Hello to all my readers:
Happy Monday morning to you all! First off I have to say that it's way too cold for me and my Georgia blood right now. I am suffering with the below freezing temperatures we have been experiencing lately. As I type this I know it sounds lame, but that's my reason for not doing a darned thing this weekend. The cold froze my will to get out of my apartment. Yes, I know, I know, I know, I know - this is the LAMEST of the lame excuses. What can I say except I'll try harder once the weather warms up? Those of you who know me well can at least admit to yourselves that I'm indeed more of a social butterfly in warmer weather.
As far as my Friday night speed dating experience - I had a good time all things considered. The whole experience was pretty intense so those of you who hate meeting lots of new people or can't stand screaming to be heard over the buzz of 43 other singles might want to avoid the experience. I arrived at People Lounge on Friday night a little late (note: the event organizers encourage you to get there at least 20-30 mins early to get settled in). There were a couple of people checking in at the door before me and then a couple of other folks came in right after me. I signed in, grabbed my name tag and then proceeded to find the coat check. Everyone was sort of standing around talking and I asked a couple of guys who were sort of just standing together awkwardly if they knew where the coat check was. One guy told me that the door behind him is the coat check and I should just hang my coat up. Of course this isn't what I was supposed to do and one of the People Lounge staffers cames over to give me a good talking to about not just going in and hanging my coat up willy nilly. I proceed to make a jokes about the incident and say, but this guy told me that I was supposed to hang it in there. The staffer wasn't amused, but it was funny to me and I was a little less nervous after that.
I made small talk with the group of guys who led me astray and surreptitiously surveyed the scene in the bar with my peripheral vision. I'm a tall young woman at 5'10" and most of the guys in the bar barely reached 5'8" so I was a little disappointed by the selection right off the bat. There was a rainbow coalition of every ethnicity in the bar, especially indian, arab, white and asian men. Later as I discovered in my dating sessions that there was one guy from Ghana (for all of you wondering if there were any black men there). I realized immediately that this isn't a group of guys I would normally want to date, but I decided to continue the night in an open minded fashion. After a few minutes of chatting with the guys in my group the event host herded all the women upstairs to the dating area. One of the guys in that initial group seemed to be an expert on speed dating and he kindly gave me a few more leads on other companies that do it in our date later that night.
I sat next to one of my new friends from downstairs Jessica. She was there alone because her friend bailed on her last minute. Jessica was relatively new to New York so she was trying speed dating to meet new people. As far as the other women in the dating crew I saw mostly white women with a couple of black and asian women thrown in for good measure. Overall the profile of all of the daters was relatively young (tonight's theme was young professionals 21-35) and mostly everyone looked to be in their mid-20's or younger.
We sat there and waited for the event host bring the men up. As everyone is finding their seat I'm sitting there wondering - which one of these lucky gentleman will be my first date? Well big surprise for me because everyone got a date, BUT ME in the first round. This was a huge blow to my ego. I was sitting there thinking "ok where's my date" and no one sat down with me. What a blow to the ego... so as the event host gets everyone going with a yell that we have 5 minutes, I sit there, then proceed to pull my blackberry out and hop onto my lifeline facebook. The event host comes over to sit with me and explains (jokingly) that he'll be my first date. He explained to me that there were 22 women and 21 men at the event and so for the first round I wouldn't have a date in the first 5 minute dating session. He then explained that the way it works is that you have a 5 minute date with everyone participating. We would have breaks in between ever few dates (roughly every 5 dates) and at that time we could make notes on the guys on the pen and paper they provided. At the end of the night we were to use the "match" cards provided to put our final selections or "matches" down on the card and submit it to him the event host. On the next day if we have "matches" then we will receive an e-mail with the full name and contact info (email and phone number) of our matches. I thanked him for explaining everything to me and then proceeded to wait for my first date.
Now just to explain the scene in the room a little better, there are 43 other men and women chattering away, frantically trying to get to know each other in 5 minutes. The noise level in that room is like a loud roar with everyone trying to get their little sales pitches for themselves in. Finally after what seems like less than 5 full minutes, the event host yells "Stop" and tells the men to get up and rotate to tthe seat to their right. Here's where Imy night finally started and I met my first date. First date and I connected over salsa dancing, the 2nd date was a tall young white man who said he can fight and then proceeded to tell all sorts of stories about getting into fights at clubs (of course he was 22) and the tallest thing in the party. The first few after that are all pretty much blurs in my mind now. I did love chatting everyone up as the queen of small talk, so all in I'm having a good time.
There were a couple of guys whom I connected with specifically over music - one guy invited me out afterwards to see his friend's band play, one date really seemed to dig my love of photography (we geeked out over equipment and style together) and one guy just seemed arrogant. He flat out said he likes ONLY cats, insisted that the ending to Slumdog Millionaire sucked and that Notorious wasn't worth the film it was shot on. Out of all 22 of my dates only one repulsed me with his personality. He was a young attorney who had recently started a new job and was studying to pass the bar exam. He had a "Debbie Downer" personality. and out of all the men I dated that night, he is the only one that I flat out wrote NO next to his name.
So by the end of all that how many matches did I get? Well I put down five or six names (right now I can't remember) and my pen was barely working on the paper. Out of the three matches I received I only remember or have notes on two of them. One was the photography guy who physically reminds me of a cuter version of "Turtle" from Entourage. One of my other "matches" I wrote was nice and suave. The final match escapes my memory - I don't remember him at all and didn't write any notes about him I'm sorry to say.
If you're interested in speed dating here are my recommendations for you:
1) Carefully review the specific theme nights - for me I would try a more focused theme. The young professionals was really a mixed bag and most of the daters really seemed a little young for me.
2) Be open-minded
3) Get ready to pay for your own drinks - they aren't necessarily included in the price of admission
4) Have fun and pace yourself. Speed dating is an intense experience and it can get tiring if you have 22 dates to get through in one night.
Here's a link to a couple of speed dating companies in the NYC area:
http://www.nyminutedating.com/ - this is the one I tried
http://www.nyeasydates.com/ - one recommended by one of the other speed daters