Day eighty-two

The second-chance date

The Friend's Ex

I wasn’t sure whether he’d actually show up this time.  After last Sunday when I hadn’t heard from him, I figured he was one of those guys who agrees to things, but then never comes.  In all fairness, though, our mutual friend had set up the date for Sunday at the last minute when my other date bailed on me.  Turns out he accidentally slept through it/wasn’t 100% sure what was going on.  He deserved a second chance.

What my friend failed to mention is that The Friend’s Ex was her ex-boyfriend of two years.  I didn’t expect that.  It threw me off guard a little, and we were both a little awkward at first (me because my bike just broke – boo hoo – and him because his blood sugar was low).  After a bit of chatting, though, things went well.  It was fascinating to hear about his job as a 3-D computer designer of store displays.  And his family lives in England, which of course I loved to hear about.

I’m glad I gave him a second chance, because I enjoyed our conversation.  Sometimes we think that if people make a mistake, they aren’t worth the effort.  This is one example of how we should always give people the benefit of the doubt.  A second chance could lead to a lovely lunch eating wraps and enjoying a couple hours of long-awaited sun.

Speed dating update

I got my results back from speed dating and I matched with three out of the four that I picked (I don’t even remember the other one, so I’m not too hurt).  I also signed up to get statistics on the speed dating evening to share with everyone (it cost an extra $5).  Here are the stats:

You picked 4 people at this event.
17 people picked you at this event!
The men were picked an average of 3.5 times by the women.
The women were picked an average of 12.08 times by the men.
15 men received matches.
17 women received matches.
The match percentage was 76% (our average is 75%)

There were 21 men and 21 women there.  The Irishman got 9 matches out of the 13 he picked and my new girl friend got 5 out of 5.  Funny how the men picked more of the women, but not surprising!

Today

Photography date this afternoon at the free Toronto International Circus Festival at the Harbourfront.  Theatre date in the late afternoon.  Concert date in the evening.  Too many dates in one day, but probably will be exciting to read about!

Day eighty

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):

Tonight

A date with a man much younger than I am.

Day seventy-nine

The online-Facebook-blog-YouTube-text-finally-meeting-in-person date

The Eco-comedian. Yes, he picks up used batteries to recycle them.

The Eco-comedian first contacted me on OkCupid with a shameless plug for his YouTube page.  I watched some of his stuff and thought it was funny, so I became his fan on Facebook.  Then I plugged my blog.  He invited me to the Green Party party on election night, so we exchanged phone numbers to meet up (which we never did).  We became Facebook friends and either messaged or texted back and forth for the last few weeks.  He asks me how the dates are going.  I ask him how his mission to unite the political left in Canada by writing a song to Jack Layton is going (he’s written love songs to Green Party leader Elizabeth May and environmentalist Laurie David – see below).

Finally, after seventeen days, we met for pizza during his lunch hour from his job at an ad agency.  He wore dark sunglasses and a hat, so I didn’t recognize him at first, but I also felt like I already knew him.  He’s a pretty funny guy.  And really into eco issues.  He’s made a name for himself writing songs and doing videos that are fun and make people aware of environmental concerns.  He also does podcasts, interviews, and radio.  He’s a busy man.  And he’s going to help me make a couple of videos for 3hundred66days, which is awesome.

In honour of his constant shameless plugging of his work, and because I think this video is hilarious, The Eco-comedian will be my first non-anonymous date of the month.  Here is his video proposal to Laurie David, when she was divorcing from Larry David (of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame):

Tonight

Speed Dating!  I’m really nervous.  I was checking out the questions they suggest and they remind me of interview questions.  I hate interviews!

Try to find out about the person the things that you would need to know in order to want to pursue your connection further, or not. Here are a few fun questions below:

  1. What makes you happy, brings joy to your life?
  2. What do you do on a typical Saturday or Sunday?
  3. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  4. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
  5. What was the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
  6. Have you ever had a life-changing experience?
  7. What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about your gender by the opposite sex?
  8. What positive quality do you possess that you also look for in others?
  9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  10. If you could only eat one food for 3 days in a row, what would it be?

Check out all their “fun” questions at 25dates.com