Adventures in Lesbian Speed Dating

We lesbians have a reputation to uphold. We move quickly. The progression of a lesbian relationship is a little diddy that goes like this: Girl meets girl. Girl and girl go out on their first date.  They bring the U-Haul on their second date. On the third they adopt puppies and kitties – and we never see them again. Somewhere along the way, going home to make homemade hummus and cuddling on the couch takes precedence over going out. And we wonder why all of the strictly lesbian bars have vanished from West Hollywood. (Normandie Room, I still pour one out every time someone speaks of you.)

But how did this story of happily ever after come into fruition? What was the prequel? It’s one of the first questions we ask any couple.  Did their friends decide to intervene and play cupid? Did they meet online? What about Craigslist? Or a make out party, perhaps? Did it start as a chance encounter over pre-made hummus at Trader Joes? Not that I speak from experience with any of those.

If you’ve shared the same experiences as me with the LA dating scene, you’ll know that finding your soul mate is like finding a needle in a gaystack. It’s exhausting, demoralizing and downright heartbreaking at times. Quantity seems to trump quality. And when you think you’ve finally met your future (ex)girlfriend, you come to find out she’s dated one (or a few) of your friends. The LA lesbian dating scene is known to be an incest vat and I equate it to the game Barrel of Monkeys. You pull one out and there’s five attached to it. Given this knowledge, I commend all of us for our tenacity to keep trying.

Naturally to proliferate the chain, when I was invited by friends to participate in speed dating at Beretta at Revolver Video Bar in West Hollywood, I bit the bullet and accepted the challenge. Why the hell not? I’m there every Tuesday night anyway and I’m a sucker for adventures. I’ll question my decisions later. Let’s do this. I’ve got an open heart and mind, and a tab to match.

Tuesday night quickly arrived. Gulp. I got up from a much-needed power nap after work and dragged myself off of the bed I made, from the wood I chopped with my bare, short-nailed, middle-finger ring donned hands. I put on my flannel, my skinny jeans, and old tank not fit for even a hobo. I pulled on a pair of worn out boots and slipped on my eighteen bracelets. I ran my fingers through my rat’s nest hair, painted my short nails black, put my lip balm in my front pocket, my debit card and ID in my back pocket, cell phone in the other, and set out in my Jeep down Santa Monica Blvd. Turn the truck around, I forgot my leather jacket. (Did I just describe your getting-ready ritual too? Draw all of your curtains, I’ve got fantastic vision.)

The event was hosted by Dr. Frankie – a professional gay and bisexual matchmaker for singles in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Hawaii. With a degree in psychology, she specializes in the LGBT community and has made creating human connections her passion. Long in the short, she knows exactly what she’s doing and sometimes (slash all the time) we haven’t the slightest clue. Enter Dr. Frankie to provide a little hand holding. I knew I was in capable hands the moment I met her. I’ve gotta trust someone who has created an amazing life with her partner in San Francisco. A happy family with puppies and a white picket fence? I’ll have what she’s having.

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? Let’s bypass the flirtatious glances we exchange with someone from across the bar only to wuss out at the end of the night and not approach them. Let’s fast forward to the end of that awkward blind date whom your friends would only describe to you as “sweet” when you asked them what she looked like before you agreed to their proposition. Let’s just let Dr. Frankie do what she does best to get us to the stride of happily ever after.

The set up was simple. Thirteen girls. (Appropriate!) Three minutes for each date. Some dates felt like one. Some felt like time stopped to punk me. We were given numbers as a name tag to maintain anonymity. I was number 6. (Did I really get the number that morphed into another number from my vantage point? Too easy.) A game of musical chairs left to fate to dictate whether or not the girl sitting directly in front of me could potentially be my match. Contact information would be given two days later if both people chose the same relationship interest, whether a second date, friendship or business. I’m sure I was probably the most awkward one at the table. I wear my heart on my face and hiding discomfort is not my forte. I may or may not have thumb wrestled with one of the daters. I may have high-fived a few of them as my introduction.  I may have doodled a skull and crossbones on my scorecard not intended for them to see. Remind me why I’m single again?

I tried to take notes but realized that if I had a genuine connection with someone, I’d remember her number and jot it down at the end of the round in hopes she’d pick me too. I only allowed myself one serving of whiskey rocks, which I tried to consume in small sips – operative word being “tried.” Some people were very secretive with what they scribbled on their paper. I can only deduce what they were writing about me. I imagined them circling “no” to any kind of relationship with me in the same manner as we fill out medical history questionnaires at the doctor’s office. “No” all the way down in one, giant circle in an effort to save time. I didn’t (willingly) circle “yes” to a 2nd date with anyone there that night. I did say “willingly” as I received an email yesterday with someone’s email address prompting a second date. I do now recall Dater #12 circled “yes” to herself on MY scorecard. Sneaky little degenerate. I give her points for confidence alone.

There were no fireworks in my pants that evening. Nothing tingled. However, I did meet a few connections for friends and business relationships. A few LA natives, a few transplants. One who works for Microsoft. A couple comedians. (You’re welcome for giving you plenty of material for your next show.) One of the girls even biked nearly 10 miles to get there, which I found admirable since I drove out of my way to Revolver only to borrow someone’s highly-coveted 5R parking permit so I didn’t have to walk more than a stone’s throw to the venue. Somewhere in that alone I can probably draw a comparison between that and my dating history. My take-away from that evening was that I fully enjoyed meeting people who I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know if I was just out on a regular night. I thrive on social interaction and find it refreshing to engage in conversation with people who aren’t a part of the closely knit friend circle I communicate with on a regular basis.

As oxygen, fuel and heat create combustion, under the right conditions, a little spark between two people can create instantaneous chemistry. So, whose got a light? I’ve got three minutes.

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