I went Speed Dating last night..

Correction, I was told that I was going to Speed Dating. By Allie. Or Alicia, as long as you pronounce it Uh-Leetz-Ee-Uh. She is a doer, which is great for me. And which is also not great for me. She’s a Groupon maniac and is constantly buying things to do – horseback riding, beer making, etc etc. She buys them, and then tells me I have to go. Diabolical of her to purchase them before I have a chance to say ‘no’.

We showed up at an Irish bar called McFadden’s. There were probably 5 people there. Two women who looked around nervously and three employees. Not a good sign.

We ordered a drink before we could even sit down and tried to slyly scan the small stream of people coming in to see our competition as well as our options. Thankfully, 17 men were sequestered in the back room where our Speed Dating event was to take place. At first glance, it was an eclectic mix. A few Indian men (dot, not feather), some run-of-the mill guys, some strikingly attractive. Not that I was struck, really. It’s just that some looked really good out of the corner of my eye.

The women were varied as well. I arrived with two blonde nurses, so I stuck out already. Or we did, I would guess. We all were assigned a numbered table in the vast, open air room with dim lighting, low-volumed rock, and giant red armchairs with black wicker coffee tables.

I got seated away from the girls, so my moral support wasn’t in my sightline. The instructions were read, and the bell was rung.

Each man would choose a random first table (AWKWARD) and have 4 minutes with each woman. The bell would ring again and they would move the the next numbered table. A cocktail waitress was supposed to come around to take drink orders – which for her was a nightmare. Your guests are constantly moving. It was easy to see why we didn’t see much of her. Also, most of the men were not equipped with drinks at first, which may have made it all the more awkward for them. One of the girls actually thought enough to order two drinks for herself so she wouldn’t get stuck without. That woman is a genius.

There were 20 women and only 17 men, so each girl would have three 4 minute breaks when there wasn’t a man with her. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sit through the first round on a break. At that point, prolonging the start of this event was near maddening.

I made eye contact with the first man headed to my table. A few men lingering near my table looked at me and decided to go elsewhere. I tried to be okay with that knowing they’d come to me eventually and find out how amazingly rad I am, and they would kick themselves for not getting first shot.

I believe my first date was named Josh. We all had horrible sticker nametags a la high school reunions and a piece of paper with all the guys’ names on it in alphabetical order. The idea was to keep the paper turned over, and in the few seconds that you were changing dates, you would mark the box next to your date’s name, either “yes” or “no”. The complicated thing was not letting your date, either coming or going, see what you were writing. Even more awkward for the men since they either had to write it at your table, or the next table as they were constantly in motion. One guy remarked, “What am I supposed to do when the date ends, ask if I can use her back to write on?” Women seem to have the better setup at these things. We just sit, drink, mark our sheets, and wait for all 17 to come strolling over to us.

My first date was my favorite. He looked like he should work at a bike shop, but ended up being a trademark lawyer. We tried to steer away from trite topics and just as we were smiling and laughing and he was halfway through a story, the bell rang. As I quickly learned, 4 minutes can be a flash or an eternity.

The nurses and I shared a few common breaks, where we compared notes. Allie marked several of the men I marked, and Shawnna, our other blonde nurse, had the no column nearly blacked out with Xs. It became clear that as we get older, we tend to be more open-minded about potential dates. Me, being the oldest, had the most Xs under yes at the end of the night. I think I topped out at 6, with a few in there I may have regretted, and the young nurses had slightly less, Shawnna with only one or two potentials.

We turned in our sheets and we were told that anyone we chose who also chose us would be emailed to us later tonight. I really have no idea what to expect, but I’m sure I’ll have half the email read before my inbox marks the email as “seen”. Allie is under the impression that the men are going to be much more apt to choose us then we are them, and not us specifically, but the women in general. She reasoned that their criteria, unlike ours, would be as simple as “I sit down and look at her. Would I sleep with her? Yes. Check.” I had to admit, it sounded like solid reasoning.

The whole process took about an hour and a half, and most people looked exhausted afterward. I was nearly freezing my ass off, as I didn’t know the dates would be half outside and didn’t bring adequate clothing. Moreover, I wore a plunging neckline which makes my breasts seem much better than they are in reality. I have a great ass, but it’s hard to show it off when you’re sitting on it all night.

So we wait. And we wonder if our mutual matches will overlap. And then we have “the discussion”, which will really only be Allie and me since Shawnna wasn’t even happy with the scant group she selected. Luckily, Allie and I are good friends and rational individuals. But if she wants the trademark lawyer, by God, I will cut her.

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