Tips for Dating on Speed
This past Sunday, I went to a speed dating event in a largely populated Jewish area that was attended by singles from throughout the tri-state area. I managed to behave myself at this one, and the event was too short overall to have too much to say, but I did have enough experiences to give you, my dearest readers, some tips for events such as these.
These events usually include two long tables or rows of chairs where girls sit across from guys and guys move from one girl to the next. Occasionally the people running such events will provide some sort of ice breaker. Often, the events start with dinner and mingling before the actual speed dating begins.
Don't sit with your sex.
Every time I attend an event such as these, I arrive on time and pick out a seat in the center of the room where I can watch all the magic happen. Everyone else arrives later (because, as a society we have learned that other people's time doesn't matter and we don't show up for things when we are supposed to and that's why there are so many trailers before movies.) and the same darn thing always happens: the girls sit near me and the boys sit as far away as they can get. Now, it could have something to do with my air of confidence scaring boys away (maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lexapro) but I think it has more to do with everyone being terrified to meet anyone despite the fact that's why they came in the first place. I've made plenty of nice girlfriends this way, but I have lots of nice girlfriends already! I want a boy-friend or a boyfriend or a to file taxes as a married person! Boys, sit with the girls. We want to meet you and we can't when you're all bunched up in little groups. And girls, stop sitting near me. I know I have that vaguely familiar look that makes you think we went to seminary together (spoiler alert: we did not) but I'm saving these seats for Y chromosomes.
There will be food at these events and there will often be wine. Get to the wine as fast as you can, they definitely did not buy enough for everyone and their older single alcohol problem ("it's fine, I'll quit when I'm PREGNANT *sobs.*") Then, slowly, like a ballerina trying to explain the concept of immigration control using just her arms, they will bring out the food.
It will probably be good and you are going to need energy. It will also add value to the event-the more you eat the more worth it the event was. At the last speed dating event in which I participated, the boys brought Tupperware containers in which to take home leftovers. Ladies, learn from these boys and bring your own Tupperware to stock up for the week. Don't date these guys though. They have so little money they have to steal food from singles' events.
3. To All The Boys I've Loved Before
After you've attended a few of these things you'll begin to notice a pattern: It's the same people every time. And you've dated a few of them, and if you're like me, you got the guy to finally take you home by explaining how cow farts are destroying the earth. Not always the person you want to run into again. Have a few conversations planned for the guys you already know. This is your chance to ask something that you wouldn't ask of someone you actually want to marry. Recently, for these guys, I've been sorting them into Hogwarts houses with a simple trick I learned. Try not to see yourself as desperate as they clearly are. You'll lose your mind.
4. Find A Ride
It's much easier to go on one of these events when you have a mission. Most people's mission is to get married but that's like asking me to dig a hole to China, it's too big to think about. Instead, I focus on a more attainable goal: getting a ride home. Because all these events start late, you don't usually get home until the subway schedule just says rape o'clock. But luckily these guys came from all over and some of them have CARS. That's why my first 3 questions are usually, "Where are you from?" "Did you drive here?" "Can I have a ride?" Now you've scored yourself a free Uber.
5. Conversation Starter
Everyone is going to be having the same conversations, where are you from, what do you do, etc. It can be helpful to have a good conversation starter. One guy on my most recent date on speed started with "which was your favorite world war?" That's pretty good, but there are only two answers and the correct one is WWI cause Edward Cullen. A better question would be what is your favorite war ever, or, who do you think won the War of Northern Aggression and why? Another good one is what is your favorite aveirah and how often? That's the moment you regale them with your tales of ignoring laden donkeys on the path.
6. Ibuprofen, or, if you have it, something stronger.
Jewish events are usually in large rooms that have the same acoustics as ancient greek amphitheaters. I.E. the acoustics are terrible. You will be screaming at someone you never met in order to find out his last name and you will still get it wrong. By the end of the night your head will be pounding and your throat will feel like a newborn vampire's. Raid your drug cabinet before you go on one of these. Ibuprofen is ok, but if you can find anything left over from when you got your wisdom teeth out, that would be best. The people running these events will also usually opt to play music that will be both annoying and not fit the mood. Do not be afraid to be the spoil sport who asks them to turn the music off. I haven't had the zchus to be that person yet, but when I find out who they are I almost always want to give them a hug, even though I am shomer and cooties.
Boys out there: do not wear a cheap blonde toupee ever, but especially in this political climate. Hair loss is very sad but I have never seen a toupee that looks better than just a bald head with some stubble. Same for combovers. If you are going to get a toupee, I think it is probably better to go dark.
8. Read on your phone
You may be lucky enough to have some downtime while you are at this event because some of the boys decide to not participate in the actual speed dating and instead talk in little groups in the corner about Fantasy Football or how they haven't decided their hashkafa and never will. Why they are having these conversations at a speed dating event that they paid for, I'll never know. This will cause breaks in the line and you will be able to catch your breath. You'll need something on your phone to give you strength other than texts from friends saying "how is it?" So, I try to keep a Harry Potter book downloaded and open to a good scene. I recommend the hospital wing in book 1, The Quidditch World Cup, Dumbledore's Army scenes in 5, any of the Dumbledore stuff in 6, Weasley's Wizard's Weezes in 5 or 6, or any of the last 200 pages of 7.
These are just a few ways to help you improve the experience of speed dating. One day, it may even surpass a root canal in terms of fun. I won't say it'll achieve the levels of going to the DMV, because that's just a pipe dream.