Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Encounter With An Unfamiliar Species

On Saturday there was a dance with a speed-dating activity. I attended. After all, why not?

(Attention to anyone who has known me during the ages of, oh, five to fifteen. Do not choke on your tongue. Restrain your hysterical laughter from frothing forth into the comments section. Believe me: I know. Oh, how I know.)

My group went to the Room of Dating Peril last, at the end of the dance. Which is too bad because otherwise I would have just ditched the rest of the dance. Very few people were there. Apparently they heard I was coming.

First of all, I got there late. That's always a good start, right? There's no point in making a Grand Entrance if no one is there to see you. There were about thirty people crammed into the Room of Dating Peril which doubles as the Primary room on Sundays. Each couple had a table. I did not have a table. I had a chair wedged into the only open space left: the middle of the room.

My first 'date' was named M and he was blond. Or maybe his hair was brown? Something like that. I said four words to him: "Nice to meet you." And then the bell rang and he escaped to a different girl.

My second date was T. His hair was somewhere between brown and black and blond. Or something like that.

Did I mention that we were tightly packed? The first time the bell rang to rotate, he stood up and looked around helplessly. Every time he leaned towards a table like he was going to go there, someone else was already sitting down. So he sat down. We talked. The second time the bell rang, he stood up, looked around, shrugged helplessly, and sat down again. The third time the bell rang, he didn't stand up. The fourth time the bell rang, we both just ignored it. The problem was that there was no way for him to get to other tables without climbing over me, which solution I did not encourage.

If he could strand someone else on a desert island it would be his mother. If he had to choose to be sick with something he would be insane so that he could be in an asylum and bully the nurses. He wants to join the Marine Corps Infantry (I'm pretending that's supposed to be capitalized). He wants to go on a road trip from coast to coast on a motorcycle. When he goes to college he's going to study pharmaceuticals. He would like to run a shop that does custom work on motorcycles.

The Principal pointed out that I must not have done too badly because a) I know something about him (for a given value of something) and b) if I had been doing a bad job he would have found a way to move on. But here's my question: When, exactly, does he (or whoever; I doubt we're going to see each other again) get to know me? Getting a guy to talk is like dragging rocks uphill in the mud and wearing iron boots. Yes, I really didn't know that. I was so busy getting him to talk that I never threw in any information about myself into the conversation and he was too shy (I think he was being shy) to just ask.

My overall conclusion: I really don't know how this dating thing works. At all. But it's probably not going to be that hard to figure out. Apparently, you just ask questions. And more questions. And try as hard as you can to be interested even though you know nothing about motorcycles.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! You survived and learned from the experience (yes, it IS frustrating talking to teenage guys - and even sometimes older ones!).

    It's not that way every time, though. Remember the guy you danced with that you talked to about being a writer? Some people know how to show a genuine interest in people, as well as how to reciprocate in a conversation (enough about me - how about you?) - but it takes practice, which most teenage guys don't have. Huh. Maybe that's one reason why they're supposed to go on missions! (: