When it comes to meeting someone, five minutes is a long time. Meet 12 people in 60 minutes. That's more people thanI've met in the last six months, and while five minutes doesn't sound like much, it's just about right to determine whether a person is worth getting to know better.
Sure, I have friends. Lots even, from different groups and we do different things together. We talk about meaningful stuff, drink hard liquor, swap sex stories and dance the dance of crazy monkeys. Male and female, we love being single because we can do just that. We sleep in each other's beds when we get trashed and perve our own gender on each other's behalf. Sometimes I get moody and hide in my bed with my vibrator. But my friends don't mind. Life's good, I'm not socially maladjusted.
Thing is, no matter how many friends one has, they're never enough if one doesn't have THE team player. The batsman between your legs on a Sunday morning, the number-one seed that serves the backhand ace when you're down, the bowler that no-balls but still has a sexy butt, the striker that runs the field in glory when he's scored you.
Note that I'm avoiding the love metaphor, and going for the sports metaphoe instead. So, then, once one has met all the friends-of-friends and brothers-of-friends-of-friends and mothers-friends-nerdy-sons, what does one do? Cruise Emmarentia with a wilful pup and a skimpy bust-holder?
I have a big belly. I tried internet dating. After having spent maybe a month priming and mailing them, you know immediately upon meeting them whether they? The photo on the site was taken 10 years ago; they? I'm not making this up, I? By this time, if you're not careful they probably also have your e-mail or cellphone number too.
To back track, the notion of speed dating seems absurd and I was convinced that I'd meet freaks that I could use as party-tales over the next suburban braai. But alas, it was thoroughly fun in the squeaky clean version of the word and there were less freaks than in my own circle of friends.
Five minutes may not seem a lot, but at times, it seemed infinite. When they say things like "I'm not a racist but Although one's first inclination at this point is to down one's drink, remember that you still have an hour to see through - in double. Dates, in general, have always left me exasperated. You talk about what you do, where you live, what you buy, what you read, your favourite colour, where you went to school and all the other meaningless information that constitutes your life, but never get round to being yourself.
But speed dating, if nothing else, gives one first-hand experience on how to crack a nut. I had prepared a couple of questions - TV dating show vibe. But they were mostly useless, except with racist polo-driver from the Bronx - the questions killed time.
What one really wants to do is confer the basic stats of one's life - CV type stuff - for about a minute, then pick out a common passion from that and explore it deeper. This is my first-time-agony-aunt advice: Try to find a common topic you can talk to a stranger about as though you were friends. This is not going to result in instant unanimous undying love, but you will at least be able to discern which people are on your vibe, beneath whatever social raincoats they wear.
Ultimately five minutes is more than you have with any one of your internet heart-throbs or the bar sluts you try to pick up with oneliners. With far more benefits: And the best part of all is: You walk away and don't have to like any of them. The next day, you log the names of the ones you like onto the internet.
If they like you back, you get each other's e-mail addresses. Did I find a date?