It’s nice to have something you know you’re good at.
Most people have at least one thing in their life, (outside of their job) that they excel at; like playing a sport, or a musical instrument, or being able to remember the name of every Miss America and the year she was crowned since the pageant started. Whatever. The point is, everyone has a special talent.
I used to think my special talent was storytelling.
But I was wrong.
I have discovered my true talent…
And it is speed dating.
You heard me.
Speed dating is my jam people.
I’m an introvert by nature. But under the right circumstances, I can flip a switch and channel an extrovert like I was born one.
The “right circumstances” generally referring to getting positive and/or fawning attention. Which is why I’m able to get on stage and tell stories – I blossom under the attention of a captive audience.
Here’s how speed dating works. Women sit in seats in one long row with tables in front of them. Men sit down in one long row across from the women. Everyone has a number on their name tag, and everyone has a sheet of paper on which to write down the number of the person they are across from, and then a Yes or a No after the “date”. You get five minutes to talk and then a bell sounds and the women stay put and the men move one seat down. Repeat. At the end of the night, everyone turns their papers into the organizers, and the next day you get an email telling you who you matched with and providing contact information. Contact information is only exchanged between mutual Yes’s. Which I like because it avoids the awkward “no, I’m sorry Shrek, you can’t have my phone number,” conversation that happens so often in bars.
So you end up with 10 or 12 or 20 five minutes dates over the course of the evening (depending on the size of the event).
Who can’t be charming and interesting for five minutes? Well, turns out, lots of men can’t actually.
But you know who CAN be charming and interesting for five minutes? ME. That’s who.
You know who can bust out the charm, the sparkle, the giggle, being both coy and open at the same time, projecting both sex appeal and an endearing innocence simultaneously? I CAN.
I don’t even really know how I do it exactly. When its time, and that switch flips, its like my spidey senses kick in, and within seconds of a new guy sitting down, I know if I should make a joke, ask a question, give him a hard time, give him an opening to give me a hard time, plant the suggestion that we’ll see each other again, or make it clear we won’t… but in a way that he still feels better for the experience.
As each new guy comes through, I get better and better. My laugh gets more tinkling, my hair flip more natural, my ability to project fascination and excitement when he tells me he’s a plumber gets sharper.
It might have helped a little that I was grouped into the over 30 category, which aside from me was more like the over 40 category. And I look closer to 20 than 30. So when these 40+ men sat down across from me, they often got a look in their eye like a homeless man who’d just won the lottery.
Which in many ways they had. Because I’m just that unbelievably awesome.
In 5 minute bursts.
During the break I was at the bar getting another drink (only because there was a minimum to use a credit card, and I drink cheap shit, so I had to buy two drinks. But I didn’t actually drink the second one – alcohol doesn’t tend to enhance my skills), and #72 came up to me and picked up our conversation where we’d left off when our five minutes had run out. I managed to keep up the persona for almost a full minute, before my normal persona started popping through, like static during a radio broadcast. I kept fighting to maintain my speed date aura and mercifully the break ended a minute later. I’d originally marked #72 as a No, but he’d won me over with that break conversation and I changed him to a Yes.
He was not on my match list the next day.
He liked me enough to come up and talk to me at the break, but not enough to make me a yes.
Obviously because I’d exceeded my 5 minute window of awesome. He probably got back to his seat and changed me from a Yes to a No, just as I was doing the reverse.
So to summarize, I’m like the perfect female specimen for 5 minute intervals.
After which things tend to unravel pretty quickly…
I’m pretty sure this is the real reason I’m still single.