Reality P.B. - Speed Dating

Enough talk. Finally, somebody stepped-up and did something. Time for Reality P.B. with guest columnist Molly Flynn...

July 1, 2003

Call me crazy, or courageous (according to Bic) or both, but I thought speed dating would be a perfectly fun, exciting, non-threatening, not to mention efficient, way to meet men. At least in theory. So, with all of the valuable knowledge I learned from my "practice" speed dating sessions (Refer to PB entitled, SPEEEED DATER), and with no real expectations, I made the plunge.

Let's start with the basics. The facilitators said they would provide I thought to myself that I could at least enjoy some quality food if the men proved to be less than appealing. Well...turns out they provided chips, bad salsa, and meatballs of all things! That's it. Odd combo don't ya think? Anyway, not the hearty spread I was hoping for. Oh well. So my friend and I decided to turn our attention to the men.

The first 20 min was supposed to be "mingling" time (my mom told me that I'm a terrible mingler) and I guess she's right...but I'm not the only one. All the men stood in the doorway looking at the women who were happily chatting with each other. Gender clustering at its finest. So I guess I am a good mingler with women, but not men. Fair enough.

Then the "dating" began. No icebreaker, just a "go to your assigned table - you have 8 minutes before we ring the bell for you to move on to the next date." I fumbled around the room until I found my first "date." Here, I learned the #1 hazard of speed-dating: NO ONE IS SCREENED. After innocently telling the guy I worked in education, he thought it wise to share that he was an education assistant, oh, but he didn't get asked to come back because he didn't get along with the administration. As if that wasn't bad enough, he just kept on talking for the entire 8 minutes about ALL of the jobs he's had where they didn't ask him back....because he didn't get along with the boss, or kids he was coaching (you know, kids are very different nowadays) or parents....and on and on it went, until FINALLY I hear the "ding ding" of the bell. Not a good start to the evening.

The next couple dates were in a bit of a haze, since I was still a little traumatized from the first. I don't remember much except that the biggest question of the night was..."are you having fun?" I guess that is a good question, except that I know everybody was lying. "Of course, I'm having a GREAT time! Any you?" And so it goes. By the 4th date, I was already tired of asking and answering the same questions.

One guy (date number 5--who looked exactly like a dark haired Corey Feldman --remember Goonies?) told me that I was the prettiest girl in the room - very nice to hear, but did he say that to ALL of his dates to increase his chances? Probably. I knew right away that date number 6 wasn't my type (refer to PB column on types). But, the best of the bunch was date number 7, a really funny guy who came equipped with props - a calculator that squirted water, jokes, you name it. In eight minutes I learned that he's a hairdresser with a teenage daughter at home and very funny-- problem is my gay-dar was going off non-stop. I swear that they planted him there to ease the tension...he was the one who greeted us in the beginning and gave us our "assignments." So...I'm thinking that they didn't have enough people.

All in all, I met some nice people, some funny people, and some downright scary people. By the end of the night, all of the dates blurred together, and despite trying to take copious notes without being noticed, I didn't really remember very much about anyone in particular. I hardly felt I knew any one of them well enough in eight minutes to go on a "real" date. How, I might ask, is this process any different than meeting someone in a bar, talking to them for eight minutes, and giving them your phone number? Not much. Would I do it again? Probably not. Does it at least make for a good story?'ll be the judge of that.

- Molly

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