Carrie Bradshaw has a lot to answer for. Like it or not, Sex and the City has redefined heterosexual behaviour in the 21st Century in a way that only a show written by rich American homosexuals can.
It has taken New York chic and dumbed it down so we can all get a piece of the action. As you stumble out of Shoe City with carrier bags full of fashionably uncomfortable footwear, you consoled yourself by calling it retail therapy. Spending money to salve emotional distress. I'm just like Carrie you say to yourself.
Speed dating has already taken the Big Apple by storm, featured on the above show and looks set to replace dominos, table football sticking yer heid intae folk as the dominant mode of social interaction in Scottish pubs and clubs. Why? For £20 a night or less, speed dating breaks down social barriers and allows you to spend money on the most direct socializing possible. It's musical chairs with people as prizes.
Everyone gets a number, you have three minutes per date, then a bell rings and soon you are salivating like Pavlov's dogs at the prospect of your 19th glamorous stranger of the night. Since I tried speed dating, I now find myself expecting a romantic tryst every time the microwave pings.
Of course you must remember I only tried speed dating for professional reasons. Don't think for a minute that I was doing this for personal reasons. I was an undercover agent. working for a newspaper. I was just like Carrie, but with more comfortable shoes.
An hour before the 7 pm start, my ex girlfriend was brushing fluff off my jacket collar in a horribly maternal way and giving me dating tips. By seven I was ready. Unfortunately, was ready to go home, but she insisted I see it through, I don't know what she thought was so funny.
The venue for the speed dating ( despite the name, drugs are not involved, or at least I wasn't offered any) was Tiger Tiger in Glasgow, a sophisticated night spot which looks like Austin Power's boudoir and offers glamorously outfitted toilets that Elton John would be proud to powder his wig in. About 30 girls were seductively draped about the furniture, while guys moved from date to date trying to look as if they don't sniff their clothes before they put them on in the morning. Everyone has a scorecard, which gives you the professional demeanour of a technician examining the undercarriage of a car.
Organisers told me that the event I attended was practically the first in which men outnumbered women, a phenomenon they attributed to the Sex and the City's series finale, which was transmitted that night.
'Please treat every date with respect' suggest the instructions. Just pointing and giggling is not acceptable. Neither is crying or taking your clothes off. But the standard of dates was surprisingly high. I hit it off with one girl so well, I was practically explaining how to work my central heating when the bell tolled too soon. By the end, everyone seemed pretty happy and we each scurried off into the night, with 48 hours to go until we were informed if we had any matches. Some of us couldn't wait and swapped business cards and phone numbers. I'm too much of a gentleman to say who did this. But it's fair to say that everyone seemed to have a good time.
The next morning I woke up at 6 am, my mind racing with the possibilities of it all. I sat down at my laptop and tried to make sense of my speed dating experience by writing it all down. Sometimes, I really do think I'm just like Carrie Bradshaw. No, really.