firmly responded "Why don't you have a seat and I will be right over?"

Whoa. LolaRuns never gets ordered around and found it slightly exhilarating.

A few minutes later, Salesdude took a seat next to LolaRuns at the table adjacent to the window and we embarked on a two hour discussion. Up close, Salesdude has bright blue eyes and a generous smile. LolaRuns couldn't help but notice that for 41 years of age, Salesdude has significant wrinkles under and around his eyes. Frankly, it looked like Salesdude hadn't slept in more than a week even though it was apparent that he was alert and awake. Overall though, LolaRuns found Salesdude to be true to his profile pictures and generally attractive. Ding Ding! You are 4 for 4!

Salesdude asked about LolaRun's weekend and when she responded that she saw a Philip Trager photography exhibit, LolaRuns was delighted to find that Salesdude asked question after question. She excitedly shared the subjects of the photographs, the different developing techniques, and the background of the photographer to a very eager listener who lapped up the information readily. When Salesdude asked for an example when LolaRuns tried to explain the architectural pictures, he intently looked out the window as she pointed to the building across the street and attempted to describe the angle of the building that Trager would have photographed against the sky. Salesdude asked if LolaRuns kept current with photography but she clarified that aside from a photography course in high school, everything that she shared with him was learned from the exhibit that she walked on Saturday. LolaRuns was impressed when Salesdude asked for the name of the exhibit and the museum and expressed a desire to see it for himself.

From there, conversation flowed to our respective families and backgrounds. Salesdude has one other sister who is 18 months younger. She is happily married to an Italian national in California and they are trying to conceive. Salesdude's father spent a life in sales. Salesdude mother has a college degree and one day, while at a bar, she met the man who would be her husband. Coincidentally enough, one month prior to their fateful introduction, Salesdude's father met Salesdude's mother's uncle who informed Salesdude's father that he had a niece that he wanted Salesdude's father to meet. When Salesdude's mother and father formally started to date, Salesdude's father met Salesdude's mother's uncle again and the circle was complete. Salesdude's parents have been happily married for over 40 years.

Salesdude grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Grove City College where he received undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science. Salesdude's parents characterized him as shy and were surprised when he chose to follow his father's footsteps with a career in sales. Salesdude works for Oracle and has been with the company for one year moving recently from commercial to federal sales.

LolaRuns will be honest. She doesn't like sales and never liked the salesy type. But I was pleasantly surprised with Salesdude. Salesdude is inquisitive, likes to learn, and appears genuine. Salesdude keeps up with various industries and demonstrated sound knowledge about finance and telecommunications. Salesdude took an interest in LolaRuns' job and asked intelligent questions. Salesdude happily dived into LolaRuns' family history and enjoyed the narrative of how LolaRuns' parents met.
The two hours went by quickly and LolaRuns enjoyed the conversation as much as she enjoyed the Starbucks coffee. Hmmm - yum! Even though LolaRuns never expected much from the initial meeting with Salesdude, she happily accepted when Salesdude invited LolaRuns to dinner for Friday night at Il Fornaio at 7pm.

LolaRuns goes to Posto with Employment Attorney

LolaRuns did not get home from her Saturday night date with the Employment Attorney (EA) until 3:45am Sunday morning.

Gasp! Did LolaRuns act in a wanton manner? No dear Reader. She did not act lasciviously.

EA is tenacious in his pursuit of LolaRuns. EA text and left a voice message on Monday, EA called and spoke to LolaRuns on Wednesday, and EA text LolaRuns on Friday early afternoon to confirm plans for Saturday dinner at Posto in Logan Circle at 8:30pm. EA had taken the initiative and chosen the restaurant after performing due diligence and reading a number of restaurant reviews. LolaRuns responded that she was looking forward to Saturday night dinner and would see EA then. (One point to EA for planning in advance, confirming plans, and following up!)

Did this stop the texting? Au contraire mon ami. On Saturday afternoon, while LolaRuns was having lunch with her girl friends at Zaytinya before heading off to the National Building Museum, EA text to say that he was looking forward to seeing LolaRuns this evening. Can't wait to see you too LolaRuns replied. Less than a half hour later, EA text to ask how LolaRuns' day was going. It is going well! I will have fun stories to tell you tonight LolaRuns responded. Fifteen minutes later, EA text to exclaim that he loves hearing LolaRuns' stories. An hour later, while at the Philip Trager exhibit, LolaRuns' phone rang. Who could it be? EA of course - but LolaRuns did not pick up the phone and EA did not leave a message.

At Zaytina with Miss. A, Miss. T, and Miss. A's work colleague that LolaRuns will call Mr. Taiwanese, Miss. A prompted LolaRuns to share her Match news with Miss. T. A little hesitant to indulge in private girl talk with Mr. Taiwanese present, LolaRuns shot a look at the intruder and decided that she could not keep Miss. T in suspense for much longer.

"I have been doing Match since October 14th Wednesday I exclaimed! And I have been out on three dates, one last night, and am going out on a second date with someone from last week and have another date with someone for Sunday." Out of my mouth flowed the goings on of the last week and the intricacies and lessons learned of the online dating Match world. Miss. T was shocked, proud, and congratulated LolaRuns on her spirit of adventure.

But back to the meat of the sandwich. After a fun afternoon with the girls at lunch and the museum, LolaRuns trekked back to Reston to decompress before changing into a simple red dress.

After a forty minute drive into DC and driving around 14th and Church Street for 15 minutes, LolaRuns wedged her car into a small spot off Church Street and proceeded to walk over to Posto on 14th Street. Once parked, I text EA to let him know that I was running late but had just found parking and would see him in 5 minutes.

LolaRuns arrives at Posto and it is crowded. After inquiring about EA's arrival, LolaRuns makes herself comfortable at the bar and exchanges texts with EA who is running late for the second time. LolaRuns orders a chianti and scans the restaurant which is modern in decor and busy with an ecletic mix of hip, young, conservative, and artsy diners.

At 9pm, EA strolls in wearing a nice pair of jeans, a button down multi coloured thin striped shirt that is untucked, and a dark midnight blue blazer with Italian loafers. After a big bear hug, EA apologizes for being late, sits down at the bar, and exclaims that red is very becoming on me.

EA orders a mixed drink and we settle into the details of our afternoon. A few minutes later, we are led to our table where we take our time catching up about the week and discussing the menu. EA shares what he learned from his restaurant review research about Posto's menu. He chooses the braised veal cheeks with mashed potatoes and spinach while I opt for the saraceno, a wheat bulgar pasta with a dried cured beef and various types of cheese. For appetizers, I am delighted to find that EA and I have similar tastes in food. EA chooses the two appetizers that I had been eyeing - the polenta with mushrooms and the baby octopus salad.

Once the food arrives, I serve him the polenta while he heaps baby octopus and lettuce on my plate. It is apparent that EA is accustomed to Asian traditions and understands the significance of serving food to a dinner guest.

Because EA is tenacious, he gets down to business quickly. Without hesitation, EA asks LolaRuns the question that had not been said out loud but was inferred from all the texts and phone calls. "What is the LolaRuns Match strategy and what is the status of the Matrix?" If you read in between the lines, the true question is "where do I stand in the mix of men that you have been dating and if we agree that I am the one, can we stop doing Match and just date each other exclusively?"

Up until this point, LolaRuns has not shared her Match strategy and the Matrix with the blog audience. However, LolaRuns has been forthcoming about both with 2 of the 3 men that she has met with. EA and PI are aware of the LolaRuns Match strategy and the Matrix because they both inquired about my selection process when we met the first time for coffee.

LolaRuns' Match strategy is quite simple. I will go out on dates with men that interest me for the 6 month Match period. Even if I meet the person who could be "The One", I will continue to go out on Match dates for the allotted time. By the 6 month mark, I will narrow down my choices to three people. From the three people, based on mutual agreement and the metrics from my Matrix - an excel based model that quantitatively computes compatibility based on my numerical ratings for attributes that are important to me - I will select the person that I am most compatible with for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage.

So I took a deep breath and reiterated my Match strategy and Matrix to EA. EA looked deep into my eyes and made it clear that he did not agree with my approach. "If I found someone that I wanted a relationship with, I would stop doing Match, and just date that one person exclusively" EA said. Hmm. True I replied. But dear EA, I have not dated for 15 years and now that I am presented with all of these choices, I want to take the time to get to know people before deciding on a serious relationship.

Which begs the question - do I want a serious relationship with EA? After only two dates with EA, I know three things for certain. I am attracted to his tenacity and ambition. I like very much that he acts like a goofball around me and does funny impersonations just to make me laugh. I like that he curls his 6'2 frame onto a bench so that he can hold my one hand in his while we talk.

But I did not share any of this with EA. EA is old enough and smooth enough to know when to table a serious discussion and he gracefully led the conversation into other less serious matters for the rest of dinner.

LolaRuns prides herself on being open to trying new things. So in the spirit of adventure, when EA said he wanted to feed LolaRuns a bite of his veal, mashed potatoes, and spinach, LolaRuns thought why not and let herself be fed a delicious morsel! LolaRuns complied by feeding EA a bite of scrumptious saraceno and the majority of dinner was interspersed with feeding each other bites while discussing books, marathons, the Trager exhibit, and EA's role with the Army JAG.

After dinner, EA proposes that we walk up to U Street for coffee or more drinks. We had not walked more than a block when EA asks if LolaRuns would be comfortable walking to U Street. It was already 11:30pm by that time and LolaRuns did not want to walk far. So we circle back in the direction of Posto and after passing by one place after another that was closed, we happen upon Birch & Barley.

LolaRuns did not know this at the time but Birch & Barley literally just opened for the first time a few days before on Thursday, October 22. LolaRuns just now read an excellent review for Birch & Barley in the City Paper online.

After the bouncer asked for identification, EA and LolaRuns ambled up the stairs to the bar area. Because EA is 6'2, he peered over the crowd and guidesLolaRuns to the right side of the bar. As luck would have it, a group of four just left a table right next to the large floor to ceiling window that spanned the entire wall looking out onto the street. The place is packed with a hip young crowd and a great mix of music that is loud enough to enjoy but at a caliber that can accomodate a conversation. EA asks LolaRuns if he could sit next to her instead of across from her. After I nod, he curls his large frame next to me and takes my hand into his.

Seated in that manner, we carry on a long conversation about everything. Birch & Barley has over 500 beers and we take our time choosing a beer to try. Interestingly enough, under the Fruity and Tarty section, we find a beer that shares the same last name as EA. So we decide to try that beer and EA entertains LolaRuns with tales of his travels to Germany and the beer that he tried with syrup in it made for little kids. That's right folks - those German people like their kinder (children) to start consuming beer early! During the course of our conversation, EA brings up LolaRuns' Match strategy and Matrix again. Holding my hand and looking directly into my eyes, EA says "I don't like the Match strategy, but I am okay with it and will wait to see what you decide".

It is 2am when the lights come on at Birch & Barley. We are still seated side by side and hand in hand talking and laughing when three different waitresses come by to tell us that they are closing and could we please leave?

We walk out into the brisk night and EA walks LolaRuns to his X5 and drives to Church Street. We talk in the comfort of his car and EA wants to know if we can do something next week. Unfortunately, LolaRuns is partially booked for the following weekend and wants to reserve a spot or two for new candidates but she don't share those details with EA. Instead, she responds that she has plans already. EA kisses her hand and just smiles. After helping her out of the car, we cross the street to LolaRuns’ little white Cabrio. EA gives LolaRuns one bear hug after another and she thanks him for the wonderful evening. Will you call me when you get home so that I know that you are safe?

Sure she says.

LolaRuns goes to Mie n Yu with Trainerboy

Approximately 25 minutes after LolaRuns posted her "LolaRuns gets a dose of reality" blog, her phone rang. Surprise surprise - it was Trainerboy!

It was 1pm or thereabouts and Trainerboy was outside his home walking Lindey, his new rescue puppy. Trainerboy wanted to know if LolaRuns was still interested in meeting for drinks. Why of course she replied. Where shall we go inquired Trainerboy? Well gosh Trainerboy - I don't know. What is your preference? Trainerboy hemmed and hawed and finally said "Let's meet in Georgetown! But where?" It was obvious that Trainerboy was only 37 and has no clue on how to make a great first impression on a girl. So LolaRuns threw out a restaurant that has a great scene, a busy bar, and the best red wine sangria on the planet. "Let's go to Bodega. Besides, my girlfriends and I have reservations for dinner there at 9pm and it will be convenient for me."

Truth be told, LolaRuns wasn't meeting her girlfriends out for dinner that Friday night. We do usually have a Friday night dinner tradition because it is a great way to wind down from the week and catch up on gossip. On this particular Friday night however, there were no such plans with the girls because we had agreed instead to Saturday lunch and a photography exhibit.

So why did LolaRuns tell Trainerboy that she had a phantom dinner date with her girlfriends? Because she was already annoyed at Trainerboy's inability to plan, to follow up in a timely manner, to confirm, and to take the initiative. Trainerboy had asked LolaRuns out on a date for drinks and even before the date started, she knew that she did not want it to be a long one.

Him: "Ok - but where is Bodega?"

Good grief, I thought.

Me: "I'm online right now so I'll look it up for you. Here we go - it's 3116 M Street."
Him: "What time should we meet?"
Me: "How about 7 or 730?"
Him: "I can do 730 but if I can get my neighbor to walk Lindey, 7 will work too."
Me: "Ok - just text me to let me know which time will work."

It was a balmy night for October and LolaRuns is cheap. So she parked her car near her friend Miss. T's house at 25th and M and took a leisurely walk to 31st and M. As she parked, she received a text from Trainerboy who said that Bodega was crowded and there was no room at the bar, so would Mie n Yu work? Sure she replied.

As LolaRuns stood at the stop light to cross onto 31st, she noticed a man, approximately 6'0 feet tall, in casual jeans, dark brown loafers and a nice light blue button down shirt that was untucked, walking in front of her. LolaRuns knew instantly that it was Trainerboy. From the back, I could see that true to his profile, Trainerboy is athletic and toned with broad shoulders and a lanky but muscular lean build. Ding Ding! You are three for three! Trainerboy may not be able to plan a date but he is able to tell the truth. His profile stats and his appearance were true to form. I was impressed and relieved.

Trainerboy walked into Mie n Yu with me five feet behind him. He turned around, we made eye contact and smiled, and shared a brief hug. We exchanged pleasantries while I took off my rain coat and took a seat at the bar. Now that I was face to face with Trainerboy at the bar, I could see that he is indeed handsome. Trainerboy looks like a young Rob Lowe with hazel eyes, dark brown slightly wavy hair, and a wide toothy grin.

Right away, we dived into conversation while I scanned the drinks menu. I ordered a shiraz from South Australia and asked if Trainerboy had ever been. No he replied but if given the opportunity, Trainerboy prefers New Zealand to Australia because of the terrain and the lifestyle. Trainerboy asked abut Vietnam and the last time that I was there. I explained that I have traveled to Vietnam twice in the past 3 years and that my Mom and my Dad had been my tour guides. We traveled from the south to the central and to the northern regions. I even saw the building that used to be the hospital where I was born. Trainerboy was most interested in how my family was able to leave the country before the fall of Saigon and wanted to know how my family was able to leave. It was a combination of luck and family connections I expained.

My father worked for the US Embassy/Consulate in Saigon as an accountant and was the first and only person in his family to have a proper education. My maternal grandfather owned a successful electric company and supported the democratic movement. My mother's oldest sister had married an American lobbyist who worked on Capitol Hill and they resided in North Arlington. One of my mother's brothers was in California studying medicine while another brother was a Vietnamese pilot who trained with US soldiers and traveled frequently to the US. As a result, there was no shortage of money and connections to get my parents, maternal grandfather, and nine uncles and aunts plus children to the US on a chartered flight to Cambodia where we stayed for a few weeks before landing at the National Airport (now Ronald Reagan airport) and settling in Fairfax County. The most harrowing part of the tale is that we flew out of the Saigon airport two days before it was bombed. Had we delayed, we would have been stuck in Vietnam for a number of years or become part of the wave of boat people who suffered cannibalism, drowning, starvation, and other atrocities on flimsy man made boats. But we were incredibly lucky and left in comfort and safety because of the timing of our departure.
Trainerboy appreciated the background and told me about his family history. Trainerboy grew up outside of Annapolis in a county with little or no diversity. In his school, he recalled one male African Amerian student and one female Latino student. Trainerboy explained that the Latino student was quite exotic and most likely shaped his attraction to dark haired olive skinned girls instead of buxom blonde blue eyed girls. Trainerboy has one brother who is a year older than him. Their parents divorced when he was eight and he and his brother moved in with their father and new stepmother. Trainerboy moved back with his mother when he was in his teens and lived with her until he went to college. Trainerboy shared that college was never part of his plans until senior year when he received letters recruiting him because of his athletic abilities. Trainerboy's Aunt Tina, his mother's sister, was the only other person who received a college education and she provided guidance on applications, recommendations, and exam preparation.

Trainerboy went to Ohio Wesleyan for his undergraduate studies and the University of Delaware for his master's in exercise physiology. Trainerboy explained that the graduating class was small so each student had the opportunity to deliver a speech. Trainerboy got up on the podium and said "Mom, I promised you that I would get an education but I didn't promise you that I would get a job."

With that, Trainerboy moved to Colorado where he served as a trainer on occasion but spent the bulk of his time skiing, hiking, camping and enjoying other outdoor activities that only Colorado can offer. After a few years, Trainerboy moved to Florida where he trained athletes at the area universities and then recently moved to Virginia a little more than a year and a half ago.

Because Trainerboy recently adopted his dog Lindey, a Boston Terrier Border Collie mix, we talked a great deal about how Lindey was selected and Trainerboy's first week of training and socializing her. Trainerboy took a great deal of time and care in selecting a dog and wanted a dog that could be social with other animals and people. And in the spirit of adopting dogs who truly needed homes, Trainerboy focused his search only on dogs that did not have multiple adoption applicants.

From the way Trainerboy described his dog selection process and training approach with Lindey, it was obvious that Trainerboy recognizes the large responsibility of caring for someone other than himself. Simply put, Trainerboy is not selfish and will one day, make a great parent.

Positives aside, what are LolaRuns' reservations about Trainerboy? Trainerboy did well in school because in his own words, he happily implemented recommendations on projects and papers. Trainerboy is also well organized; he tackled all assignments in a timely manner so that he could have the freedom to do as he chose on the weekend. While growing up, Trainerboy's parents did not have much money so Trainerboy watched and helped his father fix or make home improvements around the house. Trainerboy grew up in a community where it was not uncommon to leverage the skills of the electrician down the street in exchange for helping to paint the interior of a house. Trainerboy also revealed that the townhouse styled condominium that he currently lives in is not the first property that he has purchased. Although it is apparent that Trainerboy is financially responsibile, handy with tools, and is school and street smart, Trainerboy lacks intellectual curiosity and does not want to expand his horizons.

LolaRuns experienced this first hand when Trainerboy asked about the plans that she had for the weekend. I enthusiastically replied that my girlfriends and I were going to the Philip Trager photography exhibit at the National Building Museum on Saturday afternoon. I explained that the exhibit is a 40 year introspective of silver gelatin, platinum, and giclee photographs of architecture in Connecticut, Italy, New York, and various dance troupes in motion outside of dance studios. Instead of asking questions about photography, the exhibit, the artist, the medium, Trainerboy muttered "that's very cultural" and abruptly changed the subject. It was disappointing to LolaRuns that Trainerboy did not ask questions and did not exclaim that he knows little about photography and art but would like to learn more.

Similarly, when Trainerboy asked about the genesis of LolaRuns' dog's name, Victor Hugo, Trainerboy did not care to discuss favourite authors or books. Trainerboy did well in school and demonstrated his great knowledge about the body as it relates to exercise physiology but has no cultural or intellectual pursuits. Trainerboy did not attempt to understand LolaRuns' job or tread onto topics that are outside of his comfort zone while LolaRuns asked a great deal about exercise physiology.

This is a complete turnoff to LolaRuns and it became apparent that Trainerboy also recognized the intellectual divide. To Trainerboy's credit, he does have somewhat of an open mind when it comes to trying new foods and described how he introduced his then 50 year old father to Thai food and the varying degrees of hot and spicy. Unlike LolaRuns however, Trainerboy veers away from "fancily prepared small portion foods" and hangs out with guy friends at sports pubs where Trainerboy dines on bar staples like burgers and chili. When LolaRuns ordered her South Australian shiraz, Trainerboy ordered the same because he rarely if ever drank wine. LolaRuns recalled Trainerboy's profile and his statement that he enjoys beer from a floating cooler.

9pm did not come soon enough for LolaRuns and Trainerboy. Overall, conversation was pleasant and LolaRuns knows that Trainerboy is a good person with a kind and loving heart who will make some special girl very happy. Trainerboy's outstanding qualities? Trainerboy is handy with tools, financially stable, lives within his means, owns a home, and understands the magnitude of caring for and raising a pet.

Despite such wonderful qualities, LolaRuns and Trainerboy both knew there was no match. Trainerboy walked LolaRuns outside where we parted ways with a hug. I strolled in one direction while he headed off on a different path.

LolaRuns gets a dose of reality

Does LolaRuns have a date for drinks this evening?! She doesn't know because Trainerboy hasn't been in contact yet!

The first and last time that LolaRuns talked to Trainerboy was on Tuesday night, October 20, 2009. Since then, Trainerboy has been radio silent while LolaRuns has been working the Match email and Match instant messaging with other potential suitors.

LolaRuns isn't used to this type of behaviour from a boy but frankly, she is not surprised. Why isn't she surprised with Trainerboy's inability to follow up, confirm, and arrange plans? Because Trainerboy is 37 years old and young in comparison to the boys that LolaRuns likes to play to with.

LolaRuns also knows that maturity level aside, Trainerboy's inability to follow up, confirm, and arrange plans could be due to a lack of interest in LolaRuns - pure and simple.

What will LolaRuns do? Nothing! LolaRuns likes to let boys be boys and she likes to be chased! If Trainerboy doesn't follow up to execute on plans, LolaRuns will enjoy a nice reprieve from Match dating and read her latest book tonight.

Speaking of a reprieve, LolaRuns had dinner with a good guy friend last night at Mon Ami Gabi in Reston Town Center. The food was scrumptious and we shared a few laughs over LolaRuns' experiences on Match.

One of the experiences that is worthy of a mention on LolaRuns' blog involves a former coworker. Approximately two full days after having joined Match, LolaRuns opened up her "My Daily 5" to find the face of a former coworker staring right back at her! It was enough to make LolaRuns jaw drop.

LolaRuns' dinner companion asked the inevitable question: "Are you going to go out with Mr. Former Colleague?" No I replied! I indicated "No Interest" immediately and we exchanged a few friendly emails about the Match scene and left it at that.

So how did Mr. Former Colleague make it into LolaRuns' Match universe? Interestingly enough, Mr. Former Colleague fit the criteria for the type of person LolaRuns' would date. Mr. Former Colleague has never been married, has undergraduate degrees in math and engineering, is over 6 feet tall, and is in relatively good shape. What's wrong LolaRuns? Why won't you date Mr. Former Colleague? Because he is a whiner and LolaRuns doesn't like people who spend their lives complaining about everything. LolaRuns likes people who are doers, who take action, who have positive attitudes, and implement change when they are unhappy. LolaRuns doesn't want to spend the rest of her happy life with a downer.

LolaRuns has standards and doesn't believe that being alone means being lonely. :)

LolaRuns learns to play the game

Although LolaRuns would like to say that she is doing everything perfectly – LolaRuns knows that there are some things that she needs to work on. LolaRuns lets the boys be boys and allows them to take charge. But LolaRuns needs to not respond to emails immediately. She needs to let the emails sit in her inbox and marinate a while so that the sender can learn to yearn and anticipate. :)

On the other hand, with phone calls and texts, LolaRuns is a mastermind at letting the suitor sweat it out. For example, poor EA - Employment Attorney - left a text on Sunday night to say that he really enjoyed our 4 hour coffee date. LolaRuns did not respond because she forgot. EA called on Monday and left a message to wish me a great week and to say that he looks forward to catching up. LolaRuns did not respond because she was busy. On Wednesday, EA called and LolaRuns finally answered the phone and enjoyed a pleasant conversation with EA who wanted to know why LolaRuns hadn't responded. Busy - she said! :)

EA: Are we still on for Saturday night?
Me: Of course EA.
EA: Will you send me your personal email?
Me: Of course EA.
EA:I tried to instant message you today when I noticed that you were on Match but you didn't IM me back.
Me: You did?! Instant Messaging must not have been working appropriately! I would have IM'd you back if I had known!
EA: I am looking forward to our dinner on Saturday night!
Me: I can't wait!

Remember when LolaRuns said yesterday that she is learning to juggle and that she must learn to keep the names of boys straight if she was going to IM and multitask? Yesterday's big gaffe still sticks in her mind and makes her giggle. It sort of went like this:

Him: Hi LolaRuns!
Me: Hi Mike!
Him: Hi.
Me: Hi.
Me: :) Are we going to do this all day?
Him: Only until you get my name right.
Me: Oh gosh. I am so sorry!
Me: Hi Joey!
Him: You must get a lot of emails and I.M.s
Me: :)
Him: You are very cute.

Tonight, LolaRuns is having dinner with a guy friend who is not on Match. :) What a nice break.

LolaRuns lets the boys be boys

LolaRuns wants to climb up the highest mountain top and exclaim to the world that chilvary isn't dead! Even in the online dating world, chivalry lives on!

How does LolaRuns know this? She sees it everyday through my online interaction with the men on Match. As with everything, there is an unstated protocol that men like to make the first move. And because LolaRuns likes to let the boys be boys, she wholeheartedly allows the boys to ask for her number, ask her out for coffee, take her out for dinner, initiate Match instant messaging, and email her first until their hearts are content. Nothing makes LolaRuns happier than to be chased! Bring it on boys! Catch me if you can!

Last night, LolaRuns returned a call from someone that I will call Salesdude. Salesdude emailed last week and cut to the chase quickly. After the first two emails, he asked for my number and called that night. Of course, I was on the phone with Trainerboy and let Salesdude leave me a message.

When we spoke, it was obvious that Salesdude likes to take charge and was intent on controlling the conversation. I let him and asked questions where possible. We talked for 35 minutes and during the course of the conversation, I learned that Salesdude started working for Oracle in the past year and moved from commercial to federal sales. It appears that Salesdude has been in sales for most if not all of his professional life. Salesdude took a huge interest in my Asian heritage and I spent some time answering his questions about my family history and our immigration to the States. We also talked about where we live versus where we work. Salesdude used to live in Alexandria but moved to Reston because the daily commute to work took up much of his time and he could only squeeze in a bite to eat and the gym before going to bed to get ready for work the next day. Now his commute to work takes all of 7 minutes. I told him that I wished that I was as lucky. Even though I live 15 miles away from work, my commute is 35 to 45 minutes depending upon the time that I leave.

Salesdude also asked how long I had been on Match and if my experience was positive. I informed him that so far, I was impressed with the type of people on Match and was enjoying it. Unfortunately, Salesdude wasn't as forthcoming about how long he had been on Match but it was apparent that Salesdude has been on Match for longer than he would care to admit. We both agreed that being on Match allowed us to meet people that we normally would not encounter in our day to day lives. Or as Salesdude aptly put it, "it allows me to cast a wider net and get to know more people".

At the end of our conversation, Salesdude asked if we could get together for drinks. Of course LolaRuns said but let him know that she is booked tonight - i.e. Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night - so would he care for coffee on Sunday afternoon at say - 3pm? Salesdude liked the idea and we agreed to meet at the Starbucks at the Reston Town Center next to Morton's on Sunday.

LolaRuns learns to juggle

Today, Wednesday, October 21, 2009, marks a full week since LolaRuns joined Match. :)

What has LolaRuns learned? She learned that if you are going to respond to emails and instant message multiple boys at the same time, you should be able to keep their names straight.

She also learned that if you are on the phone with one person, like she was last night, it is better to ignore the other incoming calls. Otherwise, you won't be able to have a decent conversation.

Joining Match has forced LolaRuns out of her comfort zone. In addition to having to respond to emails and instant messages, She now has to speak to guys each night on the phone. LolaRuns decided that she can only talk to one guy each night. She just don't have enough time in her life for more than one phone conversation!

Last night, LolaRuns spoke to a person that she will call Trainerboy. Trainerboy is 37 years old and lives in Alexandria. He just rescued a dog and works at a gym where he is the trainer. Trainerboy has a master's degree in exercise physiology. We had a pleasant 35 minute conversation and she learned a few things.

Trainerboy comes from a blue collar family and he is the first to go to college and receive a master's degree. He communicates well on the phone and shared that he is active with his Home Owner's Association. Trainerboy recently bought his townhome styled condominium last year and plays rugby with the Washington Irish team. This is where LolaRuns knew that there was 6 degrees of separation! Especially when he mentioned a dive tavern that friends of his own because it started to sound awfully familiar.

To make a long story short (enjoy this summary because as you well know, LolaRuns is a girl of many, many, many words), Trainerboy used to play rugby with her friend Miss. N's husband E. That's right - we travel in the same social circles!!

Unfortunately, except for her good friend Miss. A, none of her other girlfriends know that LolaRuns is on Match! She was going to share the news with Miss. T and Miss. M last Friday at Posto but they bailed - so LolaRuns’ secret is still a secret. Now that Trainerboy knows that Miss. N and her husband E are friends, will he tell them?! LolaRuns hopes not because she wants to be able to tell them herself!

We exchanged updates about Miss. N and E and their new pool, their wedding, their new fence. Trainerboy and LolaRuns agreed that E is very handy. Trainerboy does handyman work on the side and shared that he recently hung drapery rods at a gym client's new house.
At the end of our conversation, Trainerboy asked if we could meet for drinks on Friday. Why - of course! :)

LolaRuns gets French pressed coffee with Employment Attorney

Before I even met EA in person, I already concluded that he was tenacious. How did I come to that conclusion?

Well Watson, EA texted me on Friday to wish me a great weekend and to comment on how much he enjoyed the conversation the previous evening. He also called me on Saturday and left a message to confirm our meeting on Sunday.

Because of my glamorous social life :), I wasn't able to return his call but did text him to let him know that I was looking forward to meeting in person on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, EA text to ask if we could meet at noon or 1pm for lunch. Just as I was going to text him back, he called me and after our exchange of pleasantries, we agreed to meet at 3pm so that I could walk my little dog and fit in my workout. Because I am from the suburbs and look for any excuse to get the heck out of dodge, we originally planned on meeting downtown . But on Sunday, October 18, 2009, it was cold and I was no longer hot on the idea of driving to DC. So I suggested that we meet at the Starbucks at the Galleria - Tysons Corner. Starbucks coffee - hmmmm.

At 5 minutes to 3pm, I stood at the perimeter of the Starbucks near the Williams Sonoma across from the Ann Taylor at the Galleria and panicked. The seating area was cramped, loud, and crowded and there were no empty seats! I wandered to a bench in front of the Coach and Betsey Johnson store and settled down to read Siddhartha hoping that tables would free up. At 3pm exactly, EA text to let me know that he was sitting in traffic and that he hoped to be there in 10 minutes. I took the opportunity to let him know that Starbucks was crowded - would he mind meeting me at the Ritz Carlton bar/lounge instead?

I strolled up to the Ritz and decided - why not – let’s sit at the same table that I sat at with PI. Coincidentally, the waiter that staffed my table with PI was my waiter again. There is no doubt that the waiter thinks that I am some sort of girl for hire! A few minutes after the waiter set down assorted nuts and pretzels, I looked up to see a tall, broad shouldered, physically fit bald man walking toward my table. I stood up and EA smiled as we shook hands.

Ding ding. You are two for two! EA was wearing very nice jeans, Italian loafers, a burgandy wool JCrew sweater with a zipper that ended slightly beneath his collar bone, and a black wool casual hip length coat which he took his time removing and gently laying on the chair next to him. I was very pleased. True to his pictures, EA had the crooked tall nose that I love, is 6'2, and it was really obvious that he runs and goes to the gym - just like his profile said. (I love you for not letting me down!! Woot woot!) EA apologized for being late and said he did not plan appropriately and did not give himself enough time to accommodate for traffic. (1 point for you EA because you can admit when you are at fault.) :)

I was so pleased that I emitted a sigh and smiled. EA sat down next to me, smiled, and settled his intense gaze on me. He told me that I did not look anywhere near 36 and I replied that he could easily pass for 35. (According to his profile, he is 45. I love older men.) I think it was clear that we were both relieved. (After yesterday's success, I was convinced that I wouldn't be as lucky.) So to my Mom and sister and my good friend A - I owe you this - I was wrong yet again. EA is not Fatboy afterall.

Let's cut to the chase and get down to the details shall we? I spent 4 hours over coffee with EA and just like yesterday, conversation flowed freely. I learned a great deal.

EA's parents divorced when he was 8 and EA lived with his mother and older sister. His mother dated several different men and EA learned something from each one. After living with the same man for 18 years, EA's Mom married that man and EA gave his Mom away at her wedding. EA did not have a close relationship with his Dad and shared that his Dad moved to Florida after the divorce and married a woman who had a son. EA seemed a bit outraged that his Dad adopted the woman's son as his own child. EA shared that when he was in his mid twenties, his father reached out to him and invited him to help run an antique car business. EA realized that his father wanted a better relationship with EA so EA spent a few years in Florida managing the antique car business before returning to DC to go to District of Columbia law school for his JD and Georgetown Law School for his LLM. EA is also an Army JAG and serves as a Captain in the Reserves. In August, EA went to Korea on a mission and then spent a few days in Seoul with friends touring the city and running in a local race.

EA lives/owns a condo on Capitol Hill, has no pets, has never been married, has no children, is emotionally and financially stable, and runs his own law practice specializing in Employment Law litigation. EA shared that he prosecuted for the government and worked for a firm for a few years in the same field before deciding to start his own firm in 2004. EA has an office in the building across from The Equinox - one of my favourite restaurants - I might add! :)

It was obvious that EA loves his job and has been immersed with building his practice. EA told me that many of his clients were Asian minorities but that he worked with a variety of people. EA also spoke with enthusiasm about becoming a NFL agent and described the 60 question test that he recently passed. EA described the competitive environment in becoming one of the few agents to represent a set number of players. EA just learned that he had passed the test and I congratulated him on the accomplishment. It was apparent in the way that he spoke about his firm, the JAG, and the NFL agent process that EA is focused on his career and is very ambitious. (That is quite a turn on for me!)

I asked him how long he had been on Match and when his last relationship ended. EA responded that he met someone on Match two years ago and after one year of dating seriously, the relationship ended in March. EA signed back onto Match in August before leaving for Korea.

I couldn't help but mention to EA that he has a great bald head! EA confessed that if he could take a pill to have hair - he would. Because of the Army and because he has an aversion to comb overs, EA opted for the shave. At one point, he thought about wearing a toupee but decided against it because no matter how great they look - people would be able to tell. (EA reminds me of my friend Miss. MPS's husband MS who is also bald and hot.) EA has a great head for baldness and carries it really well and I told him so. Plus, EA has gorgeous eyes, a sexy crooked nose, and the tall broad shouldered fit build of a man who takes care of himself. Hot, brainy and motivated - just like I like 'em! :) Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin.

So do I like EA enough for second date? I do. But EA is Jewish and I am Christian Catholic. EA and I spent a great deal of our 4 hour discussion on religion and the role it plays in each of our lives. EA asserts that religion is not important to him and that he is not attracted to Jewish women. But he also revealed that his extended family are practicing Jews. He was bar mitzvaed, he speaks Hewbrew fluently, he flew to California for his niece's bat mitzvah, his sister and stepbrothers and stepsisters are Jewish - it is apparent that Jewish traditions are a big part of his identity and family life. EA asked me if my parents wanted me to marry a Vietnamese man who is Catholic. I revealed that my mother at one point really wanted me to marry a person of my same ethnic origin but that it was no longer important. Catholicism is very important to my Mom and she would struggle with someone who is Jewish but wants me to be happy. I asked EA how his mother felt and he answered similarly.

Like PI, EA shared some Match war stories with me. EA and PI might have even gone out on a date with the same woman! Both described experiences where they exchanged emails with an incredibly attractive female. The woman's profile picture was a single headshot which showed a gorgeous face. The woman assured them both that she was petite and physically fit. However when EA and PI met with her on independent dates, she had arrived before them and was already seated. EA and PI asked her on a second date but when she stood up, they realized that she was quite wide and big on the bottom. Neither EA nor PI followed up on second dates with the woman.

Digression aside - is there a future for me and EA? EA asked me out on a second date and I agreed to meet with him on Saturday night for dinner. But I am now wondering if I should because of the religion issue.

When I got to my Mom's house, my Mom asked me how it went and I told her that I was tired and hungry. Afterall, we spoke for four hours and all I had was French pressed coffee! Plus I am an introvert and live by the motto - "I am okay. You are okay in small doses." My Mom had emailed me twice during my coffee date with EA and my sister had texted me twice to see if I was alive. They had both worried and since I was tired, I complained that there was a great deal of talking.

But overall, I enjoyed talking to EA as much as I enjoyed talking to PI. Both were very attractive, very smart albeit in completely different ways, and very motivated. EA has more of an open ambitious edge to him whereas PI seemed a bit more laid back. I could see myself being much more compatible with EA but would I ever convert to Judaism and if not - would religion become a sore point?

I am still on the fence with this one and haven't decided whether or not to cancel my second date with EA.

LolaRuns gets French pressed coffee with Private Investigator at the Ritz

Approximately two days after joining Match, I had a coffee date with PI on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

We originally planned to meet at 2pm at the Ritz Carlton bar/lounge at the Galleria - Tysons Corner but after some voicemails and frantic texting, we agreed to meet at 3pm instead. I was relieved because I had just finished working out and was running late - as usual.

The night before, my friend Miss. A, had asked me if I was nervous. The surprising answer was no. I was more annoyed than nervous. I am an introvert and all this socializing was already taxing me. Talking to people, texting and responding to emails - it was exhausting! Saturday was also a cold and rainy day. The last thing that I wanted to do was talk to someone that I did not know.

But I had vowed to make an effort for my Mom and sister and getting on Match was also a jumpstart on my New Year's resolutions to do something about finding a husband.

Thankfully, because of the change to meeting at 3pm, I was actually on time. But PI was already at the lounge looking quite comfortable. He stood up to shake my hand and I was more than pleasantly surprised. PI looks like a young Michael Douglas. His profile said he was 47 and that he looked young. True to his pictures and profile, PI appeared to be 37. He was 5'11, also true to his stats, very physically fit, and incredibly attractive. PI wore a black turtleneck and black wool jacket with very nice jeans and black loafers. He had a twinkle to his eye, a very warm smile, and seemed quite down to earth.

After shaking his hand and exchanging pleasantries, I sat down. PI ordered coffee for me and we got into a 3 hour discussion. The conversation flowed very naturally and we talked about everything. PI shared that he was the youngest of three children and that they were all 18 months apart. His brother is the middle child and is married with two children. PI's brother is an executive at a small financial services software company that he may have created himself. PI disclosed that he and his brother were completely different and that although they cared for each other, they were not close as adults or as children. PI is closest to his sister who is the oldest in the family. Without going into too much detail, PI shared that his sister had a really tough life but that she is a wonderful mom to her children.

PI grew up outside of Detroit, joined the Marine Corps to leave the area and served for 6 years, earned his college degree in law enforcement, became a police office for 6 years, then started his own private investigation firm and has been running it for 13 years. PI explained fully why he was so guarded on the phone. PI works with attorneys and gets his business primarily from divorce cases. PI has a staff of six and generally works to retrieve pictures/evidence of infidelity. Additionally, PI uses bug detection technology at universities and various companies that suspect their competitive information may be at risk.

Remember when I said PI sounded effeminate and I called him Girlman as a result? I noticed during our discussion that PI was actually quite soft spoken. In person, his voice was less feminine but his style of speaking and listening was more female than male. PI shared his love of salsa dancing and described how he developed his dance style over the years as he took lessons, became really good, found a dance partner and ultimately gave lessons while on the competitive circuit. Because of an injury to the ligaments in his feet, PI gave up salsa instruction a few years ago and no longer dances competitively but enjoyed those years tremendously.

I raised interior decorating because PI mentioned it as a hobby on his profile. I tried to guess at his design style and thought it would be a hybrid of traditional and modern. I was wrong. It was straight contemporary design with chrome and clean lines. PI revealed that he painted his entire home himself. (This is where I told him that my entire house was painted by moi in a pale yellow.) The palette was a warm chocolate brown and he described fuzzy carpets against modern furniture. Two and a half hours into the discussion, we decided to end our date by walking around the mall. We stopped at the modern furniture stores in the Galleria and talked about the design of modern furniture, the low seating, lighting and the use of sculptures. PI also revealed a past relationship with a wealthy woman from Florida who allowed him to decorate one of her penthouses with a rather large budget. PI painted the walls in varying shades of orange to mimic a sunset - at her request - and modern furniture and Italian marble were used throughout the penthouse.

PI also adopted a Husky a few years ago. Her name is Heidi and PI described how Heidi was reallly scared when he first brought her home. It took PI months to get Heidi to trust him because it was obvious that she had been mistreated in her previous home. Full disclosure here gals - I love men who have dogs. It shows me that they are not selfish and are capable of caring for another living creature aside from themselves. PI demonstrated to me a trick that he taught Heidi. PI said that when he thumps his chest, Heidi stands on her hind legs and places her paws on his chest!! PI's imitation of Heidi's expression was so adorable! It was clear that PI loves Heidi and is a wonderful dog parent.

This was my first Match date and I was shocked at the caliber of the person that I found. PI had never been married, did not have children, is emotionally and financially stable (did I mention that he owns his own home, drives a porsche and a SUV, runs his own company), is a dog parent, and has passionate interests in and outside of his job!

This begged the question - how long has PI been on Match and when was his last relationship?

PI recently returned to Match after having been involved with someone for over two years. PI had met the person on Match and the relationship ended this past February. I did not ask why the relationship ended.

I would describe PI as the perfect metrosexual. So would I date him seriously? PI is perfect but he is not for me.

PI knew that he was the first person that I had met with from Match and did not have unreasonable expectations. He was the perfect gentlemen, walked me to my car, asked me to keep him apprised of my search, and sent me off with a hug and smile.

PI followed up with an email after our coffee date with some great brotherly advice about the online dating world and gave me his personal email address so that we could keep in touch.

Here's to my Match online dating adventures PI! Thanks for starting me off with French pressed coffee from the Ritz and fabulous conversation! :)