~Friday, October 27, 2006

Speed Dating, Schmeed Dathignrrrrrrrr

The speed date was at such an awkward time that I didn't have time for dinner beforehand. I also didn't have time to go home and go back out to the bar, so I brought everything I needed with me and stood in my work bathroom applying deodorant and using in the curling iron while enduring strange looks from other women passing in and out.

It didn't cross my mind that I was going to Midtown and that I would need cash for parking, so I ended up parking along a shady street (and by shady, I'm not talking about leaf coverage) and hiking a few blocks to my destination.

And I was the first person there. Sometimes I really hate my punctuality.

I soon met Claire and Claire-- two women in their thirties who do everything together, including hunting for men. This was not their first speed date. As they talked about the events they attend in town, I realized I was speaking to my and E's future selves in about 10 years. And we had gotten uglier and lost a bit of our fashion sense judging from one of the Claire's pink plastic poodle purse.

I ordered my first drink of the night, a traditional martini with three olives, and laughed watching the others file in. Girls to the right of me and boys to the left: we were as segregated as a middle school dance. The coordinator sighed and said that some of the men were running late, so we wouldn't be beginning on time. I leaned to the girl next to me and joked about how we already could tell punctuality is none of their strong suits. She laughed. We leaned into the bar to order another round of drinks.

We introduced ourselves and decided that we would hang out with each other, since neither one of us brought a friend. She was the straight-haired version of me. We worked within a mile from each other and laughed at how we both ogle the same waiter at our mutual favorite lunch taqueria. We exchanged business cards so we could keep in touch.

The coordinator blew her whistle (Oh my god, a whistle!?) and my new friend and I headed to a table to let the speed dating begin. I grabbed one more drink to take with me.

The bar was kind of dark-- it made me nervous that I wouldn't be able to notice things like third eyes and hairy moles and disfiguring facial scars.

The first three men were nice and the four minutes we got to talk seemed to fly by. I wrote down their ID numbers and drew smiley faces by them.

Man #4 comes.

"So how old are you, #4?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"Just asking a question here. Nothing behind it."
"I'm terrible at guessing!"
"See, I told you I was bad at that sort of thing!"
"No, I'm 32."
"So what's the problem?"
"People usually tell me 26."

Whistle! Thank God. I stopped asking ages after that.

Man #5: I spill half my drink down the curtain behind me.

Man #6:

He asks, "So have you done speed dating before?"
"No, and I'm relieved that everyone looks so normal!"
"Well, what do you mean by that?"
"Like no one is missing an appendage or in a wheelchair."
"...Do you have a problem with people in wheelchairs?"

Whistle! Oh christ, I do believe I'm getting drunk. Normally three drinks do nothing for me, but I had to skip dinner.

Man #7:

"You're hot, so why are you doing speed dating?" I slur while touching his knee.
(I have no idea what he says because I'm realizing just how drunk I'm getting.)
"Why are you doing speed dating?" he asks in return.
"I need a date for my office Christmas party."

Yup, I am very drunk.

Man #7 gets up from the table and goes to sit with my new friend. I lean into her and say loudly enough for him to hear, "Don't talk to that guy. He's a total douchebag."

She laughs. He becomes very wide-eyed.

He looks at the girl and asks, "Do you two know each other?"
"We just met."

Man #8 is a dentist.

"So is it true you can brush your teeth too hard?"
"Have you gotten any other dental questions tonight?"

Man #9 and Man #10 and I have nothing in common, so we sit there in silence and stare at each other. Then with Man #10 I remembered a promise I made at work that day.

"Do you live with your parents?"

I have no idea what Man #11 said to me because I was too busy concentrating.

Oh my god, I am so so so drunk. I wonder if he can tell. You know how people's eyes do that weird thing when they're wasted? I wonder if he can see my eyes do that. Does he know I'm tanked? He has to know. I can't remember the last time I was this drunk. I am full-on shitfaced. I can usually hold my liquor, what happened? Oh god, I don't feel well. I think I'm going to puke. Please don't let me puke on this guy. Oh, I'm getting lightheaded like I do before I puke. Oh shit, I'm going to puke. Steady. Steady. I think I'll make it...

I had a four minute break and I ran into the bathroom and shoved my finger down my throat. I retched a few times, but it turns out it was all mental. A girl walks into the bathroom.

"Oh my god, we totally have to like go hit the bars after this and meet men."

"Ok." I had no intentions of ever seeing her again.

At my table I fish the olives out of the bottom of the glass and eat them, hoping they would count as dinner.

I have no memory of the last two guys.

I go and pay my tab. The coordinator comes up to me, "Are you okay? Should I call you a cab?"

So that answers my question if people could tell I was drunk.

"No I'll be fine. I just live three streets over. I can walk."

I walk back to my table and grab my things. I try to pick up my scorecard but it had glued itself to the table when I spilled my drink 8 men ago. I try and pry it off, but I only got the last page. The rest is still attached.

The coordinator had followed me. "Oh don't worry about that. The bartender can get that up."

What else can go wrong tonight?

I walk home and with a final punctuation of the night, I finally get sick. At 9:30 on a Wednesday. All over the call box in front of my building. With witnesses. I know buildings have cameras on the call boxes, so I'm pretty sure that moment is now on tape somewhere.

I buzz myself in. I have no idea if I let the dog out to pee or not. But I learned that I did make myself a pot of noodles when I woke up on my couch at 4:20 in the morning with all the lights on and the now cold noodles on the stove. I set the pot on the floor for the dog and realized I didn't remember the night at all.

The next morning at work (and after the aspirin was popped) I pull out my scorecard to enter in the website. I couldn't read my own handwriting. Not only that, but I couldn't read my own smiley faces. N had to sit with me to help me decipher.

"That's a happy face turned frowney face."
"Ok. We'll go ahead and assume that's a no."
"That's a straight line. I'm not sure what that means."
"Oh I did that for the ones I could take or leave. I think."
"That is a half smiley face/ half straight line. What the hell were you drinking?"
"Gin martinis. They're new to me, so my tolerance isn't all there."

I ended up checking off 5 yeses and 8 nos from what we could determine. But I was absolutely certain that I would be getting turned down by 13 men in one night and it could in fact be my most humbling moment. Ever.


a giRL liKe mE said...

I once went speed dating. I ticked no boxes afterwards. It served only as a freakshow, my friends and I all decided we'd rather go without sex forever than scrape the barrel.

~ martha ~ said...

LOL, I'm so proud of you. Maybe one guy said yes though. don't lose faith yet.

M said...

ROFL - I do think that connection is mostly instantaneous but speed dating is so contrived and rushed that it would be so difficult to be your normal self. I don't think anyone is actually ever supposed to meet anyone through speed dating anyway.

But hey, at least it's something interesting for the blog! Hilarious!

Walter said...

Hmmm, what does all this tell me?
The velocity of speed dating is superseded by the velocity of getting inebriated in speed drinking.

Anonymous said...

Truly a cautionary tale, not about the drinking, more about the speed dating - but as Mez said, great blog fodder!!

I think it's like anything, including Internet dating, if you take it seriously, it'll all end badly. You had a few laughs, it's not all bad.

Rocky Mountain Princess said...

Oh my God. I am so sorry that your speed dating travesty has been my entertainment for the night.

I don't know if that says a lot for you, or a little for me, but I can't quit laughing anyway.

So what's the next move in finding a man? Maybe you should try calling a psychic this time, eh? Hehe.

Sarah said...

Girl- It wasn't too bad, but it was definitely lacking.

Martha- I've received my responses and I am definitely not in the red :)

M- I meant it to be funny! I was myself, but the boys were so serious about the limited time that they were surprised I was joking.

Walter- the velocity of speed drinking is exponentially increased without dinner.

Nick- Cautionary? You've never done either! I didn't take it seriously, the boys did!

RMP- I meant it be funny. Sigh. I guess I better work on my presentation some more...

Oh, and you've already guessed my next post :)

Phil said...

Sarah that's one of the best posts you've ever written. The capper being you couldn't decipher your handwritting!

londongirl said...

Lordy. You made me laugh!

And that sounds like a good level of reaction from guys - I don't think I get that many yeses.

But it is always worth eating first (I know i sound like your mother here - sorry - I just know I get drunk easily!). Good luck for next time...

general_boy said...

I really can't think of any good reason why this blog seems to have utterly hooked me in such a short space of time.

Great documentary style... I just can't bloody stop reading... and I really have things I should be doing!!

Nicola said...

Too funny hun! teehee. At least you have a great story to tell :D

Sarah said...

Phil- Thank You!!!

Londongirl- I did very well, but I don't know if I'll be doing it again any time soon.

General Boy- That seems like a backhanded compliment, so thank you?

Nicola- Yeah, unfortunately a lot of people will not be hearing this version! lol

Miss Natalie said...

Love your review ;-)


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