I went speed dating the other night. Yes, you heard right, speed dating.
“Kate,” you say”didn’t say in your post on online dating about how you felt like you were sinking down the dating totem pole by getting into that? I have news for you, my friend. The only thing lower on the dating totem pole than online dating is speed dating.”
I know. Whatever. You’ve got to take risks every once in a while, right?
Everyone I mention this adventure to is really curious. “Oh reeeeally?” they say. “You went speed dating? What was it like?” I want to retort “It was like an auction only with semi good looking men. The bachelor walked across the stage and the caller said very quickly and with a singsongy voice ‘Look at this lovely specimen of a man with the argyle socks and nice jawline. Can I get one date one date one date? Come on ladies how about a nice dinner and a movie? I see your one. One date one date can I get two dates? Come on you lonely ladies wouldn’t you love for this handsome young man to take you bowling? I see you lady in the fur coat, make that two dates two dates.”
Okay, it was nothing like that, but it felt almost that frantic.
The party started out with mingling, an awkward but endearing stance at any party. The mingling was especially awkward and endearing at this particular party, since we knew that we were all there for the same reason; to get ourselves a few slow dates after these really fast ones.
Next, all the girls were asked to sit in a chair. The hosts explained that a man would sit in the seat next to us, we would get three minutes to talk, and then a gong would ring. Then the men would move clockwise to the next seat.
This is when I started realizing something. I hate first dates. All the small talk makes me more nervous than a man with a combover in a wind tunnel. Now I was going to go through twelve awkward first dates in the space of an hour. What the heck had I gotten myself into? This was either going to be a whole lot of fun or a whole lot of horrible.
I felt a little panicky. But like someone who decides to try taking a dip in a river in December, I just had to close my eyes and jump.
Here is a loosely translated rendition of what happened…
GONG (Enter sweet short man with glasses who is balding a little bit) “Hi my name’s Ed!” ” Hi Ed! ” “I hate these things.” ” I hate them too.” “Why are we even here?” “Well, they said there would be good hummus.” Chuckle chuckle. “Have you ever tried online dating? That’s even harder.” “Yes I hated online dating.” “Why did you even do that” “I heard there would be good cyber hummus” fake chuckle chuckle…
GONG (Enter taller guy who is geeky but in kind of a cute way) “Hi my name is Walter.” “Hello Walter!” “So you live in Boulder? Do you ever go to that great little ice cream shop on Pearl?” “Oh yes I love that ice cream shop! In fact, me and my friends have this really fun thing we do where we dress up like pirates and ride around on our bikes and end up there and eat ice cream with our patches on.” Very intrigued look from Walter. “Oh really? Do you like reenacting characters?” “Well, kind of. Just when me and my friends dress up and ride our bikes.” “That is fascinating, because I am really into civil war reenactments.” “You are? Where do you do that?” “In California.” “Oh really? Was California even around for the civil war?” Death look. “You obviously don’t know much about the history of the Civil War.” “Well in truth, Walter, I’m a pacifist. I don’t really like war when it really happens, let alone try to make it happen when it’s not happening.” Shock and horror ensuing. Much happiness when the three minutes are over.
GONG (Enter my friend Brian) “Hey Bri!” “Hey” laughing laughing laughing louder than we should because we are so happy to see someone we know and want people to be impressed with how much fun we’re having. “So it looks like you decided to go as low on the dating totem pole as you could possibly go.” “Well, looks like you did the same thing.” Laughter laughter.
GONG (Enter hippie looking guy named Ben.) “Dude what’s up?” “Hey there.” “So are you a vegetarian? Because I’m a vegetarian.” “Well, no, actually I am hypoglycemic so I eat copious amounts of meat every day.” “Murderer.” Stunning silence. “Just kidding man, just kidding.”
GONG (Enter cute hipster boy named Roy.) “So, I have an idea, let’s promise to not ask each other predictable questions. Ready, go!” Awkward silence. “I can’t think of anything that’s not predictable.” Chuckle chuckle. “How about, what do you like on your pizza?” “Ummm, do you really think that will help us know if we should go on a real date?” “I’m only going to date you if you like anchovies.” Chuckle chuckle. “What’s your take on predestination?” “I’m an arian.” “Wasn’t Hitler an arian?” No chuckling. Awkward. Horrifying and awkward. “So, what do you like on your pizza?” Chuckle Chuckle.
GONG “Hey you look familiar!” “That’s because we’ve been matched on match.com before.” “Oh, yes, of course.” “You never answered my message to you.” “You’re right, I never did answer that.” “Why not?” “Because you looked like a guy with a combover in a wind tunnel.” (Ok I didn’t say that, I just had to squeeze that in.) Totally horrible awkward for 2.75 more minutes.
I got through it. I did get one real date out of the whole experience, which was very flattering since there were so many pretty girls there. It made me feel special. And I no longer have to say that I had only been on two dates since my last big breakup two years ago. I can now say that I have been on 14. Six times as many dates as I have been on in two years. Three times as many as I’ve been on in $200 worth of the online dating over the years.
I love dating with speed!