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On Wednesday night, I participated in Speed Dating for the first time. The night was so interesting I had to share my story. Unfortunately, I do not have any accompanying pictures, but you can use your own imagination to imagine what my “dates” looked like, along with the hilarious predicaments I found myself in.
I’ve always wanted to go Speed Dating. I’ve seen it in movies and on TV but had never actually heard of it taking place in my city until about a year ago. During that time, I wanted to go but it cost about $40, so I discarded the idea; however, recently, the idea crossed my mind again. I am single with a lot of single friends and thought that maybe if we could all get together as a group and do this, it would be a lot of fun. I even posted this request on FB to see if any of my single female friends would bite. Of course, a number of them were psyched to go, so I gave myself two weeks to find a speed dating event.
I started doing my homework, researching speed dating events for singles in my city. I found a couple of events that were $35-$40 and figured a lot of people would change their minds because of the cost, so I looked for cheaper ones. During my search, I came across one for $20 at a bar in the more upscale part of the city. The $20 seemed like a good deal and I was ready to sign-up but realized I had a problem. The event was the next day at 7 PM. All the girls I asked to speed date with me couldn’t make it because of the short notice. At this point, my options were to go solo or wait until a later date when more people could go.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience that when you wait for other people to do stuff, you miss out, so I opted to go solo to the event and registered on my own. Also, these events normally have more women signed-up than men, so I took it as a good sign when all the male spots were taken and they still needed more gals. Without further delay, I went to the site and registered. I even found a promo code to get an extra $5 off, so I ended up paying $15 for the event, instead of $20. Not too bad!
I went to work the next morning wearing a really nice sleeveless Calvin Klein cargo dress with silver accents and oversized pockets. Although I dressed appropriately for work, I didn’t want to be overdressed at the event later and considered going home to change. However, after getting a quick consensus from my friends on the job, they convinced me not to change. They told me not to waste a new outfit because it may not be worth it. I thought about this for a second and decided they were absolutely right. The outfit I had on was perfect.
Around 4:30 PM, I rush out to catch the train only to find it is late. Once it arrives, I am happy to nab a window-seat on the crowded train ride home. The event starts at 7 PM sharp but participants are asked to arrive at 6:40 PM Because my train was late, I had to rush to my apartment, make sure my hair and make-up were cool, grab my strappy heels, brush my teeth, and then head out to my car to leave by 6. Before I sit down in my car, I smooth out the back of my dress. As I am doing so, I feel something on my butt. I smooth my hand down again, and it catches on something. I pull my dress around to the front to see what it is… GUM! Are you frigging kidding me? GUM! I begin pulling it off in gobs and cursing like you wouldn’t believe. I then try to flick the gum off of my fingers and the wind blows the gum mid-air on to the top of my car. I place my foot in the driver’s seat and climb up to pull the gum off of my sunroof. Of course, while I am up there, the wind blows my dress almost to my ears. I have a nosey neighbor who lives on the ground floor that is always spying on me through the window, so I know he got an eyeful. Needless to say, I do not have time to go back upstairs and change. I pull off as much gum as I can, get in my car, and drive to the event. On the way there, I get stuck in traffic, am almost sideswiped twice by the same truck, and inadvertently miss knocking a little boy off of his bike.
I arrive at 6:50 PM and pull up right in front of the bar. There are meters on the street. I park and attempt to feed the meter. I look up to read the sign, which of course, is not clear. It says 12 hour parking real big at the top but the rest of the sign is covered in graffiti. I check the other meters and find that there is time left on all of them, so I begin digging in my pockets and the bottom of my purse for change. I realize I have change in my armrest. I have eight quarters, three nickels, and three dimes. I put all the money in and the time reads 1:22. One hour and 22 minutes is all I get? I just put ten damn dollars in that meter. Needless to say, this is not shaping up to be a good night at all. I sigh and head into the restaurant with my gum-covered ass.
I walk inside at exactly 7 PM. As I enter the room, I notice everyone is either seated at the bar talking or sitting down in booths. I am the odd man out, so I immediately go ahead to the bar and ask for an Amaretto Sour. While I am waiting for my drink, I scan the room. The bartender eventually hands me the drink and asks, “Are you here for speed dating?” I shake my head, yes, and she says, “$2.50.” I’m like, “GREAT!” I hand her a ten-dollar bill and tell her, “Keep 'em coming.” Before she leaves, I ask if she has change and she tells me no. I ask where I can get the change to feed the meter and she tells me, “Oh, there’s a lot right next door. You can park in there for free.” Seriously?!
The hostess then begins explaining how speed dating works. There must be an equal number of girls and guys. There are 24 people at this event, 12 men, and 12 women. The men walk around to each lady in ascending order. The hostess sets a timer for six-minute intervals and rings a little bell each time to let everyone know to switch dates. This way, everyone rotates and has a chance to talk to everyone else. We have six minutes to talk about whatever we want, nothing too personal, and no personal information is to be exchanged unless we want. At the end of the six-minute date, we must write down the person’s info on the dating forms placed on the table, include a few comments, and circle either Let’s Talk or No Thanks for every person.
Before the dates begin, I come up with a strategy. After each guy walks away, I will circle Let’s Talk or No Thanks! I don’t want to be rude and circle No Thanks right in front of their faces, although one guy did this to me. I’ll get to him shortly. Naturally, some dates were more memorable than others, so. I’ve only written about the true gems of the evening. I will begin with Anthony, my first speed date.
Anthony: I noticed he was eyeballing me from across the room. He was a short dude, fairly good-looking, and wearing this pretty aqua colored shirt. He sits down, beer in his hand, and introduces himself, “Hi, I’m Anthony.” I say hi and pointing to my name tag I announce, “Deborah.” He writes that down in slot #7 on his form. He then asks me what I do. I tell him, “I am in training to be a professional sumo wrestler. Want to see my belt?” He spits out his beer. I asked what he likes to do for fun and he starts doing this chicken dance in his seat and says he loves hip-hop. Of course, I am nearly sliding on the floor laughing at his shenanigans. I tell him I teach hip-hop and he should take my class. He agrees! I asked him if this was his first-time speed dating and he says yeah, then points out his brother and two best friends that he brought along for safety measures. He then proceeds to tell me he was approached by one of the guys in the room who walked up to him, tried to touch his hair, and kept asking for his name. Apparently, he told the guy, “I’m here for speed dating WOMEN!” The guy walked off. Of course, I ask who it is. Instead of pointing him out, he laughs, “You’ll see!” I immediately begin looking around but there are too many to guess. My curiosity was piqued for the evening and the guys just kept getting crazier and crazier.
Brett: This guy took the cake. He was all of five-foot nothingness and obnoxious. As I mentioned earlier, the form has two options for each date which includes Let’s Talk and No Thanks! Before this guy even sat down at the table with me, he circles No Thanks! He didn’t hide it or anything—just did it right in my face. I struggled not to put up my middle finger to him. The look on my face had to be one of disgust. He plopped his little ass down and blurts out, “So! Tell me. Do you think my hair will look better towel-dried or blow-dried?” His voice is higher-pitched than mine. I am truly in shock when I say, “Excuse me?!” The fool asks me again and even attempted to flip his hair. His hair is cut maybe a little longer than mine. At this point, I thought I was being punked, so I am looking around for a hidden camera. Ashton, where are you?! When I realized he was dead serious, I answered, “Air-dry. Apply a nice lightweight gel and let it air-dry.” I couldn’t believe he asked, but more importantly, I couldn’t believe I answered. He goes, “Good answer! I think I’ll try that.” Now, let me paint the picture of who is sitting across from me. The dude looks like a cross between Robin Williams and Liza Minnelli and had the audacity to keep sizing me up from across the table, asking me where I got my clothes and accessories. To break the ice, I ask what he does. He tells me, “I’m a singer.” I stifle a laugh. Figures! He then asks me what I do and in the middle of me telling him, he reaches across the table to touch my silver cuff bracelet.
Him: Where’d you get that from? It’s nice.
Me: The mall.
Him: It’s nice.
Him: Well, aren’t you even going to ask me where I got mine?
At this point, I am eyeing the hostess real hard like ring the damn bell. This dude is crazy and is clearly here for the wrong reasons. He then proceeds to tell me that his “friend” told him to come here. I ask if his friend is here too and he tells me, “No. He didn’t come!” At another point during our “date,” he tells me his best friend is an A-list actress who only gets picked for B-list movies. She recently decided to have plastic surgery on her mouth because Hollywood loves people with big smiles. This friend of his also recently went out and had her jaw broken to make her smile bigger for the silver screen. He pulled out his phone to show me pictures of her. She is not bad-looking but now she has a smile like the Joker.
Sean: The high school teacher. He was hot! This is the Bradley Cooper look-a-like. He was really laid back and interesting. We actually talked longer than six minutes because the hostess told us to take a break and he sat at my table and talked to me before, during, and after the break. He walked away for a short spell to order another beer and chicken fingers. The bartender brings them out about ten minutes later. He asks her for ketchup. She leaves and comes back with a brand new bottle. He goes, “Oh, yeah. I think there is something you should know about me. I like ketchup. A lot.” I say, “Okay, so does my nephew. “ He then pops the cap off that joker, inverts the bottle at a 45-degree angle, and pours until half the bottle was empty.
Jeff: One crazy dude that needs his own show. He asked what I do for fun and when I mentioned I teach hip-hop, he starts doing old-school hip-hop moves at the table and tells me he loves Chris Brown. He tells me he saw Breezy out at some club one night and decided to walk up to him and hug him. What?! Who does that?! Well, CB’s bodyguard picked him up and slammed him to the floor and put his foot on his neck so he couldn’t move. He kept him down until Breezy walked by. He told me he was still trying to wave to him from the floor.
Steve: As soon as he sat down, he asked me what I do. I told him I’m in training to be a professional sumo wrestler. The color drained from his face. He goes, “What?!” looking very afraid. At this point, I lost it. I was on the floor laughing for a good five minutes. I couldn’t even get it out that I was joking until just before the hostess rang the bell.
In a nutshell, these were the highlights of the night. I had an interesting time and would consider speed dating again. I enjoyed meeting new people who I could hang out with, except Liza Minnelli. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it is to keep an open mind when it comes to dating and to hold off until I meet "the one." My Prince Charming will arrive when I least expect it.