In Her Words
Down the Rabbit Hole
Tales from a mad speed-dating party
By: Gina Anderson
My 90 minutes of speed dating can be summarized in countless ways, but I think Lewis Carroll would best tell the tale:
Once upon a time, two lovely, educated, sensible, savvy – but still single – young women decided to dip their toes in unchartered waters. But when they got to the edge, they quickly realized this was no tide pool. It was the Black Sea before its morning cup of coffee, with a bad hair day on the horizon. But by then, it was too late to turn back. And down the rabbit hole they went.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Mad Prospect #1: Neil, a banker with shoulder-length hair parted down the middle. I’m going to chalk it up to the ear-shattering electronica music, but the conversation went something like this:
“Hi, Neil. Nice to meet you.”
“To meet you too. What you do?”
“Well, when I’m not working, I like to take classes, hang out with friends, write …”
“Oh, computer – that’s nice. I like computer games too. I play a lot. Which ones you like?”
I replied with a big swig of beer.
With time ticking away and my $40 fee taunting me with “I told you so,” I decided to loosen my I’m-too-good-for-this grip and have fun. Some excerpts from my exchanges with subsequent prospects:
“Let’s talk about your divorce again.”
“Yes, your mom was pregnant for a long time.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable telling you my last name.”
My final prospect was a petite man named Simon. He shook my hand in a way that said, “I’m gonna impress you, so watch out!”
“Tell me something interesting about yourself, Simon.”
“I had a pet rabbit named Jackson. But he died recently.”
“A pet rabbit? That is interesting. I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s okay. I’m going to get another one soon.”
“Well, good for you.” (Still waiting to be impressed.)
“So have you ever done speed dating before?”
“A few times. Usually I come out of it with a couple new friends, but nothing more. You can’t really form a relationship with someone in four minutes. It’s bizarre to think you can.”
Well, that was impressive: Mr. Pet Rabbit took the words right out of my mouth. And so I left, more than happy to go back up the rabbit hole – alone.