Because online dating isn't demoralizing enough, I decided I should try speed dating. Actually, I had been thinking about it for awhile and found excuses not to do it. My favorite excuse, of course, was "I don't believe you find someone when you are looking." That's not actually an excuse as much as it is the truth, but it did come in handy.
After having an emotional conversation with Guy Pal in which he questioned whether or not I was really ready to date, he sent me a link to what was at the time an upcoming speed dating event and thought I should try it. He thought I would be really good at it. (He also thought he should get a finders fee if I got a boyfriend out of it. He's cute like that). Well, I had been thinking about it already and I was feeling overly confident thanks to all the compliments I got for actually wearing a dress (apparently I clean up nicely) so I signed up. As I said to my co-worker what did I have to lose other than a few bucks and a couple of hours of my life?
As the date approached, I tried to come up with a valid reason to get out of it. I couldn't come up with one and I had already paid for it. So I decided to go through with it. The day of the event I was really nervous and freaked out. A comment from my friend made me realize that the last time I was looking to date was 11 years ago. That is almost a third of my life ago! (Okay, so I'm being generous with the math). I sent a very freaked out text to Guy Pal, who despite having just started a new position at work called to give me a pep talk. I spent a few tearful moments in my co-worker's office, who probably prays harder than anyone I will meet someone soon (at least I would be if I were you A!). And then I changed my mindset and just kept telling myself it was like going to any other Meetup event. That really seemed to help.
The event was held at my least favorite club in Portland. I was early so I killed some time a block away at the book store and thought about just staying there. I still managed to arrive at the club too early and since it was open for business in addition to speed dating and I am so not comfortable with the club scene, I went and hid in the bathroom until it was time to check in. (Yeah, I sometimes wonder how I managed to snag James too).
I actually knew the host from the fun Meetup group (I seriously am starting to feel like the poster child for Meetup. They should so pay me a commission). I also knew one of the male participants. We had a whole e-mail exchange last spring about whether or not he was okay with me posting pictures I took at an event and when I ran into him again at an another event recently and said it was nice to see him again, I was informed he had never seen me before in his life. At the speed dating event, however, he did remember the photo incident. Too little, too late. Sorry. Plus, if he was interested, I'm guessing he would have said so by now (I just watched "He's Just Not That Into You." Apparently, I wasn't quite feeling bad enough about how much I suck at dating. I do now).
The event was actually fun. It was a bit of a confidence booster to be able to carry on five minute conversations with all of them without awkward pauses. I met 11 guys and was definitely interested in seeing two of them again. There were another two I was somewhat interested in seeing again. Two were definite "no" - one was "too flowy." I can't describe it any better than that. The other has used "E" in the past and plans to use it again at least twice in the future. No thanks. The rest I needed to think about. After discussing them with Guy Pal, I decided to mark 4 of them as a yes and the rest as a no. Sadly, none of the four I put as a yes felt the same way.
I'm proud of myself for doing this. I chose the 23-37 age range and might try the 32-47 age group as well just so I will be able to say I have literally tried everything except a paid matchmaking service. But I am ready to throw in the towel. Trying to date is simply not making me happy and it's causing me to beat myself up in ways that aren't healthy. I've worked too hard to get to where I am at to backslide when I could be out having fun and showing the world how awesome I am instead.