Speed Dating: the Baptism by Fire Pt 2
Putting the brakes on Speed Dating (Cont’d)
Due to the paucity of men, (eight no-shows, indeed) six women were invited to belly-up to the bar for free Blueberry Martinis, the speed dating drink de rigueur. The six women would be blended into the musical- chair game every six minutes.
Char and I were the lucky ones. We were seated, and two dozen men would sit across from us. Frick said we just might meet our soul mate or playmate that night.
There was a heightened sense of anticipation and a cacophony of throat clearing, giggling, and pronounced sighs. As if choreographed, each woman grabbed for her drink and took a sip. It looked like “the wave.”
I was quickly thinking of a good opening line as I sat on the cold, hard, metal folding-chair. I looked across the room at the three youngest girls; they look like identical sorority sisters. They were either very well rehearsed or naturals. Their body language screamed ‘Pick Me!’ and, ‘I am so ready, willing and able.’ I may have looked that delightfully desperate 20 years ago, too. I can’t remember. Another blessing of age.
I met 24 men that night – whom I might never have met in my entire lifetime. It was right out of that Frank Sinatra song: I met a “Prince, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king…” Really, the last guy’s name was King.
The Merry-Go-Round of Men… was mildly entertaining. I should have been paid as the shill who calmed and entertained these guys. We parted as buddies and friends, one by one, until Peter.
I hadn’t noticed Peter. He must have come in late. As he sat across from me, smiling. I noticed he was study in corduroy. He wore a forest green shirt with pleated corduroy trousers, and a corduroy jacket. He had a rust colored beard and jade green eyes.
Peter was different; he gave off an aura- seriously, this guy emanated calm and peace or something. Me, the geisha, simply stared and smiled. The first thing he said was, “I have been watching you all night.”
“Me?” the quick-thinking, Queen of Clever quipped.
Our six minutes evaporated. They flew by and, in my book, we were “a match.” I remember locking eyes and the two of us talked, nonstop, about myriad things. Then the bell rang. He stood up, took my hand and said, “We will see one another again.” I was in a fog of bliss.
There are some people who suck the air out of the room. That’s a bad thing. And,there are others who infuse the air with chi or calm or peace. That’s what this Peter guy did. It was strange and wonderful, at the same time
A blur of men sat before me and I was cordial, polite and every six minutes I nonchalantly looked over to see with whom Peter was talking.
Awhile later I saw Peter sitting in front of Char. She looked dreamy-eyed. That’s the expression she gets when she is ga-ga over a man. I had to look – when the 6 minutes was up, Char remained ga-ga, Peter did not take her hand. He moved on and looked over at me. More fog, more bliss.
When three bells chimed, we all knew the musical- chairs event called Speed Dating had come to a screeching halt. I met a couple dozen men – not totally a Clint Eastwood movie: the Good the Bad and the Ugly – but kind of: ‘no’ – ‘no way’- and ‘which way are you going?’.
Frick and Frack- applauded our efforts and encouraged all of us to enroll in various forms of alternative speed dating, dining, drinking and dancing.
I’d done my whirling-dervish dating.
Despite my efforts to appear nonchalant, I was ecstatic to see Peter standing near the cloak-room. Char was busy talking with someone else. Peter and I laughed about speed dating and then exchanged business cards.