Back in December of 2011, TLC ran two half hour specials called ‘Geek Love’. The geek and nerd community didn’t exactly receive the show with open arms, but I couldn’t really judge it because I didn’t watch the show. I just knew that some of my friends were really pissed off about the mere fact that it existed. Fast-forward about five months and I see that Sci-fi Speed Dating is part of the programming at Wizard World Philly. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what exactly it was that stirred the pot so much among the con-going crowd, so naturally, I registered to take part in the activity.
Together with my friend Caitlin, I braved through the sea of nerves that came along with deciding to participate in speed dating. We approached the registration booth where Ryan Glitch, the founder and operator of Sci-fi Speed Dating, sat dressed as Anakin Skywalker. He was very friendly and he explained to us how this was going to work. First, we were given our numbers. (In case you’re wondering, I was number 3.) Then, we were separated since the guys and girls weren’t supposed to see each other before the dates began. When it was finally time to start, the ladies entered the room first. After a few minutes, the guys entered and Ryan explained the rules. He said that this whole thing was meant to be anonymous, so we shouldn’t share names, occupations, hometowns, and that sort of thing. He went on to lighten the mood by telling jokes because many of the participants looked pretty nervous. After the formalities were completed, we got to the main event: The dates.
In all, I believe that I went on at least 10-15 dates. After we got started, I wasn’t really nervous. With most of the girls, conversation just came naturally, and then before we knew it, the three minutes were up and I had to move on.
Here are some highlights from my conversations with these very nice girls:
- With a dater dressed as Kid Icarus, we talked about her costume and how annoying it is that they sell left wing goose feathers and right wing goose feathers separately.
- After we discovered that we were both covering this event for work, a pretty zombie girl bit me. (She was very nice about it.)
- A con volunteer dressed as a crew member from ‘Star Trek’ (who was very attractive, I might add) and I discussed some movies.
- A buxom pirate and I chatted about our favorite songs to sing at karaoke bars.
Overall, the whole experience was really fun. I went into it confident and with the intention to try something new and to, at the very least, have some interesting conversations. I got exactly what I was looking for out of Sci-fi Speed Dating, except for a second date. Though I may come off as a ladies man through my many articles here on ScienceFiction.com, I only walked away with one e-mail address. I didn’t even get my friend’s phone number! But it’s okay because it was still a good time. In fact, I might even try it again at the next con.
Before leaving, my friends and I had a chance to chat with Mr. Glitch about various topics including how long he’s been doing this and some times that things got out of hand. Then, when we got on the subject of the success rate of Sci-fi Speed Dating, he informed us that they’re up to at least 8 engaged couples and 37 couples seriously dating. While it wasn’t my time to find love at this speed dating outing, it makes me really happy to know that some long-lasting connections have been made because of this little group of fans who just wanted to bring other fans together.
So, despite TLC’s unwelcome attempt at exploiting geeks and nerds trying to find love, and my lack of results, the activity of Sci-Fi Speed Dating is pretty fun and I’d recommend that any single con goer give it a shot. Who knows? You might be the next success story that Ryan and his crew talk about during the next interview.