Twenty first-dates in an hour

2011-02-17 13:20

Twenty first-dates in an hour. Sounds tiring. Well it was, but great fun. Each date was a mere three minutes long, with a minute to switch partners.

The mood was perfectly set with dim lighting and a black and red colour theme. And it being hosted on Valentine’s Day made it a little romantic.

These “Love Sucks” anti-Valentine parties were held simultaneously at Clapham Gold in Fourways, Johannesburg and at the Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town.

The red carpet lined at the entrance set a warm welcome for more than 400 participates who were there either to have fun, to find the “one” or just “to do something different”.

5fm, Vuzu and Chevrolet were the hosts of the event, with the aim of breaking the Guinness speed-dating world record.

As welcoming as it was, it did not do much for the nerves.

The place was unfamiliar territory for me and it proved that people from the north of Joburg are a bit different from those in the south (where I’m from).

It didn’t help that I was completely under-dressed. Dressed for a dating-marathon and assuming it would be exhausting, I wore jeans and flats while all the girls around me were in cocktail dresses and stilettos.

I must have missed the memo.

It was indeed going to be a long night.

We were divided into circles of 40, labelled A-J.

Each group had a mix of males and females and in order to set the world record, everyone had to date 20 people from their group.

To validate this, each participant had a booklet that all the dates had to sign, along with two witnesses.

And as many things African, the event did not start on time.

“The dating will begin in 10 minutes” was said a couple of times in the space of an hour.

But because of the crowd’s racial and cultural diversity, we had a lot to talk about while waiting.

Finally it started.

For some, three minutes was just too little but for others it felt like a lifetime.

There were pretty faces, “wow” faces and just some dodgy-looking people.

Even though this was the case, it kept the evening quite interesting.

By the time I got to the 12th date, my jaw was sore and my feet were begging for mercy.

But at least I did not spend Valentine’s Day on my own.

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