It’s DATING WEEK here at In the Present Tense.
While there will be additional posts this week that touch on other subjects, at least one a day will be devoted to stories, subjects, and concerns I have being a single man in his mid to late twenties. While providing a glimpse into my mind (a frightening prospect the say the least), it’s my hope that this will also spark discussion amongst our single friends.
A special thanks to friends (and hopefully readers) Adam and Paul, with whom I had the conversations that became the impetus behind most – if not all – of the subjects we’ll be touching upon this week.
Against all advice and logic to the contrary, many people I know still try to (or do) pick up potential mates at bars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat around with friends at a bar, talked about how bad it is to pick up women or men at a bar, then proceeded to try to pick up a pretty woman or handsome dude at that very same bar.
The conversation came up again at Oh Bar while I was half-jokingly conveying my lack of success with hitting on women at that particular establishment. And yes, straight women; I know enough to not bother knocking on the door when all the lights in the house are out. I don’t know whether it’s the company straight women arrive with, their intentions (or lack thereof) in entering a gay establishment, or the overwhelming gaggle of gay and straight wingmen I have with me every time I’m there. But for whatever reason, I always strike out at gay bars.
I realized as soon as I wrote that last line that it was going to get quoted out of context. I can only repeat a line from “The Office” wedding episode that people have suggested I adopt as my own introductory phrase: “I’m not gay, I’m Kevin.”
Anyway, as we were discussing my ridiculous notion of getting lucky at a gay bar and running free with the jokes that write themselves, talk turned to what a bad idea it was to try to pick someone up at a bar and how we end up doing it anyway. I mean, really, at our age (mid to late twenties) we should know better.
But romantic inclinations are a tricky thing. Anyone who’s ever had anything resembling a true friend can tell you the frustration in getting and/or receiving sound, logical, heartfelt advice that is taken to heart and rarely put into practice. It’s easy for me to sit here and say that I know not to try to find my future wife at a bar, but it’s a different story when I make eye contact with a big-eyed brunette with a raspy voice, infectious laugh and engaging personality.
So why is it such a bad idea to try to pick up a man or a woman at a bar?
Well, firstly, there’s the more serious ramifications: things like health and safety concerns, which for the sake of maintaining a lighter mood I won’t get into. Let’s just say one has to exercise a bit more caution when trying to pick up a potential mate at what is often times a glorified meat market.
Then there’s the influence the alcohol and atmosphere can have on a person’s decision-making. You don’t have to be drunk or even have a strong buzz to have your hormones affected by the volume and tone conversations, music, or the excitement of having so many people around. It can stir something in you that leads you to put more emphasis on physical desires and immediate gratification rather than things like long-term compatibility. Even if don’t drink much – or like me don’t drink alcohol at all – you’re apt to encounter someone who is going to express far more interest at the moment than they would the next day.
Another potential minefield? When you make eyes with someone across the room for an extended period of time. You’ll do it once and write it off as a furtive glance. Then it’ll happen again, and a third time, and the anticipation will start to build as you discuss with your friends whether or not you’re going to approach her or how you should go about it. Then, with all that build-up, you finally talk to her and she’s an idiot. Now you’re trapped and need to find an out that isn’t super awkward or insulting. Unfortunately, they already know your name and are finding you on Facespace of Myyearbook or Friendster or whatever all the kids are using these days.
As stated previously, I don’t drink. But when socializing with people in my age bracket, we invariably end up at a drinking establishment. I know a lot of people my age that work under the false assumption that the only thing to do in this area is go out to a bar. It’s not entirely true and a view I chalk up to laziness and lack of creativity, but it’s still an idea that’s prevalent and needs to be eradicated if we’re ever to rid ourselves of the awkward interactions that occur with potential mates drinking out of a pint glass they assume was washed thoroughly.
I could point people in the right direction, but I’d rather have you guys do it. Besides, we can get a grander scope from the readership than from yours truly. So please, share your experience and wisdom. What do you guys do on a Friday or Saturday night that doesn’t involve hitting up a bar in Albany? Where do you find is a good place to meet men and women (not online – that’s another future installment)?
- Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
- Listen to me LIVE as guest co-host of Alternative to Sleeping tonight at 10pm!
- Realtors: “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” George Hearst III: “NONONOO SSSSHHH IT’S OKAY, it’s okay…here. Here’s a pacifier.” Kristi: “#oops.”
- Open Mic web series premiere tonight @ Lark Tavern
- Trust Me, You’re Going to Want to See This