Kids, a huge part of the dating scene for the singles struggling to meet The One are speed dating events. Since I was on this quest to meet your father, naturally the 5 minute roundabout of talking to strangers formed part of my mission – with various degrees of success and failure.
Something I’ve instilled in you since before you could talk is to try crazy and new things because you never know where the next adventure might lead to. That’s the frame of mind I was in when I signed up for the Cosmopolitan Guinness World Record Speed Dating event back in 2014.
Sure, I had to fake being ill so I could get out of work to attend the event (and no, don’t even think about doing the same thing, my progeny!) and avoid the TV cameras filming the event so that my bosses wouldn’t catch me in the act, but for the chance to meet 200 plus other singles who might or might not be my soul mate, I risked it.
As you can well imagine, with so many love-seeking individuals, things got quite chaotic. I “dated” close to 20 people that day and by Bachelor number 10, I’d forgone all pleasantries and just opened with “So, what’s your favourite Marvel character?”.
Some guys found it funny, others did not …and one guy loved it so much, we went to Cafe Caprice for post-event drinks! Yay, success! RJ was a doctor, from Stellenbosch, who had been bullied into attending the event because his best friend refused to do it alone – thank the gods!
As had been the case with our short date, we couldn’t stop talking about how much we had in common (series, chocolates, comic book characters, cities we’d love to visit etc) and I really thought he was amazing. RJ gave me his number and took mine, promised to tick me off on the score sheet as someone he’d definitely like to see again and that he’d call me…which he didn’t.
I was a little gun shy about speed dating for a while until …
You guys know how much I love Valentine’s Day… no, seriously, it’s one of my all-time favourite days and not just because I get to feast on chocolate like the world will never end.
It’s linked to some of my best childhood memories, helping your Nan decorate heart-shaped cookies for your granddad in years when they were struggling financially and it’s the only thing she could afford to give him … or it might also have been symbolic for what she’d give him later that night, but whatever, let’s stick to the “I’ll love you through richer and poorer” theory before I scar all of us for life!
The point is, I love this holiday but in 2015 I wasn’t about to spend the month of amore alone yet again so off I went to a Lock and Key Speed Dating event at the 80s Disco club in Claremont.
As the name suggests, everything about the club was retro, right down to the dark interior and leather couches, which apparently inspired couples to get up close and personal … a feature I tried the better part of the evening trying to avoid.
With more than 20 people arriving for the event, two things soon became apparent: 1.) There were far less men than women and 2) I was the youngest person at this event… crap!
The concept of the event was simple – guys were issued keys to see if they fit into the girls’ locks – and no, that’s not as dirty as it sounds. Every round would last 5 minutes before the bell would be rung and you’d swap partners. Simple, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, my loves, so very, very much… Not only did I inadvertently ended up “”dating” a prominent Iger ( Instagram user) who was a VIP on my company’s followers list but a handsy, 50-something-year -old Don Juan inappropriately propositioned me too.
I’m not kidding … he just straight up asked me if I wanted to get out of there and make the night interesting in his car. WTF?!!!
The experience left me with an out of body feeling, and I was conscious of thinking throughout the next several “dates”, “Lady, what the hell are you doing? Is this really what you’ve been reduced to? Making asinine small talk with the ones Cupid forgot? You deserve better!”
I dragged myself home to drown my sorrows in a tub of Nutella and a viewing of Alexander Skarsgard, my one true Swedish actor love, in The Giver, while vowing never to speed date again.
It’s been four months and maybe I should give it a spin again… who knows? Your Dad might just be number 52 at the next roundabout, keen to chat Marvel characters, chocolate brands he can’t live without and your future names 😉