Thursday 8th September 2011
PAGE me… love letters… shelf life… reading between the lines… book early.
Too many tempting puns. The evening wouldn’t be complete without Matchmakers chocolates. I even set up a dater base.
Speed dating took off towards the end of the last millennium. Being featured on Sex and the City helped spread the word. The events appealed to those thinking it pointless to spend a whole evening having a first date with someone, as they could decide within minutes (or even seconds) whether or not s/he was a potential partner.
I would, dear reader, advise against researching the swathes of research available online regarding attraction, pheromones and the Major Histocompatibility Complex. You’d be better off going on a blind date with somebody twice your age whose only interests were dung beetles or the history of the fuel dispensing nozzle.
For our Read Dating event at a literature festival, participants chose a favourite book title, character or author, by which they were ‘known’ during the evening. The women were seated and the men asked to move on, clockwise, every four minutes.
The system almost collapsed after the first round, when Moby Dick, turning left rather than right, found himself contending with The Lord of the Rings in an attempt to be the first to get To Kill A Mocking Bird, leaving Pippi Longstocking to discuss common interests with Jack Kerouac while Jane Eyre, suddenly unexpectedly dateless, checked her phone messages.*
(* Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
At the end of the evening, everyone handed in sealed envelopes, containing the identities of possible matches. Several men later emailed to add more names. Where X met Y on my elaborate chart, I passed on the relevant contact information.
That was in October 2006.
On Monday I received an email telling me that Charlotte Gray and Love in the Time of Cholera have not looked back since, have a delightful 18-month-old daughter and were married in June of this year.
I do love a happy ending.