Fate happens in various ways. Originally I was to attend a party at Lois’s on this past Saturday night. As it turned out Lois and her teenage girl fell ill with a stomach flu or virus and had to postpone their party.
Upon learning of Lois’s party being pushed out, Jackie jumped online, confirmed there was availability for the speed dating event that was planned for that same Saturday, and sent me an email with a link to the event’s site. The women were sold out but there were still openings for men.
Now I’ve never attended one of these events and I’m not sure what to expect. I was at Jackie’s desk and was talking about the event. Jean and another female co-worker overheard our conversation and joined in.
Jean suggested I check out some of the bar scenes for older folks. I told her, “I’m not into the bar scene.” Jackie was quick to the draw, “I didn’t know there were bars specifically for ancient people!” We laughed. Jean sent me a link to the website with the list of bars. I recognized one of them as it’s the same bar that one of my male co-worker’s alter ego played the day after Christmas, which I talked about in a separate post.
The female co-worker who overheard Jackie and my conversation mentioned she tried speed dating before and advised, “Go with an open mind and don’t have any expectations. Just have a good time.” She continued, “I went with a friend because I didn’t want to go it alone.”
I responded, “I don’t have a single guy or girl to go with me.” I pointed to Jackie and shook my head while saying, “I would take her, but she can’t because she’s married. Jackie quickly replied, “I would go just to talk you up!” What a great friend Jackie is.
Since I’m wingmen and wingwomen impaired, I’m flying solo to this event…
Per the email received after registering for the DateSwitch event, I’m to be at the event around 7:15 which was 15 minutes prior to its official start.
On Saturday, I started laying out my attire around 2pm. You’re probably asking, “Why are you planning so early?” First impressions are everything, right? Because I’m customarily overly early and want to be prepared for the unknown, I planned to be at the location at least 30 minutes before the registration time…which was about 6:45 that night.
I’m glad I planned to be that early as the location was downtown and I’m unfamiliar with the area. It took the additional 30 minutes to find parking and I arrived just in time to collect my name tag and purchase a glass of Pinot Noir.
The venue was at a bar called Hobos and was nestled among other bars and night clubs. I found parking three blocks away at one of those pay to park lots. The scene walking to the location was filled with a much younger crowd (20’s & 30’s) as well as vagrants begging for spare change.
The DateSwitch event was secluded to half of the bar where the tables were setup to seat a single couple. This provided a more intimate setting for conversations. Each table was numbered 1 through 25.
Upon checking in, I also received a pamphlet with the list of the women and their assigned tables. My name card also had a number which indicated the table I was to start at. My number was 18.
At the start of the event, the organizer provided a quick review of the rules and announced there would be an intermission after about the ninth switch. I thought the rules were simple and one wouldn’t get them confused. Basically the men would progress from 1 through 25. I’m starting at 18, so my cycle would be 18 through 25 then 1 through 17.
Simple right? I guess after a few rounds of drinks, it becomes harder to count…for some men.
After a few minutes delay, the switch event started. Of the 25 women on the list, only 20 showed. By the end of the event, there were 19 women remaining. I found a note on my last station that the lady left the event because she was too intoxicated to continue. I chuckled to myself, “Wow! She must have been overly nervous and shot back one too many drinks!”
It’s okay. This break provided me time to collect my thoughts of the 19 women I met and jotted some notes. I found three that I would like to pursue a possible second date. The catch was the women also would want to pursue me as well.
We were instructed to access the event website within 48 hours after the event ends and select the “Yes” option next to the person you want to have a second date with. If and when there’s a match, our email addresses would get exposed to each other.
The event ended around 10:30. I gathered my jacket and left Hobos bar…
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