I’ve never been one for using dating services, it just feels weird to me. I’ve found all my past boyfriends just fine without them but I couldn’t let this golden opportunity pass me by, especially when I could write about it afterwards. Event organizer Gi-Ganakin and the rest of his Star Wars pals hosted the event at Celebration V with great success and were ready to bring the fun to NYC. I had no idea how speed dating worked besides the fact that it was fast. In this case, three minutes fast. While waiting for the guys to enter the room I got to watch Darth Vader bobbing his head to a little AC/DC supplied by a DJ who would keep the music going throughout the event. It was surreal.
The first thing I noticed after everyone entered the room was that almost all the girls were in some form of cosplay while almost none of the guys were. You could see they thought they’d hit the jackpot already. It was made clear by Gi-Ganakin that on no uncertain terms were we allowed to reveal any personal information about ourselves. This was for our (mostly the girls) safety. “If you talk to a girl named Jane in a Slave Leia costume then go home and google that, it’s way too easy to find people these days,” he said. So, no names, no information about where you live or what you do. This was going to be difficult. We were given nametags with numbers on them instead and I got 13. Fantastic. “Well, they’ll either remember me as the hot chick from House or I’m in for a world full of trouble,” I thought.
Before I knew it, Gi-Ganakin counted us down and we were off. My first date was pretty cute but we immediately sat there stumped on what to ask or say first. “Nice to meet you” of course but then what? I decided to ask what he was there for the most since the New York Anime Festival was also being held on the premises. We had a pretty good exchange back and forth, him asking a few things, then myself but before I knew it we were in the countdown phase. I quickly asked him how old he was because he looked slightly young and he replied, “Twenty.” Oh crud. The event is for con attendees eighteen and older but I failed to realize we might all be in one session together. Normal speed dating events will usually group people by age. I’m twenty-seven and I’ve dated men almost ten years older than me but I’ve never dated younger. I’d at least like someone who could enter a bar with me legally. I wrote down his number just in case no one else came along. Turns out there were a lot of guys younger than me. Three guys asked me to guess how old they were which I thought was a extremely idiotic. It’s supposed to be women who don’t like to reveal their age, isn’t it?
What I really wanted to ask everyone was, “Do you believe in God,” “Do you support gay rights,” “Do you want kids?” But I figured those questions might turn me into “that girl” and be a bit of a downer considering the light atmosphere going around. Then again that could probably happen at a non-nerd speed dating event too but seriously, why waste time? Instead I fell into a lot of simple questions like, “What’s your favorite movie?” Well, I thought it was simple anyway. One guy told me that was a REALLY hard question then began rapidly listing off genres of films before I stopped him and told him to just tell me his favorite sci-fi movie. Star Trek: First Contact for the record and yes, he was wearing a Starfleet uniform.
I spoke with a lot of virgins at the event. Con virgins that is. (Well, maybe both.) That really surprised me. If you’re willing to go to a nerd speed dating event I figured you’d gotten bored with all the usual con activities. Several of the guys marveled that I go to them often and had been to San Diego Comic-Con. Perhaps that’s because the majority of the guys I talked to where there for anime. Only a few mentioned comics as being the main reason they were there and even fewer were as passionate about them as I am, which was disappointing. There were two guys who attempted to “run game” on me which was just absolutely hysterical. I certainly didn’t expect that.
There was another thing that struck me as odd. Not once did the fact that I’m in a wheelchair come up. Maybe the guys thought it would be rude to ask but nerds are already the “different” ones, you’d think they’d be more inclined to be open about it. I decided to bring it up briefly while talking about traveling with one of my dates. He turned out to be the only other guy who’s number I took down. He’s already emailed me (and if you’re reading this, sorry I haven’t gotten back to you yet. I was too busy writing this) but admits he doesn’t remember what we talked about. He’s not the only one. The majority of conversations I had were gone as soon as the next person sat down. Though I guess that’s the point of the whole thing. If you really made a connection with the person and thought there was something more worth looking into you would remember.
So speed dating wasn’t the rousing success I’d hoped for but it was definitely a fun time I’m glad I experienced. The next day I ran into a girl who told me her friend had been one of my dates. He told her he’d met his future wife in me. Then I felt bad because I hadn’t put his number down. I remember we talked comics, which was cool, but he reminded me too much of a friend of mine looks-wise. Would I try speed dating again? I’m not sure about the real world version but I’m still down for looking for love with my nerdy peers.Would you ever go nerd speed dating?