Have you ever been pleasantly surprised for all the wrong reasons? Well since the New Year began, I have had this happen to me in both my “dating life” and my reading life. I was introduced to Alice Clayton, a few years ago and I thought her writing was ok. Honestly, it wasn’t something I would promote or suggest. Although she has published book after book since the one read, I never went back to read any of them. Then one day while searching for a new book, I saw a book cover for her upcoming book, and I smiled at both the title and the cover art. Yet I wasn’t intrigued enough to click and read the synopsis. Quickly after the release date, the 5 star ratings came in, and I still wasn’t convinced to read it. It wasn’t until my book club decided that we would give it a shot. I did and went in with low expectations. The same was true of the events that happened on Tuesday night.
A few weeks ago, my friend Valerie decided that we should go speed dating. Now this wasn’t just any old speed dating, this was a professionals, ages 30-40. At first I thought eh. But the more I thought about it, the more, I said well what do I have to lose? The truth was I would only lose a Tuesday night (at worst). So I jumped on board, and before I knew it, it was Speed Dating night. I did what any girl would do, chose a cute outfit, did my hair and makeup and headed downtown to start this adventure. Truth be told I was hoping that at the very least I would have some laughs and some stories to tell. And boy was I right!
The night started off a little on the weird side when Valerie, her co-worker and I were sitting at a small table by the bar. A woman took it upon herself to take a seat with us and tell us about her lack of dates. The three of us listened as she regaled us with her latest Tinder catastrophe. After a few more stories, we began to see men coming into the nice hotel and we knew they too were for the same event. We finished our drinks and checked in, we were seated around a dinning room that was “blocked off” to the general public.
The girls were the only ones allowed in this area for sometime, and honestly as we looked around we couldn’t help but laugh at how we got ourselves into these situations. Before we knew it we were then introduced to the host for the evening and he gave us a basic explanation on how the evening would go. Of course, the first five-minute round meant that I would be an observer versus an actual participant, because a few men hadn’t shown. Which truth be told, was more than fine by me. I sat back sipped my lemon water, and enjoyed the best people watching of my life.
A long gong (I kid you not) was our signal that it was time for the men to move on to the next table. The first gentleman that joined me was a guy who seemed nice right off the top, then began to tell me what he hated about my lovely city. I honestly sat there laughing, because I mean it’s San- FUCKING Diego, what can you complain about other then we have too much sunshine. To say that I was excited when our five minutes was up would be an understatement. I was ecstatic. Next came an awesome 45 year-old engineer, who couldn’t make eye contact. Like at all. At first, I thought well, that’s funny, but really get it together dude. He finally made eye contact, when he dropped his pen, and had to pick it up.
The night continued very much the same way until a Will Farrell look-a-like sat down, and when I say sat down, I mean threw himself into his chair. “Hi…” Looking at his name badge I finished “Jim.” He looked at my name badge and closed his eyes as if in pain, and said “Shit, man. Your name is Love and I’m over here with the lamest name ever.” I laughed, because I love me a sense of humor, but I quickly learned that his sense of humor was fueled by liquor. Lots and lots of liquor. Over the next seven minutes (he refused to move until he was literally escorted to the next chair) he told me about how he always wished he was a bad ass, but with a face and personality like his, there was really no way “Jim would ever be considered cool.” His whole rant was seriously the best of the night. With phrases like “My ex childhood best friend stopped talking to me, because I called him an asshole to his face, while naked in his childhood bed. Oh, and did I tell you that I drive a car named Matilda.” Now, Jim and I were not a match but he did make my night, because let’s face it hearing a man talk about how much of a wimp he is for never being able to get a massive tattoo of a polar bear and guns on his chest is a win for me.
Following Jim, who asked me all of zero questions about myself was a young man named Lee who began our interaction with “Holy shit, he keeps taking time from me and my potential lady.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because yes, he had in fact taken two of his minutes with me. I learned that Lee was some sort of engineer, we couldn’t help but continue to stray back to all topics Jim, and again it was safe to say that I had not found my match. The night continued very much in the same form, I found that most men were either engineers, or in some sort of IT job.
Another memorable gentleman, who introduced himself by announcing his whole name before he had even taken a seat. “Hi, I’m Tony Montana.” He spoke/shouted while opening his leather jacket showing me his nametag. “Hi, I’m Love.” I replied signaling for him to sit down. “That’s it, that’s your name?” He said as he sat down. “Yup. I only have one name like Cher.” I joked. He didn’t laugh. Once he had written my name on his sheet, he looked at me, and loudly began my 5-minute interview. “Do you want kids?” I sat there, knowing that at least a few people had heard the question, and were now awaiting my response. Completely stunned, that he had decided to ask such a question right off the bat had me speechless. I shook myself out of my shock and answered honestly “You know, right now my answer is no, but you never know, maybe down the road I will change my mind.” I couldn’t tell if this was the response he was looking for but he did continue his interview like questions, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are your goals?” I can honestly say that when the gong was rung, I was more then relieved to say my goodbyes.
By the end of the night I had meet one tennis instructor, and a 46 year-old man who I’m fairly positive was gay. So here is the moral of my speed dating night. Go in ready for some laughs, and there is no way you will be disappointed. Did I find my match? My other half? No, but what I did find, was that even in the most awkward of situations, I can have a good time and make the most of the shenanigans in which I get myself into. This was not the first time I had gotten myself into a situation like this, and I’m sure it wont be my last.
The book Nuts, was honestly more than I could have every wanted in a book. Although the book was fairly predictable, it was absolutely charming. It honestly has to be one of the funniest books I have ever read. From beginning to end, I was smiling and laughing out loud. The premise to this book was so creative and different yet so comically amazing that I finished reading it, only to wipe the laughter tears away and turn to page one to do it all over again. So if you are looking for a funny cute romantic comedy, where the lead character is a bit of a mess yet makes you root for her from the very beginning, then this is the book for you. Plus Leo, the hot farmer has to be one of my favorite male characters of all time (and I’ve read a lot of books!). In the words of Harry Dunne (Dumb & Dumber) “You do something like this and totally redeem yourself!” I’m woman enough to admit, that perhaps I was wrong about Alice Clayton. So do yourself a favor, save the money spent on speed dating and buy yourself this book, and maybe a nice bottle of wine and get ready to read a delightful book.