Photos by John Mireles
What happens when two singles meet with a psychic during a Friday-the-13th blind date? Tough to predict...
Luckily, neither Christina nor Mark suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th), so they're presently getting acquainted in the Epic Limo that's about to drop them off for preprognostication drinks at Harbor Town Pub in Point Loma. Before they arrive, let's review the predate interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
CHRISTINA: I work as an EMT on an ambulance and love my job. I'm training to be a firefighter and am in the hiring process now. I love absolutely everything about it.
MARK: Currently I'm a leasing professional for an apartment community but, if all goes well, I plan to start selling houses in a few years
What do you do for fun?
CHRISTINA: I love being active. I play volleyball every week and love hiking and working out. But during football season, you'll find my ass planted in front of the TV watching the Patriots, probably eating too much.
MARK: I like to go to the beach, play basketball and go out with my friends.
What are you best at?
CHRISTINA: Being there for other people. I'm everyone's rock, and it makes me so happy to help others. MARK: I think I'm best at making people laugh. I'm fun to be around and am always in a joking mood.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
CHRISTINA: I'm tall, so someone tall would be awesome. I like odd things that I probably should keep to myself - like the fact that I like big noses and find lisps endearing.
MARK: I'm looking for someone that is tall, easy to talk to and funny. It's a big plus if I'm not the one that has to keep the conversation going.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
CHRISTINA: Someone else would have to let me know. Everyone finds different things attractive in people.
MARK: Tall, dark, tan and handsome.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
CHRISTINA: I'm an eight-point-five after some whiskey shots.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for personality.
CHRISTINA: Nine-point-seven, on a good day.
What's your biggest fear?
CHRISTINA: Probably my brother getting in an accident on his motorcycle. He lives in L.A., and the drivers suck there. Or losing someone under my own hands. In my line of work, that's always possible. MARK: Ironically enough, it's heights. Being high up in the air and looking far out is fine, but leaning over the railing and looking straight down freaks me out. I always feel like I am gonna lean too far and fall over.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
CHRISTINA: Disrespect, impatience and smoking.
MARK: Smoking is a huge problem. I could pretty much deal with everything else, but not a fan of cigarettes.
What's the most important thing in the world?
CHRISTINA: Of course love. And maybe donuts.
MARK: Being happy. Too many people try to please everyone else and soon realize that it's everyone else but themselves who are happy.
When Christina and Mark arrive at Harbor Town Pub, they appear to be getting along well, sitting close and laughing a lot as they order drinks and appetizers. After taking shots and selfies, they head to the game room at the back of the bar to play pinball, where friendly competition seems to be the name of the game.
Next, the couple jumps back into their limo for the short ride to Point Loma Psychic, who canceled a séance with some folks from the afterlife to accommodate tonight's blind date (the psychic said so, really). It was easy to see that coming - the magazine crew had already told the daters what the next stop was to be.
HARBOR TOWN PUB
1125 Rosecrans St., Point Loma
Seeing what the future holds
Christina and Mark's initial connection suggests luck is in the air. Now that the couple has arrived at Point Loma Psychic, resident fortuneteller Diane should be able to remove any mystery on the front.
As the magazine crew begins to set up in her inner sanctuary, Diane sends us back to the waiting room. The daters must be seen separately - and without pesky photographers in the room - she explains, so as not to mix their "energies."
Christina's up first, so Mark sits with the crew. With cars whizzing by along Rosecrans Street, magic (not to mention exhaust fumes) fills the entrance foyer, which is decorated with spiritual trinkets.
Christina emerges about 20 minutes later, her eyes are somewhat red and puffy. When Mark goes inside to sit with Diane, Christina reveals her enchanted experience:
"It was crazy. She talked a lot about health and marriage and then she went, 'There's one man in this world who cares for you a lot.' And I thought of two guys. She said, 'The one that you care about - who's the J name?' And I went, 'Oh, my god. That's my best friend.' And then she talked about Jonathan, and that's when I started crying. I looked at her and was like, 'Am I in love with him?' And I burst into tears and she nodded, 'Yeah.' And I went, 'Oh, my god. I'm in love with my best friend.'"
When Mark's psychic session is complete, Diane agrees to sit with each dater on-camera to paraphrase their readings.
DIANE (to and about Christina):
She's a very good-hearted, very good-natured woman. She does have a long life ahead of her. I feel, as far as health-wise, there's nothing for her to be concerned about. I feel that she is going to have one long-lasting marriage, which is going to succeed for her. I also felt that she is going to be a mother of three healthy children. And I feel, as far as her career is concerned, that it may take a little bit of time for her to stand exactly where she wants to stand with that, but I do see things working out for her. I feel that there is some things from her past that she needs to just try to let go of a little bit, but I do feel her future being much brighter for her.
DIANE (to and about Mark):
I feel you living a very long and successful life. I don't feel money being a problem for you. I actually do see some papers that you are going to be signing, which there is going to be some money transactions involved. I feel you are a very honest, very open-minded person. I feel that you need to try to keep a little bit more to yourself, because there does seem to be some people trying to guide you in the wrong direction. I also do feel that there is going to be a longdistance journey that you are going to be taking, but you are not going to be traveling alone; you are going to be traveling with a companion. The first trip that comes along, you go ahead and take it, because, when you go and come back, you're going to see a lot of different changes for you toward the better. I see one long-lasting marriage for you, but I don't feel marriage for you right away. And I also do feel that you are going through some spiritual testing right now, which I think, for you, is going to be within the next two to three months.
After their readings and before heading downtown for dinner at Bottega Americano, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
CHRISTINA: It's fun. Mark's cool. He talks a lot, in a good way; thank god. No awkward moments. He's fun.
MARK: It's fun. I think we're clicking. She's a little bit older than I am - not that that matters - but I think we're at different points in our life, where she's trying to get a career, and I'm still figuring out what I wanna do. But, yeah, we're having fun.
What were your first impressions?
CHRISTINA: Well, I'm 5'10", and he's 6'8", so that was pretty awesome. Very handsome. I love his eyebrows - dark and bushy.
MARK: I thought that she was definitely attractive. I like that she's tall. I'm a big Taylor Swift fan, and she's 5'11", and Christina's 5'10".
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
CHRISTINA: Not initially, no. He's very, very... he's a little young. And he's very sweet. I'm very mature for my age, I guess. He's a partier, and I'm past that.
MARK: No. Most relationships that I've had so far, I've been in high school or college; so it's different if you're out of that and trying to figure out your career path.
How was Harbor Town Pub?
CHRISTINA: It was nice. It was cool. I don't think either of us have ever been there, and I like the vibe. It kinda got dimmer as the night when on, you know; the candles were lit and everything. I would go there again.
MARK: It was good. I liked it. We got fried calamari. She doesn't eat red meat. I was really excited for cheesesteak fries but couldn't do that. I'm a huge pinball fan, and they had pinball, so it was cool.
What did you have to drink there?
CHRISTINA: I'm an IPA drinker, so the beers were great. And he's a girly drinker and he loved his drinks. So it worked out, nice balance.
MARK: I drank a 394 Pale Ale, and then I had a mai tai because I wanted a girly drink. I don't ever get girly drinks when I go out, but I'm like, "I'm not paying for it, I might as well get a girly one."
How was the psychic experience?
CHRISTINA: It was cool that it was Friday the 13th, and we came to a psychic. I love that kind of stuff, and he was worried that it was gonna be something scary, 'cause he's afraid of scary things, but I was really excited for whatever it was. And she was wonderful. I would come back to see her.
MARK: It was actually awesome. I couldn't stop smiling at one point, when she went back into my future. I feel it was a little generic, but it was definitely a good experience, and I feel like everyone should try that at one point.
Do you believe Diane has the power to see the future?
CHRISTINA: Yeah. I've been to a psychic before that was also legitimate. I feel like you could say anything and make it work, but the only thing that got me was the fact that she knew Jonathan's name. MARK: I do. I mean, not necessarily the powers, but I definitely believe that there are people that can see into the future because, like, the world is made for a reason and people are born for a reason.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
CHRISTINA: Well, there are moments when he actually looks at me, and that's attractive. He's super handsome. He talks and he doesn't let it be awkward.
MARK: She's a beer drinker. Most girls don't really drink beer. It's better that you're a beer drinker than just having like a Red Bull-vodka or something like that.
What's the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
CHRISTINA: He talks a lot about his job and he acts on it. Like, he's in real estate, so he talked to our waitress about if she wanted to buy a house, and I was like, "Really?"
MARK: She goes to the bathroom a lot. She's currently in the bathroom right now.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
How about for personality?
CHRISTINA: I can't tell yet. Can you ask me later? I'll say nine.
MARK: Nine, but I don't really know her yet.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
CHRISTINA: I don't know, but it's gonna happen.
MARK: I mean, I'm not opposed to it.
Does your date want to kiss you?
CHRISTINA: I have no idea. He's busy talking.
MARK: I don't know. Does she? You tell me.
POINT LOMA PSYCHIC
1461 Rosecrans St., Point Loma
A magical dinner and a disappearing act
After the mid-date break, Christina and Mark ride to Bottega Americano, a new and expansive Italian eatery and marketplace in East Village. Once inside, they take prime seats in the middle of the action, between the raw bar, wood-fired oven and open kitchen.
For more than an hour, the couple sits, talking over dinner and drinks. After they pose for pics with executive chef David Warner, Mark calls the limo and says the two will meet the magazine crew over at FLUXX, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary tonight. The crew leaves first to make sure everything is set with the couple's VIP booth.
After leaving our car with the valet at FLUXX, the crew waits for Christina and Mark. And waits. And waits...
After 15 minutes, we call Mark's cell phone. No answer. Then we call Christina. Nada.
When we finally reach the limo driver, a full 45 minutes after leaving the restaurant eight blocks away, she tells us the date is already over. What the FLUXX?!
Mark, the limo driver tells us, has already helped an unsteady Christina to her door. She had apparently had too many shots at dinner (the couple's check confirmed as much), asked to be taken home and managed to fall down while walking up her driveway. Rather than call it a night, Mark had the driver drop him at Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room near SDSU.
Having paced back and forth in front of the line at FLUXX for too long, the magazine crew finally heads inside for a drink(s) of our own. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: What did you think of Bottega Americano?
CHRISTINA: Bottega Americano was beautiful. I loved the vibe, and our server was awesome. She took shots of water while we took shots of... everything else. The scallop appetizer was delicious. I love raw fish and seafood, and it was so tender.
MARK: The restaurant was awesome. I like how it was basically one big open room with tables and bar seating scattered around.
What did you have to drink there?
CHRISTINA: Red wine.
MARK: One too many shots of Jameson and Tequila.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner?
CHRISTINA: We may or may not have gone to Mexico.
MARK: We decided to go back to our houses.
When did you get home?
CHRISTINA: Early. I had to wake up at 5:30 to go to my fire academy.
MARK: I think around 11:30.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
CHRISTINA: Nope, just lots of selfies.
MARK: We kissed at the end of the night, but it was more of a "thanks for having a good time" kiss goodbye.
Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger "blank" and a smaller "blank."
CHRISTINA: Is this sexual? I plead the Fifth.
MARK: A bigger bladder, but not sure what smaller.
What was the best part of the date?
CHRISTINA: The psychic was a great idea; it was a fun Friday-the- 13th thing to do. Mark liked it. I'm not sure it was what he expected. His enthusiasm was fun to watch.
MARK: The best part was probably being at the psychic. I've never once even thought about going to a psychic, so it was the perfect opportunity to do something different and get my future read.
Will there be a second date?
CHRISTINA: Probably not. Mark's cool, but a little young for me.
MARK: We had a lot of fun, but no second date. Our age and point we are at in our lives and careers is too opposite. I'm still looking to go out on weekends and don't know what I'm doing with my future, and she is ready to settle down.
What did you learn about yourself last night?
CHRISTINA: Shots and heels should never go together. I ate shit, for lack of a better term.
MARK: I always knew I was semi-sarcastic and don't take things seriously, but by trying to make her laugh the whole date I realized how sarcastic I actually am.
We, the PacificSD crew, entered last night's blind date as skeptics, certain Diane's psychic capabilities were a hoax. Now, we're not so sure.
For Christina's reading, Diane seemed to be off the mark, so to speak, for at least this part: I feel, as far as health-wise, there's nothing for her to be concerned about. Christina drank too much and fell down. Whether or not these occurrences were connected, healthy they're not.
But when it came to Mark, Diane was right on: There is going to be a long-distance journey that you are going to be taking, but you are not going to be traveling alone; you are going to be traveling with a companion. Kinda gives you the chills, right? How could Diane have known that Mark was going to take a trip - all the way to 55th and El Cajon Boulevard - with his trusty companion, the Epic Limo chauffeur.
In one way or another, everyone got lucky in the end. The magazine crew got to party at FLUXX, Mark went to flirt with Lady Luck, and Christina may finally get to kiss her "J" name. The future is bright... especially under the neon lights along Rosecrans Street in Point Loma.
1195 Island Ave., East Village
858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com