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That Girl

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, June 24, 2005

The friends who accompanied me to Boca Raton's Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant last week for an evening of speed-dating and cheese-covered appetizers prefer, no, strongly insist on remaining nameless. But Derry, one of the 13 swell guys we met at's PreDating event, was so psyched to be there that he made me promise I'd stick him in a story. So, hi, Derry!

I don't yet know if I'm ever going to see Derry, or any of the other 12 bachelor dudes with whom I chatted for six minutes each, because as of the writing of this column, I haven't gotten my match e-mail yet. That's how speed-dating, at least with PreDating and a few other companies, works. We went on a series of mini-dates, with the lasses sitting with a drink and a smile, while the lads rotated through every six minutes until everybody had met.

I like speed-dating because it's basically a more organized version of what happens at every bar, club or party you've ever been to. A bunch of people who don't know anything about each other try to make charming small talk, while making mental notes like "Uh, no" or "Heck, yeah!" or "Well, maybe... "

The difference is that presumably, all of the speed-daters are single (they ought to be, anyway), and specifically there looking to meet somebody. And it's pretty casual — I think six minutes is certainly enough time to figure out whether you want to see somebody again — or never, ever, ever again. In some cases, six minutes is way too much time, honestly, but I can affirm that not one of the guys last week, even the ones I wasn't interested in, made me want to chew my arm off and crawl, bleeding, to the artichoke dip.

And did I mention the appetizers?

Also, it's in an organized, public place, where nobody gets your number or your e-mail unless you've both expressed an interest in each other. PreDating does something that HurryDate, another company whose parties I've been to, doesn't — the "let's talk again" or "let's talk business" option, so you can let the person know you think they're groovy and you'd like to hang out but not hang out, if you get my drift. And I think you do.

So I still don't know who, if anyone, decided they wanted to hang out with me in any capacity this time (I've got my fingers crossed on a few.) I hope ya'll don't mind, but I'll probably keep that little tidbit to myself. Like my friends, I like being incognito every once in a while.

IF YOU GO: The next local PreDating event is on July 12 at 6:20 p.m. at Panama Hattie's, 11511 Ellison Wilson Road, North Palm Beach. Entry is $35 before July 9, $40 after. Go to to register.

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