“We almost gave your spot away!” I have to admit, there’s something very embarrassing about being late for a Rapid Datingevent. It makes you look slow off the starting line. Thankfully, Rapid Dating founder, Renee Piane didn’t give my spot away, “Now I know you’re a virgin,” she says. “Not since I visited that Asian massage parlor last year,” I correct her.
“I’m talking about Rapid Dating,” she rolls her eyes, “This is how it works.” Renee hands me a blank scorecard, where I will write women’s names, and circle “yes” if I want to meet up with them after the event.
Renee instructs the guys (about 15 of us) to sit on the couches, while the women (equal number to the guys) will visit a different guy every five minutes. We’re told a bell will then ring and the women will move onto the next guy.
My first rapid dater tells me that she manages four Super Cuts salons. I tell her about the dark period of my life when I was trying to save money by cutting my own hair (unsuccessfully) to save a buck, but she just glares at my feeble attempt at humor. “We can tell when people try that,” she warns me sternly. Like a beat up prize fighter, I silently pray for the bell to ring.
The next rapid dater, Cynthia, is an attractive, bubbly gal who seems to find me funny, and touches my wrist quite a bit, which I believe in “body language” talk means “Yeah, baby!” That five minute date goes by way too fast. And that’s the amazing thing about Rapid Dating, time truly warps depending on who you’re talking too. Five minutes can feel like five years with the wrong person, or five seconds with someone you click with.
One of the speed daters spends her five minutes with me pointing out the “weird guys” that she has met so far. “See, the guy with the greasy hair, he asked me for my phone number after about a minute.” I empathize, “Greasy Hair Guy sounds a bit too rapid for rapid dating.”
That leads to the most asked question about these events: “Are the people who go to these things very attractive?” Well, I can honestly say I was probably the most handsome guy there; which should scare every woman who has ever considered going to one of these events.
Next up is Megan, who is attractive, in a Courtney Love sort of way. Drink in hand, she seems a little toasted, but not totally bombed. After I tell her that I’m a journalist, she quickly confesses her addiction to US magazine. She then taps my hand flirtatiously as and tells me about some embarrassing pictures of Tara Reid in the new US.
The Rapid Dating ends after all the girls have met all the guys, and we all hand in our paperwork. If the girls picked a guy (on paper) who also picked them (on paper), then Renee will hook us up via e-mail. I’m not really interested in dating anyone here, but don’t want to come across as a snob. So I mark a “yes” next to Megan and Cynthia.
A few days later, Renee e-mails me to break the news: “no matches.” At least the rejection was speedy! She then encourages me to sign up for another Speed Dating night. “It’s a numbers game,” she chirps in the e-mail.
Judging by the financial success of Rapid Dating, I suspect that’s true. But I think, for now, I’ll stick to bombing out with women for free at the local library.