On Saturday, I had big dinner plans: some friends and I have formed a kind of “high end dining club,” where we go to really nice restaurants a few times a year. Saturday’s event was scheduled for Jean Georges (the main restaurant) at 8pm. I planned to spend the day working out and eating lightly in preparation for the seven course meal I was about to indulge in that night.
I started the day with a pear ginger chocolate smoothie, then headed to a free session of yoga at JackRabbit UWS with my friend Sasha. I hadn’t done yoga in forever (not counting some of the yoga-like stretching we do as part of Insanity), but I really enjoyed the session, which was targeted to runners and aimed to help loosen up muscles that get tense when running. Post-yoga, Sasha and I grabbed smoothies at a place in our neighborhood called Juice Generation, and then I headed home to knock out my Insanity workout for the day and also do some errands around the apartment.
Around 2pm, I checked my email, and saw that a friend of a friend who runs a speeddating company had sent out a request for two women, aged 27-37, to come round out the speeddating session she was organizing that night… and offered free admission. I’ve actually wanted to try speeddating for a while (but usually was turned off by the high price tag – around $40-50/event in NYC), and with the event concluding at 7:30pm, I’d have just enough time to go from there to Jean Georges. I decided to go, sending me into overdrive as I tried to get my workouts done, get the apartment cleaned up, and get myself looking good. I had to dress up quite a bit for the Jean Georges dinner, and I struggled to find an outfit that was appropriate for dinner but not too over-the-top for the casual bar where speeddating was being held, but in the end, I just decided my rock my cocktail dress with confidence. I had no idea what to expect going into the event, but in the end, I’d say it was a good mix of decent guys and then a bit of comedy gold. Here are a few of the funny things I experienced:
One was Desperate Guy. He was there to find a serious girlfriend (fair enough), but would make no pretense at a normal social situation in order to do so (that was the weird part). First introductory line: “So have you been married before?” Um, no, have you? “No. So what was your longest relationship?” Wow, jumping into the big guns already! After listening to a story about his two ex girlfriends that took up half the allotted time, he closed with “what are you looking for in a boyfriend?” While I was very tempted to say “someone nothing like you,” I held my tongue and played nice :)
Then there was the guy who thought the best way to get me interested in him was to insult me. “Where was the last place you traveled?” “Well, aside from work travels, I went to St. Martin about a month ago.” “Really? But you don’t even have a tan!” Thanks. Next up “Why are you drinking water?” Because I already finished my first cocktail and I have a formal dinner to attend after this and don’t want to be wasted. Next!
Finally, there was the guy who wanted to cut to the breakup stage of a relationship, and spent our five minutes arguing with me. I didn’t tell anyone at the event that I ran marathons, for fear of scaring them off, but I did mention that I enjoyed running. This guy (whom I had already decided was a bit weird) told me that he was a runner too, and was training for the “marathon challenge next week.” I quickly figured out that he meant the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, which is a 3.5 mile race that a lot of my friends are training for too. I asked what the course was like, and he described a route around the lower half of Central Park that I’m pretty familiar with, having run many loops all the way around Central Park. I tried to reassure him by saying “well, at least it’s fairly flat and doesn’t take you on the hilly upper part – you’ll do great!” But that prompted him to argue with me about the course and how difficult it was, and that he couldn’t believe they were holding the race in such a hilly area. We debated back and forth for a minute or two, and then I gave up – I suppose a lot of whether a course is hilly or not depends on your perspective and your training anyway. Suck it up, boy!
In the end, though, I was surprised with the quality of most of the guys that I met. I was really concerned that speeddating would attract a lot of guys too socially inept to meet women in a more natural away, but I’d say 80% of the guys seemed to be totally normal, and even though I was picky about who I “accepted” at the end of the night, there were actually a few guys that I was interested in at least going on a first date with. I’ll certainly keep you all posted how it works out!
Part 2, a review of Jean Georges, to come.