So, I did it! I feel like I accomplished a lot by pushing myself to go and having the courage to do it by myself. I got prepared by finding the right clothes, that would hide my beer belly, I plucked, shaved and lathered on the good smelling lotion. Yeah, I was getting prepared. Combed and straightened the hair, put on some make-up and felt like I looked good. I sprayed on the cologne that says, "yeah, I'm gonna impress you".
Before this, I have to tell you, my BFF and I were texting each other. I was telling her I was SCARED. Yeah, scared. I didn't like the thought of feeling obligated in talking to people. That was it. So after much coaching I took the plunge.
I arrived with 15 minutes to spare. As I was parking my car I noticed people were getting out two and more to a car. This caused me to feel intimidated. I walked to the court yard of the center and noticed that people were in groups, like friends wise, so I turned right around and walked behind a tree and text my BFF. I said, "I am getting cold feet" of course her response was rational: "YOUR THERE YOU MIGHT AS WELL GO IN". I looked like an idiot. Then I noticed that this guy had walked in the court yard and came out and told the security, "DARN, IT'S ONLY FOR THE LADIES" and walked away. So, I thought, ok, ok, that guy wanted to do it, I can do it too. As, I am ready to walk in these two blonds walk past me, so I walk behind them to follow. They went to register and they give them both registration cards, one said, "oh no, I'm in a 6 year relationship, I brought her and am here for moral support". When I heard this, I was like, 'DAMN, WHERE IS MY BFF WHEN I NEED HER?'
I registered and my number was B-121. I had 10 minutes to spare and was standing, by myself, trying to look cool and nonechalant. I had my big, black sunglasses on and I started to notice the women there checking me out, so it made me more uptight. Mind you, I was doing the same thing, but when I realized they were doing it to me, it started to bug me.
They called us all into this room. There were three rows of ten chairs facing each other. They told the A's to sit in one row and then the B's to sit across from them. They were missing chairs so they started to scramble for chairs as people started to awkwardly sit down. I picked the edge and chose a semi-familiar face. The woman was nice, not my type, but she was friendly so I chose her and it was mainly about the chair being within a few feet from me to sit. The moderator, Farina, was yelling at everyone to be quiet and settle down and listen. She was telling us, 5 minutes, then she honks the horn. It was one of those big, old school, horns, that looks like a bike horn. As she is giving us instruction, I notice the one friend that was there for moral support standing against the wall looking at all of us with a smile, it reminded me of kindergarten when the moms are sitting against the walls watching their kids first day with a smile on their face. I immediately thought, "is that girl not independent, that she needs her friends to hold her hand?" I thanked God my BFF was smart enough to coach me, ON MY OWN.
Farina then emphasized, "BE NICE! LADIES, BE NICE! NO TALKING ABOUT RELIGION OR POLITICS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT START FIGHTING. NO TALKING ABOUT WORK. BE NICE, LADIES! YOU ARE HERE TO HAVE FUN. BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!" The deal was, all the "A" chicks got to stay in their seats. All the "B's" moved, liked musical chairs. You are given two yellow cards. One was the A list and the second the B list. It had a column to jot the name, next to the number and then three columns, one was YES, NO and then blank. For some reason I was checking the blank column, in my head that was a maybe, then I just stopped altogether.
The horn was honked and it was chaos. It became really loud, imagine how close we were, I had the chick next to me constantly putting her purse almost on my lap, I mean we were close. When someone didn't seem to interest me, I would be watching them talk, intently staring at their lips, but I would be hearing what the ones next to us were talking about. I'm going to get racial here. The Asians asked, right away, "what do you do for a living?" The whites would be very nice, smiley and ask, "what made you try this? or How did you hear about this?" The Hispanics would ask me, "what ethnicity are you?" I really didn't come across an African American, there were a group of four of them that showed up together and I happened to have sat in the row with them. So, I never got the chance to speak to them, although I was dying to talk to one that looked like Diana Ross, well her daughter but without the bug eyes. I wanted to tell her, just to be an ass, "has anyone told you, you look like Diana Ross?" I swear she was related to her.
So, I come up to this woman, and her first question to me was have you been to many of these. I said, no my first one, so ask her how many has she been to? She says six. So I said, "wow, how do you hear of them?" She said, "well I am bi-sexual so I have been to four with men and now two with women. Oh, I thought right away, don't over react, keep cool. I asked her, ummmm, well, what is it that you are looking for? At this point, I really wasn't interested, I was just curious about bi-sexuality and the whole aspect of having all these choices. She told me that she is mainly looking to start dating again, that is it. It doesn't matter what sex as long as she gets back into it. Saved by the horn. I move on. A couple of people later I get to this one woman and the first thing I noticed when I shook her hand was how calloused and rough it was. She kept talking about, I really don't know what. I kept nodding and smiling and when I did understand or catch something I would make a brief statement, but she was going on. The last thing she told me, after the horn was honked and I was standing up was, "take the Amtrak, you'll really enjoy it". Ok. About 4 chicks after her I'm talking to some girl and she is laughing as I tell her that I just wanted to do this cause the whole idea of it makes me laugh. She agrees and tells me, I just talked to BUCK, you know from United States of Tara. I quickly asked, which area is she sitting? And sure enough it was the Amtrak chick. I totally agreed with her. The dress, the accent when she spoke, the whole thing was "BUCK". We both agreed, there were some off the wall women amongst us, but all in all it was cool. I then got to one that told me she was told about the event from her church. Of course, since I am always one to like to discuss religion and just hear about it, asked her where her church was, she said Pasadena. I asked her what branch of religion, Episcopalian, so I asked, 'is it the one where the Priest went on Oprah saying 'being gay is a gift from God?' and to her enjoyment it was. She started talking about how the church is, who shows up and the events they have there. I asked her about the hate mail he received and how they were from 'strong Christians' and she told me that it was true that he talked about that one Sunday. I told her I had thought of going to the church, just because I had watched that Oprah bit and she was really excited that I thought of going, like really, really excited.
My OMG moment came with this tall, hot Czech Republic chick. She was tall, and slim, had dyed her hair black, had piercing blue eyes and spoke with an accent. She was a personal trainer, so you can imagine the bod on her. She had gotten there late, like right before I sat in front of her, late. When I got to her she kept complaining that it was too loud. She kept looking around and saying, with her accent, that she didn't think she could stand it much longer. She then touched my knee and told me, "don't take it personal, ok", with that accent and those eyes she could have beat me to a pulp and I wouldn't have taken it personal. She repeated that two more times, at which point I felt like yelling, "DO IT ALREADY!" She then stood up, and as she stood up, the chick to my left yells at me, "WHAT DID YOU DO?!" ooops, my face got red, the room got quiet and I felt like everyone stared at me. Obviously the chick to my left thought she had a chance, and the Czech chick didn't. Whatever, moving on. Later on, I was standing against the wall, during the break, and across the room I hear: "p.Johanna, WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?!" and before I could answer, perpendicular to her, on the other side of the room, I hear, "B-121!", that was my moment of flattery and I smiled and forgot about the hot Czech chick.
All in all, I realized a lot of them were like me. Regular chicks that would like to get back into dating but didn't want to do it club wise. The ones that I felt were off the wall were the ones that told me they just got out of a relationship that had been double digits and wanted to get back into a relationship. I heard many things, "i like to travel" "i like to hike" "i online date" "i'm from ..." I got an E.R. nurse that told me I have a nice soul and should really think about finishing nursing school. She made me look at her in awe because of this one fact: "I'm an identical twin and she is gay too." So much for homosexuality not being genetic. There were different moments that Farina would be honking the horn like someone wasn't getting out of her way on the bike path. Chicks that didn't move caused the line to back up and screaming from Farina and honking would ensew. It was comic. There would be another point that Farina got her helpers to come and honk the horn and the helper would start shouting, "MOVE!" like when 9/11 happened. Towards the end Farina started shouting she just wanted to get home and I swear the 5 minutes dwindled to 2.
Now, about the yellow cards. I mentioned I stopped marking them. The way it works is, if I have a YES checked marked, they go to that card and check to see if it is a YES on that card for B-121 they then exchange our phone number. So, I am pretty much assed out...
Did I find anyone interesting, yes. Is there one that stands out in my head: Yes.