Hi friends! Well I went to THREE events this week! Don’t be scared, I’m only going to tell you about two today. Two were outstanding and one was a complete disaster. I went to Ignite Chicago, speed-dating, and a beach front boot camp/yoga. And which do you suppose caused me the most pain? If you think the boot camp was the event during which I endured the most misery, you are sorely mistaken. It was the speed dating.
Who is still torturing themselves with this ridiculousness!?!? I’ve done speed dating about five or six times in the past ten years. Back in the day, it was so horrible that it was fun in its kitschy-campiness. In fact, I always got a date out of it, and even once dated a very nice guy for three months! But apparently, over the years, speed dating has apparently become archaic and down right pathetic. As my followers know, I have been attempting to speed date for the past six months through Hurry Date www.hurrydate.com. I should have taken the fact that my last three parties had been cancelled as a big red flag of an indication on how this event would go. But lured in by the free passes that I got every time a party was cancelled, and the promise of eight dates in one night (more than I’ve had this year…..), I headed off to Brownstone Tavern looking forward to an amusing night if nothing else. I walked in as it was about to start and saw that the speed daters were sectioned off in the back like some contagious lepers for all the other patrons to point and laugh at. As usual, I saw several cute girls sitting at the tables. There were seven of us. And there was a super hot guy. Oh, wait- that’s the host. Never mind. Where were our dates? Hmmm, one, two, three, four…..four dates for seven ladies? That hardly seems right. And none of these boys are even cute! Well, let’s keep an open mind. Guy one just sat across from me and listed all the baseball stadiums he had ever been to. That was a long five minutes! Then I had to sit there for five minutes by myself since there were only enough guys for me to have a date every OTHER five minutes. I amused myself by taking this picture which expresses how I felt: Then the next guy came. He was nice, did a lot of volunteer work, but I wasn’t feelin’ him at all. The next guy sold knives door to door. I hope his product wasn’t as dull as he was! (I didn’t even know people did that anymore!) Finally the last guy came. Meh. But the good news? Another free pass! Anyone want it? I don’t. I thought about saying yes to a couple of the guys just to see what would happen, but why pursue someone that I couldn’t tolerate after five minutes?!?
The bigger picture: After six months of doing this blog, I have reached a conclusion I already knew. I was discussing this modern trend in dating (on line, singles events, speed dating, etc.) with one of my most best single girlfriends. We were talking about the fact that in general, these things DON’T WORK! They are not successful ways to meet people (I know, that’s not true for everyone). How can you possibly become emotionally invested in someone you met randomly one night for an hour in some contrived situation? Why would you even give anyone a chance knowing that tomorrow there will be another event with 100 more hot singles?!? In a place like Chicago, where there are so many singles and so many events, we have become overwhelmed and completely saturated with choices and therefore, do not ever make any. My girl was saying, and I agreed, if you want to meet someone you have to be in a situation where you are exposed to them more than once. You become emotionally connected and you build a bond based on your common situation (work, school, a social club, etc). I have made this declaration before in this blog and I’ll say it again- when this year is up, I will commit to ONE thing that I like best and go to it every week and make some real, long-lasting relationships that have happened organically.
Who likes to blow shit up?!? That was the beginning of this guys speech. He looks like a trip, right? He was! Beyond the sequined jacket, he was a Shaman and photographer and he spent five minutes talking to us and showing photographs from Burning Man. What and where is all this fun happening?!? Why at Ignite Chicago of course! Check it out: http://ignitechi.org/ I knew it would be good because it was produced by Pete Aiello of www.goteampete.com (Pete of the awesome beer ‘n’ bikes tour) and partner of my all time favorite Saya Hillman of www.macncheeseproductions.com (Mingler parties, Fear Experiment, and Potluck)- their stuff is always my favorite. So Ignite is where all the coolest, hippest, bright minds in Chicago come together and listen to other amazing people talk for five minutes on whatever “ignites” their passion while showing twenty slides, each changing every fifteen seconds- so you better have your shit timed! It took place in the Merchandise Mart in their new community space: 1871. It’s an impressive space. And there were some great talks. Some were informative, or hilarious, or poignant. They ranged from homelessness, to how to quit your job, to how to nurture a mad scientist. Not all were brilliant, but the less good ones only lasted five minutes anyway! But my favorite was a girl who did hers on “how to make friends”. Every day, for one year, she had to make a new friend. The interaction had to be in person (not cyber), significant, and the person had to agree to be her friend and exchange information. I was so impressed and inspired. She said once she brought a goldfish into a bar as a conversation starter- it worked! And at the end of the year, she actually put together some kind of exhibit where she documented her journey and invited her more than 400 new friends to attend! Isn’t that awesome?!? I wonder how many she actually became “real” friends with? I’m sorry I didn’t talk to her, I would like to be her friend too! Ignite is really a great way to meet some fascinating people with great ideas who truly have their pulse on what’s hot, innovative and up and coming in Chicago.
Rating: Speed-dating- 1 of 5. Boo! Ignite- 4.5 of 5
What about that third event Guinea Pig? I’m sure you’ve all noticed the trend here, unless I’m dancing, I go to events that involve me sitting, and/or eating, and/or drinking. In order to balance all that out, I went to the boot camp/yoga on Oak Street Beach. So for those of you “sporty” or “active” types out there, I finally have something for you! But that’s next week. Oh, plus next week is a road trip to one of the most ridiculous places in America- House on the Rock! You will hear all about that as well in the next few weeks.
And speaking of road trips…..I have to leave town for a wedding. it’s a shame because this weekend has the best stuff ever happening!!!! But just because I can’t go, doesn’t mean you can’t. Friends, if you want something to do this weekend, attend the World’s Largest Block Party at Old St. Pat’s http://worldslargestblockparty.com/ (Ben Folds Five is playing) or the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Lisle http://eyestotheskies.org/ These are two of my favorite festivals of all times and I am devestated that I’ll be missing them. But it doesn’t mean you should! See you next week.