Monday, February 16, 2009

Speed Hating

I went Speed Hating Saturday night and I think it's safe to say that this year was the best Valentine’s Day I have ever, ever had. My good friend Kay Marie invited me to the event, seeing as how I’m the only single friend she’s got left. So, last night I tore myself away from MTV’s True Life marathon, pried myself off the couch and got ready.

At around 7pm, I arrived to a lonely Kay Marie, sitting in an almost empty bar. Once I took my coat off and ordered two $.25 draft beers from the special, people started to filter in. The bartender/bar back was cute and I spotted one or two fairly decent looking guys in the crowd. However, I noticed that everyone that looked at me had a face of disappointment. So, I drank more. We filled out our nametags, headed towards the back of the bar and found seats. We decided to sit in seats that faced each other, but were at separate tables. My friend Julia arrived minutes before the event began, and had just enough time to fill out a nametag and steal a seat behind me.

And, so it began.

I don’t remember the first person I sat with. He was short. I drank a lot while I was sitting with him and he walked away pretty disgusted. I only remember his shortness. I intentionally didn’t take notes about him.

Next was Chandler Quintin. I know this because he wrote his full name for me, and signed it with a heart. He’s 21, from Boston and he has an adorable baby face. He tried to tell me that he was on MTV, he even gave me a link: – Red Team! I haven’t verified that it’s real. I added him on Facebook though!

Then there was Steve. He’s 24, from New Jersey. He’s a history teacher for the criminally insane. We exchanged numbers after Speed Hating. He gave me this myspace link, but it took me to a black woman’s page. I don’t think it’s him.

Steve and I shared numerous high fives and laughed a lot, mostly at other people. We were supposed to meet up at another bar last night, but he got high and couldn’t make it.

I think I sat with Matt next. He’s 25 and was wearing a striped shirt. He had a pretty crazy scar on his neck, so I asked him about it. He explained that he had thought up 2 fake stories to tell everyone. One story blamed the scar on a shark attack, the other explained that is was the result of a drug deal gone bad. What really happened though, was that he was in a motorcycle accident. "It pays the bills though." He also sold the bike, which is a good thing because I think those bikes are gay.

I found out today that his last name is Hamilton. We’re now Facebook friends.

Then Gary sat with me. Gary was so old; he could have been my Father. When I explained that my Dad was turning 57 this month, Gary agreed that he really was old enough to be my Dad. He’s originally from Germantown, I think, but now lives in Bucks County… with his parents. He works at a college, doing Tech Support, "You know, changing light bulbs and stuff." It seemed like I was sitting with Gary for an eternity, but when Julia told me that he sat with her for 2 rounds, I didn’t have much to complain about.

Then there was Ryan. He’s 27 and just moved back to Pennsylvania from Baltimore because his sister had a baby. We spent most of our 3-minute date making fun of Gary. He was really sweet. I don’t remember what he looks like.

Mike came to sit with me next. He is 22 and from Sydney, Australia. I picked up on his accent right away. He was impressed that I knew where he was from, since he had only spoke a few words. He’s traveling, though I don’t remember where he’s been. I do know that he leaves for New York soon. He gave me his e-mail address. Now you have it too.

He won the prize at the end of the night, along with Kay Marie. It was a $25 gift card to the bar that was hosting the event.

Mike was after Mike. Sigh. He’s 23. He was anti-Valentine’s Day, but aren’t we all? He explained how excited he was that someone thought to have a singles event on this awful 'holiday'. I realized he was right. He asked me what I hated about dating and I explained that I hate it because you never know what’s going to happen. I told him about the date I basically took myself on. I ended up paying for my half of everything we did, and the guy fell asleep at the movie he chose for us to see. I liked Mike. I don’t remember what he looks like either.

Sleazy Mark, 23 from New York joined me next. He moved down here and now works either in the Comcast Center or for Comcast. I can’t remember which one he said. He did tell me that he could get me a deal on my Comcast bill. Each speed date was supposed to last 3 minutes. My date with Sleazy Mark felt like it lasted 30 seconds. I’m not complaining.

Corey sat with me after Sleazy Mark. He was wearing a nametag that read Crystal. I ripped it off and kept it, see?

He’s 22 and from New York. He was one of the cute ones I spotted at the beginning of the night. I told him that too. I don’t even think he was sitting with me for a whole minute before 'Turquoise' came and took Corey away from me. I think it was his girlfriend.

Then came Tristan who is 22, from Wisconsin.
Then there was Erik who is 26 and from Radnor.

Next to sit with me was Gina. I have no idea how old Gina is. She was wearing a Christmas sweater. After complimenting her on it, she took off her shoes to show off her socks. I have written for her that she works for the bar where the event was taking place. I was also suspicious that she’s a possible lesbian, but I liked her. I hit her eye with the side of my glasses when she came to my side of the table to take a picture with me.

She gave me a heart candy that said 'Sunshine' and wrote 'VAGINA' on a blank heart. Towards the end of the night, she changed her sweater. I’d really like to see the pictures she took of us.

I sat with two other dudes, but I don’t remember their names. They live together near 7th and Locust, maybe? They took pictures with me too. I also met Anna Belle, who was wearing a tie and sitting at a table alone. I don’t remember if I sat with anyone else, because these index cards were all I found in my clutch.

Once the Speed Hating was over, the music got louder and everyone started to mingle. I gave a lot of high fives, used gross bathrooms, drank even more and regrettably ate heart candies. Each time I ate one, it tasted disgusting and I spit it out.

After 9 beers, I asked Leia, one of the waitresses who happened to be Kay’s friend, if she would ask the cute bartender/bar back to come talk to me. A few minutes later and he was standing behind me, talking to the DJ. I remember hugging him, handing him a piece of paper with my number on it and hugging him again. I think his name was Michael. It’d be nice if he called.

My advice is, if there’s ever a Speed Dating event with cheap drinks, go!

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