|Can you meet your match at a speed dating event?—by CD Berrios via Flickr|
I finally made it to my NYC speed dating event. I made the mistake of selecting the event for “singles with advanced degrees.” There wasn’t any particular motivation for choosing this event, other than the fact that I I have an advanced degree and it was convenient to my office. I thought it would be a good group with all kinds of people. However, in my instance, “single with advanced degrees” was apparently code for “engineers” – with the exception of one Jersey Shore guy who I legitimately think was just pulled in off the street, since he didn’t fit in with the rest of the bunch.
Diversity was not taken into account here since I have a pretty distinct type. I’m usually attracted to pale white guys, but I figured chatting with others for a few minutes could be fun, as I’m always up for meeting new people. There were supposed to be at least ten men at this event, but we only had six, which lends credence to my theory of the host recruiting random people from the street.
Enter guy #1: Ada, an engineer. Joined speed dating because he wanted to meet new people, and he also said, “I want to get people to like me.” This is also why he started taking dancing lessons, which he’s very into. VERY into. He even showed me photos on his phone of him competing in dancing competitions, and had a borderline creepy passion for “the magic you make when you dance with the right person.” Sounds sweet in theory, but in practice, it was strange. I think I’ll choose not to know this passion, and that’s okay with me.
|Do you make magic when you dance with the right person?—by Professor Bop via Flickr|
Next is Ali, an engineer as well. I really can’t recall much of this conversation at all. I believe he did mention that he’s been to several speed datings, and one time, he had a date who told him that her mom cut off her dad’s head. So I suppose it was probably an interesting five minutes, though it seems I may have blacked it out.
Next up is Len. Painfully shy, as realized by me when he said “I signed up for speed dating because I’m painfully shy.” I didn’t feel any attraction or great need to see him again, but the conversation was friendly and I feel like we’d get along well in a group of friends. He planned to move to Australia, though, and admitted that “there was probably no point in dating anyone long term in New York.”
Fourth is Ken (yes, their names were Ada, Ali, Len, and Ken). Ken and I got into an argument because he insisted that a recreational scuba diving certification means you are able to dive to 100 feet, and I pointed out that 60 feet is the maximum. He might have thought this was spunky banter, but I was annoyed by his insistence and stole glances at my watch a few times before moving on.
Fifth is Chris, who I believe was pulled from the street. He’s a former firefighter who now works in construction, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he said he made several cameos on Jersey Shore. I got the sense that he may have been intrigued by me, but I wasn’t feeling it. He also never wants to leave NYC, and I keep a car here because I can’t wait to travel on weekends. Eventually, the conversation ended when I said “I need privacy to fill out my selection card.”
|I think Chris may have made several cameos on Jersey Shore—by NYTVF via Flickr|
Last is Veshi. By this time, I was overwhelmed with making fake small talk, and it’s possible he was as well. I thought about trying some goofy pickup lines my friends and I had conjectured but decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I was also hungry, and had noticed a $1-a-slice pizza joint across from the venue, which proved very distracting during this last “date.”
I must admit, as I was leaving, I did something bad — I highlighted all of them as being dates I’d like to see again so I could find out if they chose me. I probably shouldn’t have done it since I’m not actually interested in any of them — I hope I don’t break any hearts. But after all, it is speed dating. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, is it? And hey, none of the five who said they were interested have actually gotten back to me, so maybe they did the exact same thing.
Overall, I don’t think I would recommend speed dating to single women in New York. I feel like it wasn’t worth the $29 ticket price or the $10 it cost me in wine. Perhaps I was there on the wrong night, but it might be more appropriate for New Yorkers who are only looking for a casual date or want a fun activity to do with a friend, and not for someone looking to be in a relationship.
So, though I’ll keep my email inbox open and see if anyone actually follows up (or if they were just curious to pad their egos like I was), but I’ll put my speed dating experiences to bed once and for all.