Friday, October 31, 2008

Speed Dating - PART ONE

I read once that Dannish people are the happiest in the world because they go into all life experiences with low to no expectations (don't ask me how they survey this -- just roll with me). Because of this, they are never let down and are usually pleasantly surprised. So it was for me with speed dating.

Last night after work Betty*, Elaine* and I met at Tillman's on 26th Street and then headed over to Vesta, the destination spot on 8th avenue, fairly close to Penn Station.

There was a large crowd outside the bar which let me know we were probably in the right place. "Are you here for the speed dating," a short, skinny asian guy with a clipboard yelled to me. I wanted to hiss at him, Hey buddy, keep your voice down!, but then I remembered everyone was here for speed dating so I relaxed. "Head to the back of the bar and down the stairs for speed dating," clipboard boy said. Did he feel the need to keep saying speed dating? We all three checked in and headed inside. Bob Sinclair's "Love Generation" was blasting and there seemed to be some sort of crazy girls gone wild thing going on, so we headed downstairs for our...event.

After stopping Elaine from falling head first down concrete stairs, we made it to the basement of Vesta. There was mood lighting that was a tad bit too low and there was very loud techno music. "Hey ladies!" a cherry voice said from the end of the bar. "I'm Pam*, I'll be your hostess for tonight. Please come pick up a nametag, scorecard and pen. Your table number is on your scorecard. The guys will be rotating so feel free to leave your coat in your seat while you get a drink."

"Yes," I said looking at Betty and Elaine, "a drink will be necessary."

The bartender was wearing a tank top that said "BUFF" in which she had cut a slit from top to bottom and was held together by only a very small piece of fabric at her boobs. "3 vodka sodas, please," I said. As we sipped our drinks we looked around the room — no one stood out against the crowd. At least there weren't that too many blonds, but then there were also some guys with receding hairlines.

Then came the sound of a loud GONG! (yes, litterally a miniature gong that she hit witha paddle) "Ok people, we are going to start things up. Please head to your numbered tables," Pam said.

I moved to table number 3. A slightly attractive Asian guy came and sat down across from me. "So this is pretty crazy, right?" he said smiling. I assumed he meant speed dating, so I nodded. "OK people," Pam said again, "We have a slight issue. There are more guys than girls. So what we can do is make each date shorter and at some points some of you guys will have a bi-round, or I can let some of the guys have the option of coming back to another event when you'll have the chance to talk to the ladies for longer. Please come see me if that is what you prefer."

"YES, I would prefer to come back to another event," my date said, getting up from our table and walking toward the bar. "I'd like to reschedule." Whaaaaat? I thought. I didn't even give him the chance to not like me and he already left! Great, great start.

After about two excruciating minutes, another guy finally came to my table. "Hi, I'm Tim*. What's your name?" And so it began. Nine dates and then a fifteen minute break to get more alcohol, and then 3 more dates. There was Tim*, the shy and short PhD student; The Greek, who we will give no name but "The Greek;" Sean, the army dude from Long Island; Andres*, the British guy; Marc "with a c" older, banker; Bernard*, the latin lova from Miami; Spencer - gay?; Jin* "in your personal space" guy; Jonathan from Queens; Pete*, the Carolina fan; James*, cutie who works in packaging (I had to ask what that was); Michael, the Russian from Coney Island; and finally, Sam*, the native New Yorker.

Each date was six minutes. Six minutes is actually a lot longer than you think. I googled it and six minutes is actually the length of time it takes to learn the Federal Fire and Safety Test - or six minutes is how long you can torture yourself if you listen to the Jonas Brothers' song "Six Minutes." For most dates, it was too long. Only for some was it not long enough. I wrote one word notes after each guy (see above) so I could remember who they were. But I also could not wait to compare notes with Betty and Elaine.

As an interesting aside, NYeasydates did not kick me out when I decided at "half-time" to tell an inappropriate joke to a group of people. Andres was attempting to explain why he believed speed dating to be a lot safer than just meeting a random person in a bar. I disagreed; "I could have just killed someone, washed my hands and come in here," I said.

"Yeah," said Elisabeth, who had been seated next to Betty, "I mean for all you know I could kill orphans or something." Hmm, I like this girl.

"Exactly, I was the murderer, in the kitchen, with the candelstick," I said. I looked around and everyone was laughing - ha ha good times. "Yeah, and we all know how you murder orphans with a candelstick?" I attempted, "Not quietly!" Betty was laughing, Elisabeth looked at me like she had definitely underestimated my weirdness, and Andres said, "I am surprised that as a woman, you find that funny. Just surprising." Geez, tough crowd.

Afterwards, Betty, Elaine and I finished our drinks, mingled for a bit and then hurriedly left so we could begin gossiping as soon as possible.

to be continued....

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