Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Speed Dating Experience

Since my little world of graduate neuroscience research is fairly limited, I recently decided to participate in a Speed Dating event that was hosted by the graduate students' society at my University.

I figured it would be a good way to meet some new people, be able to check 'Speed Dating' off my list of Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die, and I would at least get a good story out of it. My best friend and I signed up together, so we would be able to cling to each other for emotional/moral support (and have it look slightly less pathetic when recounting the story).

The night actually ended up being a lot of fun - and I of course have an amusing story to tell you all.

There was 20 guys and 20 girls who turned up, all grad students - mostly in science related fields. The majority of the guys were from physics, which makes sense if you think of the male/female ratio in that field.

Most, with one very hilarious exception, were really nice guys. Some were really funny, some were pretty cute, some were painfully geeky, some were fairly awkward, and one was nutsycoocoo. This diamond in the rough has henceforth been labeled as Polish Guy.

This particular event was structured so the women moved from table to table, with the guys staying seated. You had 2 minutes to chat, and then moved on to the next table. If you were interested, you make a little check in the person's box and if you both checked each other's off, you get emailed the other's email address.

As I'm moving over to Polish Guy's table, already suspiciously eyeing his protruding chest hair from the top of his unbuttoned shirt with quintessential gold chain, I realize this is going to be 2 minutes too long.

He first eyes me up, from top to bottom, makes an approving/demeaning "oohh" noise, and immediately checks my box on his list. At this point all I'm thinking is 'Fuck'.

One of the first things he says, after this horrifying initial display, is to comment on how young I look. He even went as far to estimate my age at 7 years old. I smile in return, trying to pass it off as a joke and not think about any pedophiliac tendencies, and make a sarcastic comment about offensive first impressions.

The next thing I know, he's telling me to look at his chest as an answer to the question "Interesting accent, where are you from?". He promptly takes this glorious opportunity to openly stare at my chest for a good few seconds. Apparently, his gold chain had a pendant which read 'POLAND' - his country of origin. Needless to say, I wasn't about to try to locate this pendant in his peek-a-boo chest hair.

I also remember him asking me whether I like to be on top. I honestly can't recall exactly why this came up (psychological defence mechanism?), but I'm pretty sure there is no logical reason to explain any of this.

Finally, the bell rings - indicating it is time to switch tables. I thank the god of all this is holy and good, and practically knock over my chair in an attempt to get away from this dude as fast as humanly possible. Not only do I not check off his box, but I completely scratch out his number just to ensure that my information doesn't accidentally get sent to him.

I then spend the following 2 minutes talking to the next guy about how scary Polish Guy was.

At the end of the night, my friend and I compare stories - apparently she had a similar experience with Polish Guy. This made me feel better, and less singularly dirty. We now both have an amusing story to share about the perils of speed dating.

All in all, despite the Polish horror that ensued, I'm glad I decided to do it. We'll be notified of any potential matches in the next few days, so we'll see what will come of it :) I had a good time, and at least is makes for an amusing run-on blog post!

Listening to: The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani

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At 1:18 AM , Blogger Croaker said...

Speed dating? Call me skeptical. Not that random encounters at the bar are any better.

At 6:21 PM , Blogger John said...

Hey Jo,

I'm very impressed, I don't know if I'd manage speed dating unless with dutch courage and a good wingman. Saying that apart from crazy polish guy sounds like you had fun - be sure to let us know if you have any matches!

At 2:59 PM , Blogger Ian Edwards said...

Hey Joanna! Glad you had fun at the Speed Dating. It really is quite fun isn't it? I remember doing it on a whim in the final year at Uni, it was surprisingly good (Although the fact i'd drank quite a lot of alcohol beforehand probably contributed to that!)

Glad you've at least made a friend out of it!

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