The speed-dating date
Last month my mother and father were having dinner with some friends of theirs and they decided that the man I date on May 18th is the one I’m going to marry. So what better day to go speed dating than on May 18th! I also managed to go on a lunch date with The Director again and brought The Irishman with me speed dating, to add a couple of extras into the potential marriage material.
My name tag with my number (funny that it's my age too)
This next paragraph was written after I got home last night from speed dating. These are my initial reactions:
I am exhausted. My throat hurts. I am so drained of energy, I couldn’t even make a smile come to my face on the streetcar when someone let me pass in front of them. Twenty-one three-minute conversations, with one ten-minute break after date thirteen. I now need to sleep. More tomorrow.
Hint #1: before speed dating don’t drink half a bottle of red wine during lunch. Hint #2: if you did drink half a bottle of red wine before speed dating, a Red Bull helps for the first hour, but not for the second!
At the beginning I was nervous. I brought The Irishman as my date speed dating (he wanted to go as well and I needed the moral support) and I made him go first as I was so apprehensive about entering the room. The thought of leaving crossed my mind. But I stuck through it, and made friends with one of the girls as The Irishman mingled in the other room.
Here’s how speed dating works: Everyone gets a name tag with a number and your name on it, and a booklet with a bunch of numbers on one side with the spaces “yes” and “no” to check off and a notes section for yourself. (I learned very early on that I should have taken more notes, because I couldn’t remember half of them at the end – but I did take their names to go with their numbers, which helped a little). All the girls find a spot to sit with a letter in front of it – this is the spot the girls will stay for the whole time. The men find a clipboard in front of the ladies – they will move along the alphabet. When the bell rings, the conversations begin. Every three minutes the bell rings again and the man moves.
As I sat at a letter (beside my new friend), it was fascinating to watch how people react to this situation. Almost immediately the women sat down beside a letter and waited. The men mingled, grabbing some food, drinking, talking to each other, occasionally sitting down to talk to one of the ladies. A lot of people brought friends. The women were generally more physically attractive than the men (there were some very beautiful women there). The clothing ranged from jeans and a nice shirt, to suits on the men and clubbing dresses on the women. A couple of women had very large chests and wore very low cut tops. One man had sunglasses on his head the whole time (I called him out on that when we had our three-minute conversation – he said it was because it was sunny for a tiny bit of time in the afternoon…hmmm…).
During the conversations, quite a few men kept glancing at my chest (and I was wearing a high top – no cleavage at all). I guess that’s a criteria when deciding whether to check “yes” or “no” beside my number 30? One guy had such bad breath I had a hard time talking to him. One guy was so drunk he was slurring his words, so instead of a conversation we had an arm wrestle (he won, but not after a fight!). Conversations ranged from questions like what is your job, what do you do in your spare time, where do you live, to conversations about traveling, the country the person was from (a lot of men were fairly new to Canada), bands we like. A couple of guys had a speech they had memorized telling me everything about themselves in one minute and asking me to do the same. All of these guys got a “no” from me. Most of them were 9-to-5ers (it costs $50 to do it, so they have to have some money). A lot of engineers, bankers, entrepreneurs, one student, one scientist.
There were a few nice ones that I could see being interesting to talk to. One guy and I had a similar travel history. I checked four “yes”es out of 21. By the end, my patience was dying and I was so tired I couldn’t get up the energy to have a decent conversation anyways. I think if it were ten guys with five minute conversations that would be better.
The best part of the evening was meeting my new writer girl friend who I sat beside. This is her second speed dating event, so she showed me the ropes. After it was over, The Irishman, her and I went to have a drink and gossip about what happened. She has some crazy dating stories, including guys who say they left their wallet at home and ask the girl to pay, and a guy who pulled over at the side of the road, pulled down his pants and asked for a lap dance! Gross! I’m glad I’ve avoided men like that during my month of dating so far.
I will probably never go back to speed dating, but both The Irishman and my new friend said they will. They enjoyed meeting all sorts of people. I did too, but unfortunately every time you’d get into a good conversation with someone the bell would ring and it would be over. Three minutes just isn’t enough time for me to learn anything. I like a good conversation, not just the small talk, and I was missing that with this experience.
So mom and dad – I’m not sure if I found the man I’m going to marry today…
If you want to try it for yourself, here are a few places you can find speed dating in Toronto (most of these also do other singles events as well):
A date with a man much younger than I am.