August 27, 2003
Well, after a week of debating (1), I took the plunge (not literally, it was on a boat) and tried my luck at speed dating. WARNING: I am two sentences in and can already tell that this is going to be long (phew!). Pace yourself, plan appropriately or don't start at all. Slow and steady wins the race. I might also add, this is very Pat (Suks, Sukhi, Pitter, Assface, whatever you call me) oriented. If you think I get too much attention already (which I'm sure I do), you probably don't want to read ahead.
We set sail from 7:00-10:00ish on a boat on Lake Minnetonka. It was a perfect night (although I was far too distracted/nervous to look out the window or even over the railing even once). The format was five minute "dates" (although it got pushed closer to three minutes as we started running out of time). At the end of the night, each dater checked thumbs up or down on each date. The next day a website informed you as to whom you matched with (a match) and who picked you even if you didn't pick them (near miss).
I was very nervous. Not exactly sure why. I didn't think anyone would throw a drink in my face and I didn't expect to start crying, throw-up or wet myself (any of which if I would have done I would have thrown myself overboard). I'm sure it was some sort of "the unknown" tied to an unfounded approval concept the prospect of rejection (or in this case, no one picking me [how vain is that?]) didn't seem like it would help my confidence much.
Everyone showed up and of course gave each other the full up and down. I can honestly say that I did not see anyone who would have caught my eye at a random place (for example, in a bar). We got on the boat and quickly started the dates, with the guys moving every five/three minutes. Although still quite nervous, I thought it was great. I had a really fun time and didn't feel like I met one bad person. I laugh a lot and never felt like I was scrambling for something to say. I almost always felt like I didn't have enough time (especially when it was cut to three minutes). Course, who are we kidding, we all know I've only got about five good minutes of "material" in me. After six plus minutes it's all downhill. Although some became more attractive than my first initial physical judgment post our "date", I still did not come away thinking that any were great dating material for me. Sorry, I know that all leads to a not so good (or at least 21st Century Internet) fairy-tale kind of ending. If me finding the love of my life was your intention for reading this, I would stop now.
Here's the numbers. There were 32 men and 32 women. We ran out of time so we each "dated" 25. Of the 25, I choose 14 (Yes, much higher than I thought as well. I think I was still very worried no one would pick me and didn't really know how the whole thing worked. This is especially a poor decision on my part because I think for at least a dozen of them, I'm going to have to reply [if we ever communicate] that I'm only interested in e-mailing or getting together socially [not seriously] yes, I'm an idiot. Like I said, they were all great people to talk to but most didn't click for much more). It looks like 16 of the girls I "dated" picked me. Eleven of those were matches (i.e. of the 14 I picked, three did not pick me).
Not exactly sure what's next. I guess "matches" contact each other ("near misses" can as well). I think I'll wait and see if I hear anything from anyone at this point.
I walked away feeling extremely glad that I did it the whole thing (2). I really did enjoy the whole experience (3). Although it really was nothing, it felt like a big deal to me and very outside my normal routine. I don't think I will do it again soon but I actually thought it was a very good way for me to meet people. It fit me well. I like meeting people and in the end, as you all know by my worrying/overplanning/sheer anal-ness I like structure. As you can probably tell, for me, this was not only an opportunity to meet people, but also some sort of confidence test (yes, pathetic I should probably just call a therapist) in a way, sort of a game (sorry, I know matters of the heart should not be played with). I really hope some of the others there had the same mentality.
Heck, I didn't end up with waterworks running down my face, puke on my Queer Eye shirt or any sort of stain in my non-matching boxers. That seems like a win to me.
Side Stories - My way of writing more without it seeming like I'm going on and on (course, I'm going on and on).
(1) Why did I do this?
Well, I actually heard about this concept six months ago and was intrigued.
Figured I'd do it some day. When CSC Sports (with whom I play in some sports
leagues) became a co-sponsor, I figured it was a similar population (although
it turned out not to be too sporty a group). Still, when a buddy at work sent
me an e-mail saying we should do it
it still took me a week to decide.
During that week, I went to Wisconsin Dells with my little brother Derrick.
He decided the trip would be a lesson for me on how to be young (he's 14). He
graduated me from his young schooling by persuading me (where does he get it?)
to go on a ride I though I would never go on (It was called the SkyCoaster.
Something about 160 feet, 55 mph and 4 Gs all on quite a rickety frame). Well
I did it
and it wasn't that bad. Actually, I thanked Derrick (on the ride)
for pushing me to do that. Although he was sick of hearing me overanalyze and
talk about it afterwards, I really did blow it up into some sort of life metaphor.
Things are never as bad as I make them out to be. Why always be so scared (I'm
still scared of Chucky though)? He's a great kid. Thanks Derrick.
(2) What part am I most proud? That I opened up a bit. On the boat, but more so with everyone close to me (my sister helped me figure this one out). For all of you that know me, when I have anything that's slightly undetermined/nervous in front me, I usually don't tell anyone (i.e. every girl I've ever dated) until it's fully played out. I guess I don't want to say "hey, I'm asking this girl out" and later have to tell you "she said no". I felt like this was very much one of those situations. This time though, I think most of you knew prior (sorry to those of you who didn't nothing personal. Really). It was good. A much better experience because of that. Hopefully, I'll do more of that (probably why I'm having you all read this Planet Bic). You all know me. There's not too much to be lost at this point.
(3) What was my favorite
part? All the help, advice and pre- and post-support I got from my very best
friends and family. Like I said, it probably wasn't that big a deal
everyone was so great. I had help with my look, my smell, what I should say
(definitely what I shouldn't say)
my bio and picture (a whole party helped
me with that one). People were wishing me luck and giving me props all the way
up to the event (which definitely helped the nervousness) and are even still
now curious for the recap (tah dah! Planet Bic!). Thank you thank you. You're
all fabulous and wonderful. I'm lucky to have friends like all of you (that's
really what I'm most proud of)
and wouldn't trade your for a boat of 32
single super-models any day.
If you have any comments, e-mail us at email@example.com