Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in speed dating

I figured the meet-and-greet segment of my dating game could use some work, so I went speed dating the other night. I hadn't been in years. It's good practice, plus the age range was 35 to 48, and I was curious to see who would show up.

The event was held at a wine bar, and when I rushed in, late, almost everyone was bellied up to the bar, buying liquid courage and checking each other out. The wine bar's other patrons watched us curiously, wondering what was going on. Once I cooled down and had a glass of wine in hand, I surveyed the scene. I was the only black chick there. Out of 22 participants -- 11 men and 11 women -- there was me and one Asian guy. I wasn't uncomfortable, but I was hoping there'd be more diversity. Also, I felt like a giantess. I think I was the tallest person in the bar. But those are my issues.

Let me hit the high (low?) points of the speed dating itself. And by all means, e-mail me (just click my name there on the right) if you're considering speed dating and want to know more.

Here's how the event worked: The women sat at tables and every six minutes (a bell would ring to signify the time), the men would get up and move to the next table. You're given a card so you can take notes on everyone you meet; I wrote stuff like, "ugly necklace," "really intense," "raunchy!!" "wife had mid-life crisis" and "nice, but no chemistry." You also decide if you want to see the person again, because after the event, you log onto the speed dating site and click "yes" or "no" next to their name. You then receive an e-mail when someone gives you a yes.

The event was for ages 35-48, but listen, fortysomething guys -- if you want to date but are unclear about where to find women your age who aren't cougars, try speed dating. The women at this event were attractive, professional, intelligent, well-groomed without being hoochie (in fact, I fastened an extra button on my shirt so I wouldn't be the hoochie one) and they seemed to have their crap together. Also, I found out from the guys that several women were like me: no kids.

• And fortysomething gals -- the men were polite, very nice and in search of serious relationships. Their clothes matched their shoes. None of them seemed outwardly crazy or stalkerish. The group included an accountant, a couple guys who worked for banks, a couple mechanics (I, for one, would love a mechanic. So handy!) and several techies (software, IT, sales). All could carry on a conversation and only a couple spent too much time talking about psycho ex-wives. Most had at least two kids.

Here's the sad part: while there was a waiting-list for women (remember when I told you there's millions more of us?), not enough men signed up. The organizer had to bring in two guys from a younger group. The difference was startling. One of the younger dudes had his shirt unbuttoned way low (to show off his pelt of fluffy chest hair) and his first words were -- I kid you not -- "come here often?" The other, when I asked why he was there, responded, "to drink!" Niiiiice.

Again, fortysomething men: YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

After we finished, there was more mingling and chatting, but many rushed off to pick up kids and relieve babysitters. I rushed off because I felt like I'd just done 11 job interviews and was exhausted. I went home, logged onto the site and clicked "yes" next to only one guy's name. (One of the mechanics.)

So I bet you're wondering if any of the guys clicked "yes" next my name. The wait was agonizing. I wasn't excited about any of them,
but logical thought flew out the window. To get no "yeses" would be wonderful (Whew! We agreed there was no chemistry!) and horrible (What? None of them thought I was pretty or funny or charming?).

Over the next couple of days, I got e-mails. Three said yes (the dude I picked wasn't among them). Yay! And boo!

Oh, well. My meet-and-greet game is much tighter now.


Natalie Mikysa said...

Hello! I just read your column on speed dating and wanted to let you know that, thanks to a recent article in the Observer, our Library Speed Date event called Fall in Love with Books is stocked with men and in need of a few good women.

We have filled the first session on November 9th and are holding another event on Friday, December 7th. It is free to participate. Champagne and sweets will be provided. Registrants will be invited to have short discussion rounds with members of the opposite sex based on favorite books and authors.

If you like, you can register here:

Anonymous said...

who cares?