Waiting in Line at the DMV Is An Eternity. Four Minutes Talking to A Stranger? Nah
My friend Ginger talked me into going along with her and one of her friends to a “speed dating” event the other night. She has posted an account of the experience (with pictures, no less!), so I figured I should do the same.
Short version: I actually had a surprisingly good time. I wasn’t expecting much more than a few chuckles and the ability to check something off my list of Goofy Things I’ve Done, but it actually turned out to be a pleasant experience.
In case you aren’t familiar with the concept of “speed dating”, here’s how it worked. You get a roomful of single people together, then separate them by gender into two long lines. Then the two lines are set up so they’re facing each other, and you talk to whoever happens to be across from you for four minutes. Then a dweeb with a bell rings it, and one line moves down a person, so now you’ve got a new person to talk to for the next four minutes. Repeat until you’ve spent an hour chatting away.
The “twist” with this particular event (or maybe this is standard practice, I dunno, I was a first-time speed dater) was that if you hit it off with someone, you were supposed to take note of the number that was written on their name tag. Then after the hour was up, you would write a note to that person, put it in an envelope addressed to that number, and the organizers would mail it to the person you hit it off with — so you could send your mash note without the mash-ee having to divulge his or her address to you.
Anyway, we all lined up as instructed and chatted each other up. Maybe I was just lucky, but I actually got to talk to several nice women in my hour. Of course there were a few zeroes, but you always knew with those that you only had to struggle through four minutes and then you’d start from scratch with someone else, so they weren’t too trying. And the good ones were genuinely fun to talk to, which made up for the zeroes.
So by the end of the evening I had met three women who seemed interesting enough to follow up with — not bad, really, three out of fifteen. I thought the whole postal-service thing seemed a little contrived, so rather than drop my info in the mail I just went up to each of them, gave them the card I’d written out, and said something along the lines of “I really liked talking with you, I’d like to do it again sometime, so rather than do this kabuki dance of mailing stuff back and forth I just thought I’d come over and tell you that.”
Too forward? I dunno, I’m hardly an expert at this sort of thing. But I’ve heard back positively from one of them already, so it couldn’t have been too bad of a decision.
So yeah, anyway, that was my speed dating experience. A little weird? Certainly. But overall a good night out, and what the hell, you only live once, eh?