My dating dilemma sparked an interesting conversation between me and my son when he was home for Springbreak
N: Mom, maybe you should try speed dating.
Me: Son, at my age all dating is speed dating.
N: No, I meant the organized event of speed dating.
Me: You lost me.
N: You know, when the girls sit at the table and then every 3 minutes the guys get up and move around the tables to meet each girl. It is a way to meet a lot of people at one time and maybe you can even hook-up, I mean, connect with someone.
Me: You said “hook-up”. How is that different from “connect?”
N: Um……it is just a phrase young people use. Connect is sounds too formal.
[I think he was lying about this but I can’t be sure]
Me: I think I did see speed dating on a Law & Order:SVU episode once. Olivia was participating so she could make a date with a serial rapist she and Stabler were after. Sounds promising. (sarcasm)
N: No, you are missing the point. At speed dating you can meet like up to 20 people. Anyone that impresses you is a possible candidate.
Me: Candidate for what…..speed sex?
N: (eye rollage) for a date. Guys and gals write down their top 5 picks and the organizers match people up by the lists that were made. Then they (the organizers) give you e-mail addresses of the people you matched up with. That way you can e-mail them and set up a date.
Me: OK, just a second. How much time do you get with each person at the table?
N: Three minutes.
Me: WHAT! What can you possibly tell about a person in three minutes?
N: Actually, I think the concept is based somewhat on first impressions and gut feelings.
Me: Great. The only gut feeling I ever have is a gas build-up and I need to fart.
N: Don’t you believe in those “love-at-first-sight” stories?
Me: I guess it is possible. But in my case it would take me 30 seconds for my bifocals to adjust to the person sitting across the table from me to even see them clearly enough to get a first impression. That leaves me 2 minutes and 30 seconds to really get to know this person. Besides, what if everything he tells me is a lie.
N: You have to watch their body language.
Me: You mean like when someone’s face crinkles up right before they burst into tears?
N: No, mom, no one would actually do that at speed dating.
Me: I could see me doing it.
N: Mom, you have to be able to read people’s microexpressions.
Me: Is a little wink like a microexpression? You know I can’t wink. I only can blink with both eyes at the same time. If I try to wink I have to think really hard about which eye I am going to wink with. Then I life up my cheeck, bring down my eyelid (cheeck and eyelid are hopefully on the same side of my face) and keep my eye closed a little too long. By this time the person thinks I have some sort of facial spasmodic condition.
N: Mom, really, you are missing the whole point. [yet again]
Microexpressions are facial expressions that just flash across a person’s face for a fraction of a second and they reveal the person’s true emotions.
Me: Oh, like if a person is lying they will scowl and their eyes will look suspiciously from side to side.
N: Mom, I think that actually only happens in cartoons. Liars actually may deliberately make eye contact to make their lie seem more believable.
Me: So I am back to the original question. How would I know if someone is lying about themselves?
N: Well, actually, if someone moves their eyes for a micro second to the left they are probably lying. If they move their eyes for a micro second to the right they are trying to remember details. This is the case, of course, if the person is right handed. For a left-handed person the eye movements will be reversed
[I cock my head distinctly to my left should, which I find out means, I am totally confused]
Me: Who’s left?
[At this point my son glares at me and mumbled something about “probably nobody”]
Me: No, I mean, if I am sitting across from this person his right is my left and my right is his left. If I am going to read the body language correctly between lying and details I need to know who’s right and who’s left we are talking about so I don’t get mixed message or I mean the messages mixed-up.
[My son tilts his head down towards his chest and shakes his head back and forth, which I think means this conversation is hopeless]
N: Mom, just forget it.
Me: Well, why doesn’t everybody just blink excessively, blush and bite their nails when they lie like I do?
[At this point my son put his hands on his hips (a sign of impatience) and said, “Forget I ever mentioned his speed dating thing.”
M: Wait! [I had to say “wait” because my son turned and started to walk away which I am pretty sure meant this conversation is done.]
M: Wait! I just have one more question. What if after this speed dating thing you don’t get any e-mails matching you up with anybody?
[My son answered my question with a question.]
N: How are you emotional skills for handling rejection?
Me: They suck, just like my reading body language skills.
N: Ya mom, don’t be signing up for speed dating any time soon.