I have now accomplished something I've always wanted to try but been too scared to - speed dating!
It literally was very random how it happened - the Sacramento Bee had an article on speed dating through the library, so I signed up on a whim, even though it said there was a waiting list. I assumed it would be too full, but then I got a call on Monday that I was in! I was excited, but a part of me was very freaked out - seriously, what the hell was I doing?
My only experience with speed dating has been through movies (the girl exposing her chest accidentally on "40-Year-Old Virgin" comes to mind). I never thought I'd actually do it, let alone by myself! I figured it would make for a good blog, though, so I went for it.
The premise was that you brought your favorite book as a conversation starter. I brought "The Kite Runner." When I got there, I was super nervous. What kind of weirdos speed date? Oh, wait. I do.
I sucked it up and went inside. As I was signing in, of course the expected happens - I see a guy I know! It was a guy who'd been in my creative writing class last fall (too bad it wasn't the guy I thought was cute!). I said hi to him, and it wasn't too terribly awkward, thank God.
There were about 10-15 people of each sex, and we sat around tables set up in a U-shape. We had 5 minutes with each candidate and checked off who we liked on a piece of paper (we all wore name tags with letters on them to keep track of who was whom). If there was a match, the organizers would e-mail us with the person's contact information in a couple days.
I started off talking to the guy from my creative writing class. He is really nice - no romantic connection whatsoever. But it was cool to just chat with someone I kind of knew to ease my nerves. I moved on to the next guy - an older guy in his 50s! Seriously, wasn't there an age limit on this thing? I guess it hadn't been strongly enforced. Oh, well. No matter. I just chatted with him as friends. Since the major topic was books, it made for easy conversation, rather than the typical flirtation you encounter in bars or at parties.
Another guy was from Nigeria and spoke very little English. OK.....he was very nice, but I don't think there was a love connection there. He mentioned wanting to become a pharmacy technician, and I joked, "Ohhh, so you want to be a drug dealer, huh?" I don't think sarcasm carries over well to those who are just learning the language.
Overall, I was surprised how much fun I had - most of the time I could have carried on talking for longer than 5 minutes. There were some really cool guys there - it wasn't necessarily romantic, but I just enjoy meeting new people. I was honest with them and admitted I'm not the most intellectual when it comes to reading - I love Harry Potter and Twilight, for crying out loud. There was one guy there who actually admitted that he was reading Twilight. Ha! Most of them were really into sci-fi books. Ewww, not really my thing, but hey, I like anyone who's literate.
Overall, it was a great experience, and I'm glad I did it. Oh, and at one point, a photographer asked if she could take a picture of the back of my head. So my 'fro may be featured somewhere soon. I'll check around to see if the story gets picked up somewhere :)
I should be hearing back in the next couple of days on my "matches." Part of me fears getting zero responses, but another part of me fears getting any! I'm no good at dating - who is, really? I just want to skip this whole nonsense and get to the comfortable part. But hey, I guess discomfort comes with the territory.
Despite this recent experience, I'm not necessarily "looking" for someone - I know that's no way to find a partner. I'm simply keeping myself open to all possibilities. If you're closed off, guarded and always wearing your boxing gloves, good things may pass you by. So here I am - just enjoying my single life, dabbling in new experiences and remaining optimistic that all will fall into place when the time is right.