“Is this a date?” she asked with hint of smile.


“Depends on your definition of date,” he said. “How would you define a ‘date’?”


“A meeting held out of romantic interest,” she said. “Is this lunch out of romantic interest?”


“I don’t like that framing. The word ‘date’ gives me the tremors. It’s like an exam, adversarial, solemn. The two parties assess each other across the table, considering their suitability for lifetime partnership. If that’s what it’s going to be, please say no.”

“Oh yes, let’s not do that. But you haven’t answered my question.”


“Attraction is never that simple. It’s prefabricated, I don’t know all the component parts. But I don’t have lunch with someone that I only feel physically attracted to. I have to want to be friends with that person. That’s the litmus test.”


“I.e., you can slap on a different post-facto explanation that it’s not a date?”


“That’s not – well, yes, but isn’t it a pre-facto explanation too?”


“On a scale of 0 to 10, how sexually attracted are you to me?”


“Uh, five?”


“Tsk. I’m disappointed. Did you choose that number just because it was convenient, right in the middle?”




“Quick piece of advice: not revealing feelings is not romantic. And: a date by any other name is still a date.”


“But it’s not about assessing each other – “


“It doesn’t matter if it’s a date, or business meeting, on the outside. You can have a dance party, and call it a ‘study break.’ So this is what it’ll be, this not-a-date date, a study-break on the outside and dance-party on the inside?”


“I don’t do dance parties, but I get your drift.”


“Wonderful. See you Sat, then?”