I sipped my second green apple martini, which matched my cardigan and purse, and watched "Miss Cupid" at work, tagging numbers on all the men I would soon encounter.
"Welcome, HurryDaters!" Miss Cupid called. Yes, my single life has gone on too long and I can no longer call it an act of feminism. I was on the bottom floor of a popular downtown bar. In hope to find that special someone, I signed up for HurryDate, which according to their website I'm supposed to have a blast, meet mass quantities of single people, and do it all in a hurry. What could be easier than this?
The other participating women and I were instructed to sit at different tables opposite of a man. I expected a large turnout, but instead there were about seven available males, which I could easily scroll through and say no to each one. But I decided to be a good sport, have fun, and recall the $35.00 sign-up fee.
Sitting across from man number one, Miss Cupid reminded us that we would four minutes of conversation until she blew the whistle. Then, the men would get up and rotate. At the end of the night I would have seven dates, each four minutes long. To help keep track of my dates, I was given a scorecard. On it, I can circle yes or no next to their number and write any comments.
I looked at man number one. He wore a scarf and glasses. We introduced ourselves and he told me he did computer work for a private girls' school. He liked to play chess and bike ride. The only reason he was here was because the last HurryDate event he went to, few people were there. This was a freebie for him. He informed me that there may be a chance for another free HurryDate. The whistle blew and date number one was over. Not bad, I thought. There wasn't any awkward silence, but I circled "no" on my scorecard and smiled as man number two sat down across from me.
"I'm a soccer player," he said.
"You have an accent," I said.
"I'm Jamaican," he gave me a wink. "Can I tell you a secret?"
I nodded and he leaned closer to me.
"The lady upstairs at the bar said they needed another man for this. She said I could participate for free. My buddies are upstairs waiting for me. I am having fun though, talking with you and these women."
"Good for you, getting in free," I said. "I paid $35.00." The whistle blew and he was off to the next table. I circled "no" on my scorecard and under comments, I put "was only here because he go in free".
Men numbers three and four turned out to be brothers and the best looking men in the group. One was a lawyer and the other a firefighter. I thought if I put these two together, I would have the perfect man. But individually, they each lacked qualities I would want in a mate. I didn't circle no for them, but instead wrote under comments "find out if there is a third brother - he maybe the one".
As the four-minute dates continued, I found myself answering the same questions over and over. "What do you do?" - was always the first question. Then, it was followed by, "what do you like to do?". Then, "have you ever done this before?". It got annoying by the last guy. In general, the four minutes were good to get a feel of everyone. Yet, because it was only four minutes it was hard to determine if these people had a personality or not.
When the whistle blew for the last round, number seven in the blue shirt introduced himself. He informed that this was his first time doing anything like this. I thought he was definitely not like number six, who confessed to being obsessed with online dating. Number six said he would check his e-mail over 10 times a day, wondering if anyone corresponded to his online profile.
Number seven seemed shy, buy may have tired like myself from the six prior dates. I circled no, but wrote under comments "possible date for a friend". The whistle blew and my seven dates came to an end. Yet, it was only eight o'clock. Miss Cupid reminded us to visit the website and submit our scorecards to check our matches.
When she was done with her announcements, she wished us luck and we all departed upstairs to the bar. From there, some of us separated and worked the bar scene. Others continued to talk with fellow HurryDaters. Even though I didn't find my match that night, it was still an experience and I can write on my calendar that I went on seven dates this month - a new record.