Fast Dating, Ventura County-Style

When I signed my friend Dana and me up for a
Ventura speed-dating
, I really didn’t have any grand expectations, except for
maybe getting a few drinks and a cheap laugh. The drinks theory
held up as we were set to meet at a cozy downtown wine bar, but to
my surprise the majority of the people were friendly, not half-bad
looking, and didn’t seem at all desperate.


The last observation came as a bit of a shock as I’ve always
considered speed-dating an absolute last resort in
the hunt for single, dateable men. My initial thought was this: If
you are successful, even remotely attractive, and have semi-normal
social skills allowing you to talk to others without stuttering
like the
40-Year-Old Virgin
, why on earth would you pay to meet eligible
men? I can only guess that I’m not the only one finding this dating
thing a bit challenging, and sometimes you have to pay to

Judging by the looks of things, people were there to have a good
time foremost and possibly hook up with some cutie second. Everyone
seemed relaxed and confident, and I only noticed a few who were
scanning the room, and actively pitching from the get-go.
Unfortunately, any attempts to snag numbers before the event began
were fruitless. The organizers were adamant about how we could —
under no circumstance — give out our numbers or
set up dates on our own. (Gosh darn it, and I had hoped to snatch
up the best ones before the event even started!)

We were each given a name tag and a number and the girls
remained seated at a table, while the guys rotated whenever the
bell rang. Six minutes was
all you had to assess if you would be interested in dating and/or
be friends with someone. As it turns out, six minutes can be a
really long time.

Even though the age range was a bit too broad for my liking (21-
to 38-years-old), I must confess that I was impressed with the
selection of interesting, very well-prepared
. I don’t know how many of them had done this
before, but they had definitely done their homework.

Most of these guys fired off questions at a pace that made me
feel like a deaf-mute at a musical audition, and
some seemed to have very specific requirements: “How many kids do
you want?” “Do you see yourself living in the countryside?” Others
were more creative in their third-degree technique and asked about
my ”perfect date/vacation/ kiss.” I tried to wing
it as best as I could explaining that “Anything with live music and
seafood will do.” “I would love to go diving at the Great
Barrier Reef
,” and “Passionate, but soft and not too wet,

There were a few guys I felt like I had nothing in common with.
One was way too young, one lacked in the
physical hygiene
(yuck!), and one seemed like he was
mainly interested in sex. He practically drooled
down my Victoria’s-Secret-supported-cleavage,
and never looked me in the eye. At the end, I only really hit it
off with two guys — Jake and
Thomas — but just to be on the safe side, I chose
a bunch of people as friends. There’s no reason to limit your

Jake appealed to me because he seemed open-minded and
, said he’d love to go skiing together soon,
and had a great sense of humor. He was attractive, without being
strikingly handsome, and seemed to have good values. He was in his

Thomas, on the other hand, was a doctor who appeared to
know exactly what he wanted
. He’d done an extensive amount
of traveling, and his parents were from Europe. He used to live in
Eastern Europe, himself, and I liked how he managed to come off as
very charming and attentive despite the limited time. He was
pushing 40.

Jake called me as soon as we got our matches with contact
information, and I have to admit that the conversation left me
completely petrified and paranoid! As if it wasn’t
enough that he rambled on for 45 minutes about his career
transition into “something with film production,” he also had to
mention that he’s currently working part-time as a private
investigator and that he’d pulled my background information based
on my phone number!?
Oh my God, I did not know how to
respond to that! For the rest of the phone conversation all I could
think about was “So does that mean he knows about my
speeding tickets and how I haven’t paid my
Blockbuster membership
in over two months?” Let’s just say
that his poorly concealed curiosity about my private life was a
definite deal-breaker
for me, and I have decided not to date him. Ever. Thomas I still
haven’t heard from, and truth be told, I was the one who
did the background checking on this one
. It was purely
coincidental of course, but when I talked to my friend
Charlotte, who works at the same hospital as him,
I discovered that he’s dated quite his share of
in the area. However, she also mentioned that he
seems genuinely interested in settling down and having kids, and
apparently, “He’s generally a nice guy!”

Thomas also picked my friend Dana as a
potential match, which is quite alright. Still, I’m a little put
off by the fact that he seems to have smooched every single
nurse within reach
like something out of Grey’s
. Should I be? What to do?

A) Keep looking — the guy’s obviously a

B) Wait and see if he contacts my girlfriend or me

C) Try to set up a date with him — after all I’ve dated
other guys too.
Go ahead and post your answers below or
just send me an email at And if
you’re in the mood for speed-dating, check out



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