A win for monkeys.

As promised, I took my new question for a spin last week, at a lock-and-key party. (Yes, I swore never to attend another one, but this was different– one of my friends actually wanted to go.)

What I learned is that people LOVE monkeys. In fact, it seems that a robot servant may only be tempting to those of us with a family connection to robots. Wait, you’re thinking, Speed Dating Girl is part robot? Sorry, no, I know it would totally explain my cold and systematic approach to dating, but what I meant was that Little Dating Brother (Haven’t heard from him lately, have we? I will have to look into that) programs robots. I’d like to hope that he could come up with one for me to go out with, but in the last demo I saw, the robot fell over when it tried to dance. Would never work as a wedding date.

Anyway, all the guys (and girls) at the lock and key were revealing themselves to be animal-loving, non-poop-phobic people, until one weird dude finally proved the worth of the question in sussing out psychos.

“Why that’s an easy choice,” he said. “I’d pick the monkey, so when I got angry at people, the monkey could throw things at them.”

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My new go-to question

Wow. Thanks to your many fascinating questions, I should never have to have another boring conversation. I wish that I could give all of you an awesome prize. And that I could take all of you speed dating with me. Although,  based on the tone of some of the contest entries, I think a couple of you super-speedy daters would be hustling off to the bathroom for a quickie with your first date. Note: I said I was looking for questions that would help me get to know a guy in a few minutes, not get to do him.

I’m tempted to list all the submissions, but that could lead to second-guessing of my choice. The winning question might not be the most revealing of a person’s personality or the best predictor of compatibility, but I really liked it for its sheer wackiness. And for the accompanying explanation– it’s good to know that I’m not the only one out there insanely over-analyzing my conversations. So, without further ado, the winner:

You have to choose between two equally trained servants. One is a monkey, one is a robot, which would you choose and why?

I’ve asked this one to a lot of people and I typically get three types of responses. The people who pick monkey do so because well, let’s face it, monkeys are cool. These are typically the same types of people who have/like pets. And typically enjoy life. The robot people do so because they “don’t want to deal with monkey poop” or don’t want to get too involved with another being. I’ve had a few who will go with the robot because they think it’s unethical to have another living being as a “servant” – those are very few. And finally, there are those who want it all and go with a “robot monkey”- they want it all or can’t make a decision.

Oh, and just for the record, I’m a monkey person. Why? Because monkeys are cool.

I wish, Megan Morr and Jenny Cook (apparently it was a team effort), that I could offer you a monkey servant as your prize. Instead, you’ll have to settle for a super cool SDG t-shirt.

Falling off a pedestal

Remember how when you were in kindergarten, teachers seemed so powerful and omniscient? They had control of the crayons, knew how to read, and could identify all the dinosaurs.

I used to feel sort of the same way about speed dating hosts. (No, don’t get all excited thinking that I went speed dating with dinosaurs. It’s a metaphor.) Sure, sometimes the hosts were disorganized or overly perky, but I always assumed they were all in happy relationships. They worked these events not just for the couple bucks it pays, but to share their wisdom (and a little pity) with us singletons.

Then, the other night, I lost my illusions. I was talking to a host about whether speed dating actually ever works. “Honestly,” I told her, “speed dating may work once in a while, but I think online dating is much more effective for meeting compatible guys.”

“Really?” she said, “That’s very interesting. What site have you used?”

And then, before I could answer, she added, “Because I’ve been thinking it might be time for me to try online dating, but I didn’t know where to go. What do you think I should do?”

My jaw dropped as if Mrs. Shoemaker had just asked me to proofread her resume. Of course, I soon came to my senses and offered a way-too-detailed analysis of the pros and cons of every available dating site. But I’ll never be quite as awed by her authority again; next time she blows the whistle in the middle of my interesting conversation, I might just keep talking.

*Want to be my new dating guru? Don’t forget you’ve got less than a week left to enter the contest!

You write the script: an SDG contest!

I was sitting in the corner of the bar reading Time magazine when it hit me: am I a boring date? This crisis of confidence had been triggered by a string of painfully unstimulating speed dates.

First there was the guy who was excited to hear where I grew up, because he was trying to borrow a book from a library in my hometown. Librarians may sometimes be sexy, but talking about  them never is.

Then there was the cute, young doctor. Early on, we determined that he used to belong to the organization where I work. Somehow, the question of whether he should rejoin became the focus of our entire conversation, so that my parting words to him were, “We really have a lot of resources to offer subspecialists!” Who wouldn’t want some more of that?

The next boring date was solicting my medical expertise, because he was about to have knee surgery to repair a skiing injury. Not sexy, but at least noteworthy for our use of the word cadaver multiple times in a 4-minute date.

Bad, right? So before I end up telling dates about my bowels (there’s a taste of Speed Dating 2051 for you), I’m asking for help. Next time, it’s up to you to choose my conversational topic. To win the latest Speed Dating Girl contest, submit a question that you think would make for good, or at least interesting, speed dating.

The challenge is pretty simple–you can do it even if you’ve never been on a bad date (if there are any of you lucky bastards out there). But there are a few guidelines. The ideal question will identify the guys who are worth a follow-up date and provide a blog-worthy anecdote about those who definitely aren’t. And please note, the question should not be rude or offensive. (Or at least, not any more so than I am unscripted!) Submit your entries to speeddatinggirl@yahoo.com by Sunday, March 20.

The winner will get an awesome prize and my solemn vow to use the question on my next speed dating adventure. And of course, all of you will get to read the exciting (I hope!) results in an upcoming post.