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It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around in the age of meeting over the internet, but speed dating was once considered a somewhat impersonal form of courtship, something for reluctant people pressed for time.
Now, of course, speed dating feels supremely sluggish in comparison to dating apps. From experience, like, last week’s experience: I attended an event organized by New York Minute Dating. In fact, I’m just a sick weirdo who flips through profiles when I’m bored, with absolutely no intention of meeting up with people.
And lest you think I’m referring to some kind of ironic meet-up during which people put bags on their heads and rely solely on conversation and olfactory senses to determine if doinking is in their immediate future, rest assured, straight-up, no gimmicks speed dating is still alive and well in old New York.
Speed dating was first developed in the late 90s by a Los Angeles-based Rabbi named Yaacov Deyo in order to help busy Jewish singles meet marriage material in record time.
Another woman who sat down at the booth next to Brush Girl proved to be less reserved. “Well, if we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do this,” the newcomer said. I just conveyed my ideal self, the person that goes to shows three times a week because she’d rather spend her money on supporting local music and touring bands than piss it away on beer and over-priced Negronis. We talked about shows, the music industry, a record deal he almost had.
In fact, speed dating is still an option for singles right here in our Tinder-addicted metropolis.
The process basically entails a series of brief, five-to-ten minute, two-way interviews with a slew of completely random people. And while generally the conversations were awkward but polite, a few seasoned participants asked “clever” questions. One of my partners asked me if I’d heard of the psychologist Arthur Aron’s 36 questions that supposedly make you fall in love with anyone. He switched gears and asked the name of the last movie that made me cry, I admitted that a recent episode of But things started out weird. My Budweiser was almost gone and I was out of cash. But I can empathize with the staunchest critics of Tinder et al, who point to the encroachment of a Silicone Valley-ethos into our romantic relationships and sex lives, which reads something like: The goal is to manage one’s time efficiently so as to maximize work output for the corporate monsters we devote nearly all our waking hours to already.
I was the first to arrive–which was already an unusual thing for me–at a really rather awful dive in the East Village. scary, and the place smelled like piss and looked like a well-worn horse stable: ground-down wood, dark and dank, lit only by the glow of sports games and Bud Light beer signs. Generally, I enjoy talking to strangers, but the prospect of jamming into a booth with total randoms and having to deflect pick-up lines while completely sober was starting to freak me out. Why risk wasting time at a bar scoping out potential hookups when an app can eliminate all the variables that come between you and a person you consider attractive?
The women stayed comfortably seated, shooting out last minute texts: “OMG WTF am I doing here? He finished his sentence, we shook hands, and K moved on, even though he’d just been really starting to get somewhere.
What followed was a diverse stream of boy-men in finance, guys from New Jersey, a driver for National Grid living in Queens.
Consider suitor B— he was probably one of the largest humans I’ve ever had the opportunity to shake hands with. B’s a chill guy, not much of a partier, he prefers to go out for a glass of wine and watch movies.