dating disasters

(Photo: Morgan Reiner)

Another entry to CBC's Flash Fiction contest.

Theme: Dating Disasters

The task: Tell us about the oddball your sister set you up with. Tell us about the guy who brought his ex-girlfriend along. Tell us about the guy who tied his pit bull up outside the restaurant. Or maybe you are the weirdo who's scaring everyone off. That's okay too! I'm sure there are guys out there who would describe me as having been their worst date ever.

Before Lavalife, eHarmony, 25dates and, there was Telematch. Phone dating.

Years ago as a single, twenty-something, theatre school student in Montreal, I called the phone number at the back of the Mirror’s classifieds. What I found was a plethora of material.

I ended up going on one date.

After two polite and entertaining-to-the-point-of-maybe-this-could-lead-somewhere phone conversations, we agreed to meet in person. At a coffee shop on Crescent Street, the lack of chemistry between us was similar to that of two burnt out bulbs on a string of old Christmas lights. Our conversation, civil and restrained, was as interesting as a glass of water.

I went back to the phone. I was addicted to the voice messages.

Fascinated by the depth and breadth of creepy, lonely, professional, sad, ethnic, bizarre, cryptic, funny messages, I wrote a play about a woman who explores teledating.

The comedy, Call Me, was produced twice in Montreal and won the first ever Montreal English Critic’s Circle Award (MECCA) for best production, semi-professional. I moved to Toronto and thanks to a Telematch sponsorship, the play also had a ten day run over Valentine’s Day at Second City’s Tim Simm’s Playhouse.