Event: Speed dating
If you saw the movie Hitch, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Picture a small, intimate bar. Small room. Small tables. And 22 men and women hoping not to be seen by friends, co-workers or Heaven for bid - exes. Welcome to Speed Dating.
A few weeks ago I reluctantly did a yahoo search for Speed Dating. A couple of sites came up so I clicked on the first one. It seemed normal. All of the men and women in the pictures were good looking and they looked like they were having a good time. So after doing a little bit of research (i.e. calling the main number and asking the person on the other end to promise me the men would be normal, nice, good looking, have all their teeth, etc.) I signed up. I also successfully talked one of my single friends into going with me. This will be fun.
We arrived at the bar 15 minutes before the event kicked off. We met in the parking lot, gave each other a pep talk, discussed some sample questions we'd ask (wanting to make sure nothing was too corny or inappropriate) and we headed in. As I opened the door to the bar, much to our horror sitting at the first table were two of our co-workers. Oh %!$#(*)$#@! great!
We entered into the semi-private room - closed off to the public for this special event - and were given a name tag and a score card. We were told there would be 12 guys, 12 girls, and each "date" would last 7 minutes. As I surveyed the room I saw 12 girls (all on time, of course) and only 3 guys. I'm pretty sure the remaining guys were shot-gunning beers in the parking lot. (Something I should have considered). The women were all very normal and pretty, but the guys...well, they needed a little work.
Before I could get my nametag on, a 5 foot nothing guy runs over and says, "Where should I put my nametag? I don't want to put it on my chest because then everyone will be looking at my chest and I'll be looking at all of your chests." Oh Lord. Here we go. He then exclaims he has an idea and we should all introduce ourselves using a word that either rhymes with our first name or an adjective that describes us using the same letter as the first letter of our first name. He then looked at me, and without pause, I blurted out, "Awesome Ashley!" (OMG is this happening?) The small group goes around and does the same painful exercise but thankfully the fun is broken up by a loud clang. I look over and I don't see a bell. I don't see a whistle. Instead, I see a GONG! A full-out Chinese gong. Nothing about this experience so far is normal.
As I made my way to table #7, I again survey the room, much more full now, and I'm relieved to see the guys have arrived. But, to my disappointment, I felt like I was at a Star Wars convention! Embracing my inner-nerd, I joyfully plopped down with my martini and began my first conversation. He tells me he is the son of a solar nuclear researcher and he found that studies show when women have to move table to table at speed dating, they become more aggressive and tend to select more guys. WTF? Am I in the twilight zone? More and more conversations went that way. One guy has a season pass to riding roller coasters, one guy told me he has been tested for genital herpes, and one guy is into gaming and recently took a trip to Switzerland to play games. Am I on Candid Camera?
Who knew seven minutes could feel like an hour and a half. Not to mention, the air conditioning wasn't working in our part of the bar. I was sweating so bad I couldn't keep my legs crossed, my Spanx became a permanent addition to my thighs and despite fanning my face with a table tent (trying to keep the "glow" at a minimum) I'm fairly certain at one point I resembled Tammy Faye Baker.
But wait, there's hope! The second to the last guy I talked to was actually promising. He's a doctor, my age, is cute and is from India. As the event wrapped and we were turning in our score cards, he walked up and asked me for my number and said he'd like to go out. I heard from him yesterday and we may be getting together this week.
You heard it here first. It may be a fairytale ending for the future Princess Leia and Han Solo.
(I probably shouldn't have told him I don't like curry...)