Root Canal, anyone?

I mentioned a while ago I was going to try another round of speed dating. This week I did. I wasn’t all that thrilled at the idea before the big event, but I told myself: Hey, you gotta stay in the game…and you paid $30, so don’t be a baby.

The event went fine, and I even enjoyed talking to one of the participants (a man!) beforehand. It was definitely a speedy kind of night because there were only 6 guys and 7 women who showed up; I was out of there in 40 minutes flat. My observation is that as people get older, they get scared of trying new things, especially when it comes to dating. It’s not unlike a child who goes from being the two-year-old running into the ocean with open arms to a five-year-old who is terrified to jump in the pool. Twenty-somethings are primed for speed dating; there’s always a good turnout for that age group. I’m sure it’s because generally they have more free time and fewer commitments (like kids, for example) or because they’re still in the mode from college. Maybe it’s because they haven’t had time to get burned in past relationships.

An older age group? They’re another story. (And by older I mean late 30’s and 40’s). With a few exceptions (like me), you could have looked around at my speed dating crowd group before we started and sworn we were about to attempt root canals on each other. Once it got going, though, even the newbies looked like they were having a good time. I was/am only interested in one guy for a real follow-up date, so we’ll see if that happens. It’s not that the others were horrible. I really enjoy meeting and talking to people, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I want to date them…no matter what anyone says about divorced women.

As a point of reference, here are the highlights of the 2 other speed dating events I attended a few years ago.

At the first event I matched with 2 guys. I went out with each of them. The first guy ate food off my plate on our first date, and then proceeded to tell me he shared a duplex with his mother. (She lived in the upstairs half.) Because my mother plead with me, “Go out again! It’s not like they live together. His mother has a separate entrance!” I went out with him again. On our second date, I found out he and his mother went grocery shopping together, she cooked him breakfast on a regular basis, and they bought the duplex together…NOT because she had a broken hip or medical condition – believe me, I asked! They apparently just wanted to live together as adults. Sorry, Mom, but no thanks.

I went out with the second guy on two dates as well. By the second date, I figured we were more compatible as friends…especially after he told me he was planning to spend the upcoming Easter weekend meeting and praying with monks at a local monastery. (Maybe he ended up praying for me?) It just wasn’t quite a match made in heaven, so to speak.

During my second speed dating experience they combined age groups because they didn’t have enough participants in the older crowd – my crowd, the 29-36 set. So I got to spend the evening talking to a lot of twenty-somethings. Let’s just say I gave out a lot of career advice that night, feeling more like a guidance counselor or RA than someone’s object of lust. I remember one guy who looked like he was 17. He complained about his sister taking too much time getting ready in the bathroom because he lived at home with her…and his mother.

Sigh. Root canals look better and better.

Note the upside is that I was able to craft the opening chapter of my book based on my speed dating experiences!

On a related note, I found this site: Weird Dating Mail. I didn’t save many of my online dating emails, but these samples will give you a good laugh. Or weird you out. Or make you glad you’re not dating.

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6 thoughts on “Root Canal, anyone?

  1. Hey Susan, this is hilarious–a great view into a world I’m not currently in. First of all, speed dating for 20 somethings is akin to the simple act of breathing. They walk out hte door and have three dates by the time they reach work. Second, that guy living with his mother–that’s hilarious. HILARIOUS. I kind of wish you dated him just to report on his life and the real comings and goings. I mean, can you imagine? Thanks for sharing this part of your life…we’re laughing with you, I swear.

  2. I’m back and thinking you should date that guy and then blog about it…it could be your next book. The anatomy of a very bad date…and then another and another….

  3. Believe me, Kathie. I have gotten a lot of good material out of dating. but I’m not sure I’d have survived past the first breakfast with mom. His mom.

  4. Mamacita says:

    OK: here’s a story. A few years ago, my current boyfriend was set up by his boss. Turns out she was still living with Dad (35) and went to Mass every morning. She cooked for Dad and fed him (in his Barcalounger no doubt) and they went on vacation together once a year. Ah, that would have been heaven for him, right? Dad and he in their Baraloungers, watching the game, dropping her off at church each a.m…vacationing with Dad…We still joke about it.

  5. Mamacita, I see adult co-dependent dysfunction is not limited to the mother-son relationship! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. Your boyfriend’s former date probably went to church every day to pray for the end of time. By the way, thanks for sharing your wonderfully weird dating mail!

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