Age Before Beauty

Photos by Janelle Maas

(Published in the January 2010 issue)

When you’re two, three-year-olds are giants. When you’re a high school freshman, seniors are bigger and act cooler; and if you date one, people will gossip. But the age difference must be meaningless when you’re 97, and your spouse is 82.

At what moment in life does dating outside one’s age bracket stop making a difference?

Tonight’s blind date adventure may help answer that question, as this issue’s hunky, syringe-wielding medical model (see feature, You, 2.0) skates circles around a woman who’s old enough to be, well...maybe it’s best if you just see for yourself.

Before Bruno and Colleen meet for the first time at The Local Eatery & Drinking Hole downtown, let’s review the pre-date interviews.

PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?

Colleen: Native San Diegan and live in North P.B.

Bruno: Orlando, Florida. I now live in Bankers Hill, via Lewisburg, PA.

What do you do for a living?

Colleen: I’m the sales manager and event coordinator for a steakhouse and lounge downtown.

Bruno: I’m a haphazard bartender.

Why are you going on a blind date in a magazine?

Colleen: Something to do while I am waiting for my callback from the Bachelorette.

Bruno: I refuse not to take great nonsensical opportunities when they are easily within my grasp. Plus, I figured the worse thing that can happen is that I reaffirm my assumption that most girls in San Diego are hollow shells of humans and I get a free meal.

Describe your personality in seven words.

Colleen: Relaxed yet energetic, and decisive yet spontaneous.
Bruno: A robot from the future, plotting vengeance.

What are you looking for in a date?

Colleen: A flexible plan with a confident guy that is not afraid to be himself. It’s not where you go, but who you are with.
Bruno: The same thing I look for everyday-I just want to laugh and smile.

Rate yourself physically on a scale from 1 to 10.

Colleen: I’d say an 8, but my eyes are a 10.
Bruno: Seven (I’m being super modest-I’m like a male model).

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

Colleen: I have a great butt. Seriously, it’s my close relationships with my friends and family.
Bruno: I don’t take myself too seriously.

What do you like least about yourself?

Colleen: I am a horrible procrastinator.
Bruno: I never learned how to serve fools on the dance floor.

What do you hope will happen during the date?

Colleen: I hope there is a lot of laughter and a little chemistry.
Bruno: I hope I find something that fills a void I didn’t know I had-a person, hopefully, but most likely beer.

What do you hope your date will look like?

Colleen: I just hope he isn’t Tiger Woods.
Bruno: Rachael Taylor...but I’ll settle for any girl I find attractive. I tend to go for tall, 5’8” to 5’10”, and athletic. I want a girl who can keep up with me if I ever decide climb a tree or something. Athletic builds make me think great thoughts.

Bruno and Colleen meet for drinks at The Local. To help make sure at least the beginning of the date goes well, a warm and fuzzy bartender (soon to be a proud father, we learn, congratulations!) sends over a round of whiskey shots.

After about 45 minutes, the daters walk over to Horton Plaza for some romantic outdoor ice skating under the stars. Upon arriving at the mall, the magazine crew realizes that it still-it’s Big Brothers Big Sisters night at the rink: terrific organization, but scores of screaming happy kids do not a romantic date make. Oops.

Colleen and Bruno trade in their civilian shoes for mall-issue ice-skates, built for fun and sprayed for germs. As they step onto the ice, it’s obvious that Bruno is the stronger skaters, but despite her shaky legs, Colleen manages to remain upright.

As the couple comes around the final turn of lap four, they begin to hold hands and continue circling amid throngs of elated children and their Big Brothers and Sisters. When they loop back around to complete lap six, Colleen, bleeding slightly from her hand and ankle, indicates that the skating portion of the evening has come to an end.

The friendly staff at skate H.Q. provide band aids and smiles, then Bruno and Colleen slip back into their own footwear and head over to El Camino, the Mexican restaurant, bar and dance lounge that just opened in Little Italy where Airport Lounge used to be.

Once they arrive at El Camino, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.

How’s it going so far?

Colleen: Good. He’s really sweet. He’s really young-he’s 23 and I’m 28. He just graduated college, so we’re definitely in different places. But he’s totally fun. We’re having a good time.
Bruno: Actually, surprisingly well. I like her more than most girls. She’s not hollow, she has some substance and she’s cute.

Is he/she the type of person you’d normally date?

Colleen: No. He’s cute and he’s funny and he’s definitely well read, and he has interesting things going on, but honestly, he’s just too young.
Bruno: No, I typically go for taller girls. But she’s cute...she’s attractive enough, and that’s all that matters. Everything else is personality.

Rate your date, physically, on a scale from 1-10.

Colleen: Oh, a 10. He’s adorable.
Bruno: Honestly, I really don’t like that. It’s a yes or no with me, and it’s clearly a yes.

How was the Local?

Colleen: I couldn’t believe how packed it was. I have a lot of friends that go there, but I was just in shock. Lots of young professionals, and it was very cool. The staff is awesome. They were having a good time with us. It was cute.
Bruno: Local was fun, but it was awkward. It’s a blind date, you know, so as good as that can be, ‘cause you’re not at ease.

How was the ice skating?

Colleen: It was cute, a lot more fun than I expected. I think that perhaps Bruno went last night, too-he was pretty good. He was doing spins and crossing his legs and stuff like that.
Bruno: She’s not a great skater. She almost looks like a figure skater, but...not so much.

Colleen was bleeding. What happened?

Colleen: He was obviously a better skater than me, so we wanted to see how fast he could spin me. We started going fast, and then he kind of let go. Then I fell. It was awesome.
Bruno: I was gonna sling her and make her go real fast like the Time of Our Lives, but she just couldn’t handle the speed. She can’t handle this. It wasn’t my fault, though-gotta keep your balance. I have the balance of a mountain goat, you know what I mean?

What’s the best way the date could end?

Colleen: With a nice hug and enjoying the experience together.
Bruno: Maybe a kiss. Honestly, I don’t sleep around, so that’d probably be the best. Maybe exchanging numbers and hanging out later-future potentiality.

And the worst way?

Colleen: I think it’d be awkward if he tried to kiss me, but I don’t think he’s going to. I think it’s mutual that we’re both having a good time, but no actual chemistry. There’s no za-za-zoo, you know?
Bruno: I find out she’s a guy.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Colleen: It’s definitely really comfortable. He’s really chill-very mature for his age. I’m totally having a good time, but the minute I got there, he was too young.
Bruno: I like it. She’s real cool. I hope I didn’t blow it when I told her I was 23.

As airplanes roar overhead in their final approach to Lindbergh Field, Colleen and Bruno are finally left alone to enjoy a candlelight dinner on the patio at El Camino. Pacifi cSD calls the next day to see what we missed.

Overall, how was the date?

Colleen: It was really fun and totally relaxed.
Bruno: Honestly, this might be one of my first dates. It’s sort of a dying art.

How was El Camino?

Colleen: Very hip and chill. The inside is really dark and intimate, and the outside is open-literally. There is no roof, and more of a bar scene. They serve up traditional Mexican favorites with a contemporary flair. We shared the sweet potato rolled tacos-awesome!
Bruno: The vibe was something like what you would get if the love child of South Beach and the barrio mated with the offspring of a low-rider and your Mexican friend’s grandmother’s oven. Sort of like that. I drank the sangria and a Hendrix and tonic. They were made proper. The food, on the other hand-it was made sublime. I loved the sweet potato flautas.

What was the best part of the date?

Colleen: Ice skating, it was really festive and playful. Our true personalities started to come out at that point.
Bruno: Best part was the experience of going on a blind date.

Worst part?

Colleen: Just the awkward part in the beginning. Not knowing anything about each other and trying to make conversation. The Local helped out by ensuring our glasses were never empty.
Bruno: The awkward goodbye.

What’s the sexiest thing your date did last night?

Colleen: He was pulling me as fast as he could around the ice-skating rink and I completely ate it and fell on my bum. After we both stopped laughing, he scooped me up and gave me a big hug. It was chivalrous and a little sexy.
Bruno: Told me her favorite genre of English.

What happened after the magazine crew left you two alone?

Colleen: We finished our cocktails and I drove him home. He was up to keep hanging out, but I was ready to call it a night.
Bruno: They started drinking themselves.

Was there a kiss or otherwise romantic exchange?

Colleen: He leaned in for a kiss and I gave him my cheek. He called me out on it. It was sort of awkward.
Bruno: More like a quasi-middle-school, after-the-dance ending.

Will there be a second date?

Colleen: No second date. We have a lot of similar interests in the arts and literature and I would be down to hangout and go to the museum or the theatre.
Bruno: I would hope so.

What’s one thing your date doesn’t know that s/he really should?

Colleen: I never told him that he was too young for me.
Bruno: How much of a dynamo I am.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when the beholder is older, the evening can go from ice to colder. Bruno went for a kiss and got a cheek. Colleen thought Bruno was a smart, funny and chivalrous 10, but way too young. There simply wasn’t that za-zazoo, which must be a term you learn when you get to be as old as Colleen. It seems that if Bruno is going to find himself a willing older woman, he may have to shoot a little higher-or older. Perhaps then he could even score himself a cougar by showing off the Botox skills he’s demonstrating on Page 33.