The diary of a speed dater
Previously in our speed dater's diary… (editors note) Harry arrives at the event and heads for the bar to join the other guys who pass on their experiences of speed dating. He then approaches his first date.
My first conversation didn‘t start well as the girl wasn’t at the table when I sat down. Eventually she appeared, and her first reaction was to look at her watch and ask with obvious disappointment ‘are the three minutes not up yet?’ This was quite off-putting, but I was reassured to learn that she was only there to keep her friend company.
The next conversation was completely different. This girl gushed enthusiastically about how speed-dating was a zeitgeist and would be a defining characteristic for future generations (speed-date offspring?!) looking back at this period of history. Her parents had met through a newspaper lonely-hearts column and this was simply the 21st century equivalent.
第二次交谈的情况完全不同。 第二个女孩非常热情地向我宣传速配是当下的潮流，是时代的精神。当我们的子孙后代(速配后代？！) 回顾历史时，速配将是我们这个时代的决定性特征。她的父母是通过报纸上的“牵手”专栏走到一起的，而这次活动只不过是21世纪的“牵手”而已。
Adapting my story
Every conversation was different but some patterns began to emerge. Firstly, there was an inordinate number of teachers. Having been a teacher myself, I had already vowed not to get involved with one. Furthermore, very few had interests outside work. This helped me to stand out as I play in a band (although another guy a few places ahead of me was using the same line, which undermined me somewhat).
I began to adapt my own story depending on how attracted I was to each person. Thus, for some I was a globe-trotting cultural diplomat and musician; to others I was a civil servant who liked music.
A different approach
The whole thing felt rather one-sided, as the girls sat in the same place while the boys moved from one to the next trying to impress them like court jesters who would be beheaded if we failed to entertain the queen. This was not my idea of equality so I tried a new tactic and started opening conversations with ‘what would you like me to remember about you?’, which forced them to try and impress me.
The girls' tactics
I witnessed a variety of approaches. One girl wanted to arm-wrestle. Another managed to make you feel like a fly that had just landed in a spider’s web. Another girl drank too much wine and was getting overly affectionate with her suitors (I noticed her leave later with a guy who wasn‘t even participating in the event).
Next month, our speed dater looks back on the event and the matchmaking begins…