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-three

The two-dates-in-one-night date

The Designer

It didn’t start out that way.  And neither were proper dates, as they both involved one drink and a quick chat.  But my advice to anyone trying to do this – don’t.  I have friends who actually plan two dates in one evening – a dinner date and a drinks date later.  Far too confusing for my liking.  What if you are having a good time on the first date?  You have to either bail on the second date last minute, or leave the date you are enjoying.

What happened last night was not planned.  I had to work later than I had anticipated (the problem with trying to date every day and work a night job), which meant my original date of late drinks was going to be super late drinks – a concept I wasn’t sure my date was going to be ok with.  Then The Irishman (of my date last week) came in to the pub and offered to buy me a drink after work.  One Black Velvet later (Strongbow and Guinness, for those of you who don’t know – yum), I had to leave to meet my original date for a glass of wine (who, it turns out, was ok with super late drinks).  Well, The Irishman got all sensitive and I felt bad.  We both stormed off.  And I let out my frustrations by cycling very fast uphill.

Luckily, The Designer made me feel completely relaxed as we enjoyed a nice glass of red wine and chatted about the project (yes, more talking about dating rather than actually dating – I should really stop telling people about the project).  One glass of wine, then bedtime.  A very short date.  I slept so soundly last night because of all the ups and downs.  Too many emotions are doing me in!  I would much rather be dating one person thirty-one times!

Stop the whining…

I’ve decided I need to stop whining about this month and look at the positive things.  I get to meet some incredible men and look at the city through their eyes.  I feel special that all these men are wanting to go on a date with me.  I love the fact that I’ve been able to connect to each of them in some way.  I get to do some pretty neat things – like go to eat in the dark at O.Noir, try out new restaurants, learn more about interesting topics like sustainability.  I chose to do this project and I need to remember that when I’m having a bad day!

Tonight

Dinner at a wine bar in Yorkville.  I love good wine and good food.  Especially when it’s with my high school crush!

Day sixty-seven

The quickie

The Irishman

After working from 12 to 9 pm on my feet, a quickie (once again, mom – not that kind of quickie) I thought was all I was going to make it for.  One drink then bed.  Well, three drinks, dinner and dessert came and went and me so tired I almost fell asleep in the bar.

I met the Irishman while working at the pub.  He liked me in my kilt, thought I was “lovely” and asked me out quite a few times last year when I was dating someone.  Every time I told him I was dating someone, but yet he continued to come back for more.  Finally, we met up a few months ago, but I haven’t seen him for awhile now.

He drives me a bit insane sometimes, but he does make me laugh so hard!  What he lacks in height, he makes up for in personality.  He constantly tells me I’m pretty, always has a funny story about what’s happening at the “frat house” where he lives with a group of guys over from Ireland with holiday visas, and his accent, although incredibly thick, is great to listen to.  However, he ALWAYS talks about sex and teases me about being an “artsty”, which is why he drives me insane sometimes!  He’s also just starting a job as a long distance truck driver – a job that would keep him away from home most weeks out of the year.  I couldn’t deal with it.   But I’m glad I got to see him again.  I forgot how much he makes me laugh and treats me like I’m special.

Tonight

The blind date.  A set-up from a friend who thinks we’ll be great together, all I know is that he’s got brown hair.  In our age of Facebook and photos online everywhere, it is definitely weird to go into a date completely blind!