Photos by Brevin Blach
(Published in the May 2010 issue)
There are many fish in the sea. Hopefully these two will get along swimmingly. Heather recently leapt off the professional deep end, quitting a job in healthcare to try her hand at publishing children’s books. It takes guts to make that kind of move in this economy, so it’s no surprise she’s got the confidence to jump into the unknown again this evening.
John may work at a law firm during peak hours, but on nights and weekends he’s a professional athlete. Semi-pro, anyway. He’s the backup quarterback for a minor league football team, the 2009 national champion North County Cobras (true story). Known to throw the occasional Hail Mary, he’s game for throwing his hat in the ring tonight.
Let’s dive right in.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
Heather: After eight years of Continuing Medical Education, and a year and a half of mulling over the decision, I am now the proud owner of a children’s book company entitled Pudgy and Pals, based on the life and adventures of my bearded dragon lizard.
John: I’m an IT Manager in the San Diego office for a large international law firm.
Where are you from?
Heather: I’m from everywhere-military brat here. I consider Miami home, and I’ve been living in San Diego for just over a year and a half. Buh-bye mosquitoes!
John: I was born in Indonesia and lived there ‘til I was almost eight. Spent some time living in Pasadena, California, and Fort Collins, Colorado, before moving to San Diego nine years ago.
Describe your personality in seven words.
Heather: Boundless, loyal, generous, complex, simple, tomboy, determined.
John: Mellow, thoughtful, laid- back, sarcastic humor, smiling.
What do you do for fun?
Heather: Hiking, getting on the back of a motorcycle (I’ll be learning to operate one soon), chess, write, read, take Pudgy through Balboa Park and answer the same five or six questions everyone asks me about having a lizard on a leash.
John: I enjoy staying active-boxing, kettle bell workouts-play on a minor league football team in North County and go out with friends.
Where are you most comfortable?
Heather: Traveling the world. There aren’t many places I’d rather be than on my way to a place I’ve never been.
John: Taking a nap.
What person, food, drink, song and other item would you take to a deserted island?
Heather: Copernicus or Einstein, vodka gimlet with extra lime, H2O, Jimmy Buffett’s Fruitcakes album, Pudgy (my lizard) and sunblock.
John: I would take my mentor, sushi from Chiba, a Gray Goose and 7, a mix CD, a football and a baseball.
Making Waves - Surf’s Up, Bikini Bottoms Down
Heather and John meet for the first time at WaveHouse in Mission Beach, where, after some liquid courage, they’ll battle Flowrider, the smaller of the two manmade waves. (The totally-tubular giant is called Bruticus Maximus.) The forecast calls for wipeouts-neither of the daters surfs.
After talking for about half an hour, John and Heather finish their drinks and head over to the wave to disrobe and get pre-flight tips from a smiling instructor. With the perpetually perfect wave thundering underfoot, John inches into the deluge first.
He’s up! He rides for 30 seconds or so on his first effort. Then, splash! He’s head over heels in the first of several wipeouts. In subsequent rides he remains upright longer and even manages a few delicate turns.
Now it’s Heather’s turn. Sporting a tank-top to thwart any potential wardrobe malfunctions, she wobbles on her board while the instructor lends a toe to help her balance. It’s go time.
In the instant the water washes over her feet, Heather’s on her back, and it becomes apparent that she should have considered some sort of protective apparatus for her lower half, too. With the raging current now pulling at her bikini bottoms, she struggles to retain her clothing and her dignity. It’s a close call, but she somehow hangs on to both, then jumps right back on the board, laughing the entire time.
After a few more rides and tumbles, the daters towel off and warm up by the fire pit, then change for dinner at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay’s waterfront restaurant, the Red Marlin.
The sun begins to fade when the couple arrives at dinner. Once they’ve ordered wine and looked over the menu, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
Heather: Good. He seems really nice. He’s very easygoing, which is good, and he’s all talky, which is really good, too. It just flows, feels natural.
John: Having a good time, enjoyable. She’s funny.
Can you surf?
Heather: No, not me.
John: I’m a terrible surfer, but I got lucky today and the instructor was good.
Can your date surf?
Heather: Yes, he did an awesome job.
John: No, she’s horrible at surfing. I admire her for getting in and getting wet, but she should stick to skydiving.
How do you look in a bathing suit?
Heather: Well, if you gave me three weeks to work out, I’d look a lot better.
John: I look alright for it being April. Summer body’s coming.
Rate your date physically on a scale from one to ten.
Heather: That’s a horrible question. I would say beyond a 10, because he’s a nice person and I like him. The personality shines through the physical. Is that corny?
John: She’s got a great smile and she’s a lot of fun. I’d say she’s a seven.
And for personality?
Heather: Eleven. I think he has a great personality.
John: Eight to nine.
Does your date want to kiss you now?
Heather: I just ate chips and salsa with onions, so I doubt it.
John: We’re still getting to know each other and feeling out the evening.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
Heather: If he kissed me at the end of the night, I would be ok with it. But I would not kiss him, because I’m old-fashioned.
John: We’re still getting to know each other and feeling out the evening.
On the Waterfront - Dinner by the Dock of the Bay
As their entrees arrive, John and Heather are finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening. PacificSD calls the next day to see what we missed.
PacificSD: Overall, how was the date?
Heather: It was great. John was really cool and laidback. It felt totally natural. I didn’t expect to laugh so much.
John: I had a fun time at WaveHouse, and dinner was fantastic. The conversation was steady and meaningful all night.
How was Red Marlin?
Heather: Everything was wonderful. We started with crab cakes and grilled shrimp with mango salsa; they were both excellent. I ordered a filet mignon and John had swordfish. We ended with cherry cobbler and a piece of cheesecake. I think I gained five pounds.
John: The view was very peaceful and relaxing. We shared the homemade blue crab cakes and Thai grilled shrimp for appetizers. My main course was the swordfish, which I highly recommend.
What’s the sexiest thing your date did last night?
Heather: I like it when a man takes charge, and he did that. When we decided to hang out later, he made the plan and executed.
John: Among a few other things, the five-inch high heels.
What happened after the magazine crew left?
Heather: We finished our meal and headed out to Bar West in PB, then over to Tower 23, sat outside and talked until they closed the patio, moved inside for a little while and called it a night. It was past 1:30 a.m.
John: We finished up dinner, then grabbed a drink at BarWest and Tower 23 before calling it a night. Later I sent her a text message to make sure she made it home safely and to say I had an enjoyable evening.
Heather: I’m a lady, and ladies don’t tell.
John: We had a very pleasant end to the evening, but the romantic fireworks were courtesy of Sea World.
Will there be a second date?
Heather: Stay tuned.
John: I’m sure we would have a lot of fun hanging out, but most likely as friends at this point.
What advice would you give your date?
Heather: Always have plenty of $1 bills when parking in PB.
John: She talked a lot about how she likes lizards.
Aftermatch: Like her reptilian companion, Pudgy, Heather seems more at home on dry land than she does in the water. But despite her fears, she jumped in and had a blast. John stepped out of his comfort zone, too, leaving the football field for a more fluid sporting adventure.
Last night’s plan was to demonstrate once and for all whether it’s the size of the boat or the motion of the ocean. Neither dater fell hook, line and sinker for the other, however, so we’re releasing two singles back into the dating pool. And while they look for their own keepers, we set the bait for next month’s blind date.
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