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Speed Dating

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So here's a question I never thought I'd post on a roller coaster enthusiast message board....


As those who have read my other posts on the "Random" board may know, I'm president of my local Jaycees chapter this year. For those who don't know what Jaycees is, it's more or less a community service/social organization. Think Rotary, Lions Club, etc., only with a younger slant (ages 21-40). Ever since gas hit $4 a gallon, membership has been abysmal. We began 2006 with 99 members. We now have about 40, and we're still dropping.


In an effort to try to get our name out to the demographic we're trying to reach, my board of directors and I have been discussing various membership recruitment event possibilities. The one we keep coming back to is a speed dating night. We've proposed an event in September, but since none of us have ever attended a speed dating session before, we're kind of iffy on the rules.


Flash forward to this evening when, lo and behold, an e-mail appears in my inbox from a national dating service, advertising a local speed dating event in August. Figuring a.) at least one of us should attend a real speed dating event before ours is scheduled to make sure we're doing it right, b.) I've got nothing better to do on a Tuesday night, and c.) I currently have absolutely no prospects whatsoever on the horizon with regard to the opposite gender (ladies on the Behemoth/Ravine Flyer trip, take note!), I signed up.


So now the question is, what have I gotten myself into? Has anyone on here ever been to one of these things before? I've been on some really, really, tremendously bad dates before (mostly through online dating; it's the subject of my next book, in fact), so hopefully this won't be too bad. But the whole process will be new this time around.


I live in a fairly rural area (when I was a kid we had to drive an hour for groceries; now I live in the town where that grocery store is), so I really have no idea what to expect as far as turnout, especially since this is a ticketed event ($35 per person). Then again, I've always said the average lifespan of a single woman is approximately four minutes, and these "dates" are only six minutes each, so I guess that works out pretty well mathematically.


I fully expect everyone else there to have at least three kids (around here if you don't have your first kid by the time you're 18, you're considered an old maid). I'm also a little uneasy because I just had a birthday last week, pushing me ever so slightly over the edge into the 27-39-year-old event instead of the 21-29-year-old event I would rather have attended. I'm really hoping I'm not stuck in a room with a dozen or more 39.9999-year-olds who have completely given up on love and instead are just praying they might find a baby daddy.


I'm not entirely sure how many real, live relationships have ever actually begun with speed dating in the first place. But meeting people around here is absolutely brutal (the population is predominately a mixture of college students and retirees, and the big "hangout" is Wal-Mart--we have two, in fact), so hopefully this will at least open a door or two in that respect.


At any rate, any feedback, suggestions or humorous observations anyone may have on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

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Go and have fun. It's not like any of the women are in your house or anything, so if they're annoying, you won't have to deal with them again. I think this is just as valid a way to meet someone as any other way. Plus you might get some amusing stories out of it, which is always a bonus.


Never tried speed dating myself, but have done a lot of online dating, which I had a lot of good luck with. Good luck!



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Anything with David Caruso ends badly. And for that matter, starts badly as well.


As for your dilemma, heck, I honestly have no idea. To me, speed dating doesn't really sound any different than having random quick conversations with strangers anywhere else in everyday life. Good luck with the recruitment.

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My experiences with online dating haven't been particularly stellar, unlike Dave's. Good luck with the speed-dating thing. I'll be curious to hear what you think about it.

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