Intentionally Meeting Dates Old School Style

Vanessa Torre

Seriously, what could go wrong? Wait. Have you met me?

This week, I finally met a gentleman I had been talking to since before the great swearing off of using my phone as a matchmaker. I have to admit, I was not exactly excited to be going out.

At this point in my life, I no longer bring my “A” game on dates. I used to. I used to put on a pretty outfit, curl my hair nicely, reapply makeup, put on perfume. I always painted my nails. I have wasted a lot of nail polish and perfume.

For this date, I managed to put on some not-yet-clean-but-not-quite-dirty jeans, a pair of well worn white converse and a t-shirt that says “Talk to me, Goose.” I looked in the mirror and said, “Eh. That’ll do.”

I got to the restaurant and sat at the bar and waited for him. I could tell about seven minutes into our date that this was not my person. To be clear, according to him this was not a date. It was a “meet and greet.” It also bears noting that I think he may actually have been Jeff Goldblum. Not Jurassic Park era Jeff Goldbum, mind you. We’re talking Big Chill era.

He was fine. There was nothing wrong with him. There was just nothing. But it was a lot of wasted texting.

A friend of mine is reading The Secret. You know, the book that tells you all about how to manifest what you want in life? I don’t really buy it.

“You have to manifest the man you want! You have to open yourself up to the world, put out there what you want and it will come to you. This is exactly what worked for Katherine,” she advised me.

Katherine is a friend of ours. I am here to tell you one thing: Katherine didn’t manifest shit. Katherine is drop dead freaking gorgeous and exceptionally charming. Katherine has never had to go on a dating app. Ever. Katherine is not manifesting the perfect man. Katherine simply walks into a room. Line forms to the left, fellas.

I am not a Katherine. I’m attractive enough to be able to get a man to look at me in a room but awkward enough to scare him off if he approaches any closer than 10 feet.

I’ve realized the main source of my frustration in online dating is that you don’t get a sense of if there is going to be any chemistry until you meet in person. At this point though, I can sniff out a bad date like a pig sniffing out truffles. Wait. That’s horrible. Oh God, I’m the pig?

So, I’m going to embark on a social experiment. Not really because I want to date but because I am really intrigued to see what happens. The curiosity is killing me. And I am taking you, dear readers, along for the ride. me, sir? Have you tried this guacamole salsa before?

I’m going old school. I am going into public. I am going to make a list of every place I can think of where people may have organically met someone and I am going to put it out there. I am going to approach and be approachable. The idea kind of makes my teeth itch but I’m going to do it.

My friend Marc thinks my experiment is going to be a horrible failure. He thinks I have totally overestimated my game. Marc, for the record, is an asshole.

This is going to require a few things. First, I need to not be a miserable human being. Pissyness in a person emanates. It’s like a force field. My pissyness could protect the Death Star. This experiment will not work if I set myself up to fail right out of the gate. I need an attitude adjustment. Getting my snark in check will be an interesting enough exercise.

Second, it’s going to take effort. This is not putting on a cute outfit and sitting around in a bar. This is wheeling a shopping cart around a grocery store for 90 minutes trying to spark conversations with men not wearing wedding rings. That’s not awkward at all. Shit’s gonna get weird in the produce section, folks.

I’m also open to suggestions here. Let me have them! Have a place where you think there’s an opportunity to meet people? Throw it out there. I’ll do it! No, seriously.

I’ll report back after every experiment and let you know where it went, what I did, and how it went. I am sure to regret this immediately upon hitting the publish button on this piece.

If you haven’t already, hit the follow button below. Because this is going to be a hot mess. Marc might be right…

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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