This was the only question which surprised me at
my first speed dating event.
Apparently, the woman sitting across from me
knew exactly what she wanted in a man. And what
she didn’t. I got the very strong sense that any
sort of addiction (understandably) was a deal
I answered clumsily, “Um. Chocolate?”
She asked other similar straightforward
questions but I don’t remember them. Her
all-business approach both impressed and
terrified me. I felt simultaneously like I was
both a job applicant and a suitor.
This whole idea of speed dating idea came from a
gal pal of mine. She suggested I try some rapid
romance and then blog about it. In hindsight,
I think her main motivation was really just to
Anyway, before I knew it, I was headed south
and solo to Sandy. Arriving at something called
Club 90, I was given the exalted title of
Bachelor #6. I took my assigned seat and waited
for the other 29 spaces to fill up.
For those who have’t sped date, here’s the 411.
You get three minutes to talk with a single
member of the opposite sex. He or she is right in
front of you, separated only by a small table.
When the timekeeper prompts you, 180 seconds of
talk ensues. It’s kind of a flirty jiujitsu, mostly
basic Q & A like:
“Who are you?”
“What do you do?”
“What’s your sign?”
Pretty much your usual first date kind of stuff.
When the three minutes are up, the men move
one seat to the right and the process is
repeated with a new “date.” It’s not unlike a
Phoenix rising from his ashes to begin anew. At
the end of the night, you turn in your secret speed
dating list of who you liked. The organizers then
contact those who are mutually interested.
Because I am exceedingly inept at small talk,
I came armed with a few pre-scripted questions. If
there was an awkward lull in the conversion, I
would be ready.
Here are some of the questions I wrote in advance.
Yes, they were needed and, yes, most were well
1) “Presents – Christmas Eve or morning?”
2) “What do you think ‘our song’ would be?”
3) “Is it too soon for me to meet your parents and
4) If I were a younger man, would I have a chance
All of these, believe it or not, got smiles and/or
But one pre-scripted question did not fare as
well. I only used it once but, predictably, a
dating catastrophe followed.
Nearing the end of event, we all seemed a little
worn down. It can be exhausting speed dating a
dozen people or more in an hour. So, at a loss
for something to say, I finally grasped for a
prepared question I hadn’t used.
It went a little something like this:
“When you were born, was your delivery natural
The women I asked this question of didn’t
necessarily seem…what’s the word I am looking
for…oh, amused. After a brief pause and, perhaps,
a bit of a blank stare, she answered my flippant
question. In measured tones, she explained how
difficult and dangerous her delivery had been and
how she could have died.
Coincidentally, as she told me this horrifying
story, I suddenly wanted to die for having asked
such an insensitive question.
To her credit (and my relief), she handled it very
graciously. But those were the longest three
minutes of the night for me. When our time ended,
I quickly exited stage right.
While that clearly may have been the worst question
anyone asked all night – or, perhaps, the worst
question anyone has ever asked at any speed dating
event – the guy next to me asked a great one.
About halfway through the event, I overheard
Bachelor #7 let loose with what I genuinely
thought was the best question of the night:
“What is the last thing you killed?”
How could you not want to date someone like that?
Pure comedy gold.
As for the best answer of the evening…it might
be one that was never used.
After the speed dating event came to a merciful
end, I struck up a conversation with one of
the cooler bachelorettes. We swapped war stories
about what had just happened, including some of
the trickier questions we had been asked. For me,
an especially challenging one was put forth by
several women, “So, do you have any children?”
Because my nest is barren, this can be a bit
uncomfortable – especially in a child-centric
state like Utah. When a handful of speedsters
asked me this, I tried to carefully side-step
the issue by answering “Children? I am not sure.
But I don’t think I have any.”
But this bachelorette had a more exotic suggestion.
She told me I should simply answer the kid question
by smiling and saying, “They’ve decided to stay
overseas with their mother.”
When it comes to speed dating, she was obviously
much quicker than me. In fact, considering my epic
cesarean fail, I was clearly the “slowest” dater