Good Evening Everyone! So here it is! My first blog post where I retrospectively recall things from my life to help 'check things off' by bucket list.
One piece of Admin I would like to add is that, I am planning to add a 'Date Set/Date Completed' to my bucket list items then add to the homepage a 'Recent Bucket List Activities' where I can show the most recent one completed / recent one added. So that work is in the pipeline - so watch this space.
Anyways onto the story... enjoy!
*** RETRO POST ***
So how this came about was down to three of us being bored and slightly tipsy. There was a cocktail place near The Oracle, Reading that we hadn't tried yet. Three of us in our house (#leanIn15, Frenchy and I - names are obviously real ;)) were bored one evening and decided to go try this place out.
(Totally off Topic) But the place is called Caffeine & Cocktails and if you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend this place. The cocktails they make are very nice, its a nice atmosphere inside and the bar staff are super nice! (I had many) But my favourite cocktail was called "The Gintendo 64" - with a name like that - who can argue with its quality ;))
Anyway, after a fair few cocktails, #leanIn15 was on a website that shows 'events' that are happening in Reading that we should try out. One of those events was 'Speed Dating'... we were all single at the time and thought the whole idea would be hilarious. Without much convincing, #leanIn15 signed us all up and paid the £22 each (she also signed up our friend #lanky - who was on holiday in Ibiza and was sold on the idea after a few Snapchats - long unnecessary boring story).
* For Future Reference, #leanIn15 is a woman, the rest of us are men... carry on...
Now bear in mind this was like April/May... the event was in June - so a lot happened between then and the event (including a holiday to Morocco)... the date neared and #leanIn15 got a 'reminder email' about the event. Frenchy and I were a bit 'unsure' about the event now it was actually near but we chose to go. I'm not going to lie, I was even thinking about what to say, what to wear - getting all worked up about it...
The day was June 23rd 2016 (EU Referendum Day - :'( ) We all met in Reading Town Centre and then walked to the event, which was held in the 'old Sakura Upstairs Bit' - Sakura is now SMASH - the Ping Pong Place but the upstairs bit is still 'Sakura' (I think it is anyway :/)
The name of the Speed Dating company was called Slow Dating. For those who haven't speed dated before - you turn up for a Speed Dating event (any particular event has a age range - our event was 20s to 30s) and have 3 minutes with each girl that is there - there's a break in the middle (where you're supposed to 'mingle'), then you finish the event by finishing the remaining dates... (and it's up to you what you do afterwards).
When we got there, (including us) there were about 8 men and 3 girls... we were already out numbering them :| And there were none of the 'Slow Dating' staff so we were just in a room together. By the end, there were 14 guys and 8 girls...
The 'Slow Dating' people turned up (late because of all the traffic in Reading) and set the room so each woman had a booth / table and the guys would move around... then wait at the end when they finished one lap. One of slow dating staff members was 'very eccentric' to say the least. He boasted about how he was a 'Speed Dating Connoisseur' and had been speed dating for 20+ years (surely if you've been speed dating for that long - you aren't very good at it?!)
The evening was okay. I talked to lots of women... I talked to #leanIn15 (she was one of the dates obviously), a woman who owned a beauty salon, an artist, a ginger girl (think she just lived in Reading), a nurse, a weird woman (I'll come back to her) and two girls from Basingstoke.
Now the thing was our ages. The four of us were 20/21 and the rest nearly everyone else was older (26+) (apart from the two girls from Basingstoke - who were doing the same as us/there for a laugh) - so if any of the dates asked how old I was - it would be an obvious no. Now lets get onto the weird woman...
The weird woman was considerably older than us (30+) and she was there for two reasons. 1. To genuinely find love and 2. Research. She told me she had been on LOTS of speed dating events trying to find out what events were the best in the hope she would set up her own speed dating event and be the best one there. However once she found out my age, she started giving me the names of speed dating companies that would be 'better for me'. We didn't get onto her as a person as she was too involved into her speed dating stuff... but thats not what made her weird...
#lanky was after me and after his date with the weird woman... all this came out. She started talking about the death of her hamster (apparently out of the blue) and how she missed it - then told my friend "If she was 10 years younger, she'd have a one night stand with him..." I guess thats a compliment...? #lanky even got offered a free massage from the beauty salon owner... ;)
Once all the dates had finished, we were done (and the 'eccentric' guy was trying to get us to mingle with everyone else), but we were happy talking amongst ourselves, and talking about the whole experience. #leanIn15's last date was her worst. He'd had too much to drink and was 'all over the place in the booth', slouching/slurring his words - and she was glad when the time was up and we went to talk to her. Turns out he was a 'regular speed dater' but with little success...
Different companies do it differently but this one, you had to go online - after the event - to choose who you 'liked' and then if there was a match, then you'd get each other's contact details.
BEFORE YOU ASK, I did get one match! (Proof Below : ) (All us guys had said we'd say 'Yes' to everyone and see what matches we'd get) But none of us were interested...) Frenchy had a very successful night, getting 4 or 5 matches and 3 of them spent a £1 each to send him an Emoji saying 'how much they enjoyed speaking to him'... #lanky said he got no matches... but we don't believe him.
We concluded our night by going to McDonalds (where we saw/avoided the drunk guy), bought a few beers from an Off Licence then went home and had a few beverages at home. (Shame about the result the next morning...)
Am I glad I did it? Yes, its a experience at the very least.
Would I do it again? No chance (unless it was for a laugh like it was then)...
To me, any potential girlfriend is first and foremost a friend who you enjoy spending time with and then you take to the next level... the end of the day - you could end up spending the rest of your lives together. The chances of that happening at speed dating - an event where you are pressurised to talk to complete strangers - extremely unlikely. Those who know me well, I'm a quiet guy when I first meet someone, once I know them... I don't shut up and you get the real me... will I be able to get the real me shown in 3 minutes... probably not. I didn't feel comfortable doing it at all.
Things I'd say/recommend before going:
- If you go on your own, you have got balls my friend - but I'd go with a friend(s) cause even if the night is unsuccessful - you have your friend(s) there to have a good time with
- MAKE SURE YOU GET A SPECIFIC AGE GROUP - 20s to 30s was too broad... we were at the very bottom on the scale (20/21) and there were some guys who were (37/38) - perhaps it would make a good uni social?
- BE YOURSELF! It's always the best option
- Don't get drunk! You don't want to be that guy ;)
So thats the first item off the bucket list! (that I've blogged about anyway)... Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading :) x