Soooo... I'm single. And I'm not gonna lie - it sucks. Like, really sucks. I know I should embrace it and be all "I'm FREE! I don't have to think about someone else when I'm thinking about what I want to do on the WEEKEND and it's AWESOME! And I'm so LUCKY to have so many OPTIONS..." blah, blah, blah. You know better than that. Even if you're one of those people who's been married forever and live vicariously through us singletons as we have our first dates and get to flirt without guilt. If I wanted to have a boyfriend, just a guy in my life... I could. I mean, not that I'm full of myself by any stretch of the imagination, but there are men who would be willing to be exclusive with me and I know that. The thing is, they aren't *it*. Or they don't have *it*. Or I don't have *it* with them. I don't know. It's frustrating and stupid and boring. It's boring to be asked why I'm single. It's boring to talk about how the dating pool for my demographic is a bit on the sludgy side (present company excluded, I'm sure... if you happen to fit into that particular group). But yeah, sludgy.
What's a girl to do when she is single? That's a great question, and one my friends and I have bounced around. Bars? Eh. That rarely works out. Work? Nah. Home improvement stores? I'm, like, 1000% percent sure that only works in chick flicks. There are precious few in-real-life occasions to meet guys, and my ten-years-of-being-unmarried self is proof of that. Luckily (note heavy sarcasm) we live in the electronic age and I have the option of online dating! Yay! That sounds AWESOME. And by awesome I mean... second only to tooth extractions or an audit by the IRS. Totes awesome.
There was a time when I wasn't so pessimistic about the online dating game. That was many moons ago, my friend - by this point in my life I've had accounts on Match (natch), eHarmony (egads), OKCupid (OKstupid), Plenty of fish (Plenty of freaks) and many others. I've done speed dating, I've enrolled in a pseudo dating service, I've done the local radio station's Man Market... I have done.it.all. I was really and truly about to throw in the towel when Match started their Stir Events. Wait, a happy hour for just singles? Where everyone in the room is single and you get to meet the person face-to-face? That sounds
I went to my first Stir event full of hope! and a little nervous! and with a friend! As can only happen in the World According to Missy, the event was on a Wednesday when I had lost my home to a fire the Thursday prior. And on the way to the event? I backed my month old Acadia into the Land Rover parked across the street from my friend's house. Insert face palm *here*. It was fantastic. It was all I could do to not introduce myself by shaking hands and saying, "Hi, I'm Missy, The Trainwreck. I have NO idea why I'm single. Wanna date?"
The thing of it is, I have a sneaking suspicion that line would have worked with most of the guys who were there that night. :::sigh::: The first guy we started chatting with did so by "cutting in line" to get a glass of wine, and then buying ours for us because he felt bad the bartender overlooked us. Turns out he didn't really cut, but used that as an in to talk to us. Ooooh, smarmy. Then we felt guilty just walking away with the drinks he paid for, so we kept talking to him to be nice. You know that "no good deed goes unpunished" line? Well, it's true. Turns out keeping him around to be nice to him was a sure fire way of repelling the guys we wanted to talk to. Notice I said the guys we *wanted* to talk to... because the guys we DIDN'T want to talk to? Yeah, they came around anyway.
A common experience I've had is the "I know why you're single" epiphany when you're chatting a guy up. Asking if I like your button down plaid shirt and then telling me your sister helped you pick it out and it was REALLY expensive? Yeah, I know why you're single. Reaching out and adjusting my bangs so they're not in my face when we've known each other a nanosecond? I know why you're single. Following me and my friend around after we've said "Well, it was nice to meet you... you should meet some OTHER girls now!" I know why you're single. And... leaving with the crack addict who wandered in to where we were after the event was over? Dude, get used to being single. I wish those were hypothetical. They're not. And if history tells me anything, I will see this guy tonight as he has been at almost every event I have.
Which begs the question: why do I keep going? Everyone knows the definition of crazy - doing the same thing and expecting different results. I know, I know. The thing of it is I can't stand just not doing anything. And as long as I'm trying, I know I'm trying. I'm getting out there. I'm giving it a chance. And do I think I will find someone tonight? Honestly... I don't. I'm super ridiculously absurdly optimistic. TOO optimistic. Painfully optimistic. Seriously, I hope Rhett won't leave Scarlett each time I watch "Gone With the Wind." (Don't judge! It *could* happen.) I believe in love, I believe in people and I believe in my future with Mr Forever. But I have to be realistic, and I generally don't meet people I'd be interested in seeing outside of a Stir event when I'm there. The thing of it is, if you don't try you won't know... so I'm trying. And I do have a good time! I do have interesting conversations, and I get good material for those "who's met the weirdest person in a dating situation" contest. (The best one was the guy who cried not once, but twice...twice!... on our first date. Our only date. But I digress.)
All that to say, I'm going tonight. I'm hoping for my Frog Prince, but if I keep my expectations low I won't be surprised by all the toads. I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'll have some awesome stories to tell. It's my duty to come armed with vignettes that make all my friends in relationships think "I'm SO glad I'm not in the dating world!" I take it seriously, and luckily for you'ins... I've got lots of material. Lots. Cheers!