Saturday, 26 February 2011

Turbo Dating

I get told on a frequent basis that my dating life should be made into a movie.  Perhaps, a made for tv movie, but a flick nonetheless.  Some kind of dark comedy (ever seen "Very Bad Things" - 1998), where you know a situation is about to turn into a train wreck, but you can't look away and can't stop laughing.  I don't blame it all on the guys either.  My best friends pep talk to me before a first date always "Be nice" and "Try not to roll your eyes"....sometimes they throw in "Make sure you brush your hair."  Now I don't think I am mean, and I do care when I go on dates, I just don't get too nervous anymore.  I have done online dating, went to a matchmaker, had the usual awkward set ups to just come to determine that I am a bit of a serial dater. 

I also believe in "Schadenfreude"...if unfamiliar with the term...have a listen!
In December, I reconnected with a friend of mine from junior high school.  We got to talking about our dating lives and she said we should go speed dating, she had been before and well there's 'safety' in numbers.  So I bought a new dress, put on my 4" red pumps (it should be mentioned that it was "Tall Man" night...they were all allegedly over 6'), practiced my smile and away we went to meet the tall loves of our lives.  For the record...I was nervous.

The setup:  Posh (for Edmonton) martini bar downtown, tables numbered 1 - 10, the girls take a seat and get comfy, because every 8 minutes the hostess will hit an empty water glass with a fork and your date is over/just beginning.  During a date, you can look 3 feet to the left and see who is coming, or 3 feet to your right and remember who just left (or you could just look ahead of you and see your current date).  After the date in the 15 seconds it takes the gentleman to move to the right, you check off yes or no on your card.  At the end of the night, all the cards are handed in and if you both chose yes you get an email at the end of the night.

The failures: No drinks included.  Only one break to buy drinks.  Waitress is not allowed interrupt an 8 minute date to save you from dehydration.  Cheap wine sold by the glass for more than the bottle costs. 
More women than men, to be precise 14 women and 9 a pre-registered event where you do not get a refund.  The hostess kicked my friend and I off our tables before the night even began to ensure that the men didn't get confused with where to go (even though each table had a number and it went around in a circle). I thought maybe spacing the men out would have been good...I could have used a break to update my twitter.
At the end of the night, everyone handed in their cards and left as though someone had pulled the fire alarm.  It was clearly a business event, not a social event.

The dates (in actual order):
1. An engineer who wore a bright yellow shirt.  That is all my note says, and all I really remember, except that he was pretty into my friend because I got to essentially sit in on the end of their date while I waited for the glass to be clanged. 

2. I knew this fella was about to be really special.  I heard him telling my friend beside me all about her horoscope and how he loved spiritualism and astrology....after this point I stopped listening in to her dates.  He arrives at my table, in his long sleeved white shirt (layered with a camouflage skin tight tshirt) and lets me know that he is in Edmonton at the moment because his brother is going through a divorce and that he would not like to talk about it.  Sure, no problem, I can handle that.  The discussion turns to what we do for fun, he tells me that he has started taking dance lessons...from youtube!!! When I asked what genre he was learning, he informed me that he is a 'pop rocker'.  Unfortunately, I must be a bit out of the dance scene, he scowled when I asked for an explanation and declined to demonstrate it for me just saying "it's like break dancing...but without as many head spins".  For what it's worth, it may be good to know that the age range of the night was 29 - 39.

3. "Rob" sat down....told me that "Rob" wasn't actually his name and that he would prefer if people he didn't know and internet sites did not have his true name.  This is probably because he invented yoga, at least by the way he talked about it anyway.

4. The most entertaining date of the night once you got past the leather vest and the cowboy hat.  Oh, and the fact that he was Korean.  He was engaging and asked some fun questions, but still a 'no'.  The smoothest line was probably "Oh by the way, did I tell you I direct short films...".  I was left a bit speechless to be honest.  Fortunately, the conversation moved forward to where he educated me on my heritage and that the Irish are descendants of Mediterranean Gods and some kind of fairies.  As I am so pale, he reckoned that I was pure blooded fairy....

5. This date was my most peculiar.  We talked for around 15 minutes (the one scheduled break was after our 8 minutes)  and I have no idea anything about him.  He was cute and well dressed.  Essentially we ended up having a sarcasm competition, talking generally about dating online, and here at the speed dating.  I am not sure where things went wrong to be honest, but he did not check 'yes', so alas, there will be no email contact.  For the record, my friend also thought he was into me, but she also thought he was at the last speed dating event, which he vehemently denied.  Who knows!?!

6. The awkward point of the night, I knew this guy, but didn't know from where.  As it turns out, we play in the same basketball league, and have been at many of the same league meetings (yawn).  A nice, if not a bit boring, guy, so I gave him a 'yes' because I am not in the habit of dating nice guys.  Apparently, he wasn't interested in playing some one on one.

7. This guy was appalled that I hadn't seen the movie Rocky (and was very pleased that he was the first 'yo Adrienne' of the night), also talked to me about Little House on the Prairie.  After we got through those pleasantries, I wowed him.  Using my best poker skills....I profiled him, well at least was able to guess what kind of car he drove in two the make on the first guess though (Acura TL - S ftw).  We both checked 'yes' but I am pretty sure he just wants to know how I knew that. 

8. This guy was Borat (never saw that movie either....just know by the impressions my friends do) and it was the longest 8 minutes of my life.  I am almost certain the hostess reset the clock by accident.  He told me immediately that he came to Canada four years earlier from Uzbekistan, and now owns his own house and company and "oh yes, soon I put hot tub in my house, yes".  He asked me what I did for a job, when I told him I was an Occupational Therapist, he said "Oh okay, you are a nurse".  :)  He seemed like a very nice guy, but it is true...nice guys finish last and well, I had already checked 'yes' for one nice guy tonight. 

9.  Mercifully, my last date.  A geologist (who wouldn't tell me what his favorite rock was) who stared non blinking and intently at each of his dates for the full 8 minutes.  I was out of wine and well out of patience also by this time.

Moral of the Story: Hyper-turbo dating is awesome.  I had an amazing time and will go again.  More men need to attend!!  I am not sure that you can make a love connection there but at least you may come out with some stories!  Going with a friend was great, but a little weird to hear the same lines at each of our tables.  it also may not have been good, that during the break and then again at the end of the night, we chatted and laughed a ton.  It may have been perceived at laughing at the 9 dates we had just been on, but actually that was only a small part of the humour.   

To be continued.... I've heard that they run a 3 minute date night (where you get 20 matches or so)....might be a bit like flipping through a magazine, but what can I say, I'm an action junkie, I love my hyper turbos.   Maybe I will have better luck if I do roll my eyes and don't brush my hair!?!

P.S. For the record, I did not mention my cat. :)
P.P.S.  My friend checked 'no' for all of them...we will be back!   

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