Drunk, Sober, High: Speed Dating at Willard
Speed dating and Willard Building aren’t two things that you would expect to go together, but on Thursday night, they did. PSU Matchmaker, a dating television show on PSNTV, hosted the event. Guys and gals were pitted together in 367 Willard for three minutes of conversation at a time. Around 25 people cycled in and out of the room throughout the night. Pop music blasted in the background and each table — otherwise known as two desks pushed together — was adorned with a paper heart and a battery-powered tealight candle.
We sent three reporters to the speed dating event in varying forms of inebriation. Here are their accounts of what went down.
She left. High fucking left. My one bastion of hope, my knowledge of someone, somewhere in the room that was in the same position as me? Gone. I was stuck, fidgeting with paper cutout hearts and fake candles, talking about the same things over and over again. You know the worst part? It wasn’t the repetitive conversations, which my family trained me for over Thanksgiving. It wasn’t the awkward silences. It was the warm seats. Another person’s warm, nervously moving cheeks were there, moments before. No bueno.
Highlights: The guy before me had quite the lisp, and as such, my table was often covered in his saliva. I went around twice because a girl asked me to, and I couldn’t come up with a good enough excuse as to why I couldn’t. So I had conversations with everyone twice, all of whom thought it would be fun to make a game out of seeing how much I remembered about them from last time. My answer? My inebriated mind remembered nothing. Not names, hobbies, majors, or years, or anything else. And they were mad. I wasn’t drunk enough to spare myself of the embarrassment. Lesson learned: Five shots of whiskey is not enough whiskey.
If I learned one thing about speed dating on Thursday night, it was that you should never, ever, under any circumstance do it soberly. Speed dating made me crave alcohol, and that was only partially because the loud dance music blasting in the room made me feel like I was at Indigo.
I’ve always struggled with conversations when meeting new people. My friends would likely tell you that I’m outgoing and fun, but I can assure you that my speed dates didn’t get that impression. It was so tedious. We talked about why we were there, what year we are, our major, our interests, and how loud the music was. Lather, rinse, and repeat. It just droned on and on and on.
It all felt so forced, which they quite literally were. I found myself wondering if I would ever talk to any of these people if a girl yelling “SWITCH!” at the front of the Willard classroom didn’t make me move to the next desk. I finished my apple cider or sparkling juice (or whatever I was wishing was wine) way too quickly, so I awkwardly carried an empty cup to each date and played with it to keep my mind off of the discomfort of the whole thing.
I’m not going to lie and pretend that I didn’t have one or two enjoyable conversations. I was so overwhelmed by the time I had to leave that I didn’t even bother asking about being matched with people, so I’ll likely never see the one date I enjoyed again. But if you read this, Kim, give me a call.
That was a mistake. Speed-oriented events are not meant for individuals slowed by the effects of marijuana.
Drunk and I arrived just on time. There was a surprisingly large amount of eager daters there. They set the mood by decorating the tables with hearts and fake candles. I knew it was a mistake as soon as I saw the decor, but it was too late to back out. By the time we started I already wanted to leave.
Each date lasted three minutes, which wasn’t even long enough for me to collect my thoughts before switching to the next guy.
I’m a generally shy person when sober, and even quieter when I’m high. I’m pretty sure half of what I said wasn’t even English. Maintaining conversation was difficult. What if what I’m saying is weird? Do I sound high as fuck? How many of those free cookies can I eat before they stop me?
As each guy passed, I got more and more paranoid that I was being awkward. Out of nervousness, I continuously chugged the apple cider they provided despite that fact it tasted like cat piss. I watched as Drunk and Sober cheerfully carried on conversations with their dates, while I was inwardly panicking.
After about an hour of dating there was some sort of mix-up and I ended up dateless for a minute. This was my chance.
I made a break for the exit and didn’t look back.