Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Speed Dating, the Final Chapter
By now, you've all read my Ode to Speed Dating - my first (and last?) attempt at poetry on this site. It was based on the evening before Valentine's Day when four girlfriends and I attended an event in the Meatpacking District in the hopes of some laughs and free Popburgers. The sliders have all been eaten, the fries and ketchup are gone. All that remains is the list of names with a few notes jotted down from each of us. I'll let the girls speak for themselves.
Kimberly: I just popped the button off my jeans. Am now being held together with a paperclip. Bad sign?
June: Alright, I'm prepared for this to be a whole bunch of losers. Can we just get started?
Millie: Who cares how dumb the dates are? There are free sliders!
Chelsea: This is my first time. Do I talk first or do they? How does this work?
Alli: I'm so excited, I'm nauseas. Does anybody have a mint?
Yup, here we are. Just five girls waiting to go on fifteen dates. Not gonna be awkward at all...
*Note to the Readers: I have written my first hand accounts of each date and where applicable, and included my girlfriends' comments about each one. Cocktails while rehashing the evening were a necessity!!!*
1) Will - sits down and I wish him a Happy Mistress Day. For those of you wondering, it's the official holiday the day before V-Day (Google it - I promise!) He laughs and says that he's not married but he wishes he was so I could be his mistress. I'm too pretty to be a wife, but I'd make a damn good mistress.
June said: Did he tell everybody else he was married?
Chelsea said: He kept making jokes about his wife and kids in Connecticut.
Millie said: Inappropriate!!!
Alli said: He sat down and introduced himself to me as "Hi, I'm Will and I'm drunk. You can say anything you want to me." Awesome!
2) Jostein - introduced himself as Justin but the name is really pronounced Yo-Stine. He's from Norway so we bonded over my bff in England who came from Trondheim. He was impressed that I knew a little about the country and traditions. Came to the US on a three month training program and was looking for nice women to spend time with while in New York.
Chelsea said: If his name is Yo-Stine, why did he say Justin?
Alli: He was wearing a Cookie Monster sweater.
Millie: Oh, he definitely looked like a weird sort of Muppet.
3) Kunal - has lots of personality. He's got a big grin and shining eyes and all the confidence in the world. Came from India when he was nine but speaks perfect English and loves New York. Especially loves New York women.
Alli said: I fully expect a match with him. He was sooo nice.
June said: Very cute. Really nice. Pretty much my type.
Chelsea said: At least he was fun to talk to.
4) Kamil - tells me that his name is Arabic for "perfect" - and it is. I looked it up. He's a corporate lawyer and loves his job. It's nice to see someone who enjoys his occupation although he doesn't shut up about it and I don't really get a chance to talk. Oh well.
Alli said: His breath stunk to high heaven.
Chelsea said: Was that the guy who smelled bad?
Millie said: Oh no, honey. Two words: personal hygiene.
5) Guru - alright, I know what this name means but Guru tells me he's not a teacher even though he's always wanted to be. Says that it would be too obvious if "Guru" was a teacher. He can't even do yoga because he feels he'd be made fun of. Poor thing.
Millie said: I think it's awesome. His name is Guru!
June said: Um, yeah. No.
6) Paul - asks me what I prefer: showers or baths? I say showers to be efficient, baths to read in (I'm a huge bookworm.) He counters that any book worth reading is not worth reading in the bath because if it's exciting, you'll flail around and inevitably drop your book at the best part, thus ruining it and never knowing how it ends. I ask what was the last "splash worthy" book he enjoyed? He retorts "Fiction? Non-fiction? Memoir? Be more specific!" and then goes on a diatribe about Black Swan - which is nothing related to the Natalie Portman movie - it's about how unpredictable huge events will impact Earth but we'll never see it coming and we're all going to be destroyed anyway so what's the point of all this in the first place? Pessimism at its finest!
Alli said: He has some sort of home brewing in his basement. Does anyone else think that's creepy?
Millie said: What was he? Like 12?
Chelsea said: That was the boy who looked like a 10 year old? Oh yeah, no.
7) Michael - I wrote nothing down for him. I literally took no notes. And even with my ridiculous memory, I couldn't tell you anything about him. Good thing I brought girlfriends!
Alli said: That was the pastry chef who sat down and started name dropping all the bakeries he's worked for. Little does he know I haven't got a clue who any of those people were!
*Note - I WISH he told me he was a pastry chef. I LOVE baking!*
8) Alex - is from Chicago and works in the trade show business which he really enjoys. He's a sales guy and gets to travel all the time. Talked about work the whole 4 minutes. I didn't get a word in.
June said: I don't care about trade shows.
Millie said: Does he ever shut up?
Chelsea said: Self-absorbed. But cute.
9) Hamad - tried to shock me by saying that he was from Kuwait. This is a Globetrotters event - it's like the United Nations of dating. Nothing shocks me. I kept dropping funny bomb after funny bomb, one-liner after one-liner. He laughed so hard and said "You're so funny, you should be a comedian. What do you do?" Dead serious, I replied "I'm a comedienne." He laughed even harder and when our 4 minutes were up, he kissed me on the cheek. Time well spent?
Alli said: He told me he was from Kuwait and then waited for the over-the-top shocked reaction. He didn't get one. I think he was disappointed.
Chelsea said: I didn't get a kiss. I'm kind of disappointed.
10) Stan - is a banker in charge of acquisitions and mergers. He assured me that it's not as boring as it sounds. I think he's lying. I tell him I'm a writer. He thinks that this is the most fascinating thing he's ever heard. I'm so lucky. How amazing! Wow, to be a writer is the coolest job in the world. That must be so awesome. Etc. Etc. Etc. He never recovers.
Alli said: I'm definitely putting him down for a match. He was fun.
Millie said: That guy was overly excited to be at speed dating.
11) Kevin - introduces himself as being new to NY. I ask where he's from. He says "a place I'm sure you've never heard of." Try me! "It's a small island in the Pacific Ocean." My first guess is Mauritius. He almost falls off his chair. Stunned. I smile smugly back at him, arms folded, legs crossed, eyebrows raised. "I told you I was good at geography!" He's in awe that I have not only heard of his island, but I know where it is (off the coast of Madagascar), and how to spell it. I have a friend from Mauritius. Living in England is good for diversifying your cultural associations!
Alli said: Did you know that his friends signed him up for this event because they're tired of hanging out with him?
June said: No, but I believe that.
12) Marco - is way skinny for my taste. He has a weak handshake and a quiet voice. I try to make him comfortable but this boy is in over his head. There's nervous and then there is shoulda-brought-a-barf-bag-to-speed-dating nervous. He's the latter.
Chelsea said: Marcos was cute-ish.
Alli said: I think it was Marco S. Not Marcos.
Chelsea said: Oh, I thought Marcos was a weird name.
Alli said: Was he the one with a handshake like a limp fish?
June said: Yup, that was him.
Millie said: Marco. Did I meet him???
June said: Exactly!!!
13) Oleg - and I know you won't believe this but it was a DIFFERENT Oleg!!! At this point, I'm thinking: What are the chances that I have never heard this name before and suddenly I meet two guys named Oleg, both at speed dating events. WEIRD. Wait - it gets better. Oleg tells me that he's in New York doing research as he's originally from Uganda where he works as a buffalo scientist. I have never heard of anyone being a buffalo scientist but he recounts how it was a career change for him as he originally studied big cats. Tigers? Leopards? Cheetahs? Nope - Lions! How lions are missing a certain gene found in other cats that correlates to fear so he came to NY to study mice and alter their "fear gene." According to Oleg the buffalo scientist, there is now video on YouTube of the first set of mice without the fear gene. One walked right up to a cat and smacked it in the face! Experiment complete! What comes next? They took that cat, altered its "fear gene" and it slashed a crocodile in South Florida because it wasn't afraid of the crocodile. Wow, this is some serious messing with nature!
Alli said: Oleg, that was the guy from Russia, right?
Chelsea said: Yeah, the mathematician.
Me: No, no, he was the Ugandan buffalo scientist.
All four girls: stare at me blankly.
14) Dave - is friends with Stan. He's from Taiwan and was in Egypt for the first two days of the riots. He loves that I do improv comedy and asks where I perform. Actually writes it down on his notepad and says he's always wanted to take classes there. Maybe we'll run into each other soon!
Millie said: Which one was Dave again?
June said: Exactly.
Overall impressions for the night?
June said: It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Millie said: I was charming and I got free burgers. This was fun.
Chelsea said: When can we do this again?
Alli said: I'm definitely not meeting the love of my life here but that was a blast. Let's do it again. This time, maybe Single
Professionals night. That way, I'll know nobody's looking for a Green Card!!!
As for me, I think this is my last speed dating event. It's fun but I don't have the energy to keep smiling like that all night. Gonna save my enthusiasm for the stage from now on. On the plus side, the host Rob was really cute. So maybe this wasn't a complete waste of time...