Photos by Brevin Blach | Matchmaker: Jessica Pelligra
San Diego nights have finally gotten chilly. Perhaps watching live standup at The American Comedy Co. will help this evening’s blind daters break the ice. Paulina and Donnie met about half an hour ago in the Epic Limo that’s about to drop them off at Brian’s 24 for pre-show food and drinks. Before they arrive, let’s review their pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?PAULINA:
I’m originally from Sweden and moved to San Diego about three years ago. I live downtown.
Originally from Lexington, Kentucky. Lived in L.A. for six years and Vegas for five before moving to S.D.
What do you do for a living?PAULINA:
I work for an Internet marketing-slash- advertisement company.
I have been in nightlife for over 10 years now. My current position is Director of Customer Development for EDL Management Group’s Cake Nightclub.
What do you do for fun?
Hiking, traveling, shopping, eating out, dancing, working out.
Beach, dinner, a bar and a ball game always sounds good, and a round of golf.
What are you best at?PAULINA:
My cooking and baking skills are pretty much on-point.
Almost all sports - played collegiate baseball and football.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?PAULINA:
Someone who shares similar interests, has a good sense of humor, is loyal, confident and outgoing without being cocky. And, of course, good looks and a nice six-pack is always a plus.
I never go in looking for anything. If you go in looking for something specific, you limit what might be in front of you.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.PAULINA:
A flirty, positive and confident Swede.
Life of the party.
What do you like least about yourself?PAULINA:
I tend to be pretty blunt and outspoken - not always a good thing.
That I curse like a sailor.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.PAULINA:
I’m just your average Joe.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for personality.PAULINA:
A solid nine.
A 10. What can I say? I throw parties for a living... I better be fun.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal- breakers?PAULINA:
Being ignorant and arrogant.
People who tell lies and can’t express themselves emotionally; people who keep that shit all inside are the worst people in relationships.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”PAULINA:
Outgoing and funny.
Chic and sexy.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?PAULINA:
Maybe a kiss. Depends if we have chemistry or not.
Only time will tell.
When Paulina and Donnie arrive at the recently reimagined Brian’s 24, they sit in a booth by the window, order drinks and look over the menu. Paulina appears to be the more talkative of the two. Donnie, who looks more subdued, polishes off his first cocktail in a flash. He finishes his second before she finishes her first.
As their entrées arrive, the daters are smiling wider, laughing louder and seem to be warming up to each other. After dinner, before heading next door to see comedian Bobby Lee (MADtv, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Pineapple Express) perform, they embrace on the street and then hop back in the limo for a cruise around downtown.
A STANDUP GUY
The headliner takes the stage
Afer circumnavigating the Gaslamp, the limo drops Paulina and Donnie off at The American Comedy Co. Inside, the place is packed. As the lights come down, Bobby Lee takes the stage and the crowd goes wild.
Lee’s hilarious routine includes talking about why he hates cuddling with his girlfriend (She’s thinking, ‘I feel safe,’ and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t feel my arm’); why Asian women prefer white men and what Asian men dislike about Asian women’s genitals; and how karma proves homeless people were bad reincarnated from a previous life (‘Can you spare some change, sir?’ ‘No, Hitler!’).
When he says, “I like to get naked and dance; is there a guy in the audience that wants to see,” Paulina waves her arm and tries to get him to pick Donnie, who turns red and tries to get her to stop. In the end, Lee picks another volunteer to come up on stage and receive the pants-wetting lap dance of a lifetime.
The couple poses for a few photos with Lee after the show, then heads around the corner to Andaz to have a nightcap overlooking the city from Rooftop600. Once they’ve gotten the chance to order their drinks, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?PAULINA:
It’s good. He’s really funny. We had dinner at Brian’s 24. The comedy show was funny.
It was honestly so much fun. He’s really good company.
Fantastic. I’m having a good time.
What were your first impressions?PAULINA:
At first, I thought that he wasn’t the kind of guy I would date at all, but then he got a few drinks in him and became more talkative. He was really shy in the beginning. He’s super nice. We ended up having a really great conversation.
Paulina is very pretty and a really fun girl.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?PAULINA:
Really good, actually. Better than most Americans, for sure.
She dresses really cute.
How was Brian’s 24?PAULINA:
I had only ever been there late at night after going out, and I thought it was really funny that we were going to go there all dressed up. The food was actually really good. I had the Mediterranean Chicken and I had a Moscow mule, which I’m really picky about, but theirs were really good. It was definitely a more casual date - fun and good food.
It’s good. I eat there all time. I ate there last night, and it was just as good.
Describe the limo experience.PAULINA:
At first, the limo ride was more quiet, as we just had met each other. But after dinner, when we went back to the limo for a little drive around town, we were more comfortable and even tried to take over the role as DJ in the limo.
Very chill; driver was professional and early.
How was The American Comedy Co.?PAULINA:
So much fun. I have been wanting to go there for the longest time ever and
I love standup comedy. I was literally laughing from the time that we sat down until the time that [the comedian] was done.
Extremely funny. It’s the first time I’ve been to a comedy show in San Diego, so it was a really good time.
What was Bobby Lee’s funniest joke?PAULINA:
When he asked the audience for a guy to come up on stage for a lap dance, I was pointing at Donnie like, “this guy should go up there!” He ended up giving a lap dance to this gay guy. It was definitely his funniest joke.
His best joke was probably the Down syndrome one, sadly enough.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?PAULINA:
It’s attractive that he’s not on his phone the whole time. He’s really present in the conversation and laughing along with me; it shows that he’s really interested.
I don’t know. I think it’s to be determined.
What’s the least attractive thing your date has done so far?PAULINA:
He needed to have a few drinks in him to get going. The first drink was gone so fast. He was like, “I was thirsty.” But I totally understand it for this situation; I had a few drinks, too. It’s not even a big deal.
Ditto [to his previous answer].
What would your parents say if you brought your date home?PAULINA:
My mom is like me. She would want to know everything that we did on the date when we met. She wants a copy of the date so she can read about it. She would love it.
They would say, “What did she say?” because she has an accent. No, I’m totally kidding. They would like her, because she’s really nice.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.PAULINA:
Eight, strong eight.
How about for personality?PAULINA:
Oh, absolutely 9.5. He’s so nice. It’s going really good.
She’s fun; she’s a 10 for personality.
Do you want to kiss your date now?PAULINA:
Oh, jeez. This one is really fun. Yeah, I would give him a kiss.
I always want to kiss my date.
Does your date want to kiss you?PAULINA:
Yeah, I think so. He’s already tried a few times. It hasn’t happened yet; maybe the next time.
I honestly don’t know. She seems shy.
I NOW PRESENT YOU
Gift exchange with a skyline view
The connection between Paulina and Donnie has been evident since the end of dinner. Now, as the two unwrap the small yuletide presents the matchmaker asked them to bring, they seem like a couple in the throes of a holiday romance. Then, as their drinks arrive, the magazine crew finally leaves the daters alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was Rooftop600 at Andaz?
I love the décor at Andaz and the rooftop is really pretty, overlooking San Diego. Definitely a great spot for drinks.
I love the Andaz rooftop. The staff was great and very attentive.
What did you eat and drink there?PAULINA:
We ended up ordering a cheese plate. The Pinot Noir was really good.
I had a Jameson Mule, she had red wine, and we had the cheese plate - all very good.
What gift did your date give you?PAULINA:
He got me a scented candle, and I love candles so I thought it was a perfect gift.
A bottle of liquor. She must think she knows me well.
Whose gift was better?PAULINA:
No gift was better than the other, but I have to give credit to myself - I’m normally the worst when trying to come up with a good gift.
Both gifts, all things considered, were pretty thoughtful. Girls love candles,
and all guys love whiskey.
Where did you go after Andaz?PAULINA:
After Andaz, I made the responsible decision to go home and sleep; didn’t want to be tired for work the morning after.
We stayed at the Andaz until midnight. There was such a great vibe, and we were talking and laughing. From there, the driver dropped her off. I walked her to her door and said goodbye.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?PAULINA:
There may have been a quick kiss on the cheek.
Yes, we kissed. She is very attractive. We had some chemistry.
How and when did the date end?PAULINA:
The date ended after the limo dropped me off around 11:30 p.m., and Donnie made
a gentleman move by walking me to my door.
When I walked her to the door. We kissed goodnight, and that was that.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?PAULINA:
We accidentally spilled my red wine on one of the chair cushions at Andaz and very discreetly tried to cover up our mess by flipping the cushion upside down.
We were sitting close, I tried her wine, and when I passed it back, I thought she had a handle on it, but she didn’t and it spilled, and we had to quickly jump up.
What was the best part of the date?PAULINA:
Definitely seeing the stand up show with Bobby Lee at The American Comedy Co.
I was laughing the entire time.
The conversation at dinner and the comedy show. We laughed the entire time.
What was the worst part of the date?PAULINA:
The fact that I didn’t succeed to get Donnie up on stage for a lap dance performed by the comedian himself. It would have been hilarious.
To be honest, there wasn’t a bad part to it.
Will there be a second date?PAULINA:
We had a great time, and he’s a super nice guy, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing him around.
We are still chatting... yes, there will be.
What’s one thing your date really should know before going on another date?PAULINA:
Maybe take it a little easier on the drinks at the beginning of the night.
The second date is always better than the first.
What did you learn about yourself last night?PAULINA:
I learned that spontaneously going on a blind date is actually pretty fun.
That being spontaneous is a lot of fun.
AFTERMATCH: By the time Paulina and Donnie unwrapped their presents last night, it was
as if they were peeling back the layers of each other’s hearts. He said, “Girls love candles.” She said, “I love candles.” She also said Donnie dresses “better than most Americans, for sure,” which any gringo could regard as a compliment. It was a match made in heaven... and confirmed on top of Andaz.
Despite conducting this comedy-themed blind date for a few laughs, Pacific’s matchmaking team ended up receiving a greater gift: being able to brag that the past three blind dates in a row forged love connections. And that’s no joke. (Tune in next month when we check back with these couples to see if they’re still together.)
Brian’s 24 Restaurant
Bar & Grill
828 Sixth Ave., Downtown
The American Comedy Co.
818 Sixth Ave., Downtown
Rooftop600 at Andaz
600 F St., Downtown