Trust me, it only gets worse…
Today I am happy to have guest-writer Jon contribute a fascinating and humorous tale from his personal life that will please any fan of my “Adventures In Dating” stories. In a phone conversation Thursday afternoon, Jon told me that his plans for that evening included the possibility of attending something called “Speed Dating For Smiths Fans.” Without hesitation, I told him that he had to go — not because I am interested in seeing a friend find a romantic link, but because I wanted him to write about the experience. It’s times like these I regret moving across the country to Los Angeles. Could you imagine the damage I might carry out at such an event were it held in closer proximity to where I live? I am heavily considering creating a “Speed Dating For LOST Fans” event in LA. I have no interest in finding a date, but maybe it’d help Nate finally bang out with a hot girl he could also talk at about his LOST theories.
To my surprise, Jon responded positively to my request for him to write about “Speed Dating For Smiths Fans,” and here is his account of what transpired the other night. Please enjoy, and thank you Jon for being such a good friend and contributing to Swan Fungus. You’ve now earned carte blanche (like Ian and Sam) to submit any piece of writing you want to the website (note: that doesn’t mean I will post it. I am a cruel, dictatorial blog owner). Also, I’ve included some bracketed editorial comments, mostly to make fun of Jon and Smiths fans.
Speed Dating For Smiths Fans
What do you get when you mix The Smiths and speed dating? Hopefully a good blog post. But if you’re looking for love, you may have to Stretch Out And Wait. Could anything more be expected when the thing that has brought you together is The Pope of Mope? I, guest blogger Jon, am here to come clean. For those of you that are stoned and haven’t yet processed anything I’ve written beyond “What do you get…” yes, I attended a Smiths-themed speed dating event in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Never in a million years could I see myself speed dating, but when I read on Gothamist about Smiths speed dating, I told myself I had to go. Then again, if I saw an ad for The Smiths Anal Rape Night, I’d probably attend that too. In case you can’t tell, I really like The Smiths… as in my favorite band is The Smiths. Don’t be so quick to judge the quality of my musical taste, I can give Evan a run for his (lack of) money when it comes to music knowledge, so its not like I haven’t been exposed to good music. The Smiths are just The Bees Knees.
Subconsciously, I think I went to the speed dating event to validate my love of The Smiths. I mean, seriously, who can say they attended a fucking Smiths speed dating night? I don’t even think Morrissey can claim as much. That’s right, I just implied that I have more Smiths cred than Morrissey. Right now, only about sixty-plus people (and those who were turned away at the door) can make such a claim. Yes, so many people showed up they had to turn people away. Continuing with the psychoanalysis, I also think I went to the event to piss off my friend Ian. He hates the fact that an “All he does is play goddamn arpeggios” guitarist like Johnny Marr could be so revered. Ian also hates that his supposed BFF, who supposedly has good taste in music, could be brainwashed into believing the hype surrounding The Smiths [There's "hype" surrounding The Smiths? I thought their fans were a small pocket of misanthropic shut-ins and homos!â€”Ed.]. Finally, I’m sure some part of me went because it would actually be really nice to finally meet someone with similar interests. I have yet to date a girl for more than a couple of months who knew who the Smiths were! I once dated a girl who said she knew who they were, only to discover a month later (after I pulled out a Smiths record) she had no idea who they were! She then said she thought my favorite band was The Sniffs! I knew right then and there that she and I could only date for two-and-a-half more months. On a serious note, I recently broke up with a really great girl primarily for this reason…our interests were too dis-similar. When I have found someone who fits the bill, they tend to live on the other side of the country, if that close. Shortly after breaking up with that girl, I met a cool girl who was in a rock band, liked some of the same bands I liked…Did any of that matter? Nope! She lives in France. By now you can maybe see why I like The Smiths so much.
Speed Dating For Smiths Fans took place at this small bar in Greenpoint. The host was Dave Hill, who my improv-loving friend tells me is a “big deal,” but who I wouldn’t be able to recognize in a lineup of Native American women. I was in a bit of a stupor when I first walked in, having just gone record shopping and having been disconnected from Evan while trying to buy some more records through him. Damn those unsteady phone signals. As soon as I walked into the bar, they handed me a sticker with a number and a sheet with Morrissey’s picture. So far, so awkward. Less than half of the crowd came alone, so we were mostly just sitting around being awkward pretending to look cool by playing with our iPhones. At a time when the presence of everyone in the room was a public admittance that we were desperate enough to attend a Smiths-related dating event, the organizers devised a plan to calm our uneasiness. How, you ask? Well, if you guessed “A film crew from Time Out New York” to capture us at our most vulnerable and humiliate us on a much (who am I kidding, sightly) larger scale, you would be correct! Thank God the owners of Time Out are trying to sell that piece of shit; it can’t turn a dime, and the hipster douches who were filming us will soon have nothing more than the interest on their trust funds to fuel their addictions. Before the “dating” started I heard the two Time Out people talking amongst themselves in a condescending tone, wondering why all of these people were on their phones and not mingling. What should we have been talking about, oh wise dating sages? The 21-year-old with the goatee and the size negative 4 jeans standing in the corner? Congratulations, cameraman. You’re at a Smiths speed date. In a sea of Greenpoint hipsters you’ve managed to ascend to the apex of hipsterdom and earn the prize for biggest douche of them all.
It should be noted, before I continue, that the guy who lead the event (I don’t think it was Dave Hill) was really cool and did a great job ensuring the evening went smoothly. He was expecting only twenty people, and instead the place was overflowing [with under-sexed or possibly asexual, overly-emotional nerds?â€”Ed.]. He didn’t even charge a fee to participate. All in all, kudos to him. I wanted him to be my friend almost as much as I wanted a girl to like me. I guess I should also mention the name of the bar, since they were kind enough to host this for free. it is called the Black Rabbit on Greenpoint Ave.
Now on to the actual “dating”. We were told to pair up at the tables and benches, and at the end of each Smiths or Morrissey song, the guys would rotate. Everything was optional though, no one was overseeing anything. In other words, if what would be considered the normal rotation was going to leave me with a Girl That Was Bigger Than Others, I could just move to another part of the room without making a scene. Don’t worry though, I’m not that shallow. I stuck to the normal rotation and spoke to all-comers. As for the girls, you’d think it would be a pretty reasonable assumption that everyone there likes the Smiths, right? More girls than not had at best a passing interest in the band. I only met one girl who actually tried to get tickets to Morrissey’s upcoming New York City shows. What the fuck?! Every girl I met said the same thing: “I’ve never speed dated, never thought I would, but when I saw this I thought I’d give it a shot.” What made this speed date different from any other speed date? The Smiths? If you take them away, its regular old speed dating! I understand that even if you don’t like the Smiths, you may like the type of guy that likes the Smiths, but come on! If they had Desperate Housewives speed dating — even though I’m sure the girls would be really attractive, and one or two might even possess a soul — there’s no way in hell I’m going to that if for no other reason than out of respect for the girls who came to meet people with similar interests. There was one girl at Smiths Speed Dating who didn’t even know who Morrissey was until early that afternoon! They should have put giant headphones on her, sat her in the corner facing the wall, and made her listen to The Queen is Dead on repeat until she was talking with a British accent and ripping her shirt off and throwing it to her adoring fans. Er…I mean speed daters.
I walked in with no expectations. I was there more for the story than the encounters [sure you were Jon, sure you were...â€”Ed.] but fortunately a couple of the girls were actually pretty cool. I think I really hit it off with a girl who I would probably never meet in any other situation, because its not every day that I befriend full-blown anarchists. Seriously, she was an I-make-a-living-by-publishing-anarchist-materials anarchist! She was — perhaps surprisingly — really down to earth and intelligent. The only problem was that she seemed pretty tough. Maybe that’s just my anarchist bias talking, but that was the impression she gave me. Like, if I ever met her in a dark alley, one of us would be getting their face bashed in, and you can probably guess who that would be. That’s right…her. There’s no way I’d let a girl kick my ass. Still, she’d probably put up a good fight.
The crown jewel of the night, though, was a girl that had a role in a movie I saw recently. I distinctly remember thinking to myself during the movie that the girl was beautiful. I also distinctly remember thinking to myself during our brief encounter that the girl was beautiful. Lest you think my attraction to women is purely physical [you mean there's more to women than looks?â€”Ed.], she also had a great personality! Or so I think, since I only had William It Was Really Nothing to get to know her. She was sarcastic, outgoing, and seemed to be just plain fun. She made fun of me for never having seen High Fidelity [you're not missing much, Jon, just one of a cheesy romantic comedy that gives record store employees a bad name!â€”Ed.]. The rules of Smiths Speed Dating stipulated that we were supposed to get the e-mail addresses of the girls that liked us, but I just scribbled mine down and it’s probably illegible so I may have simple find this girl on Facebook. Who knows, maybe Smiths speed dating will Let Me Get What I Want This Time. There was one other girl that had a Shyness That Was Criminally Vulgar (understandably so) but gave me the sense that if she was in a more comfortable setting she could be fun. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for her, it turns out we’re both taking the same sketch writing class at UCB in March. Maybe for my first writing assignment I’ll submit this article and show her that I thought she was quiet and dull but full of potential.
So for all of you out there who, like me, dreamed of meeting your soul mate via the Smiths, hopefully you now know what you’re in for, should a Smiths Speed Dating night suddenly pop up in your town or city. For any girls in the New York area who reading this, if you knew who Morrissey was before Thursday give Evan your contact info and he’ll pass it along to me. Eh, What Difference Does It Make? No, seriously, get in touch! Serious. [Seriously girls, he needs itâ€”Ed.]
Oh, and for those among us who can’t quote virtually ever Smiths lyric like I can, a lot of the random capitalized/italicized phrases are Smiths lyrics.