Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ready, Set, Date!

Last night a friend and I went to a “speed dating” event, the round-robin singles forum in which you meet eight different guys and spend eight minutes with each one. We’d registered for one for Jewish singles between 40 and 50 through 8minuteDating, which touts their events as “Eight Great Dates – One Fun Night!”

Well, not exactly…

For starters, although events are held only if a minimum of eight men and eight women register, at last night’s event, which had the minimum number of registrants, only five men and six women actually showed up. So, each woman had to sit out a round and, instead of meeting a total of eight men, we met only five. Likewise, each man met only six women, not the eight promised. It’s hard to believe that in this great city of more than eight million people, only 11 Jewish ones between 40 and 50 are interested in meeting other 40-something Jews of the opposite sex. Go figure…

With the ring of a bell, the first round starts and Guy #1 sits down across from me. He’s not bad looking and pleasant enough. He’s a corrections officer and we chat about various things. He’s originally from Long Island, has a sister who lives in Livingston and knows of the Eldridge Street Synagogue restoration from what he’s read in the press. When our eight minutes are up, the bell rings and he moves on. I, as instructed, jot down a few notes on my 8minuteDating “dance card.”

When round #2 starts, I’m the “Old Maid” and so the young woman who’s the event organizer comes and sits with me. We chat and those eight minutes fly by.

Round #3: Guy #2 sits down across from me. He’s French, speaks with a fairly heavy accent and seems otherwise non-descript. Frenchie’s an IT professional and proceeds to tell me all about anti-Semitism in France, but nothing much about himself. Eight minutes elapse and he’s gone. I fill in some details on my dance card.

Guy #3 introduces himself with a slimy handshake. Unfortunately, his personality matches and our eight minutes feel like 80. During that eternity, I learn that he’s a civil servant in human resources in Westchester, and likes to travel and work out. Thankfully, the eight minutes end and he moves on. Next to his name on my dance card, I write one word: slimy.

Then it’s my turn with Guy #4, who’s pushing 60 if he’s a day. He tells me he’s in commercial real estate, but before my eyes can glaze over, he (thankfully) picks up on the fact that I work for a Jewish organization. He asks me if I’ve ever heard of Central Synagogue. When I respond in the affirmative, he proceeds to tell me that he’s not religious and doesn’t keep kosher but when he attended an event there once, they had butter on the table when chicken was served. He thought that was totally disrespectful. We spend the balance of our time together discussing kosher style catering. Thank you, Biennial!

Finally, Guy #5... He’s cute and seems nice. Turns out that like me, he’s older than he looks and we marvel at our good fortune. Another civil servant, he works for the Social Security Administration and enjoys his role as a medical investigator. The conversation is easy and our eight minutes pass quickly.

With the last ring of the bell, the event is over and we all scurry home to sign in at 8minuteDating and indicate which of these people we want to see again. If a match is mutual, the company emails contact information to the “winners.”

Alas, I didn’t win any guys in this endeavor. The booby prize? A $5 coupon off my next 8minueDating event. Yeah, right…