The days are getting shorter, and soon everybody will be having cosy nights in front of X factor instead of going out on the town. This is not good. Especially for me – a well established singleton.
I happen to believe that a fool is somebody who does the same thing over and over again in the hope for a different result. So rather than rejoin match.com which I know you all frown upon, I've decided to utilise an alternative method for snaring my next victim. SpeedDating.
I think the jury is still out on speed dating. The married and longterm amongst you think it must be so exciting and fun to meet so many eligible men in one single evening. The singles amongst you have a slightly more negative take - more of a disbelief in the fact that you are basically being pimped out to loads of guys over which you have no control.
But like I say, nothing ventured nothing gained, so this how I found myself sat amongst a mixture of 21 – 35 year old single men on Wednesday evening.
Ironically I arrived bang on 7.30 which was my first mistake. My second mistake was to go on my own - especially when I found out that the game wasn't scheduled to start until 8.15. Oh the joy of trying to look cool for 45 minutes on your own in front of a load of men who are watching you, and a load of girls who are unusually suspicious. Fortunately two women took pity on me after about 20 minutes and invited me to join them for a natter.
And then it started. I'm not going detail it man by man (there were 22 of them) but essentially I spent 3 (sometimes painful) minutes in the company of each man before the whistle went and the next man came along. We had a ten minute comfort break after every 7 meetings and then optional mingling at the end. We were given a checksheet and at the end of each meeting, you had to write either Yes or No and a brief description of the guy beside his name to aid your memory. At the end of the night, you handed in your checksheet and at some point next week, I will find out whether guys that I have ticked have ticked me back. Simples :)
What surprised me was how normal and comfortable it was. At the end of the day, we were all there for the same reason, so you could blatantly tell who was flirting and who was just chatting politely. And most of the guys were average looking - mainly 6's,7's, a couple of 8's. There were guys like me - who were quite sociable, and then there were guys who had blatantly never spoken to girls ever before in a social context. But I was nice to everyone, I smiled encouragingly at some really really bad conversations and tried to sound interested in what they had to say.....
One guy started with ' I went on a speed dating night last week and it was full of older women who wanted to get married and have babies. I don't want any of that'. I burst out laughing and he looked positively shocked. He also a really strange stare. This prompted me to remove my name badge from my chest and stick it on my purse.
One guy gave me a short lecture on the benefits of living in Selby, and how it was interesting that I came from Darlington because he used to live in Bedale and did I know that postcodes in Bedale start with DL even though it's in Yorkshire, and also Northallerton postcodes started with DL too? Granted he was a delivery driver so he probably knew a lot about postcodes. I didn't dare tell him about my direct mail background - we would have been there for weeks!
Another guy sat down and went 'Georgina? Let me tell you about me. And then talked at me for 3 minutes. Non stop. Mainly about how he was a professional poker player and had been for 8 months. I wasn't even allowed to ask about it because he went straight onto why he wanted to do a TEFL course and go live in South America. Given that i interrupt a lot, I hardly got a word in at all.
Ben from Horsforth seemed lovely and I think he was just passing the time before he got to girl number 2 (Diana Vickers lookalike but with better hair). Then when I mentioned that I'd done the great north run, it was like a lightbulb went off in his brain. He got proper excited and didn't want to leave. So I decided to tick him
There was another guy who I blatantly had no interest in talking to until he said that he played the piano. Then I changed my tune (ha ha). But yeah he was quite boring otherwise so no tick for him.
Nathan (no 9) seemed the most promising. Aged 30, he lived in Farsley, drove some sort of mazda and worked in finance. We discussed work briefly but then just started chatting about anything and nothing. I don't actually remember because I was trying to work out if I fancied him or not. 3 minutes is not that long. Nonetheless he got a tick and hopefully I might see him again.
I did actually. He was the only guy that approached me during the 'optional mingling' afterwards. We had quite a nice chat but then my 2 friends from before came and sabotaged the operation and started talking to him about cars and football.
I'd say that I had a rather enjoyable evening. It isn't scary because it's very non threatening. Obviously there are people that you avoid like a barge pole, and others that you hope might notice you. You get to talk to everybody so there isn't that sense of missed opportunity.
The only worrying thing about it all is that I'm probably only a very small step away from going to a full blown singles party – which is essentially 300 confirmed single people in a room with a load of booze and optional party games – one of which is a rather phallic sounding game called 'Lock and Key'.
If you hear as much as a whimper from me about wanting to go to one of these functions, please hit me as hard as you can and keep hitting me until I surrender.
Until next time my dears
PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP (the sound of a whistle)