Adventures in Speed Dating (I’ll Try Anything Once)

This crazy thing called speed dating has swept the nation. Well, ok, maybe not exactly “swept” as, much to this newbie’s surprise, it’s been around for almost two decades. I guess then it’s been more of a nudge than a sweep. In any event, at this point in my dating career I figured I’d check it out. Obviously nothing else has worked thus far, right? What did I have to lose? My dignity? Hah! With that long since checked out the window, I vowed to sign up for the next event nearby in my age category.

speeddateAnd soon I found myself clicking the checkout button on a $35 ticket to an ages 32 – 49 hosted speed dating event.

Thirty-five dollars seemed like a reasonable amount to pay for a couple of hours of my time having mini one-on-ones with twenty bachelors. After all, an online dating subscription can take weeks of searching and communicating until meeting just one eligible man. I was down to make the best of it.

The event was put on by DateSwitch. The day of the event, I tried to find any excuse in the book not to go. It was Friday and after a long week, I was pretty tired. I also woke up that day with a nice big blemish between my eyebrows. Perfect! If any of my girlfriends had been available that night, I gladly would have eaten my speed dating ticket cost and spent the same on some wine and a night out with the ladies. As it turned out, everyone was already booked up for a night of canoodling with beaus.

I was one of the first daters to arrive.

After check in, I bellied up to the bar for a much-needed libation to calm nerves then proceeded to my marked station.

From where I sat, I had a good gander of the gentlefolk coming in as well as my female peers or, should I be referring to them as competition?  Nope, nah, next, oooh no was pretty much how my mind checked the guys off the contenders’ list. On looks alone there were about three possibilities. Odds were not looking good. I swigged my wine.

As the night progressed, I found myself enjoying talking to these men. They were all very different from me. Since the event was in San Jose, 90 percent of them were, not surprisingly, in the tech industry. When asked what I did for a living, I found myself mentioning REI a lot as I often refer to where I work as the “REI for water sports.” Nobody had heard of REI! Not a single guy had heard of it! Many had never been camping. One guy said, “aren’t you afraid of bears?” Next!

Suddenly, I felt like the oddball. “One off these things is not like the other” started singing in my head.

I was sharing a table with another woman. After her second speed date, she waived the host over and said she wasn’t feeling well. It was distracting as I was trying to talk to my guy but soon we stopped blabbing and eavesdropped. I’m pretty sure she was feigning illness and that what was really going on is she was freaking out. Oh I feel you sister!

The thing is, I could never just bail like she did. She left rapidly and awkwardly, resulting in an uneven guy-girl ratio. The host explained that the guys were going to get a five-minute break after me to fill the space that would have been allotted to her. I joked with the men that the break might be needed after talking to me. Haha! Nervousness. Why did I say that?

The whole scene was so bizarre with the women staying at their designated stations and the men wandering from one station to the next at the sound of the bell. I found myself envying the men as they got to stretch their legs and get a better view around the prospects. I had dressed up for the occasion and staying seated in my dark corner, these guys weren’t really seeing all my outward assets.

Suffice to say, I’ve crossed speed dating off of my list of things to try in an effort to find Mr. Right. I drove home in a daze, exhausted from all the mini interviews. I walked Shilo and when I got back, plopped my laptop on my bed, laid on my stomach and logged in to the speed dating event website. I looked through the list of men I’d met and their pictures and marked “no” one by one next to each of them. Sigh. I wondered if anyone selected me. I’d never know. After submitting my votes, I got an immediate response back that I had a free speed dating credit. Not terribly optimistic and wishing there were events in other cities close to home to try my luck with a different environment, I filed the response away.

I’ll try anything once. Once may be all there is for me with speed dating.

Have you tried speed dating? Has it worked for anyone? Tell me your successes or disasters. I’d love to hear from you! Please reply in the comment section below.