Analysis and Conclusion (Date Lab: Part 2)

Analysis and Conclusion (Date Lab: Part 2)

Since my last blog post was a huge hit (with approximately 17 views in one day), I put off writing the second part of my Date Lab experience until now. These past few months have been crazy busy for me due to the stupid classes I signed up for thinking that I would enrich myself. I mean I took a proofreading class by choice. Who does that?

Anyways, I’m back on the blogging scene with lots of new material to write about. But, I figured, it’s only fair that I finish what I started with Date Lab and Riley. For a refresher, read this.

I ended up being pretty drunk when I got home (ALONE) after our date. I woke up the next morning still with no word from Riley. For the record, I was pretty sure I had put the ball in his court. So, when I had to do a post-date phone interview that morning during work, I figured I’d play it safe and answer cautiously to avoid making a fool of myself if Riley trashed me during his interview.

I thought the lady reporter was really nice and easy to talk to over the phone. She seemed to do this a lot and understand how awkward blind dates can be. We laughed about stuff as she ran down her list of questions. I went straight after work that day to do the video interview. The Washington Post staff had told me to wear a dark shirt because it shows up better on the screen. Having been a model for about five seconds, I also dabbed some concealer on a few problem areas because you never know who’s going to see the video when it comes out.

The video interview went fine as well. It was awkward to try to look straight at a camera lens one foot in front of my face, but lady who conducted the interview told me I gave good facial expressions. I’ve never had any complaints.

Riley and I did end up texting a little bit that day about how our interviews went. I tried to move the conversation to something other than Date Lab, but it just never really happened. This being the week of Christmas also made it harder to stay in touch since we were both going out of town. I knew that the story was set to be published in about a month and a half, but I didn’t hear anything from the newspaper for several weeks. Then the print reporter had a few “follow up” questions that she wanted to ask me:

  • What did he say when you told him you had a blog?
  • Do you remember him telling you about his trip to Germany for October Fest? What did you think of that?
  • You said personality-wise you had a lot in common–that you were both easy going. What other personality traits do you think you have in common?
  • He mentioned that you play for a kickball league and that he asked you if it was a gay league. What did you think of that?
  • When he said stuff during the date and in the taxi about your buying him a drink–did you think that was sweet or did it make you uncomfortable in that he was presuming a lot? This is where I realized homegirl was trying to sniff out a story and create some drama where there wasn’t any. 

I started checking the Date Lab section of WaPo mid January to see if it was the week our article would be published. Finally, on January 23, it happened. And my self-esteem would never be the same.

I woke up one morning to see that the article had been published and I read it in bed before getting up for work. I didn’t think there was anything that scandalous about it. He hardly ever talked about dinosaurs but that apparently makes him a fucking “dinosaur enthusiast”. And I’m “looking for a hotter version of Bill Gates” which, for the record, I did say, but I feel like I elaborated on that a bit more. The whole article isn’t really a narrative; it’s just our answers to questions but without the questions included. I think that’s misleading, but I guess this is what I signed up for so I have to take it as it is. For example, she asked me if there were any dealbreakers. I said not really, but I guess him playing video games might be one because that’s not really my scene. However, the article makes it look like I brought up that I didn’t like that he plays video games. You spin that story, Nina. Spin it.

We both had to rate the date and I gave it a four because he hadn’t texted me the next day and I didn’t want to look like a loser if he gave me one star. Like I said though, none of this was really scandalous or embarrassing.

Then I watched the video.

Despite having put make-up on my face, you can still all my zits.

It’s always a little nerve-racking to watch a video of yourself or hear a recording of your voice. But this was terrible. I think I look terrible with a dark shirt and that horrible backdrop that they chose to use. Couldn’t they get some cool unicorn special effects going on back there? Using a damn WHITE background. Is the Post broke?
Is this how I really look?
It looks like I’ve washed that shirt five million times.

And then there were the comments. I was warned to take them with a grain of salt. I expected at least some to be homophobic. Although this is DC, where gay feels like the majority at times, I still have been called a faggot to my face twice (once by a crazy homeless man so maybe that time doesn’t count).

The comments were way different than that, but still not entirely pleasant to read:

  • “The entire episode seems kinda creepy.”
  • “The VERY first thing that caught my eye was how totally different both guys look from the instagram photos than they do in the video. They dont look like the same people… And I dont think Riley ever really left his dad’s garage…”
  • “That was so boring I don’t even want to read the comments later today.”
  • “He’s into dinosaurs and video games? I think Peter needed to lighten up and relax!”
  • “I think Riley needs to grow up.”
These comments, man.

People get crazy when they’re able to post anonymous comments. Like when you read the comments on a Justin Bieber video, and people start talking about Nazis. You’re like, “how did we get here?” According to these anon commenters, I’m stuck up and Riley’s a loser that never left his parents’ house. And we’re both boring. None of this is true, but there’s no use trying to defend either of us now.

Here are my two favorite comments:

  • “good looking gay boys using date lab? this must be a prank. Peter should move to NYC, where I and all my gorgeous gay husbands are from. he is a better fit there than for DC. I don’t know a single good looking gay man who is into video games (they have no time for that) …. so, ummmm. not a good match. but then again, as the classic joke goes ‘what do lesbians do on the second date?’ (they show up with a U-haul.) what do gay men do on the second date? (what second date?)”

I think he’s saying I should move to New York because I’m hot. Okay…I’m feeling it.

  • Snog: Peter. Marry: Riley. Avoid: Datelab.


On top of all this, Riley wrote a post about the whole experience for DCist, and it got published the same day the Date Lab article came out:

Luckily for me, he didn’t say anything about how I came across as disinterested in my interviews. He mostly focused on the whole experience. He even texted me a link to his article, which is a polite thing to do. Some comments on this one were a little more scandalous because people speculated about whether or not we “banged”. (We didn’t.)

After all was said and done though, I’m still a huge fan of making fun of people including myself. I posted the link to the Post article on my Facebook and even circulated it around at my office. It was a big hit and a conversation starter for awhile. Even my landlord saw it. It did take a huge toll on my self esteem for some time though. No matter how many people told me I looked fine in the video, I still didn’t feel attractive for a good two months after that. But, thanks to more random hook-ups and boys starting and stopping talking to me without reason, I’m back at my normal personal worth level of just below average (only kidding). But, I don’t regret going on Date Lab. It was something different and good overall. Maybe someday I’ll end up famous with a huge penis like John Hamm and people will find this old Date Lab article and laugh because I’ll be beautiful and famous and in a relationship.

 But most likely not. Time to invest in some more cats.

Author: Peter

I’m a failed model/international peace mediator. I like telling stories, traveling, and guys. Besides becoming Oprah, my biggest life goal is to be able to do the splits. All the way.

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