Friday, August 28, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My first experience with Speed Dating was an eye opener. It was 12 five minute dates in a coffee shop in Downtown Toronto with a group of very professional looking gorgeous people. I just didn’t fit in somehow. The top I had chosen to wear was a little too tight, and it made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t figure out until about the 3rd or 4th date that I was talking too much, and not listening to what the guys had to tell me. I know I was not making much of an impression on anyone.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of speed dating, the way it works is like this. You sit and talk with a man for about 5 minutes, then a whistle/bell/gong sounds, and it’s time for the men to move to the next table. You have all of 15 seconds to jot down on your score card if you felt a connection with the previous guy. If he also felt a connection he records that too, and at the end of the evening you hand in your cards, and the following day or two you get an email with the names and email addresses of the people who mutually connected.
So the next time I tried it, about a year later, I went with a sure-fire plan to get lots of connections.
I went off to the local florist and bought a bunch of carnations and a roll of florist tape. At home I cut off all the flowering buds, stood them in water, and then wrapped the ends in floral tape. I made sure I had enough button holes for all the dates I would have. This time the venue was a bar. I bought myself a drink and sat down and waited for the event to begin.
Each man that sat at my table was surprised at receiving a flower. I knew this time I had made an impression, and wouldn’t easily be forgotten. All the men I had recorded on my card also recorded me on theirs. So of the 15 potential dates, I chose and got 12 emails addresses.
More recently I got an invitation to do a Speed Dating event with FastLIfe.ca at no cost, but the catch this time was that it was being filmed for an upcoming reality TV show. The theme of the dates was, “Toy Boy”. Basically the women were older and the men were between 25 and 35. When I joined this group I had lowered my age by 5 years, because all the invitations I was getting was for really old men! I said I was 48.
I arrived at the event where there were men and woman standing around while the crew got things organized. I chatted to a few people at the bar, and already had an idea of who I was interested in.
We were told that we would be interviewed and asked why we were interested in dating younger/older people. When it came to my turn, they asked my age and told them my real age without thinking! Fortunately they didn’t kick me out.
The dates began and one of two cameras was close to me with the boom just above my head. I chatted, listened, laughed and had a fun time, but realized pretty quickly that there really wasn’t much there that I was interested in.
After about the 6th date I had to comment to the camera guy. He had spent a lot of time filming me and my dates. So I asked him if there were any other interesting people around. He ignored me! When the following date sat at my table the camera was again in my face.
“Really guys?” I asked?
They took the hint and moved to another couple. As it turned out the guy at the table was the most interesting and attractive. He said that in fact he had lied about his age and was older. So we had something in common. Our short conversation ended up being quite risqué. I recorded him as a yes, and waited for the next date. The camera guy came back, and I toyed with him saying that he missed the best date yet!
The next day I received my email address and after contacting him, he seemed to have lost interest.
Look out for the show, Love Inc., it airs sometime in 2010 on Slice
Monday, August 24, 2009
The first was for women only. It was to inform women what attracted men to the opposite sex. Although there was no professional guest giving solidly researched information, the host did her best having done her own research, and used her own experiences.
All of the women there were divorced women. I was the only one who had never been married. That is not to say that I haven't experienced relationships and the ending of them. As the evening went on I got the impression that many of the women were bitter and blamed all men for the faults of their last bad relationship. I tried a number of times to spin the conversation into a more positive light, but was shot down, because I had "never been divorced."
The end of the evening couldn't come fast enough for me. Hanging out with a bunch of women who enjoyed bashing men, (who were not there to defend themselves) was not my idea of a great evening.
The second event was a barbecue, with over 100 people. I arrived fairly early and after paying the fee of $15, I walked into the yard only to see a receiving line of people lined up against the right angles of the fence.
Immediately I wanted to jump in the middle and shout, "I'm here now, the party can begin!" But being my first time I held back. It reminded me of the school dances where the boys stood together and the girls hugged the walls, neither one looking at the other. So I started at the beginning of the line and introduced myself to each and everyone.
We all had name tags on, so the dialogue went, "Hi George, I'm Mary. Nice to meet you." Then I went on to the next person and continued until I got to the last person. After introducing myself I asked him to come to the middle of the yard and talk to me. Then it seemed that people relaxed a bit and moved around a little.
These were older people 40+ I think, which makes me wonder what they are shy about. Surely we get bolder as we age, or is that just me? I don't care much what people think, if you don't like me, that's your problem.
Anyway it turned out that there were way too many people in that tiny yard, which made it difficult to walk around and meet everyone. Some people were complaining about there being no booze, others wondered where the music was. The host purposely excludes both to encourage socializing.
I was given a ride home by another guest who promptly asked for my number. Why, oh why do I always get that guilt feeling? Why is No so hard for me to say? My mind told me that since he gave me a ride all the way home, I should at least accept a cup of coffee from him some time in the future. Why? He was not attractive or interesting. There was neither spark nor fizzle. I need to make the word No much more accessible in my vocabulary.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Before internet dating there were introductory services. I’d get about 2-4 names and phone numbers with a profile in the mail each week. We’d phone and talk to see if we had anything in common, to see if there were any sparks, to see if we should meet. Sometimes it was just one short phone call, sometimes many long ones. I was tricked on many occasions when my mind would draw a picture to match the voice, only to be disappointed when we met.
Many of my dates were unbelievable. Many were boring. Few were interesting.
One date I had was with a very nervous man. He picked me up at my building, and that was when I noticed the tic. Also he was about the same height as me. I’m short, really short.
He didn’t have a car, so I thought we’d take a cab. However he wanted to take the local transit. That was okay. We went to the revolving restaurant at the top of the Manulife Building.
He talked about himself all night, not asking about me.
He continued the tic throughout the date. I was afraid that I might end up subconsciously imitating the tic too.
He didn’t order a drink, or anything to eat, and I was afraid that he was going to stick me with the bill. Sure enough when the check came, he just left it on the table. After some time I got up to use the washroom, and slid the check towards him and asked him to pay while I was in the ladies room. When I returned he asked me if I could pay the tip!
While in the elevator in front of others, he suggested that I’d be okay to see myself home.
I was amazed the next day when he called and asked for another date.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I have experienced love or what could be considered love probably 6 times in my life.
My first love, Kevin was when I was 15. He was at the same boarding school as me, and he was a year younger. We shared so much in that last year at school. It was a sweet and simple love. But it ended once I left and went on to work, and he continued his education.
The second was a blind date. But now I think about it, it was lust more likely. Larry was a musician playing trombone with the Woody Herman Orchestra. We made each other very happy. Even though he went to England on tour and asked my parents for permission to marry me, it wasn’t meant to be. His was a life I couldn’t keep up with, and so I decided to leave.
The third was my son’s father, who still refuses to think of my son as his. Stanley was also a musician who played trumpet for the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. We had a passionate fling, he being 17 years older; I am convinced that was infatuation, not love. When I got pregnant, he wanted nothing to do with me. I thought that if I didn’t push, he’d come around. My son doesn’t know his father.
The fourth was a man that I met through an introductory service, (pre internet dating). Looking at Ron I thought we had nothing in common, but I felt at ease talking to him. After 2 years I ended the relationship, realizing that it never really was love. I was happy to have someone accept me as a woman with a child.
The fifth was not really love, but it sure was fun. I hung out with a neighbour who was in the entertainment business. We hit it off, but he had a girlfriend who was overseas. He was looking for someone, as was I, to go out with and have a bit of fun. That’s what we did, until he married his girlfriend.
And finally the real true love of my life. George. Again a blind date, and again I thought we had nothing in common, but he was the sweetest, loving man I’ve ever met. In fact the relationship was so great, that we questioned why things were so perfect. We made the decision to go with it full tilt, and enjoy the ride. It ended three years after we met. He died suddenly, and I missed him incredibly.
In the mean time I have had my share of dates and short relationships that were fun initially, but fizzled out when the excitement vanished.
I am open again to find the man who will enhance my life. And I do have a lot to offer.