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.