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We pull up to STK and valet my car. We saddle up at the bar and settle in. I walk up to the host and ask her when I can expect to jump in the game. Do you have a score-card yet? It takes me a moment to realize I am not already drunk and seeing double, but that she and her identical twin are hosting the event: She looks at me with vacant eyes, bored with the fact that I exist. Eventually, I am directed to Girl Number One of approximately fifteen. To describe each girl in detail would be a futile exercise for me and my friend Jack Daniels.
But I can say that a majority of these girls are either Asian or Hispanic, with a few Jewish and Caucasians thrown in for good measure. The age-range was specified by the service as being prime coupling years and they all appear respectable and educated, if not entirely head-turning. I am surprised, however, to discover that a majority of these girls are native Angelinos.
Never before in my eleven years in this city have I encountered so many genuine female locals as I have now, and I try to figure out some sort of pattern. In addition, nearly half of these girls are either lawyers or in the process of becoming lawyers—what does it all mean?
Why the hell not? I hand my card in to one of the twins, efficiently weave my way to the bar and order another drink. As there are more men than women, I have time to kill for Sophie to finish her rounds.
This is for an article. I have no ending. No conclusive epilogue to wrap things up and make sense of being single in L. Her e-mail is as follows: I must say I found your Scorecard to be very sweet, as I know you brought Sophie along as your friend. I am happy to help in anyway I can if you feel uncomfortable letting her know or asking her out on a date. If she is like me or most women, then she is probably completely oblivious to your affections.
I am always available for advice. Best, Anoush Needless to say this was an unexpected, and amusing, turn of events considering I was not expecting any e-mails from the service. How this woman could read so much into a score-card is beyond me. Despite the possibility of making things awkward between my colleague and myself, I feel inclined—as a dutiful journalist—to include this development as a humble summation of the event. The irony that the owner of the dating service e-mailed me personally to offer her support in pursuing the girl I walked in with, is not lost on me.
Irony truly makes the world go round. As the traffic roars around us, as we find ourselves divided and isolated in this giant neon mecca called home, I am convinced that the people of Los Angeles might not be so doomed, after all. We can choose to abandon these concrete islands with a little whiskey and a lot of faith. We can choose to reach out over the widening fault-lines and connect with each other. How fast you want to go, is entirely up to you.
Anoush started the business in London, where she was born and raised. I wanted to make it more like a chic party or get-together. The hostesses go around and tap them on the shoulder to casually coax them to move along. This more laid-back version is very popular in England, she said. MyCheekyDate locations are always at upscale restaurants, and the aim is to blend in participants with the regular patrons, not segregate them, she said. She came with a friend, which made it easier, but she admitted that she thought about bailing out a couple of times.
Then she tried to look at it positively. William Roberts of Granada Hills attended an event by the same speed-dating business a couple of weeks ago. Jacki Hardman, of Rancho Cucamonga, has done online dating and wanted to try the face-to-face approach, she said.
To help break the ice, Anoush said, sample questions were on cards on the tables. What started as a dare has led to a slight personal fanaticism in the realm of pre-fab matchmaking. Still, I found myself nervously perusing the LA speed dating institutions mycheekydate, fast life, cupid.
All the young, tanned blondes with bouffants guys love bouffants , clutching each other with one hand and cupping their drink in another in photos splashed across the sites made this kind of thing seem tolerable, almost fun. Was speed dating too cool for me? Will anyone actually LIKE me? Stop me if I sound like Carrie Bradshaw, but I was stewing; I was nervous and excited for the opportunity, but still felt like a total dork, a total desperate, single dork.
After scouring the Internet I found one company that promised to accommodate my inquisitiveness: MyCheekyDate or, cheekydate, depending on the pen, the personal tattoos that they give out, or the website. They offered an intimate speed-dating environment with a genteel, British, twist. I like British People. I made a plan to go to one of their many events and they ARE many in number. MyCheekyDate has specific events depending on your age, affiliation with the entertainment industry and sexual preference.
I was so, so nervous. When I got there, I was ushered into the back room of the trendy Bungalow Club. Anoush, my gracious hostess and the woman who had to put up with all of my cancelling and rescheduling due to pure chicken-shittedness greeted me, and walked me to the bar.
My dress was really short, and I sort of felt like I was wearing a leotard. People started drifting into the back room, nervously eyeing one another. Would there be connections tonight? A couple of men seasoned speed-daters, I imagined started up conversations with more of the nervous-looking girls yes, I fell into that group. The girls seemed decidedly more attractive than the guys though this seems to be a trend with every speed dating service, one which I still find odd.
I thought, was this against the rules, pre-talking? What can I possibly talk about with all these different men? And this one, getting heady, is already trying to get out my good material e.
Then, the game began. It works like this at MyCheekyDate: You get seven minutes with each guy, and then you write on a card if you liked him. If they like you, Anoush sends their email to you and vice versa. My initial nervousness soon turned into confidence. At the end of the event, I put down every guy I could and scuttled out of there.
They liked me, they really liked me! Soon, she asked me to go again, and I did. The result of all of them was the same: