Monday, June 11, 2012

My Singles Meet Up Experience

My apologies for the delay in sharing this story for those of you have been waiting, I've been mulling on whether to share the entire story or to omit a few details for the sake of my modesty.  Then I remembered that neither modesty nor that innate ability to not overshare information are qualities that I do not possess. Dilemma solved.

Not too long ago, Match.com sponsored an event for Chicago-area Match Members. My original thought was that it was speed dating, which I would have OWNED at due to my ability to tell a unique and entertaining story in a relatively brief window (This post will not be one of those times.)  Much to my chagrin, it was more of a social mixer/meet up.  Nonetheless, I decided I was going to make it a great night and make a solid impression on a number of Second City Bachelors.

I decided to go to the event alone, despite the fact that the site suggested bringing a friend.  I mentioned it to a few friends, but they could all clearly foresee that Cari+Alcohol+A Room Full of Strangers=Recipe for disaster.

If only I had the foresight that my friends do.

I wanted to put my best foot forward but not look too desperate, so I skillfully applied my MAC, straightened my mane, wore a low cut-but-not-too-sleazy top, some jeans and red heels.  While I was grooming, I decided to start with a little social lubrication and made myself a g&t while listening to my Naughty By Nature Pandora station.

Four Tanquerays and Tonics, Three coats of mascara, Two hours and One impressive sing-along to "O.P.P." and I was on my way to meet my Match.

I should have known that it was not going to be a good night when I arrived at the venue and the doorman asked in a cryptic manner, "Are you here for the Event?" I replied, "Are you talking about the Match.Com Lonely Hearts Club Meet Up?"  Doorman: "Uh yeah..."  Cari: "Yes, Yes I am."  Doorman: "You are about the 40th person here and the first one to admit that it's a singles meet up."

I did not take this to be a good sign.

I head upstairs, scope out the event and promptly head to the bar for a beer.  I sit for a while and notice that people are just awkwardly grouped together in groups of 2 or 3 with the friends they came with. Apparently I was the only one with enough courage/foolishness to come alone.  I figure people will start mixing once more folks arrive and chat with the bartender for a while.  Another beer goes down, more people are coming and NO ONE is interacting. By this time I am filled with that boozy inflated sense of self and decided it was my sole responsibility to make this event a smash.

So I walk into the other room with the pool table, grab a cue stick, slam it on the ground like it was Moses's Staff and shout, "Hey, this is a Singles' Mixer, we are supposed to Mix and Mingle, not be isolated by gender like we are at a bad 5th grade dance."

Crickets. And lots of dirty looks.

If only I had brought my conch shell with me.

I continue, with my staff in one hand and 8.5% porter in the other, "Seriously, interact! Boys on the right side, number off.  Ladies on the left, do the same.  Odds cross the room.  Mingle!"

Awkward silence that was probably painful for everyone that was not me.

"I am not shutting up until every one starts mingling!"

Instantly, people start darting across the room to find someone, anyone to chat with to get me to shut up.  Not surprisingly, no eligible bachelors sought me out for some friendly conversation, although I think my take-charge attitude and confidence (read: BAC) are very attractive qualities.

I sit down, smile at my work and a 58-year-old biker looking dude comes over with shots of whiskey. He tells me he is there with a younger friend, is just there to play wingman and that he likes my attitude. We sit in the corner making snarky commentary on all the odd pairings until I decide I need to leave as the crowd seems to be turning hostile towards us.

I stop off at my favorite Mexican place for Margarita night, inhale some fantastic carne asada, trip on my way out of the bathroom and decide to head to a fun Irish joint up the street for a night cap. After all, the night is early and I look fantastic. I pop in, grab a seat at the bar and before my Guinness is poured the guy next to me starts chatting me up.

Alright, maybe tonight is not a total bust.

We banter on the usual Chicago smalltalk and exchange names.  He then proceeds to tell me how he underwent gastric bypass in October and has lost more than 100 pounds. Okay...not quite what I would reveal upon first meeting, but at least he is honest. Note:  I must have some sort of quality that makes people tell WAY too much upon first meetings with me, more on one of my more recent dates to show this perfectly.  Consider it, ME complaining about people oversharing.  You read this blog, clearly I am a woman whose idea of what is proper sharing is skewed worse than the GOPs views on women's reproductive rights.

Anyway,  he proceeds to tell me how his recent surgery and weight loss has made him despise food. I believe his actual words were along the lines of, "I hate our country's obsession with food.  I only eat soup or  a few bites and I am fine. I could never be involved with someone who was really into food."

Bartender, I'll go ahead and close my tab out now.

I was tempted to tell him what I did for a living and defend my passion for what I do, but I realized I was walking that line of being Mellow Happy Drunk Cari and Loud, Belligerent Drunk Cari. Somehow I showed some restraint and just nodded. I downed the Guinness like it was a car bomb, grabbed my purse and started to head to the door and he stopped me, looking surprised and asked if he could please get my number.

I looked him straight in the eye and simply stated, "Sir, I am, above all, a glutton and a woman of excess.  This would never work."  And walked out.

I got home, disappointed that I did not meet any interesting men other than 58-year-old biker with the whiskey and started to get ready for bed. I know I have ranted on here a few times about how fat girl clothes tend to be made with the assumption that a larger frame equals a larger bust, which is not the case in my build.  So, from time to time I have to enhance myself with cutlets to fill my garments out better. Note to the Men in My Life: Big Brother, I am sorry you had to read that. Old Man, I already told you this part of the story and you laughed your ass off, which is what made me decide to include it. Men who have bought me drinks at the bar due to my chesty goodness, yes, some women do still stuff their bras when they are pushing 30, sorry for the letdown. But thanks for the drinks!

Anyway, I am changing into my pajamas and realize that one of my bra inserts is missing.  I search around, check to make sure I did not misplace it or that the Hound Dog did not grab it.  Nope, it's gone and I am struck with the realization that somewhere on the ground in the city of Chicago is my fake silicone breast insert. You know how you see a shoe on the side of the road and wonder, "How do you only lose one shoe?" Or perhaps you are on the sidewalk and see a lone piece of  footwear and think, "How does someone NOT notice that they are missing one shoe?"  That's pretty close to what my thought was.

Sometime, somewhere in Chicago someone was going to come across my renegade bra insert and think, "How does someone not notice that they are missing their right breast?"

I guess my night ended up being a half bust.

P.S. A week later the remaining cutlet popped open.  They were 10 years old, so it was probably time to say goodbye and upgrade.  However, my birthday is next month and if you were looking for a great gift idea, know that I am now in the market for the gift that keeps on giving: Cleavage.

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