Ding

On your mark, get set, date!

SEVEN RAPID-FIRE DATES at eight-minute intervals may sound like an Olympic event, but it's less athletic than social. It's not the breaststroke—unless you're really fast—but SpeedDating, the latest concept on the Jewish singles scene. Created by Aish HaTorah, an international Jewish educational organization, SpeedDating's designed to eliminate the discomfort of blind dates and the bar pick-up scene, while still encouraging Jewish heritage and schmoozing.

In SpeedDating, participants switch partners every seven minutes at the sound of a bell—not exactly traditional matchmaking, but easier than going online. At the end of the evening, each candidate fills in a yes-or-no answer card for every "date," indicating whether they'd like to see the person again. If a match is made, coordinators then provide paired-off participants with each other's phone number. (To be put on SpeedDial, no doubt.) Seven out of seven, of course, is a perfect score.

To see what Jewish singles can expect at Seattle's inaugural SpeedDating event (October 4, Cap Hill Starbucks at Olive and Summit, 633-6044), this intrepid reporter flew out to Manhattan to participate in one such gathering—an advance screening, if you will. The following is a transcript of my efforts to get lucky in a hurry. (Not that I need any help in that department—but, hey, you never know.)

DING!

Hi, I'm Michael.

I'm Tammy. This is pretty strange, huh?

Yeah, keeps you on your toes.

Yep.

[Pause]

DING!

Well, nice meeting you. Maybe we'll. . . .

Hi, I'm Liz.

Wow, that was fast. I'm Michael. That's a nice blouse.

Listen, since we don't have very much time, let's cut to the chase. Do you see a future here?

You mean in New York?

No, silly, with me!

Well, it's kinda hard to tell. I mean, we just. . . .

What's wrong with me?

Nothing! That's not what I meant. . . .

DING!

I'm Michael. I'm just sort of getting used to this format, you know?

Sorry, you're not my type.

Oh. [Pause] Nice weather we're having.

[Silence]

DING!

Hi, my name's Michael.

Hiya. I'm Jennifer.

Let's see . . . do you like hockey?

What kind of hanky are you talking about?

Ha! No, I said "hockey."

I dig your style, Mitchell.

Michael.

Whatever. Here's my number, I think they're about to ring the. . . .

DING!

Hey.

Hey.

Wow. Funny seeing you here. How've you been?

Good.

Good. How are your folks?

They're fine. Yours?

They're good. Meet anybody you like so far?

Michael, it's over, OK? Stop following me.

DING!

Hi, my name's Michael. [Pause] You don't have to write that down. [Pause] Seen any good movies lately? [Pause] I liked The Sixth Sense. [Pause] I mean, I don't believe in ghosts, really, but it makes you think. About the beyond. [Pause] What happens and stuff. Where you go. Do you have any thoughts on that? [Pause] You don't. That Haley Joel kid sure was good, though.

DING!

Hi. Come here often?

Kiss me.

 
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