Oh man, this is a little awkward. The guy sitting across from me is definitely my friend’s dad. He doesn’t know who I am, but I know who he is. If I stop smiling and nodding, I’m pretty sure I’ll start freaking out. This was my formal introduction to speed dating on Tuesdays at Wow-Wee Maui Kava Bar and Grill. Don’t worry, things get better.
Why am I speed dating in the first place? It’s not that I don’t enjoy being single. It’s just sometimes, late at night while I’m laying alone in the dark, I wish someone had caught all the vague pop culture references I made that day. This, coupled with curiosity, is what had me seeking out speed dating.
The speed dating process is simple: First, you register at the front desk. Just remember that $5 is a small price to pay for meeting the love of your life. At the front desk, you’ll give them your first name, phone number and e-mail address. In return, they’ll give you a nametag with a number and a form to write down other people’s numbers.
From there, you’re assigned a table. To ease the process, Wow-Wee Maui places helpful icebreaker questions on the table. Maybe I’m just a prude, but “Do you sleep with two pillows or three?” seems a tad forward for a first (speed) date. The question I found to be most useful was “What’s in your glass?” Hallelujah for the bar. Trust me, many people utilized Maui Wowee’s amply stocked bar before speed dating. But, I digress.
After being seated, your host, Dr. Charlie Bennet, will further explain the process. Each date lasts 3-4 minutes. A minute before the end of the date, Dr. Bennet rings a cowbell, indicating that time is running out. What he doesn’t tell you is that in that last minute you’ll be doing more grappling than a wrestler. Depending on your partner, this minute can extend to eternity, or be over in a second. If you’re female, get comfortable. In an act of modern day chivalry, it’s the men who go from table to table, sort of like a bee going from flower to flower.
Speaking of flowers, the women were presented with complimentary orange roses as well as gift bags containing some dating essentials: dark chocolate and condoms. A waitress routinely checks on each table to see if you want another dating essential.
While speed dating, you write down and circle the numbers of the people you clicked with. When the dates end (there are usually enough people to have eight dates), you give back the form to the front desk. They’ll be the ones to discern if you’re a match for anyone. If you are, Maui Wowee will contact you by email, then later by phone.
Some people like to make a big show of writing down your number and circling it, othersC9not so much. The good news is, after the awkward moment with my friend’s dad things started looking up. I enjoyed the experience, even though I didn’t find my soul mate.
Hey, there’s always next Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll see you there. MTW