There’s a new twist to online dating that many sites are embracing. Real world meet ups between members who are selected specifically based on age and interests, for the occasion.
I was invited to one such event recently and I asked my friend Chloe to be my guest. It was a mixer held on the rooftop of the Sanctuary Hotel on 47th Street.
I arrived first and waited on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.
It was a little awkward since I wasn’t sure if those entering were all there for the same thing:
I was pretty pleased with the dress I wore and my hair and makeup turned out as good as it could, considering sometimes I don’t even recognize the face (sans makeup) staring back at me in the magnifying mirror. Chloe arrived and she looked great. She rocked that dress and boots she had on. Have I mentioned that Chloe has the most amazing arms? Perfectly toned limbs that a twenty-five year old would be lucky to have.
We made our way to the only elevator to the roof and chatted with the security guy while waiting for it to arrive. Several men joined us in the line and I recognized one of them. He reached out to me a while ago on the site. I wrote back and politely told him we weren’t a match and here’s why. I knew he was lying about his height. His profile stated he was 5’10” but his photos showed otherwise. This guy was 5’6” at most. Now, I am not a height-ist, but I want the option of wearing heels without towering over my date and if I’m going to date a man who’s shorter, I want him to own his stature not deny it.
Again, I ask, why the hell do you lie about the things that will be obvious on a first date?
I was absolutely right about this man’s height being much less than he stated. In fact, I was being generous with the 5’6” conclusion AND I don’t want to hear it in the Comments section about being too judgmental. I have a right to want what I want and it works both ways. When I see an interesting profile online but the guy has stated that he wants someone who’s slender or 5’8” or taller, or a woman who earns over $150K–I move on because I don’t qualify.
OK, so we rode up in the small elevator with Shorty (kidding, lighten up) and several other men. Chloe tried to alleviate the obvious tension, we, The Loser Brigade, were feeling, with some small talk but nobody could relax and thankfully the door opened, we stepped out onto the rooftop lounge and into an already crowded party.
I haven’t felt the sort of “being undressed with his eyes” vibe since using my fake ID to get into Paul Anka’s Jubilation disco in Las Vegas when I was seventeen. Even TGI Friday’s Happy Hour in the Nineties wasn’t that overt.
This, my friends, bellowed:
I kind of liked it.
AND, in this typical scenario, as the men were openly checking out the ladies, the women sized each other up. Now I don’t want to be egotistical but my friend and I didn’t have a ton of competition.
Screw it, here’s the truth, we got lucky that night, we had no rivals.
Now before you get all judge-y, this is not a familiar theme in my life. I live in a city filled with beautiful, stylish and YOUNG women. I’m never, ever the hottest chick in the room.
The best I can hope for these days is, “You look good, for your age.”
Chloe and I pushed through the crowd to the bar for a drink. I needed a cocktail to cowgirl up for this soirée. Slightly shell shocked, we waited our turn to be served. Chloe, perpetually friendly, began talking to a matronly woman behind us who seemed overwhelmed. She had come to the event alone and my friend wanted to make her feel comfortable. Chloe shared that it was our first time and we were a little nervous. She also told the woman that she could hang out with us for the evening.
A look of superiority crossed her face and in a patronizing tone she said, “Oh, you’ll be alright, don’t you worry. You look, um, fine and I’m sure some men will want to meet you.”
She actually patted our arms in a “there, there” sort of way with the hope of making us feel more insecure.
Did Frumpalina just Mean Girl us?
“Oh, we don’t think meeting men will be a problem tonight.” I told her, and turned away.
“What I was thinking was, Listen, Mrs. Cunningham, we’ve got this one.
“You might wanna rethink that ‘inviting strangers to be our friends’ thingy until we know them better,” I told Mother Teresa, er, I mean Chloe as we walked away with our drinks. She concurred.
After that it was party time. The music was great, we weren’t without male attention for long and it was seriously fun. There was one awkward moment when a man approached to let me know I’d rejected him on the site. I didn’t recall doing that, but he seemed certain I had. Not sure what he wanted me to say, but I think it involved some sort of admission that I’d made a mistake.
I met lots of men but also talked to many women. I shared that I blogged about online dating with everyone I met. One woman (who’d had a few too many) kept repeating, “It’s hard, it’s so hard, it’s really hard to be single.” She also shared that she was in her mid forties, never married and hoping for children. A much tougher end game than mine, for sure.
There wasn’t exactly a love connection with anyone, although two retired firemen did make me laugh when I handed them my card with the blog information.
They told me it looked like a discount card that one attaches to a keychain. They poked fun at me in a friendly and confident way. What is it about firemen and their self-assurance? Love that.
One of them even escorted me to the ladies room. I asked Chloe to come along and once we were inside she said he was getting territorial. Yep, he might as well have just lifted his leg and marked me. He wasn’t going to let any other man to have an opportunity to introduce himself. Funny thing about it is I haven’t heard from him since that night.
The bartenders announced, “Last call,” so Chloe and I headed towards the exit and on the way, we noticed the man from the elevator. It was hard to miss him as he’d met a lovely and height-appropriate woman whose neck he was devouring. He had one hand around her waist as the other cupped her ass.
It was fun, I’d do it again and I think this is a great addition given the lack of human contact one experiences through online dating.
Plus, it was ego nourishing for Chloe and me. At our age there aren’t many opportunities to be the Belle of the Ball.
“I am not afraid of aging, but more afraid of people’s reactions to my aging.” Barbara Hershey