“Never again,” I’d decided after a nauseating speed dating experience three years ago. As a result, by the end I’d confused myself entirely as to who was who and had a banging headache, so I hastily ticked a few boxes on the scorecard before handing in my slip – only to regret the entire thing the next morning, when I emailed the organisers and asked them to remove my scorecard from the count. But in my defence, speed dating was a bit much for my 23-year-old self.
Where I’d expected cute, dateable men; instead I found a lot of desperate wife-hunters with mental checklists in tow. So, last night – three years on – and armed with another single friend, a new scorecard and a renewed sense of optimism, I gave it another punt.
” were the sorts of questions fired my way, along with the bog-standard, “Where do you work? I’d also made the classic errors of a) failing to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ straight after each speed date, and b) failing to make any notes to distinguish each man from the next.
It was the same formula: women sit at tables around the room, men move from table to table every three minutes when the whistle is blown – and it wasn’t actually bad.
I should interject before I go on that I do think speed dating should come with a firm caution along the lines of: ‘It is entirely possible you’ll have crap, awkward dates where the three-minute slot may feel like an eternity. We cannot be held accountable for the shittiness of the talent on offer.’ I didn’t walk away from the night with the feeling that I’d met my Prince Charming, but I did meet an entire spectrum of men – from the weird one who gave off a serial killer-vibe (more on him in a second), to the beardy man who chatted to me for an extra 40 seconds after the whistle was blown. This time around I was on top form: I made the ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘friend’ selection on my scorecard as the night progressed, I made notes too.
Just as I was starting to relax and actually enjoy the night, the scary/weird/odd man, who I’ve decided to nickname the ‘serial killer’ came to my table.
He had a stone-cold look on his face as he sat down, and when I asked his name, he grabbed my scorecard and wrote his name down rather than telling me it, and he asked me to do the same.
He wrote his name in big angry capital letters too.
Next he said, in broken English: “I’m [insert name], I’m 31 years old and I’m looking for a girlfriend.” *Conversation killer!
* I wracked my brain for a quick fire back, and came up with some generic questions about where he lives, what he does for a living and what brought him to London, etc.