My friend Margo* and I, being two single ladies who are none too fond of the the whole bar scene, decided to up our man-meeting odds by attending a Speed Dating event. Pro: knowing all the gentlemen would be single and looking. Con: not knowing anything else about the guys.
Margo had called the Event Organizer in advance to make sure this event would be appropriate for women in their early thirties. The Event Organizer confirmed it was so and told us to come, with $10.00 apiece for food and entertainment. We had no idea how entertained we would be.
When we arrived at the event space, we were not sure if we were at a clubhouse or someone's private residence. Since quite a few (rather nice) cars were parked out front, we assumed we were in the right place. We sucked in our tummies, puffed out our chests, worked up our nerves, and headed to the front door. We were ready to mingle.
What we found was a roomful of primarily older singles (the nice cars now made sense). We de-sucked and de-puffed and started breathing again. Since we had approached the event with adventurous spirits and no to low expectations, we joined the throng. Margo and I were blossoms amongst full blooms, which made us a bit conspicuous.
After a dinner of hot dogs, veggies and truly delicious brownies, we played a mixer game. Each lady had to put her shoe in a basket, while the guys huddled outside on the front porch. The shoes were passed to the men, and the women dispersed into the cold sans one shoe. Then, the men searched the premises, each seeking his "solemate." Thank heavens my socks didn't have holes in them! That is probably as rare as meeting someone.
My match was a much older gentleman who very quickly rejected my kind attentions. I had the best seat in the whole place. I had snagged the porch swing early on in the game and had invited him to sit with me. He declined, without actually saying no. The whole game was rather awkward, as there were more women than men. Plus, it was too cold to wander far from the clubhouse. One-on-one conversations became group conversations, and some women never met a "solemate" at all. A game like that would have been much more effective with an evenly mixed group on a pretty spring or summer evening.
Eventually, we were all rounded up, and the Speed Dating began. Surprisingly, most men are not the hounds we are told they are. It seemed like most of the guys really were looking for women closer to their own ages and life experience. I could tell most of them were not actually looking at me as a potential match. I am sure they knew I felt the same. Despite that, I was open to meeting everyone. I figure you can talk to anyone for eight minutes, and you can really get a sense of what's important to people in that amount of time. I focused on asking the guys questions for the most part, and I actually ended up having several really good conversations. I especially enjoyed speaking with the man who originally rejected my hospitality. It turns out he is a longtime professional musician and college instructor, a lover of the fine arts, and a big reader. Even though it was not a love match, it felt really good to connect with someone new. And I experienced that over and over again last night.
It turns out that I got to spend my evening with a bunch of good people. All anyone wants to do is connect with someone special, and they are willing to put themselves in socially awkward situations to do so. And by "they," I definitely mean myself and Margo. I didn't come home with a potential boyfriend or even the butterflies. However, Margo and I laughed a lot, and now we have yet another good story to tell.
I would definitely go to a Speed Dating event again. Next time, I would like to go to an event with people who are specifically in their 20s and 30s, though... What do you think? Is there is any way to make Speed Dating relevant to younger people? Surely there are younger guys and gals who aren't so good at or comfortable with hitting on people who would might benefit from a "safe" place to mix and mingle?
What is the most unusual thing you have done to meet someone? Did it work? If so, give me some tips! I'm single and loving it, but I might love being in a great relationship even more...
*Name has been changed to protect the guilty.