“My name is Katy and I’m a zookeeper from Alabama” I say with my best southern drawl. Across from me was the thirteenth guy from Wall Street that I had already declared to be a douche. He leaned into the table ready with three minutes of questions before the bell would ring signaling that our date was over. The next guy sits down and I introduce myself as “Katy, the Gemologist from Egypt.” The next guy met “Katy, a Political Adviser for the Tea Party.” The girl sitting next to me couldn’t help but stifle a laugh after every introduction, as we had discussed and determined together that speed dating was the absolute worst. 50 dates in two hours had crept by and I had only circled three names. One of them I was sure was gay. He and I would later go on to be in a relationship for six months.
I have approached my journey for love as if it was a fifth grade science fair project. I have not ruled out any opportunity or venue as a possible meeting place. I have gathered intel from my friends on how they successfully snared in a mate. I have listened to the advice of my friends on how I’m doing it all wrong. Each guy has brought me a lesson, if I am in the mood to learn it. I throw a few variables into the mix in case my control group continues to strike out. I, by no means, have drawn out a conclusion but I have had a great time on singles cruises and meetups. My hypothesis has always been: try anything.
I recently read an article on how subcultures values are revealed by the first introductory questions asked when meeting a person for the first time. In the southern states of the U.S. it can be quite common to meet someone for the first time by saying “hello, how’s your mother?” In Northern California, one might jump to ask what someone does for a living. In NYC, people are immediately interested in what judgments can be made by the neighborhood they reside in. During my speed dating experience, I was able to test this theory. When I immediately opened with asking what people do for a living, these New Yorkers became slightly weary about what my intentions were. Asking New Yorkers “how’s your mother” threw the entire conversation into an immediate dose of awkward, which made it my favorite leading question. I also found that, although extremely entertaining to me, follow up questions requesting a complete list of their medications and police record were sure to send them into fits of nervous sweats across from me. With 50 first dates in three minutes or less, you can really try just about any approach. I found my favorite question was to ask them what they did on their last birthday. It was original, light-hearted and showed me what they value as a good time. When the question is flipped back on me, I watch their faces as I tell them about myself taking body shots off of a drag queen at a gay bar. This story has proven to be a valuable litmus test for whether this guy can hang or not
Through my experimentation, I have also found that I attract the most men when I’m in costume. Lucky for me, I’m often in costume. I was brandishing a rubber chicken while struggling to drink my wine wearing redneck joke buck teeth, when Bam!…guys are buying drinks. It’s possible they are attracted to the confidence I’m wearing, but I also have my suspicions that I am the freaks Pied Piper. Testing this theory even further, I decided to drag my friends out to a singles BINGO event in my neighborhood after attending the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. I was dressed up as Ursula from The Little Mermaid, but my makeup was inspired by the drag queen Divine. The bartender immediately took notice of our group as I gathered my tentacles to sit down. Scanning the room, we all came up short for any potential suitors, so I gave myself a weave-pat and focused my energy on the game. It wasn’t long before I noticed the severe case of side-eye that the moderator was giving my group. Within a few short moments, the mermaid at my table had drawn up a classic diagonal BINGO win. A table of boys next to us gave us a congratulatory high five as the moderator declared it to be a mistrial. What immediately transpired was a verbal altercation between the moderator, the mermaid and Ursula over the rules of BINGO. “BINGO can only be won if it is vertical and goes through the middle” she said as she stamped her feet. “In what country?” I would ask with a lifetime of refined sass technique. “Well, maybe if you guys weren’t so drunk, you would know the rules!” She had us there. We were drunk. Drunk and now riddled with injustice. Standing up for our rights as knowing and consenting BINGO participants led us to
leaving/being kicked out of the event. We had a series of high fives on our way to the bar as we shouted “Shenanigans!” several times. The night didn’t end as a bust, as a few of my friends actually met some cute guys as I put out a small fire caused by the s’mores kit on the bar. “It’s the costumes!!!” I say, pointing a stick with a burning marshmallow on the end of it at my friends. I squish the gooey mess into my prepared sandwich and mumble to myself “It’s always the costumes.”
A few weeks later, it was theme week for our Bocce Ball league. My team had chosen to dress up as characters from Clue. I was assigned to be Colonel Mustard with the wrench. As we got to the beer garden where we play our Bocce games, I noticed several people dressed up and wearing name tags. “Is this a reunion, or something?” I ask the closest person as my fake mustache drips beer on my chin. “No, its a Match.com event.” I immediately turned around and walked up to the table, grabbed a name tag and wrote “Colonel Mustard” on it. I made a quick pit stop by the table to eat some of their food before I zoomed in on my first targeted couple. “Excuse me, I’ve heard reports of illegal fire arms over here. Sir, I’m gonna need to see your guns!” I would stare at the man in the couple until he would show me his muscles, then I replied “Very well, carry on” and walked away only to repeat the very same dialogue to several other couples. I offered no explanation for my outfit or my line of questioning. I found my roommate, Miss Scarlett, roaming the party saying she was “looking for a rich man.” As we walked back to our Bocce game, we discussed the uncomfortable looks I was given when I rolled up on people holding a wrench in my hand. Not to stray from my theory, two different men told me that they loved my mustache and that I had a nice “cake”. One even offered to buy me a drink. For a point of clarification, these were straight men. I was dressed up… as a man.
I’m still working out the details of my dating thesis, but I have determined one route of meeting potential men as in desperate need of retirement…my online dating profiles. I found myself, as my friend KL calls it, “suffering a case of low standards” and I also found it distracting. I’m trying to go back to basics and meet people in person. Dating events and speed dating offer me to many opportunities to make trouble, but I won’t completely rule them out in the future if I happen upon one. The beauty of New York City is that most of my friends are in the same warped boat, each one of us encouraging the other not to throw in the towel. As I deleted each of my profiles, I said goodbye to the memories and failed romances. I lit my candles, initiated a seance and had a serious sit-down chat with my guardian angels, “In case there was any confusion, I have compiled a list of the qualities I’m looking for which I will read out loud now. Number 1: No weird body hair; Number 2: A touch of gay; Number 3: diplomatic immunity….”