Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If you prefer brains to brawn . . .

Well, since Gustavo is taking FOREVER to declare his undying love for me and carry me away on his lawnmower, I've decided to try a different way of finding Mr. Right. The online thing didn't really work out for me, the mail-order-husband thing is just too expensive, and prostitution is hard to get into, what with finding the right pimp and all. So I tried to brainstorm about some other options and, in the process, I remembered watching the movie Hitch a long time ago and seeing a scene where they were speed-dating. I remember walking out of the movie theater after watching that movie, thinking to myself: 1) I'm strangely attracted to Kevin James (but that's a blog for another time) and 2) I must try speed dating one of these days.

So that's what I did this weekend. I got online and found a speed-dating event that was happening this weekend and it was geared especially for "university-educated" folks. The write-up on it said something like "If you prefer brains to brawn, then this event is for you!" and, while I didn't think THAT seemed like a good sign, I decided that I wanted to try it. Then I called up my friend Lincee (who writes a blog and a Bachelor/Bachelorette recap called i hate green beans that is HILARIOUS . . .) to beg and/or bribe and/or extort her to join me so that I didn't have to do it by myself. She agreed to go so we registered ourselves, talked about what we were going to wear, aaaaaaaand then invested in a case of Pepto Bismol each . . .

We weren't really sure how the whole thing was going to work - all we knew was that it started at 7:30 at a bar in Houston that we'll call the Texas Bar. So we met at a parking garage downtown, just a block down from the bar, and walked over to where this little bit of awesomeness was supposed to take place. The Texas Bar is located on the second floor of a two-story building so we walked up the stairs expecting to find a happenin' singles scene, filled with eligible and lively bachelors. What we found, instead, was the quietest bar either of us had ever been to. There were no signs up to let us know that we were in the right place, there was no host or hostess to greet us and welcome us, there wasn't even any music playing - it was the weirdest event EVER. There were about 3 people sitting at the bar to our left and about 2 others sitting at tables to our right. And no one was talking. In fact, the only thing you could hear was the faint sound of me and Lincee popping Pepto Bismol tablets into our mouths . . .

After a bit of discussion and debate, Lincee and I decided to NOT jump off the balcony to put ourselves out of our misery and we decided to stick it out. At about that time, our "hostess" finally showed up and directed us to a lounge area where there were tables and couches set up for our evening. The girls each picked a table and sat down at it then the guys each sat down at one of those tables. Our hostess told us that we would have 8 minutes for each of our "mini-dates" and that, when our time was up, she'd ring a bell and the guys would all rotate to the their rights and begin their next mini-date with the next girl. So that's how our night went - 10 guys sat across from us for 8 minutes each and we had our little "mini-dates."

My biggest impression of the night was that, at 5' 7", I was the tallest person in the room, except for one - possibly two - Indian men. I usually have a height requirement with guys - they have to be at least as tall as I am when I'm in my heels - but, as I stood there in my 3" wedges looking around at the tops of their heads, I decided to keep an open mind and give the whole Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise thing a try. But, alas, Tom Cruise was not there.

It was a fun night but I must say that 8 minutes is not long when you're trying to give someone a glimpse of who you are. I had a hard time knowing how I should open my conversations. "What do you do for a living?" - that seems so mundane. "What kinds of things do you for fun?" - snoooooooze. "Where did you go to school?" - predictable. So I tried to think of some outside-the-box conversation starters but nothing really seemed to work. I thought about talking about a recent burn I sustained on my stomach and the resulting lesson I learned about the dangers of ironing without a shirt on but thought that might be, perhaps, too educational - I mean, who wants to learn a lesson about ironing hazards on a first date? Then I thought maybe I'd give them a glimpse of my inner soul and talk about how one of my favorite things in the world is when the air conditioning vents in the car are at just the right angle and they blow cold air up your shirt sleeves so that your armpits air out. But then I decided against that for obvious reasons - I mean WHO wants to talk about right angles on a date, right?? So, in the end, I just played it safe and went for the predictable. I found out all about their jobs and hobbies and just quietly hoped none of them would go on to sustain an ironing injury that I might have prevented.

Everyone was a little awkward at first but seemed to warm up as the night went on. Unfortunately, one of my first dates - we'll call him "Bob" - had not quite warmed up before he came to my table. He started off with the "What are you hobbies" question but he decided to put a little spin on it. He used a dramatic tone of voice and big hand-gestures and said:

Bob: So what makes you LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE???? What is it that you LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE to do??
Me: Well -
Bob: What is it that makes you want to wake up in the morning and LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE?? Because you know you have to LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.
Me: Yeah, I -
Bob: We only work to do one thing - LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
Me: Right -
Bob: So please tell me that you take time to LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.
Me: Yeah, I do -
Bob: I want to know what you do to LIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!! Tell me how you LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!

I was THIS close to reminding him of our 8 minute time-limit so that he didn't continue to waste 2 minutes getting his question out. But I waited patiently through his dramatics and then said "reading." I watched his face drop as he mulled that over and felt quite certain that he did not feel the chemistry with me. Oh well, something tells me I'll LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE . . .

The hobbies question was an interesting one because I definitely saw that some people weren't too honest in what they said. For instance, my LIIIIIIIIIIVE guy told me how he likes to go race his "'Vette" around the racetrack to really LIIIIIIIIIIVE. But when I asked him if he was a thrill-seeker in general, he quickly back-tracked and said that, no, he didn't do anything dangerous because he wants to - you guessed it - LIIIIIIIIIIIVE. Then I talked to another guy who was - how shall I say this? - not the most in-shape guy I've ever seen and he told me how exercising is his favorite thing to do and is a really important part of his life. It was so obvious that that wasn't the truth and I wanted to reach down and pat him on the head and assure him that he didn't have to lie about that with me. But he kept on with it, telling me all about how great exercising is and how he does it morning, noon, and night and blah blah blah. I thought about playing along and telling him that I model and teach pilates on the side but the bell rang and I had to be satisfied with just saying something awesome like "Well . . . way to go, you . . . you just . . . keep pumpin' that iron . . . bud!"

Despite feeling like an Amazonian woman in my (perhaps ill-advised) wedges, I had a great time and am able to declare that, even with its awkward moments, it really was a fun evening. But as all fun evenings must, this one had to end. But, although I didn't find the man of my dreams, it definitely wasn't a wasted evening. I got to spend a few hours meeting some very nice guys and doing something totally new and different, I got to hang out with my friend Lincee and spend lots of time cracking up with her about all the awkwardness, AND I got to air out my armpits on the way home.

And it's moments like that that make me want to me LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE . . .


Pam Boehm said...

You crack me up! Another Catchy adventure for us to enjoy. If anyone knows how to LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE it's YOU!