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I went to a speed dating event here in DC with my date and one of her girlfriends. The idea was that we would have some over-the-top fun with it while practicing our flirting skills on a maximum number of targets in a minimum amount of time in order to keep our game sharp. (Lord knows this is much easier for women to do. Their game amounts to cleavage.) We would pretend not to know each other. A side benefit from surreptitiously watching each other work the magic with other speed daters would be heightened sexual arousal that would resolve itself later in the night in panty-shredding lust. Kink alert in full effect.
We devised the questions we would ask our four minute “dates”. She wanted to see how much she could get away with so these were the questions with which she was going to pepper her speed suitors:
How much do you gross per year?
What kind of car do you drive?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Can you support me so I don’t have to work?
How many cleaning ladies do you think is reasonable?
What kind of engagement ring would you get me?
How much would you allot to spend on our wedding?
What would you like to name our first born?
What does your stock portfolio look like?
If my mother gets sick, can she come live with us?
How many cats do you think is normal?
Do you mind if I hang a portrait of my cat in the living room?
I’m a scientologist. Would you be willing to convert for me?
What were your SAT scores?
What was your standing as far as getting picked in gym class?
She even wanted to bring a Barbie and Ken, give them to the guy, and say, “now act out how we would resolve an argument.”
I admit I laughed at these. If the victims guys were smart, they’d play along and say things like “I have one whole cent in my stock portfolio!” Most likely, they’d get defensive or answer straight. Speed dating crowds are that kind of people.
Since I wanted to join in the glib fun, I made up a list of questions I would ask my dates to see how far I could push my game past its barriers:
Are you flexible? How many yoga positions can you get in? How long can you keep them?
Are you confident enough to go bra-less?
Do you like sex in public?
Are you comfortable with the idea of having yourself photographed nude?
Can you suck a thick milkshake through a straw?
Are you good a good cook? (actually, i use this one a lot)
You’re not a prude, are you?
How do you feel about housework in the nude? (Seinfeld nixes it.)
Are you cool with threesomes?
Would you consider yourself experimental in the bedroom?
Do you like to travel… to have sex in exotic locales?
Does looking at a cigar turn you on?
Unfortunately, neither of us got the chance to try out our souped-up conversational skills on unwitting speed daters. When we arrived, it was clear this was the saddest crowd of lonely hearts in all of DC. The women were mid-30s to mid-40s and older and looking every bit of it and the men, while older and, from the bits of conversation I overheard, successful professionals, made it worse for themselves by dressing in rumpled shirts like accountants on casual Friday and slumping in their chairs with the familiar drawn faces of those who have been beaten down by life. My date and her friend completely lost interest in sitting through even one second of this four minute dating of the damned, so we left as soon as we got our stick-on nametags. They should call it speed dying.
The impression I got walking by the tables of speed daters was the same I got when I first visited my grandmother at a nursing home — chamber of horrors. The rank miasma of bedraggled desperation, depression, and utter hopelessness was overbearing. It settled around me like a suffocating shroud of despair, sapping all the fun out of being alive.
There is nothing more pathetic and… alien… than a pre-menopausal aging childless woman throwing herself headlong into the chaotic vagaries of dating. When a woman doesn’t have children to nurture and raise by her early 30s she morphs rapidly into a sad and tragic creature — a shell entity of raging cynicism that can do no more than go through the motions — that no one wants to be around. Whatever is left of her innate femininity, beauty and sexiness is destroyed to dust by that point. And the men, despite their well-paying jobs as corporate lawyers, lobbyists, and policy analysts, seemed to have forgotten or never bothered to learn what it takes to attract a woman. Hint: waving a stable job and a fat paycheck ain’t it.
My advice to the guys who run these speed dating and related social events in DC: Stop charging $60 to $300 for your lameass glorified happy hours. I understand you’re all about making a buck, but when you set the price at airline ticket levels you will get those men who have nothing to offer but their money, and those women who want nothing else but those men who offer nothing but their money. End result: Older bitter women desperate for husbands and boring beta males desperate to slide comfortably into sexless soulless predictable suburban ennui. If you want to spice it up and attract a more diverse, fun crowd (read: younger), try a lower price range and more casually creative get togethers. But hey, it looks like you’ve cornered the niche market of schlubs and hags who’ll pay through the nose like clockwork every week seeing the same people over and over and hoping against hope that one more contrived event and another $100 will usher their soulmates through the door.
Tick tock and all that.