I’m sure all my regular readers have been waiting by the computer anxiously hitting refresh/checking their readers for an update on my Speed Dating event last night! And if you just stumbled across this post, boy are you in for a treat. Find out what it’s like to re-enter the dating world in your mid-40’s!
For those not in the know on the whole speed dating thing, I invite you to check out this Wikipedia article. If you already know (or don’t care), on with the show!
So the sitter arrived, we all scarfed down Subway subs for dinner, I took the quickest shower in history, put on a red sweater (supposedly men are attracted to red), kissed the girls and headed off to the restaurant/bar where the event was being hosted. On the way there, I realized my error in having had onions with my sub. Clearly I have not gone on a first date in awhile!
We were designated a “private party” in the upstairs part of the bar, while downstairs the after work crowd was in full swing, along with huge TV’s with a Wii game going (but ignored) on one, a sports channel on another and a general news channel on a third. When I say huge TV’s, these were something like 20×10 feet!
Anyway, there were several folks there already, many with a beer or other drink in hand. Another woman and I got there at the same time, and we checked in at the desk and received our name tags, first name only. The two of us walked to the bar area and chatted for a few minutes – turns out she had attended an event a month or two ago and found it a little awkward since her ex-husband was one of the men! I wanted to tell her she should blog about it – what a great story that could be!
Once everyone had arrived, the women were directed to sit at a table matching the number on our name tags. The men would start at the table matching their number, and then move from table to table until we had all met everyone, 6 minutes at a time. Ready? Go!
There were 12 men and 12 women. It was very loud in the place, what with happy hour going on downstairs and the music. They gave us a “Match Sheet” to keep track of everyone’s names and make notes on each person. The first man sat down and we started getting to know each other. Despite my having read up ahead of time on some different, unusual, more interesting questions to ask, I suddenly felt ridiculous even thinking asking someone their favorite childhood memory. To a man, it was all – where do you live, what do you do for work, what do you do for fun. I made sure to tell everyone I had young children. At least two of them shared they have grandchildren the same age. A couple of them asked if my kids’ father was still in the picture, and for them I gave a brief overview of why the answer to that is no.
One man sat down and told me he was 61, but he felt 50. And if he hadn’t told me his age, I probably would have guessed early 50’s. I actually liked him.
One man kept repeating how attractive I was and that he was going to mark me a “yes”. He reminded me a little of Barry Manilow. Without the singing.
With yet another man we seemed to be clicking somewhat, although I really had to strain to hear what he had to say. And then he asked me about my “faith”, and started talking about the “word of god”. Sorry, I happen to believe I can live a good and moral life without attributing it to religion. Just my opinion, of course, but it resulted in him being a very strong “no” in my book (and I suspect he ended up feeling the same about me).
One man’s children live in LA and he intends to relocate there in the next year. If not for that, he would be worth a second look.
Many of the men knew each other – they attend these events semi-regularly at the request of the coordinator, who needs to keep the men/women balance even for it to work. They also mentioned they knew each other through Meet-Ups which is more a social thing, with children often included. In fact, one of the men is the coordinator of the local meetup they all seemed to be involved in. I had no idea this existed, and it is certainly for way more than just dating – check it out for your own area!
With only one man did I find it difficult to fill the 6 minutes with conversation. Thank goodness it was only 6 minutes and not an entire first date.
This morning we all received an email asking us to go in and score our dates with a quick Yes or No. I marked two men Yes – the 61 year old, and another man who was really interesting, even though I don’t think we have time for each other. Right after I did that I was able to see that two other men had marked me Yes, and maybe I’d want to give them a second look. I didn’t think that would happen – I thought we’d only know if we both said Yes. Later this afternoon the interesting man also marked me Yes. Now, do I really want to take that anywhere? We have 3 days to enter our scores, so it’s possible I’ll have more Yes’s. But honestly, I don’t need them.
So, in summary, am I glad I did this? Yes. After about two dates I started to feel more comfortable. All the men were nice, even if they weren’t all someone I would consider dating. It turned out to be kind of fun. Would I do it again? No, probably not, if only because I have a feeling I’d see many of the same men there!
And if you are happily involved, count yourself lucky. But I welcome you to listen in on my excursions!