Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Line for Love ... Sort Of

Apologies for this being two days late. Still, it's better than being a week late.

So, my school is a funny little quirk of nature. For example, this past week was homecoming (even though we don't have a football team). Not only was it homecoming, but we had events and dress-up days every day that week. I was only able to attend the Tuesday night event, but oh boy, was it an adventure.

See, for my faithful readers, you've probably picked up that we spend a lot of time with our books and a lot less time with the opposite sex, that we can define justice and beauty and truth, but not what a date is, and that we most definitely do not eat at Pei Wei. While most people see and acknowledge this routine, our events coordinator decided to fix this mild problem unconventionally. We were holding a speed dating night.

Speed dating quickly became this big thing - were you going? Secretly, I think we all thought it was the funniest, most brilliant thing in the world. Outwardly though, it still sounded pretty desperate to be 19 and speed dating. So we talked about it, rounded up some buddies to come with us, made sure we were not early or on time for speed dating (because that would have really been desperate), and arrived at the student lounge and made our nametags and stood in a big glob of a line to get milkshakes.

Like most other colleges in the US, my school has more girls than boys. While this wasn't the whole school showing up, we were all wondering exactly what the male/female ratio would shake out to be. It could have been worse, but there were definitely a lot more girls than boys. The chairs were arranged in about five long double rows, with girls on one side of chairs and boys on the other, facing the middle. Girls would rotate seats, boys would sit. Once girls got to the end of the line, they'd wait in line to join a new group of guys. The hosts would ask a hypothetical question (from desired superhero powers to most attractive thing about the person sitting across from you), and you'd discuss. It was probably one of the most awkward possible combinations - all the guys I go to school with, the concept of speed dating, the lack of guys I go to school with, milkshakes, and empty seats where boys were supposed to be.

I was one of the lucky ones in that I got to start out sitting down, with a guy across from the girl next to me who included me in the conversation. For the second guy, the hosts asked "what would you do if the person across from you told them he/she loved you?" The other guy said he'd said he loved me back. Only later did I realize that was really a high stakes answer. After a third guy, I was out of the rotation.

I spent a long time standing in line, chatting with my girlfriends. Then I was back in the mix, learning about embarrassing childhood stories, what kitchen appliances people would be, favorite Disney characters, the whole thing. I then bailed, needing to work on a paper - and I felt bad for all the guys dutifully talking to all the girls so they wouldn't feel deserted.

Still though - I WAITED IN LINE TO SPEED DATE. I voluntarily stood in a line to talk to boys for a minute at a time. I don't know if you've ever done that, but it looks terrible on paper and feels weird in real life. It's like buying a personal ad - it's a very public and costly way to scream "I'm available." It was also a really good lesson in supply and demand - there was a shortage of guys, a surplus of girls, and equilibrium nowhere in sight. It was fun and silly, but I think I might have to paraphrase the facebook event page and say that after this, I'm "kissing speed dating goodbye."

(Along with events, we had dress up days. Speed dating fell on monochrome day. See below.)
I speed dated in:
Barbie pink a-line pleated skirt, barbie pink collared wrap top, barbie pink cotton trench coat, barbie pink satin ribbon headband, barbie pink hoop earrings, pink patterned ribbon watch, pink rose pinkie ring, and hot pink satin slingbacks with hemp wedges.