LAST NIGHT I tried speed dating for the first time.  It will also be the last time.  Please allow me to explain why.

After a considerable break from dating, I decided that I wanted to get back in the game again.   Since I work in a female dominated industry and most of the school parents I associate with are firmly married, I thought I might try something different, so my recently single friend Beau and I signed up for speed dating.  From the outset we discussed the unlikelihood of meeting someone fabulous in this sort of scenario so our expectations were reasonable and at the very least, we thought we’d have a fun night out.  Turns out, even these expectations were too high!

We got frocked up Beau and I.  Beau’s a lovely girl, attractive and smart as well as being great company.  We were in high spirits as we left, our earrings sparkling, and our feet groaning in our impossibly high, going out heels.  I had visited my beauty therapist earlier in the day for a bit of detailing and Beau went with a spray tan.. you know, just to liven things up a bit.

We arrived at the venue and therein our concerns began.  The advertisement promised a fun night of drinks and canapés, with men well within our age group in a setting conducive to a good night out.  Apparently, whoever had written this ad was somewhat liberal with the description of the venue.  Walking in we wondered if we were in the right place.  Rather than a “sophisticated setting” we found ourselves in a dingy looking nightclub where it was literally impossible to find a section of carpet that didn’t have pieces of discarded chewing gum mashed into the floor.  The whole place had been decorated, and I use this term lightly, with black and orange streamers and that awful fake spider web stuff.  Presumably preparing for Halloween.  It looked like the sort of place a bunch of 19 year olds might end up when they want the night to continue but nothing else is open.  We sighed and stepped over the threshold.

Bouncing towards us came a girl who could not have been more than 18.  She was wearing the tightest jeans I’ve ever seen and a little crop top.  On her feet were white shoes with clear heels.  I’m actually not kidding.  She breathily announced that she was our hostess for the evening and that she’d mistakenly thought it was a Halloween dress up night, and she’d come as a “60’s flower child”.  Cue eye rolls from Beau and I.

We look around the room and it was immediately apparent that women outnumbered men.  Can I just say here that as someone who has been single for some years now, I have attended at a few outings which catered for “singles”.  At each of these outings I usually meet an attractive, intelligent, pleasant woman.  I’m bound to, because there are always a number of them.  The men are always in a lesser number, are lesser in height and almost non-existent in communication skills.

Last evening was no different.  Beau and I got chatting to a fantastic women who has been in the game for a while and seemed a seasoned player.  She described herself as a “serious dater” and had lots of great stories to tell.  Alas just as conversation was getting enjoyable we were whisked away to our tables.  The chaps were to go from table to table after 8 minutes of friendly chatting and the women sat waiting for each new fellow to sit opposite her.  Oh, and we had a score card to fill in.

One chap mentioned to me that he thought 8 minutes was barely enough time to enjoy a conversation with someone new whereas I was screaming “ding ding ding” in my head almost immediately he sat down.

Unfortunately, Flower Child sometimes let us go over the 8 minutes as she was struggling to juggle hosting the event and texting at the same time.

After meeting guy who told me I shouldn’t drink too much (I was drinking mineral water), guy who complained about his ex number 1, guy who complained about his ex number 2 and guy with some fairly significant breath issues (it’s not that hard you know, pop a mint for god’s sake) the bell rang for us to enjoy some food and mingle.

I feel like “canapés” was too strong a word for what was served up.  Around a dirty looking central table we were served oven warmed spring rolls, cold curly fries and what appeared to be chicken nuggets.   This is what you get for $60 a head.  Oh, I shouldn’t forget the free “champagne” (which I’m pretty sure was a $6 bottle of wine shoved through a Soda Stream).  Thankfully this flowed freely all night.  It had to, alcohol was the only way anyone was going to survive this nightmare.

It was at “half time” that we decided to take our leave.  We informed Flower Child that we’d had a phone call and we had to leave early.  FC looked stricken and enquired of Beau as to whether the venue had been up to par.  Beau, the coward, said that I’d be better placed to answer that question.

And so we bailed.  Away from the sticky tables, away from the men who were devoid of both height and social skills, away from Flower Child who clearly had no idea and unfortunately away from the $60 we each paid for the privilege!

Whilst I won’t try speed dating again, I am still going to get out there and meet people.  I like the company of men and you have to be in it to win it.. right?