By David Perloff / Photos by Brevin Blach
Laura and Nathan are gringos. She’s from San Francisco and currently lives in Pacific Beach. He’s from the “cornfields of Ohio,” as he describes it, and now lives in the Midwest of San Diego: Mission Valley.
The two met for the first time half an hour ago and are presently in a limo en route to Mexico for a binational blind date. Soon, they’ll walk across the border and jump into another limousine (limusina) for a VIP tour of Tijuana’s caliente dining and nightlife scene.
Before the daters become foreigners, let’s review the predate interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
LAURA: I’m an analyst for a healthcare consulting company.
NATHAN: I’m an on-air personality for San Diego’s hit music station, Channel 933, and host the night show every night from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Why are you going on a blind date in PacificSD?
LAURA: Couple of glasses of vino, light read-through of our monthly Pac Mag issue… why not?
NATHAN: I think it sounds like fun, and it’s a great excuse to meet someone new. I’m still relatively new to San Diego and, to be honest, getting acclimated and making sure I’m killing it on channel 933 has taken a higher priority for me so far than dating.
What do you do for fun?
LAURA: Running with my dog Lucy and creating incredible handshakes.
NATHAN: My job. Working at Channel 933 is a 24/7 gig, and when I’m not physically at the radio station, I’m still usually thinking about the radio station, brainstorming ideas, connecting with listeners, et cetera. When I do get a little free time, I enjoy watching basketball and football, being outdoors and exploring new spots in San Diego.
What’s your biggest fear?
NATHAN: Snakes. hate them.
What’s the most important thing in the world?
NATHAN: My family.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
LAURA: I’m basing this all off looks. I’ll figure the rest out afterwards.
NATHAN: Someone who’s fun to be around, with a good sense of humor. Intelligent, positive, ambitious and motivated. Physically, I usually go for exotic girls. great eyes and a great smile help, too.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
LAURA: Great hair.
NATHAN: Hashtag white boy swag.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
LAURA: Five on the weekdays, 10 on the weekends; averages out to like a 7.5.
NATHAN: Look up “face for radio” in the dictionary and you’ll see my photo next to it.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
LAURA: Times are tough; I will take what I can get.
NATHAN: If all goes well, I’m fully expecting to take the limo to Las Vegas after the date tonight and get hitched.
The date is heading south, literally, when Laura announces her passport is expired and she doesn’t feel comfortable leaving the country. how do you say “ugh” in Spanish? ¡Mierda!
At the “LAST USA EXIT” sign, the limo gets off the freeway and stops near the border fence. The daters walk toward the pedestrian crossing, but turn around without ever setting foot in Mexico. Not realizing how close they came to being shoved across the border by a certain PacificSD matchmaker, they jump back in the car.
Sometimes, the best laid plans need to get laid again. Plan B: more tequila in the limo, appetizers in Sherman Heights and dinner in Old Town. Olé!
A pit stop at a no-frills taco shop
Next stop: La Fachada (“the façade”), a decidedly un-fancy Mexican place a few blocks from the Coronado bridge. But looks can be deceiving, as the restaurant’s name suggests — the food here is legit.
After talking over street tacos and cervezas, the couple heads north to “the Birthplace of California” (as the neighborhood’s slogan goes), Old Town. Shortly after arriving at Café Coyote, they’re drinking margaritas and being serenaded by Mariachis.
Laura and Nathan may both be fluent in English, but they don’t appear to be speaking the same body language. They’re laughing some, but not sitting close to each other as they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
LAURA: It’s been nice getting to know him. Smooth sailing.
NATHAN: It’s going well. Apparently, the zipper on my new jeans does not stay up. It keeps falling down. But other than that, it’s
going good. I used to work in a radio station where she went to college, so we have that in common. She’s a cool chick.
What were your first impressions?
LAURA: he was wearing a really bright blue jacket. It was cool, but it was bright when I came out of my house.
NATHAN: I thought she was very pretty.
Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
LAURA: Sure. I don’t normally date.
NATHAN: Not really. I usually go for exotic girls.
“Exotic” meaning what? Like a Ferrari?
NATHAN: Like, not white.
How was the limo ride?
LAURA: Great time. Good flow of convo, tequila; and the mini Pacificos were really cute.
NATHAN: The limo driver put on a Santana album before we went to pick up Laura, so we had chill music playing in the background. The limo was stocked with tequila and beer, so we were well hydrated and just having a chill time.
How was the border experience?
LAURA: Freezing. By the way, I actually lied to you guys — I didn’t want to go to Mexico. My passport’s fine. TJ’s sketch! [Editor’s note: should have pushed Laura across border.]
NATHAN: We were a little nervous.
How was La Fachada?
LAURA: The tacos were good, the atmosphere was cool, and there was a police station across the street, so I felt really safe. NATHAN: It was very authentic. The tacos were great; the beers were cold.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
NATHAN: Not been a bitch. She’s just been nice. I told her, “Look, even if you think I’m a douche bag, it’s a free date.” She said she didn’t think I was douche bag.
Rate your date on a scale of 1 to 10 for looks.
LAURA: He’d be a six.
And for personality?
LAURA: Ten. he’s so easy to talk to.
NATHAN: Seven or eight.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
NATHAN: Not especially.
Does your date want to kiss you now?
LAURA: I want to say no.
NATHAN: I would say no.
If you could leave now with $100 cash or stay and make-out with your date, which would you choose?
LAURA: I would stay and hang out, but not stay and make-out.
NATHAN: If I get to finish my dinner and then make-out with her, I’ll stay.
20 25th St., Sherman Heights
What Happens Next
Amor, or less, in Old Town
As their entrees arrive, the daters are finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening. We call the next morning to see what we missed.
How was dinner at Café Coyote?
LAURA: Great atmosphere. Got a kiss from the Mariachi band, too.
NATHAN: It was delicious. Two guitar players came and sang a few songs for us as we had dinner at our table. I thought they were awesome.
What did you eat and drink there?
LAURA: I had the chicken enchiladas, a few incredible margs, and the waitress picked out some great tequila shots.
NATHAN: I loved the queso dip our server first brought out, and ordered a California burrito for dinner. We also had several different margaritas our server recommended, which were all delicious.
What happened after the magazine crew left you alone?
LAURA: Well, for starters, he never asked for my number at the end of the date. He was dropped off first. And on the way home, I picked up my friend and we polished off the rest of the tequila and cruised.
NATHAN: We stayed at Café Coyote, finishing dinner and talking for a while longer, then hopped back in the limo and called it a night.
When did you get home?
NATHAN: I got home before midnight.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
LAURA: No kiss and not an ounce of romance.
NATHAN: There was a quick “nice to meet you and good night” half- hug as I was getting out of the limo.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?
LAURA: While he was in the bathroom, I made friends with the busser, Eddie, and he was pretty hilarious.
NATHAN: Pulling up to the Mexican border and wondering what the [heck] was going on.
What was the worst part of the date?
LAURA: Acting like I was interested was really tiring.
NATHAN: Probably the mutual feeling that we weren’t all that into each other.
What’s one thing your date really should know before his/ her next date?
LAURA: A proper exit.
NATHAN: She didn’t do anything wrong, and I’m surely not qualified to be giving dating advice.
What did you learn about yourself last night?
LAURA: That times aren’t that tough. It’ll definitely be my last blind date.
NATHAN: I’m extremely picky and will most likely be single for the rest of my life.
AFTERMATCH: Tijuana’s booming, and the daters were supposed to get a slice of the acción, but Laura told a fib (liar, liar, pantalones en fuego!), claiming her passport was expired. She said “TJ’s sketch,” but she’s the one who acted shady. Even Eddie the busser must be having second thoughts.
As for Nathan’s burning desire for exotic women (mujeres exóticas), perhaps “hash tag white boy swag,” will bring him what he’s looking for, or at least prevent his having to hear his parents say, “Hey, a white girl” (muchacha blanca).
If last night’s blind date is any indicator of the current state of the American dating scene, crossing the border for romance really is scary… for Mexican people coming to the U.S.
“¿Te gustaría cenar en San Diego?”
(“Would you like to go for dinner in San Diego?”)
“De ninguna manera, Jose. Ese lugar es chungo!”
(“No way, Jose. That place is sketch!”)
2461 San Diego Ave., Old Town