Pat Benatar taught me long ago that love is a battlefield, but I had never quite understood until a 250-lb, 6’2″ bald man was throwing punches at me. We had been introduced just a few minutes before, at the start of Muay Thai boxing class for singles. The introductions had been followed by a 10-minute warmup, which was so thoroughly ass-kicking that everyone had sweated through their shirts. So much for my super cute workout outfit!
And now he was boxing. I was holding pads, of course, but that didn’t entirely alleviate the fear factor. Not only was he twice as big as me, but he had a lot of trouble remembering the correct order of the shots. We were doing a combination routine, and it called for me to move the pads around to block his shots. So if he threw an elbow when I was expecting a knee, I’d be taking home a black eye instead of a phone number.
I made it through unscathed, though, and finally it was my turn to do the hitting. “Pretend it’s someone you really don’t like,” said the instructor. What a setup for romance–picturing exes and ex-bosses over the face of my new date while I whack at him as hard as I can.
That’s not to say there wasn’t anything sexy about the event. Who knew that effectively kneeing someone in the groin requires the exact same hip thrust that Patrick Swayze taught Jennifer Grey in the beginning of “Dirty Dancing”? You can be sure no one will be putting me in the corner anymore.
To be honest, you might have said all the right things. I’m not sure.
Speed dating is often a pretty international scene. At least on the male side. I’ve never run into a foreign girl, but the guys apparently come from around the world for the opportunity to speed date in Philadelphia. Maybe they’re more adventurous than native dudes? Or more desperate?
Anyway, usually an international speed date is slightly more interesting than average. I can gain a foreign perspective or offer some local guidance. But in this case, all I learned was that you were from India. Not because you were quiet–you talked for almost the entire four minutes. But I didn’t understand a single word. Ok, that’s not true. The occasional word like “Philadelphia” jumped out at me. Otherwise, I had not a freaking clue what you were saying.
I only hope that my smiling and nodding did not signal agreement to a heavily accented proposal or something equally inappropriate. You could have told me that you were planning to kill everyone in the room and I would have responded with a hearty “That’s great. So what do you do for fun?”
I have complained before about repeat speed dates not remembering me. But this guy and I had been on an actual full-length date that he seemed to have forgotten when we met again on a recent night of speed dating.
Granted, it wasn’t that great of a date. (Ok, if you must know, he was the less appealing of the speed dating brothers.) And since I had turned him down for a second date, you’d think I’d be glad he had blocked the memory. Ordinarily, I would have been, but there was a magical spark that night. It just happened to be between me and a pool table.
I have always wanted to be one of those cool, laid-back girls who can hustle guys at pool. Unfortunately, I suck. As in, I not infrequently miss the cue ball altogether.
But that night I was on fire. I don’t know if it was a perfect mix of beer and wings in my system, or the calm of knowing I didn’t want to date this guy again so I didn’t have to impress him, but I was truly good at pool for once in my life. It was like the night I bowled a 123, except my mom wasn’t there to make a big sign and take a picture of me with it.
Sadly, there’s no evidence at all of my pool triumph, I know now that I’ve re-met my date. I mean, I didn’t ask him outright, but if the whole night has disappeared from his faulty memory, it seems unlikely that my amazing game stuck. I knew I should have bought myself a trophy.
When a girl asks if your advertising job is like Mad Men (specifically “Do you get drunk all the time and pinch secretaries’ asses?”), the modern sensitive guy answer is not “Well, yeah, sometimes.”