Oh yes, you read that right. Geek speed dating. Let me start by giving you a little background information. For her birthday, my best friend’s husband bought her tickets to a Comic Con. He, having no interest in geek/nerd matters, asked if I would go with her. Given my love of all things zombie, outer space-y, and Joss Whedon-y, it was a no brainer. Of course I’d go with her! While my bestie and I were looking over the list of events, we saw that they offered speed dating. Which, for a Comic Con, is without a doubt, geek speed dating. She suggested that I attend. I had tried speed dating before (albeit, minus the pre-requisite geekiness), and I did not really enjoy it. So I told her I was going to skip it. Well, the first day of the Comic Con arrived. We went to a panel, walked by the vendors and celebrity row, and during all this, we repeatedly saw people with signs for geek speed dating. My bestie again suggested that I go. Finally, deciding that the next panel my bestie wanted to go to did not interest me that much, I signed up for it. It was literally 5 minutes before the start. I was the last person to sign up so the host escorted me to the room where the speed dating would take place. This was way more organized than the speed dating I had attended before! The guys were kept waiting outside the room while the girls were taken right in. As I walk in and look around the room, I notice that I am BY FAR the oldest chick in there. Uh oh. This is NOT a good sign. All the girls look like they are in their early 20s if not younger!!! Abort! Abort! But it’s too late, I’m already in the room with the door closed behind me. After the fact, I did find out that one girl was only 5 years younger than me, so not THAT bad, right? Right?!?!?! Well, I immediately start worrying that all the guys will be totally inappropriately aged for me. I try not to panic. The host (who happens to be dressed up as Starlord – hot) comes in and says he went over the rules with the guys and now it was our turn. The whole thing was actually put together with people’s safety in mind, which I do appreciate (hand knitted scarf, anyone?). All participants were given a “name tag” which was a letter and a number. No names were to be used. There was no touching allowed, including hand shakes. They gave you an index card to make notes so you would remember who was who (eg. M14 had a beard and was wearing a hat). The host then said that if at any time the guy did anything to make us uncomfortable, we were supposed to pretend to stretch our arms, at which point the host would make eye contact with us and if we nodded, then he would immediately kick the guy out, no questions asked. At first I thought, that’s really smart! I appreciate how much thought they put in to safety. My second thought was, why the hell do they need all those precautions anyway?!?! Sad to say, there are some messed up people in this world. In any case, let’s move along to the fun stuff. The guys. Instructions over, the host escorts the guys in. Yup. Babies. There was maybe one guy who was around my age. The rest of them looked like they were walking into their senior English class at school. Yikes. The guys take their seats across from the girls. The “dates” commence. These were all the longest 3 minutes of my life. First guy up, nervous as anything. I’m worried he’s going to wet himself. He barely makes eye contact, and has a nervous laughter. And he laughs at the end of each sentence he says. Ugh. Next, guy seems a little bit older. College freshman, maybe? Very nice, doesn’t seem nervous. We discuss Star Wars. I try to keep the conversation completely flirt-free because I feel totally skeevy even being there. We’re not even talking cougar status here. It’s more like statutory rape status. I’m totally uncomfortable. So what do I do? I start making jokes. The host is sitting across the room from me and I’m pretty sure he knows exactly what’s going on in my head. He laughs at my jokes too and gives me an understanding look. Are we done yet? Next guy. Woo hoo! He’s gotta be around my age! But he’s definitely not my type. Not so woo hoo. More like boo hoo. We talk about what we came to the Comic Con to see and we get on the subject of Power Rangers. He mentions his appreciation for the show. I tell him that I loved the original Power Rangers… because I love cheesy TV shows and movies. No offense to you guy, if you think Power Rangers rival Shakespeare in their writing and have visual effects that rival any Michael Bay movie. Thinking I may have insulted him, I try to cover up my mishap by telling him that I totally had a crush on the blue Ranger. And he says, oh well then I have some bad news for you. Huh? What bad news? He tells me the blue Ranger is gay. Uh… so what? I can still have a crush on a gay guy! And like his being gay is what is keeping us from getting married and living happily ever after. “I totally thought I had a chance with him, but now that I know he’s gay, I don’t have a chance.” WTF, dude. Now it’s his turn to try to steer the subject away and he tells me that he had a crush on the Pink Ranger, but she’s married and has a kid. Then he leans over to me and stage whispers: “Not that that would stop me.” NEXT!!!!! Three minutes HAVE to be up, now. They. Have. To. Be. And they are. Next guy also seems closer to my age. He is dressed up in a riddler costume from Batman, including face mask. Here’s one thing they should add to those rules: no face masks allowed during speed dating! I mean, if you’re not willing to take your mask off for the speed dating, you gotta be hiding something. Guy sits down. I say hello. Nothing from him. I ask “so you must like riddles, huh?”. “Yeah.” …long pause… dark, creepy eyes leering at me from the mask… still not saying anything… I honestly don’t even remember what I talked about I was so put off by him. And I don’t even know what he said because he was basically whispering the entire time and I was unwilling to lean in closer to hear. Technically, he had not done anything warranting a good old arm stretch. But his whole vibe was of a maladjusted awkward man-child who lives in his parents’ basement. Next! Now the next four dates were basically interchangeable. They were four friends that were in town for the weekend from Idaho. IDAHO. I’m still unclear as to what brought them to my neck of the woods. A work thing for one of them? Or all of them? A high school wrestling match? Glee club competition? Who the fuck knows. I was barely listening to them at this point. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I hadn’t even taken any notes during the whole thing. What was the point? The host now explains how the next part works. The girls and guys go to opposite sides of the room. Each individual puts their letter/number combo at the top of a blank piece of paper. We then switch sides and look for the paper that has the letter/number combo of the person we are interested in dating. If you are interested in that individual, you put your first name and either phone number or email. Guess how many papers I put my info on? If you said none, you would be wrong. One of the girls who was doing the speed dating was also a volunteer for the event and she put a paper out for the host (Starlord). He was nice, and funny, and not a child, so I thought, why not? The host then asked the boys to leave first (so there would be no awkward accosting right outside the room). As soon as the guys were out, all the girls start exclaiming “The Riddler!!!!” I was not the only one who found him uber-creepy. Even the host was like, “yeah, that guy was not right.” And now can you guess who put their name and email address on my paper? Can you solve that little riddle? That’s right. The Riddler. Shudder.
FYI, Starlord did not email me. Sigh.