Filed under: Musings of a Random Nature
I am awkward. I’m not, like, Asperger’s awkward, but I’m awkward enough that the idea of a first date causes an actual physical reaction in me, akin to sucking on a lemon. The main reason I have never tried internet dating is that it would require a first meeting and I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable and unpleasant than that experience.
So perhaps, in hindsight, speed dating was a bad idea. But it appealed to me because it minimizes the length of awkward face time. If it’s bad, it’s only bad for a few minutes; then it’s over. There is no more than 4 minutes of awkward silence, there is no awkward moment while it’s decided who should pay the bill. There’s not enough time to get drunk enough to accidentally wake up in a stranger’s bed the next morning and realize you got wasted because the your date sucked. And it’s a quantity over quality situation: you meet a bunch of people in a short amount of time, so basically it’s all based on physical attraction and the confirmation that neither party has a terrible stutter. Golden.
Every person, guy and girl, got an index card and wore a name tag with a number on it. At the end of the night you turn in an index card with your number and email address on it, and the number of any person you met that you liked. If that person put your number on his card, then bingo, you have a match, and you are each emailed with the other person’s info.
I felt pretty good once I got there. I was worried I would be the proverbial fat kid in the room, but I was definitely one of the cuter people in attendance. (As luck would have it, I was having a cute day.) One thing I have going for me when it comes to talking to guys is that I’m a hockey fan, and I’m a real hockey fan, not just a girl who says she’s a fan of a sport to impress a guy. Of course not every guy likes hockey (idiots) but most guys have a basic understanding of all the major sports and basic knowledge of the teams and the major stars. Also, I essentially work for the Ringling Brothers Circus now, and the office is decorated with crazy circus shit, including a stuffed gorilla that used to perform in the circus for 30 odd years and now resides in a glass case on the 5th floor. Quirky and fun, no? The way I saw it, those two topics should provide enough conversation to fill 4 minutes once the requisite where-are-you-from, what-do-you-dos were out of the way.
The first guy was a very nice gentlemen, but he was from India, so he didn’t know anything about hockey. Then I moved onto the circus. He wasn’t familiar with that, either. He was a network engineer and had only been in America for a year. I’m generally not attracted to that particular ethnicity. I’m not racist. It’s kind of like how I have no attraction to red haired men. Just not my type. Also not my type: Asian guys and Hispanic guys. So sue me.
The next guy was also from India, recently moved to America, and was a network engineer. The one after that was from India, recently moved to America, and was a software developer. And so on and so forth. It was like a fucking Punjabi assembly line. I was seriously starting to think I was being punked.
I got two Hispanic guys, who were best friends, both recently moved here from Puerto Rico. One was about 5’1, which, I think it goes without saying, is a deal breaker. His buddy had a ponytail with all the hair under the ponytail shaved off. Also a deal breaker. Turns out guys who grew up in Puerto Rico also have limited interest in hockey, and apparently, Puerto Rico isn’t a stop on the circus tour.
One guy was really sweet but he was former military, which in my experience, I just don’t mesh well with. He came prepared with a written set of questions. I don’t believe we got past his first question, which was, dog or cat person. I said dog, obviously and he said cat and then launched into that bullshit monologue that a lot of cat people always spout about how cats make you earn their love and their general disagreeable nature and ungratefulness is somehow charming. Just admit you like cats because dogs take a lot more work and you’re just too fucking lazy to walk an animal twice a day.
One guy was not even remotely attractive but said he was a hockey fan. He asked me what team I liked, which I found to be kind of offensive. Hello, the only team in the area is the Caps. You support your home team. I asked him who he liked and he said the Kings, the Caps, and the Devils. Um, no. You can’t pick three teams, kind of like you can’t have three wives.
Another guy said he was big into hockey and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. To which I replied, well, it was nice meeting you, but I’m a Caps fan, so this conversation is clearly over. He thought I was joking. He was wrong. There are some principles I just can’t compromise on, some evils which cannot be condoned.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to meet a man who was a cross between Alexander Skarsgard and Ryan Gosling with a dry wit, a rich family and an English degree, so perhaps I was setting the bar too high. But I thought there would be at least one person I was moderately attracted to. Actually, I thought there would be one guy I liked and I would turn in my card and he would turn in his and my number would not be on it. I was expecting the event to be soul crushing in a putting my self esteem through a meat grinder kind of way. Instead I didn’t even bother turning in my card. I also pretended to be a smoker to have an excuse to go outside and sneak out before the event was over.
So, needless to say, it was a bust. However, my best friend Kim had predicted that at least one guy would make a crass, carpet/drapes redhead comment,and at least every guy I talked to had the decency to keep those to himself. You know it was a great night when not being subjected to an offensive sexual joke is the highlight of your evening. Score one for me.
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