Three months of being single have left me feeling that this city is depraved of any sense of normalcy in the available male department. As I work in a bar, my view is probably skewed. Anyone that still wants to hit on me in my coleslaw-soaked pub shirt after 10 hours of schlepping Stellas has some mighty thick beer goggles on. And, while that seems like it might be romantic in some Cinderella sense, I wouldn’t even ask for my own number in that state and I already know how cool I am.
So far in my singularity, I’ve had several PG one-nighters, been duped by a wolf in nice-guy clothing and re-thought my break-up decision a few times…never a good idea. The onset of loneliness has the uncanny ability to erase the entire negative ex memories, like that time you left me at the train station in Norristown at 1 a.m. after we fought about you paying me back for your sneakers. Yeah I said it. Tell Margaret I say hi.
Now that I feel better, I can lay out my new and improved plan of action. I will tie on my Superwoman cape, flex my biceps, and leap back into the tundra that is the Philly dating scene, despite being burned repeatedly and not having learned my lesson. I guess I’m not straight on what the lesson is, which shrouds me with a thick shield of gullibility. This is rough terrain. You’d think I would at least have some columnist credibility to get my foot in the door, but no, all three of you readers are apparently busy doing other things. Maybe I just need to get my name out there. Note to self: get a business card.
I think the lesson is that you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before someone without warts and slimy skin returns your phone calls. He’s probably the Waldo of the bunch, i.e. he takes a little more effort to find. So the plan is that I am going to try some new places. The bar scene just isn’t cutting it.
Alcohol-induced dating never starts out well. It ends even worse. This would begin the advice section of my otherwise griping advice column. Pay attention.
Find a place that is an interest as well as an activity of yours. Today while shopping for art supplies in Pearl on South Street, I had a lengthy conversation with a fellow shopper sparked by a question about watercolor pencils and sketch pads. While nothing will come of it (unless he is one of my three readers) I realized that actually having a mutual interest to discuss works wonders. And, it branches into other areas.
I say this blatantly obvious suggestion because it’s so logical to head straight for a bar in tight jeans and lingerie masquerading as a blouse to catch your new man’s eye. I watch it every night, and the routine is quite sickening. Try a new scene, not necessarily on Friday night, but the next time you feel especially social and are looking for some companionship. Take a spinning class. Check the boards outside for an interesting activity, like an International Coffee hour or a Teach-In lecture that seems interesting. Go see a documentary. Do something.
Second, grow a set if you don’t have one, and use ’em if you do. Start a conversation if you’re interested in someone. The world won’t always come to you. Missed opportunities just perpetuate the problem. If it’s someone you’ve had your eye on, odds are you’ll notice if she changes her hair or gets a new coat or does well on an assignment or forgets a pen. Jump in there. If it bombs, consider it practice for next time. This is the kind of thing can only get easier with experience.
Finally, keep putting yourself out there. Right now I feel like branding your whole species a heckling bunch of two-faced jerks, but I know better. As sure as I’m sitting here humming “Somewhere out there,” there is an unlucky male soul doing the same. Chins up, ladies and gents.
But, looking on the bright side, had I actually invited someone back to my place to meet my roomies, he would have seen what an absolute slob I am this week and ran for his life. That said, I’m off to clean my room. Just incase.
Nadia Stadnycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.