Please press play:
And here is what happened last Thursday, October 25th at 25dates.com’s RED, HOT & BLUE…
6:45PM: Each table is labeled in alphabetical order. Only a few people have arrived at this point. I’m obviously the Donna Martin of the night because it’s my M.O. to be overdressed. Always. *single blink*
6:48PM: A “uniform” arrives (we’re just going to call the men “uniforms” from now on). He’s young. Nubile. Cute. Fireman or cop? Only time will tell. I was able to chat with a female participant who works for SickKids and she thought it was a great opportunity to help out. She’s never been speed-dating before; I assure her this is the perfect event to pop that cherry…but I said it less graphically.
6:53PM: I’ve counted four “uniforms.” I have my eye on a legit hottie, I hope he gets scooped up. I also want him to lose the blazer – I’m a forearm whisperer and what lies beneath his sleeves is barking at me!
6:55PM: More participants arrive, drinks in hand. I watch Ragna explain the speed-dating process to a “uniform” and I wonder how many times she’s said this same speech, she’s SO patient.
7:04PM: I’m VERY proud of the women who have shown up so far, they’ve put in effort. I’ve been to several events where they don’t even comb their hair (and if they did, they need salon lessons).
7:18PM: It’s going to be a little bit of a late start but it’s allowed me to really practice my observational comedy. Ragna’s husband, Aaron, and baby boy have stopped in to say hello. My heart burst into flames because all of that love was discovered at a 25dates.com event. I just got filled with optimism and hope for every lady in here. Find your love, everyone!
7:28PM: Every female participant has arrived but we’re still waiting on some more “uniforms.”
7:41PM: I’m approached by a Fionn MacCool’s patron (he’s not here for the speed-dating). He tells me I’m gorgeous and wonders why I’m standing around taking notes. I explain, I smile, I’m very friendly (he has an accent, you see). He says goodnight and heads back to his table. *single blink* Bahahahahahahhaahah! C’est ma vie.
7:53PM: They aren’t waiting for any other men to arrive, we’re almost an hour past the scheduled start time. It’s disappointing to see only half the men in attendance and I can see the women are disappointed too. 25dates.com told the ladies they would receive a discount off a future speed-dating event due to the turnout. The men are seated and the night is about to begin. They’ve arranged it so every other woman will have a break after each 3 minute interval.
8:20PM: I’ve sat down with five ladies, none of which have speed-dated before and the general consensus is nerves are playing a huge role tonight. A few gentlemen voiced concerns about the gap in age range – many of the “uniforms” are 40+ and discovered the majority of women are in their 20s.
INTERMISSION: I took this opportunity to speak to a group of “uniforms” grabbing drinks at the bar. One of these men is the one I had my eye on from the beginning and guess what? He is a complete and utter dud. And by “dud” I mean he didn’t say any words to me, turned his back to me and left me with a pad and paper in my hand and no answers. I maintained my professionalism, do not worry, but in my mind I said, “You’re lucky I was raised with manners because this could’ve went down a lot worse as in the back of your beautiful head and the curve of my delicious fist.” I was really mad. Back to the good stuff!
I had a one-on-one with Aaron (Ragna’s husband) and he gave me some first-hand scoop on meeting his lovely wife. He made a great point about these events allowing your world to open up to people you may not have met in your circle of friends or regular haunts. She lived in Oakville, he lived in Toronto – if not for the speed-dating event he attended, their paths probably wouldn’t have crossed. So it DOES happens, people.
All in all, even with the lackluster turnout of “uniforms” the majority of women said they checked off more than one “Yes” on average. I felt like I was with them in solidarity, even though I didn’t get to speed-date – I helped them come up with some good questions, got their feedback during their 3 minute breaks and answered any questions I could based on my veteran experience with events such as these. I tried to assure each and every one of them that even on a full night when all 25, or sometimes 30 men, attended, I didn’t check “yes” for any. I get because this was for charity and the expense was a little more than the average event, they wanted all the “uniforms” they could possibly get. I really, REALLY hope it doesn’t deter them from attending a future event and using the discounted offer. From what I could see at the end of the night, many of the participants stayed afterward and took to tables and booths to chat some more so who knows? Maybe more connections after the fact.
I want to thank Ragna and everyone at 25dates.com for letting me be a fly on the wall. I haven’t done an event in a long time and I think I’m going to sign up for another. If you want to make it a girl’s night, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s do this. I promise it’s harmless and will be fun!