Go Speed Racer Go!
Now that the new year is quickly approaching, everyone around the world will be starting new diets, trying new hair styles, thinking about changing careers and more often than not, they will try the online dating world or even spruce up their current dating profiles so that they will not go another year alone and with hopes of finding true love.
As for me…I am ok on the diet front, just started a new job and the hairstyle is A-OK. What I am contemplating with is the online dating world. Yes, of course, I have tried it and with very little success. At best you get one of those “this person did not look like their picture” dates or better yet “I got stood up” and you are left feeling defeated and are reeling in the troops and going into hiding.
One trend that I feel came fast and left just as quickly is, Speed Dating. As we all know, speed dating is usually held at a bar or public setting, there is a certain amount of people that will be participating and you will go on several “mini-dates” that last about 6-10 minutes (which is how long most first dates should last). There you will try and sell yourself in that short period of time all the while trying to learn about the other person sitting across from you. Then you will hear the buzzer go off and onto the next bachelor/bachelorette that is waiting for you to do it all over again. At the end, if you are lucky, the host of the event will dismiss everyone and you go home and eagerly wait just like a kid on Christmas Eve to see whether or not anyone has chosen you to go on an actual date. From there…it is up to the dating gods as to whether or not you are a real match.
My first and only experience with Speed Dating was about 8 or 9 years ago. Like most of these crazy ideas, I “dragged” along my friend, Feathers, who in fact is a drag queen, to this Speed Dating event (he was not in costume for this particular event). It was held in Chelsea at the old Pink Elephant, which I believe is not even a bar at the moment. We certainly didn’t know what to expect, as this was the latest way to meet people so we were going in there with an open mind.
At first we just stood around the bar, checked in with the host, properly put our “Hello My Name Is” tags on and we were assigned a specific number. This number was your I.D. so that if a certain gentleman fancied you, he would write the number down hand it to the host and the host would give them your personal email and off into the sunset you both went.
As we observed the room we didn’t notice many people from the bars we would frequent so we were presented with a whole new batch of men to chose from. What really got our attention was when the host informed the room, that this new Vanilla Vodka martini sponsored this event and they were free the entire night for those participating!
It was finally time for the event to begin, so Feathers and I decided right away, that it would be best if we did not sit next to each other for fear of making each other laugh and we really wanted to take this seriously. So off we went…those that were sitting outside the circle did not have to move and those that were inside the circle had to rotate every time the buzzer rang to move onto the next bachelor.
Unfortunately for me, I chose not to eat before the event for I wanted to look my thinnest and damn if those Vanilla Vodka drinks weren’t so yummy. I was selected to be on the inside of the circle so I had to move from seat to seat all the while balancing a martini glass. I must have had two or three before the event even began, so I was feeling pretty darn good by the time I made my way through the circle. My personal experience was that the majority of people that were attending these events worked either in fashion or finance and at that time, I was working in advertising, so already not a lot in common but I made my way through. I know for a fact that as the drinks were coming, I was getting louder and sloppy, for Feathers at one point in the moving circle, shot me a look that indicated that I was heading to the dark place where people were no longer laughing with you but rather laughing at you.
After many free cocktails and meeting a bunch of men the event was over. We turned in our ballots and we were released. Feathers and I found no one that we wanted to pursue and I assume we both hit up another Chelsea bar and continued to get drunk from there…damn those Vanilla Vodka martinis.
A few days later, much to my surprise the one guy at the event that I found somewhat attractive and interesting chose me. We exchanged a few emails and before you know it, I had a date set up.
Now, I don’t remember his name since it was many years ago now but I clearly and very distinctly remember the events that occurred the night of our date.
Our date was to consist of going out to dinner and drinks. I thought to myself how great it was that there was a take-charge guy and he had the whole evening planned out. About mid-day on the day of our date, I get an email from him saying he will be running late due to work and just to meet him at his apartment. Meeting someone at their apartment on a first date is just not something I care to do, but seeing that he put so much effort into planning, I let my rules fly out the window and asked him for his address.
He was a rather successful finance man from what he had already shared with me via email and that he lived on Bedford and Christopher Street, that cute little street in the west village with all the adorable brownstones that no one could touch cause they are so expensive. That evening, like any other first date I prepped by going the gym right after work and picking out the proper attire for dinner and drinks. At that time I was living on the Lower East Side on the corner of Norfolk and Rivington (before it became the trendy neighborhood it is today). So I hailed that cab and sashayed my way on over to his apartment.
I rang the buzzer and of course was nervous for the last time he saw me I was slurring my words and trying to balance a martini in my hand why telling him how great I was. As I was buzzed in and walked up the four flights of stairs, there he was waiting for me with nothing but a white towel around his waist and he was soaking wet still from the shower. My first thought was, “this is not going to become some opening sequence for a porno”. And my second thought was, “wow he is very attractive but again, this is not going to be a porno”.
He apologized profusely (while still dripping wet from his shower) for changing the time and the location of us meeting. He told me to have a seat in his living room while he changed. But along the way I passed my friends, Washer and Dryer, on a little side note about me, I LOVE to do laundry, smell detergent and have wanted my very own washer and dryer ever since I became an adult. And he had a set so I had to stop and admire them.
Back to me having a seat on his couch while he changed…As I observed the overly decorated apartment, much of it was all plants, plants hanging in the corner of the living room, plants on the window seal, plants in the bookcase and plants on the tables…I felt like I was in a jungle and I don’t do jungle. Finally, he appears from his room.
There he was standing in his bedroom doorway with nothing on but a pair of grey corduroy boxers. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to seduce me or what the hell he was trying to achieve with his stance in his doorway but either way sex was not happening. My initial thought again was, “this not going to be a porno movie” but my mind really went into thinking, “where the hell does one even get corduroy boxers”?????
He told me that there was a change in plans and that after the long day he had that he wasn’t in the mood to go out and deal with the crowds and that if it was ok to just stay in, watch the Sopranos from the weekend and order in some Thai food.
While I am all for those kind of evenings, this particular set up for a date is something you do AFTER you are already comfortable with the other person not when you walking around in grey corduroy boxers with your business flopping about.
Seeing that I had never seen an episode of the Sopranos, I was hungry and at this point I was craving a cocktail. I gave in and agreed to stay in for the date. He quickly grabbed the menus from his cupboard and had me look them over while he fixed us a drink. I found it rather odd that he didn’t proceed to put anymore clothing on so I asked him if he was going to put any additional items of clothing on and he his response was a flat out, NOPE.
So there I was, sitting in the jungle, about to watch a show I had never seen and awaiting my Chicken Pad Thai arrive while the man sitting next to me is sprawled out on the couch in is fancy attire. This particular episode of the Sopranos was where a hooker got hit with a shovel and placed into the back seat of a car and left to die. I am not a fan of violence and this episode was extra heavy on the violence so we turned it off and as timing would have it…the food finally arrived.
He had a dining room table in his living room and I assumed that this is where we were going to eat our meal and have conversation where we would get to know each other…no such luck. Mr. Boxers was still very much in the mood to watch TV and since I nixed the Sopranos he suggested we bring our dinner into his bedroom where there was another TV so we could watch a show.
As I took off my shoes (to be polite and not ruin his linens) and positioned myself in the bed to begin to eat, he went into his closet and brought out two TV trays for us to eat on and watch Seinfeld. No words between us were exchanged, him still in boxers and me not wanting to eat but rather just to get the hell out of there, for now I wasn’t sure why I was even there in the first place.
Once we were finished eating, he looked at me and asked me if I could clear the plates and take them into the kitchen. I found it odd that he would request this but again, I had nothing else to do…so off I went with the dirty plates and silverware to the kitchen sink.
When I returned to the bedroom, there he was, sprawled out on the bed (still in his boxers, of course) and he asked me, “Would you mind stroking my stomach, I like when someone does that to me after I eat”. I got my shoes and sat on the edge of the bed and began to put them on with a knowing fact that I was leaving this jungle once and for all.
Once the shoes were on I told him that I was leaving and that it is probably best to not contact me again. As I looked at this successful, handsome man in his grey corduroy boxer shorts his final words to me were, “If you aren’t going to stroke my stomach, can you at least do the dishes before you leave”? That was it, I had hit my limit, and I grabbed my coat and walked out the door and never looked back. As I hit the street I vowed to never eat Thai food with a man in bed again.
Which brings us now to present day, where I thought Speed Dating was a thing of the past when as luck would have it, I received an email recently that there are still events happening in the city and maybe things have changed since the last time I attended one of these, I mean it has been over 8 years so we shall see.
My seatbelt is fastened and the engine is raring to go. So on the first week of January of 2012, I will be attending a Speed Dating event and I will be staying clear of the Vanilla Vodka martinis…
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