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“I don’t want to do any of the crap that means convincing someone that they should want to take me out on a date. I just want to show up at a date.” – Me

So, when I fall out of the loop for a while there are necessary measures I must take to rehearse normalcy. Bull in a china shop comes to mind, or giant in a world full of small people… I could go on, but I won’t. Let’s just say that normal interactions with men have been at all too infrequent intervals since my arrival here on the Indian subcontinent. And unlike in other moments in the not too distant past, I have actually been ok with this reality. (So, un-normal.) That is until the prospect of travel to Madrid, Paris, NYC, NJ, DC and Amsterdam arose. And then, out of nowhere, I felt the overwhelming need to pretend to be the coquettish 20 something I’d pretended to be before I arrived in India.

I was intent to go on a date. But, when you’re the girl who watches Fox Crime and free iTunes TV show pilots on Saturdays, and works on Sundays, you don’t exactly scream “Desirable” #weirdsideeyeandwigglylips.  So, I didn’t bother to kid myself. After all, I had a small window of opportunity and my pride is steel plated. There was the idea to finally let some poor sap I’d previously denied have the pleasure of my company, but this year has made me even worse at sitting through other people spewing words I don’t care about.  Ixne on the old dude eh.

There was the idea that I should sign up for a match making website, but then reality set in. I can’t do online dating. Indian sites are actually marriage sites and U.S. sites are for people who actually intend to be in the same country long enough to date. Ixne on the web dude eh.

What better way to get a fresh new face to break bread with me without having to actually earn it, or pretend I liked him, or get carpel tunnel syndrome – than to go speed dating? Chaching!

Pure and utter brilliance is this phenomenon – let me tell you. From my (one) experience, I can say that if I were home, I’d do this more. Probably a lot more. Oh man, you know how much more hours of sleep I’d get if I could condense all my bar hopping ‘to meet a nice guy’ into 2 hours on a Wednesday night once every three months? How many fewer covers I’d pay? The reduced percentage of my friends who would have to see me make my eyes pop out of my head as the universal female symbol for ‘save me from this fool, NOW!’? It is so much easier to impress someone when you only talk with him for 4 minutes. And it is so much easier to have a ‘date’ pass by without incident when you know it is only 4 minutes.  Let’s just say that I feel revolutionized by this newly discovered tool in my dating artillery.

Did I meet anybody? No, not really. But, that’s not the point! I broke down a bunch of barriers with this first entrée into dating avec speed.

1-    No, there were no Black guys at the ‘Globetrotters’ themed session. But, I was one of 4 Black women fishing for a mate (I felt like a stereotype). So I went on about 10 official interracial dates – 3 with Indian guys who all looked at me like “You live in India? Ew. Why?”  I think I have a mini crush on an Asian guy from Atlanta who asked me if I had fresh, hot naan in my pocket. I’m not kidding.

2-    It was my first double date, though technically the friend who came with me has a boyfriend and told all her dates she was an art dealer (she’s really a doctor).

3-    It was my first date at a restaurant where I actually didn’t eat. It was at an Indian restaurant (just my luck!) and the naan actually looked like mini hot pockets. #khannanobueno

See how much speed dating has done for me, personally? I felt so much more normal after being in that, most unconventional, arrangement. I hope that hearing my testimony will motivate you (if you’re like me) to give this process a shot. I can now say that I went on a date with a 40 year old S.W.M. who is a writer for 30 Rock. And what better travel memory can supersede that bundle of joy? I’m just sayin.’ For 30 bucks why not cut to the chase and date 10 guys at once, and not feel bad if they don’t buy you a drink or feel guilty that you don’t want to talk to them after they do?

I smell a revolution brewing. Anybody with me?