Twelve Guys in Two Hours

Jul 28, 2013 by

          “Oh my God, you’re going to blog about that?” my friend asked in shock.

          “Of course I’m going to blog about that!” I confirmed.

          “You’re crazy!”
 

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Warning: To all of my male readers and squeamish female readers, I suggest skipping the first two paragraphs to follow.
 

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          On Tuesday night, I rushed to transform myself into girlfriend material before booking it to Toronto to go speed dating. Sophisticatedly dressed in my dark grey pencil skirt, sheer cream blouse, and black heels, I pressed the pointed toe of my shoe to the car floor, racing the time down the highway. I had 45 minutes to weave through the remains of rush hour traffic. Arriving with only five minutes to spare, I shifted my car into park, burst out of my car, and broke into a near run toward the parking metre before coming to an abrupt stop. I had felt a rush of warm liquid pour down the back of my right leg. Preparing myself for embarrassment, my eyes slowly trailed downward. The heavy flow of my period’s premature arrival had formed a path from beneath my skirt to my heel. I threw my head back, rolled my eyes, and sighed in irritation as I thought aloud, “Is my life friggin’ serious right now?” #FemaleProblems.

          I hurried toward the door of the passenger’s seat, hastily swung it open, and reached into the glove compartment for napkins. As best I could, I used them like compressors to soak up the blood now pooling at my foot. While trying to be discreet as I attended to my leg – which looked as though it had been viciously slashed – a concerned woman approached me to check that I wasn’t dying. (I don’t make this stuff up people!) After waving my hand nonchalantly toward my leg with a smile to assure her that I was perfectly fine (not a crime victim; just a girl caught off guard by a monthly regularity), I continued to fail in my aggressive attempts to clean up the blood, which was collecting beneath my fingernails as I began to run out of impromptu gauzes. The term “hot mess” has never been more applicable. Not about to give up on my dating goals, I stood up straight, inhaled as much self-confidence as I could draw from the summer air, and walked toward the venue, the skin of my leg stained a faint red. I laughed to myself at the thought of the blog post this mishap would prompt. Please be dark inside, I begged the menstrual gods.

          I stepped into the dimly lit jazz bar with all of the grace that I could gather under the circumstance. Miraculously, I wasn’t late. Everyone was still registering. I was instructed to sign a waiver and pick up my nametag and match card at the front. I curved my pen over the dotted line, relieving the event organizers of all liability in case I was about to be matched to a murderer. I took a seat at one of the empty tables in a row. Not about to sit quietly, I struck up conversation with two guys nearby, getting myself through the most awkward part (initial mingling) with ease.

          Soon enough, it was time to start “dating.” Girls stayed seated while guys moved clockwise from table to table every four minutes. Some people complained that four minutes was too short. I thought it was the perfect amount of time. I was usually still in mid-conversation when the buzzer sounded, which I preferred to the idea of long engagements burning out in silence too early. I didn’t need more than four minutes to know whether or not I was attracted to each guy who sat in front of me. Within the first 30 seconds, my assessment was more or less complete. I knew whether I would be circling yes or no on my match card.

          Though I was speed dating, the night wasn’t focussed on the dating aspect. It was more about socializing and getting to know a little bit about a variety of people. It was a lot of fun! I’m chatty, so talking to a dozen guys for two hours is a good night for me. This perspective probably has a lot to do with my approach to the night. I didn’t go in looking for my future boyfriend; I went in looking to meet new people.

          During the 15-minute break for apps and drinks, I heard girls in the bathroom complaining that it was awkward. It’s only as awkward as you let it be. If conversing with strangers isn’t your strong suit, you may feel uncomfortable. I was in my element, and I found that most of the guys were just as talkative as I was. As I am on a patio, in a bar, or in any other social setting, I was friendly to everyone I spoke to, including guys I didn’t find attractive. As a result, my four-minute dates were filled with flirtatious laughter and fluid conversation. (Well, except for my first one with a guy who reminded me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. He nervously clutched his beer bottle and struggled to spit out one-worded responses. I was the opposite: outgoing and animated. Based on his rapid progression toward signs of social anxiety, which I used to be well-acquainted with myself, I’m pretty sure I scared the crap out of him.) Undoubtedly, my attitude made all the difference between my awesome night and the dull night that could have been had I shared the same perspective as the girls in the bathroom, who ended up leaving partway through the night, making the guy to girl ratio uneven.

          As I was telling my friend the next day, “One of the guys had wondered what kind of people would do this type of thing. I told him, ‘I wondered about that too, but then I thought, well, I’m pretty cool and I’m here, so there’s probably going to be other cool people here too.’”

          “Oh my God, you’re so friggin’ confident! I love it!” she complimented me.

          “Aw, thanks girl! It’s new,” I said with a proud grin.

          “I love it! It really comes out. You’re so social!” she continued to make me blush.

          “Aw! I need to hug you now,” I warned as I flung my arms around her.

          I would have to agree with this pretty lady that my confidence did work in my favour. Most speed daters in attendance, guys included, were there with friends. I went solo, and I didn’t think anything of it until many of the guys I spoke to commented that they were impressed I had come alone, definitely earning me bonus points.

          Forgetting that searching for date-worthy guys was the whole point of the night, two hours and twelve guys later, I marked yes on my match card for two attractive guys who I thought may have dating potential and two guys who had friend potential (I’ll break the friend zone news to them if they said yes to me too). Not bad. I’ll find out soon if there were any matches, at which point I’ll receive the email addresses of any guys I said yes to who also said yes to me. At the end of the night, I had had a great time and left feeling bold and independent – oh, and no one noticed a thing.

 
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