Let’s not fuck around here. I tried speed dating today. Geeky speed dating to be exact. Speed dating is something that’s always held a certain allure to me for some inscrutable reason. Is it the notion of being introduced to a variety of girls at once without having to venture forth into the urban jungle? Is it a narcissistic blowout, being able to tell so many people in a row things about myself? Is it the excitement of crating a first impression over and over again? I had my expectations which it did and didn’t meet in equal parts.
Firstly, free speed dating looks a little like online dating. Being held at Atomic Lollipop, it was a chance for geekily inclined peeps and peepesses to swap exchanges (I’m sticking with it) and see if anything on offer matched their wants. Like online dating, you had an overabundance of scrotums and a lack of ovums. I turned up about 40 minutes beforehand, just trying to find the room. I was 10th in line and was informed that only around 13 guys would get to participate. The line stretched as far as the eye could see (I guess I’m not a towering figure, so I couldn’t see far back), with probably about 80 to 100 guys all up. They were scrabbling to even find 13 women, eventually grabbing a couple of volunteers/underaged gals. Disparity is a word and it’s more than apt here. Dicksparity? They squeaked in with their last girl a minute before the event was to begin.
The run down: Everyone had a name tag with a number. There was a circle of chairs on the inside where the girls sat. The guys sat in a circle of chairs facing towards it. Everyone had a sheet with the numbers corresponding to the members of the opposite sex. You had a box to write the name of the person then a yes/no box. Once everyone had talked, the organisers had everyone’s emails and could send out these details to pairs that indicated a mutual “yes”. Sounds easy, right? Time per round? 90 seconds, then the guys took a step to the chair on their right. Named speed dating, no doubt, because you had to have ingested a metric ton of speed to talk fast enough to cover enough in 90 seconds.
How did it go? I think I did alright. It’s kind of how I imagined normal speed dating to be, but 90% of the girls are in cosplay school uniforms. The accent was an instant talking point as a fallback, but I tried to stay away from the trite. Anyone I wasn’t that interested in straight off the bat (if they looked too young (or I just wasn’t attracted)) I just tried to be friendly with. “So what’ve you seen so far at the con?” “How do you fit into this whole geeky thing?” “Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle?” and so on. Otherwise I shot from the hip. Upon noticing how long it was taking to write these things down “how much longer do you think we’ll have handwriting for?” After being given a weird handshake “c’mon, you can do better than that.” I started a 90 second workshop on handshake dynamics, showing her the power play and complimenting her on her confident grip. Thinking of past I Have My Doubts updates, I asked if a girl had ever googled herself. To a self-confessed Disney fanatic I admitted that I’d just watched Lilo and Stitch last night “holy shit, me too” she exclaimed. Another girl flat out gave me her bio in 20 seconds (is it uncouth to ask a/s/l IRL?) and I struggled to reciprocate.
There was a pervasive atmosphere of awkward before the session started and it dissipated by the end. A few of the girls either had boyfriends and had just been bullied into helping out or were only in town for the convention. I pondered aloud as to what was stopping us from hanging out around the con immediately after it finished. Nothing, apparently, so I did for a while. I had a handful of girls marked “yes”, so who knows if I’ll get any connections. It’ll probably be just for fun, new friends, etc. Still, when the cute girl from Montreal asked if I wanted to come and party with her and her friends at the hotel, I probably should have said yes, rather than “oh I would, but I was gonna watch the competitive fanfiction erotica.”
I may be a geek, but sometimes I really act like a dork.