I always thought that speed dating was something you did with the colorful girls on Sunset Boulevard. Turns out there’s another, more organized system right here in town: No Waiting Dating, ‘upscale speed dating with class and style.’
I know, it sounds like a crock of Fiber One, but owner Karalee Austin runs the show like a Southern belle, classy-smashy all the way down to champagne by the spitting lions.
Dress was upscale, but I think that men should be left to their own devices. That way, women can see what they’re getting.
‘Hmm. Sandals with tube socks NEXT!’
As it stands, women begin each date with a standard security question: ‘Did anyone help you get dressed for tonight’s event?’
I went on Single Parents Night at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza. I myself am not technically a parent, but No Waiting Dating made room.
Some of the women were familiar with my work and wanted to know me on a first-name basis. That is, they refused to give their last names. So it goes.
Dating was way easier in grade school when, if you liked a girl, all you had to do was stick gum in her hair.
That’s Karalee’s bell. When she rings, you move, midsentence if necessary. You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Karalee’s bell.
Cynthia was my first date. She thought that I was gay.
‘No,’ I said. ‘It’s not a purse; it’s a messenger bag. I bought it in a men’s store.’
Cynthia made a note on her sheet. My first demerit.
If dating is like a job interview, then speed dating is a job fair. You get five minutes to explain your résumé.
‘Yes, I was with Tanya from May to August. Why did we break up? I’m afraid she was downsizing. Since then I’ve mainly been temping.’
Next came Sarah, who might have misunderstood the concept of ‘speed dating’ and showed up high on speed. I didn’t understand everything Sarah said, but she seemed to be working on product placement.
‘I work out at the gym, and these 28-year-olds think they’re ready for me while they’re still driving Saturns.’
If you want the full experience, you’ll have to omit the spaces between her words.
Enter Sharon with her sexy Siren laugh. Alas, Sharon and her son ‘come as a package,’ and Sharon felt that I, childless freak, could not relate. She wasn’t after Mr. Right but Mr. Brady.
So the lovely Ms. Sharon and I argued pens versus pencils, and would you believe that she promotes the latter? To me — a professional! She asked to borrow my pen ‘just to see,’ and I told her not on the first date.
So, yes, lots of women, little fireworks. But then what could you expect after speed dating? Fast-food dinner? A lifetime of quickies?
‘You knew I was in a hurry from the beginning!’
Paula sat down in a cloud of sandalwood. She had tried eHarmony.com and Match.com, but speed dating allows her to ‘see if a man is psycho.’
I rebutted with the example of Ted Bundy, a charming and articulate serial killer.
‘For all we know,’ I said, ‘you could be a serial killer. I would be surprised, but only for one horrifying second.’
Paula’s daughter was herself a surprise. Neither Paula nor the daddy thought that they could have children until one crazy night in Las Vegas. The moral: Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
All these callers made me feel like Puff Daddy or Donald Trump or that guy who sings ‘Mambo No. 5′: ‘a little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side. ‘
Then, on my 10th and final date, She walked in: Andrea. Shiver me timbers. Andrea had the posture of a gymnast and wispy, professional-woman hair. She extended a manicured hand and introduced herself as Special Agent No. 10. She had a sense of humor!
Karalee peeked over to make sure that both feet were on the ground.
Andrea wore glasses, but only to ward off men who can’t spell savoir fare savoire fair er, savwah.
‘You’d be surprised at the overall intelligence level,’ she said.
At the end of our meeting, Andrea pointed to my chart and said, ‘You’ll check me on your sheet.’ A statement, not a question.
When you’re young, you know what you’re after. Your mate needs to be skinny, rich, Capricorn. As you get older, standards start to sag. Your partner doesn’t have to be rich so much as employed, skinny so much as upright. Finally, all you notice is the ring finger.
Funny how rings tell the world where we stand: A ring on your finger means that you’re married; rings beneath your eyes mean that you have children.
I decided to ask Andrea on a date before she got to know me better. She agreed and said that we’d go Dutch. I assume that means she’ll wear a pointy hat and I my wooden clogs. I just hope that she can get the gum out of her hair.
by Jason Love, Ventura County Star