The one small mercy in last night’s Hurry Date event was that I got a blue nametag rather than a red one, which meant that I was sitting down the entire evening and people with red nametags were rotating in front of me every three minutes.
The problem is that three minutes, while possibly enough time to be able to tell that you don’t like someone, is by no means enough time to figure out if you actually do like him. Out of the 25 men I met last night, there were about five or six with whom three minutes seemed like an eternity; I couldn’t circle “N” next to their numbers fast enough. The man who told me he’d recently left his alcoholic partner of seventeen years and said “I just love COMPANIONSHIP and SHARING” was one of these. For the remaining nineteen or twenty, I pretty much had to guess. I deliberated for a while about the guy who’d just released a CD and who, when I asked what instrument he played, said, “I play the skin flute,” but eventually I nixed him. I enthusiastically circled “Y” for the cute guy who is a publicist for All My Children but I suspect he circled “N” for me.
I was comforted to find that virtually everybody there seemed as bewildered and dazed as I was. There was only one guy who had clearly thought up a conversational tactic beforehand; this would have been effective if he hadn’t been so smarmy. “SO,” he said smoothly as he smiled and sat down in front of me. “What do you like to do outside of work?” I stuttered some stupid answer about going to the movies and eating out and he said, “I like to cook and travel. I like to blah blah blah blah blah” and kept on going and I wanted to put my eyes out with a carving fork.
Conversations generally proceeded along one of the following lines:
—where are you from and why did you move to New York? (Most popular answer: I’m from [insert midwestern state here] and I moved here because I’ve always wanted to live in New York.)
—what do you do? (Most popular answer: I’m in investment banking.)
—why did you come to Hurry Date? (Most popular answer: because online dating can’t tell you if there will be any chemistry between two people.)
When a guy who sat down in front of me was a slow starter, I generally said one of two things: either “I’m SO BEHIND!,” frazzledly indicating the sheet of paper on which I had to circle “Y” or “N” for people, or “My head is SPINNING!,” shaking my head in charming and good-natured befuddlement. I said “I’m SO BEHIND!” six times, with exactly the same vocal inflection and desperate grin each time, and “My head is SPINNING!” eight or nine times. I was a little worried that somebody I’d just said it to might hear me and realize that, rather than the original product of my charming psyche, this was just a line, but the place was loud enough that I figured I was probably safe. At one point the guy who sat down in front of me pointed out that the seat next to me was empty. I was so taken aback by this departure from what had become the standard script that I said the first thing that came into my head, which was, “He was too cute, so I killed him. Eliminating the competition, you know.” I should have stuck with “I’m SO BEHIND!”
So in a day or two I’ll get an e-mail from the Hurry Date people with the names and e-mails of my matches, but it actually doesn’t matter anymore, because I’m in love with the guy from gayjews.net who just sent me an e-mail in which he used a word I didn’t know. This has never happened to me before. I’m already picking out suburbs to live in and names for our two dogs.