Kauai Date Mate: ‘Wiki wiki love’

KAPAA — Anybody who has flown through Honolulu to the Mainland has encountered the infamous Wiki Wiki Bus. Truly a misnomer, since “wiki wiki” means fast, fast, and this bus is definitely slow, slow.

Tropicbird Entertainment held a fundraiser on Sept. 26 at the Lemongrass Grill in Kapaa. It was a speed-dating event and I decided to participate. I wondered, is it possible to find love in the fast lane, or is speed-dating also a misnomer? Disclaimer: I am one of the founders of Tropicbird Entertainment; however, I am also single, so I was excited to experience the event firsthand.

When Tropicbird was organizing the event, we heard over and over from both men and women, “It is very difficult to meet people on Kauai.” We were excited to provide a needed service and hoped we would foster more friendship, more love and more community.

Thirty-two men and women met each other on that Saturday night in five-minute intervals to see if there was enough of a connection to say “Yes” to a match.

Lorraine Marshall, our facilitator, set the ground rules, gave us some icebreaker questions, and encouraged us to vote yes for three reasons: romantic attraction, shared interests, and if the person was a “maybe.” She also informed us that each date would end 30 seconds early, so we could compliment our partner before moving to the next person.

Although many people in the room seemed nervous at first, I was amazed to see how quickly people warmed up to this method of meeting each other. After a few rounds, most people were smiling, laughing and having a great time. I was surprised at how much I learned about each man just by the way he presented himself and what he talked about. I also noticed that complimenting my partner caused me to focus on him and look for something positive to say. The compliments seemed to help everyone to feel uplifted.

I enjoyed meeting so many people of different ages and ethnicities and from different walks of life. I met three men who had very recently moved to Kauai. I realized that this was a great way for them to meet potential friends and lovers. At the end of the speed dating, people gathered in the bar for a freestyle mixer. Now that we had met everyone, it was easy to have a relaxed conversation.

Participants received their results the next day. Incredibly, there were 54 matches! Did I ride the Wiki Wiki Bus to love? Well, no. However, I realized that this could be a shortcut to meeting someone special. Building a relationship will still take time. Would I try this again? Absolutely! It was fun and a real confidence builder.

If you would like to try Kauai Date Mate, Tropicbird Entertainment is holding another event Nov. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lemongrass Grill in Kapaa. For more information and tickets, visit: tropicbirdentertainment.com or call Lorraine: (818) 207-6999.

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