Speed Dating was Amazing-If Amazing is a Long Night of Broken Dreams
Today we have a very special article by our in-field correspondent, Liz Bass:
So, I had my first experience with Speed Dating last night and it was . . . interesting, to say the least. The night started out inauspiciously. I ducked into the NYU Law School bathrooms (super nice, highly recommended if you have access) for some pre-speed dating make-up touch ups. Slapped on some powder foundation, drew on some smoky eyes, and smoothed my short, neon yellow skirt. Gave myself the once over and realized I must have had foundation on my hands and now the front of my skirt is streaked the color of Burberry Trench no. 5. I frantically try to wash the foundation off, so now instead of looking like I’m some kind of dirty hobo, I look like I wet myself. I really am not sure which is worse.
Fortunately, by the time we make it to the venue in the Meatpacking district, my skirt is dry and not noticeably dirty. But still, not the best start to the event, and I decide the first thing I need to do is get a glass of wine because after looking at the men who have come out, it’s going to be a long night of disappointment and broken dreams.
Things started out all right. The hosts of the event explained the rules. Basically, I am asked to fill out a score card for each person I speak with and rate them as I go along. Then, at the end of the night, I’m to pick out my top five favorites, and if they also picked me for their top five favorites, the hosts would share our information so that we can schedule a longer date. I kind of stopped listening though after they mentioned that the whole evening was about me callously judging people based on three minutes of conversation. This I can do. This I even ENJOY. Let the judging begin, I thought as I chugged my wine.
While I’m sure that there a number of lovely men who do these things, the lovely men to wtf-never-in-a-bajillion-years ratio was something like 1:5. If I wanted to chat with not-cute dudes, I could have always just gone to Times Square or something, but fortunately, unlike picking up strangers at a bar, the wonderful benefit of speed dating is that it’s over in a flash. Except this time, I’m not actually exaggerating. I think the timing of the event was a bit off, because no sooner had I spat out my name, occupation and hometown, it was time to switch partners. I was briefly considering making a short and sweet theme song to get the basics out quickly, but with each guy I met, I more or less sounded like some sort of prisoner of war repeating the same info on their dog-tags over and over again during long and protracted torture sessions. So I guess the dog-tag simile was pretty much spot-on.
The guys themselves were a bit . . . meh. There were a few guys who seemed normal and had good jobs and were a bit of alright, but the rest . . . o goodness, gracious, me oh my, no thank you. I don’t want to say they were ‘losers,’ but, well, they had definitely started their journey to ick-dom. There was the 50-year-old, slightly heavy-set hipster musician who mentioned his divorce. There was the younger gentleman who, although born and raised in NY, asked if New York University (where I work) was part of CUNY or SUNY. There was the boy who had never heard of the Great Barrier Reef. The construction worker who wore gold chains in the style of my Italian father circa the late 1970’s. (some quick advice, either retire those things or move to Staten Island forever. Seriously) And then, there was the boy who said he worked at MTV and then later admitted that, in fact, he is just an intern there and has been FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS!
Is it too much to ask that my potential future mate know basic elementary school geographical knowledge, know a little something about world famous universities located in your hometown, have a paying job, and not dress like a child or a gangster? Apparently, at speed dating, that is like asking the earth to stop orbiting the sun.
After the event, I asked one of the men for his candid opinion on some of the women since I’m sure the men must have had equally harsh judgments. The dude I spoke with said the girls were cute, but too many of them were in grad school and didn’t have jobs or didn’t seem to have much in the way of self-sufficiency or ambition. He also said a few of them were just a bit vapid. Among hobbies some of the girls cited were walking and day drinking. I didn’t realize day drinking was a hobby. It’s just one of those things I do on a consistent basis. You know, like breathing. I guess at my next speed dating event I’ll list my hobbies in this order. Breathing. Living. Keeping on keeping on. These are total skills if you ask me, and I work hard to maintain my abilities.
I’m going to admit something here. I’m 32. A young looking 32, but 32 nonetheless. My one bit of advice for speed dating organizers is to please make it obvious how old someone is. I didn’t want to be rude and ask straight away how old a person is, but I’m not dating a 25-year-old, or even a 28-year-old. And I don’t want to waste whatever precious little time I have trying to ask you questions to figure out your age from clues like how long you have been at your job, or lived in the city, or owned a kitten like some sort of speed dating Sherlock Holmes.
At the end of the night, I was asked to rate my top five. And I have to admit, I did find a perfect love match who went straight to the top of my list. Her name was Amanda (names have been changed for privacy) and we totally bonded during downtime. She’s an awesome chick, and I think I’ve found a new BFF. I might not have gotten a date out of this, but I do have plans for drinks with Amanda next week. Definitely a match made in heaven.
-From the couch of Liz Bass