**Make sure you add me on Twitter. I’m there all day errday! Sorta…**
“Hey Slim, I’m having a singles event and wanted to invite you if you’re free. Bring a friend that you’d recommend as worth getting to know—preferably of the opposite sex.”
I got this text a little over a week ago as I was fighting off the remnants of an upper respiration infection that overstayed its welcome. A year ago, I’d have said “I’ll try to make it,” while knowing damn well that I had no intention of going. I said those same words this time around, but I committed to attending as long as I wasn’t still coughing like I had the SARS. Who wants to get to know a man that sounds diseased? I’d have had no choice but to rely on my 6-foot sexiness and hope that it was enough for someone to give me a rain check. I’m not Boris so I didn’t like those odds. **Insert adequate and self-reassuring segue**
My first thought after tentatively confirming to show up was about who I’d be able to bring. I thought about all of my single male friends in NYC—all of which graduated college, have affable personalities, and average to above average looks. Yeah, I mentioned their looks. Yes, I’m straight. I’m just being honest. And in the interest of honesty, I couldn’t have brought any of them. They are indeed great guys, but none of them are looking for commitment other than a regularly scheduled romp session. And semi-selfishly, I didn’t want to have to explain to the girl that invited me why they had provided a couple of the attendees with a great night back at their places, but in general wasted their time.
I started thinking of the women I could invite and the list got depressingly long. And semi-selfishly again, I didn’t want to have to explain to any of my lady friends why I brought them to an event where the ratio was in my favor to the tune of 12:1 or something ridiculous. So what did I do? Well, I informally put the word out there via Twitter and Facebook. As expected, no men responded. And surprisingly, only a couple of women responded that actually lived in NYC. Now of course my tweets and FB status updates about the event could have been poorly timed. But given how many status updates and tweets I see daily about there not being any good men and droughts stretching as long as some people’s existence, I knew there were a good number of women who could have benefited from attending. I shrugged, continued to take my Nyquil, and prepared to show face and have a good time.
I ended up getting to the event in true CP fashion (tardy). Not knowing what I was in for, I figured a nap to have me on the top of my game beforehand was critical. Upon arrival, I noticed that there were more women than men, but it wasn’t as skewed as I’d expected. I took a seat, said hello to the men and women nearby, and smiled down to the other end of the table. Now I’ll admit, I’m usually not the best ice-breaker when in a room full of women I don’t know. I’m much more Scottie Pippen than Michael Jordan. I can be great if I need to be, but I’d much rather let someone else run the offense and I just catch the alley-oops and hit the wide-open 15 footers. If you don’t get the sports reference, I have a bridge to show you.
Once I had my Corona in hand, I asked a few basic questions of the women around me and responded in kind. When asked where I went to school and what I did in NYC, I struggled to not come across as arrogant. I didn’t say my school until it was clear that “in upstate New York” wasn’t gonna cut it. I made no reference to my aspirations as a writer despite how big a part of my life it has become. I was thinking a lot more than necessary and doing so much that I was doing nothing at all. I got so caught up in trying to say and do the right thing (No Spike Lee) that I ended up not being myself. I was disappointed at first, but took consolation in knowing that this type of event was new to me. It wasn’t exactly the most natural way to meet somebody, so I was a bit out of my element.
After a few hours, I thanked the host for inviting me and made my way to Penn Station to hop on the A-train home. I put on Janelle Monae’s latest album and went into a world of my own. And when I re-emerged, I had some new thoughts and a better understanding of the perils that plague women in dating. And of course, that’s my post for next week.
For today, have you attended any dating-oriented events before? Did you find it easy to interact or was it forced? Did you find a potential booski as a result? If you haven’t attended any event like this, what’s kept you from going? Other thoughts and discussion points are welcomed as usual.
Much more observant than awkward,