Single in the City: Looking for Love at an Open Bar

I am a 26-year-old single woman living in New York City. Do you find that hard to believe? I sure do, but it’s pretty much my daily battle. The truth of the matter is that I have spent the greater part of the last year and half completely immersed in my job, and often times I have used work as an excuse for not fully living and being open to the possibilities of my own life.

I consider myself a fairly outgoing person, always down for a hang-out sesh with friends and never really having any expectations for a night out on the town. I like to toss back a couple brews; I don’t get wasted and know my limits. When I do go out, however, I usually end up in a circle with my ladies talking ridiculousness or busting out my best dance moves. Do guys like this? Do guys find breaking through the girl power-wall completely intimidating and not worth it? Am I just subconsciously resisting love out of fear? Ugh, probably.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated. It was just last summer that I dated the wrong person. (Excuse me while I let the reality set in that it’s been almost a year since I was last flung.) I let my guard down and disappointment hit me in the face on the eve of Hurricane Irene. The first person I really liked in nearly two years blinded me with his cheap charisma, believable excuses, and apologetic manner. I call bullshit on those who, in an age when we eat, shit, and sleep with our phones, deems it appropriate not to text or call back in a timely fashion or even at all. It’s just not OK! No one likes this!

I tried the OKCupid thing: I never messaged anyone, never went on any dates. I just sat back with a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, and scoured the site for at least one cute guy. This took hours. Eventually I deleted my profile because I got tired of waking up alone with wine mouth. It wasn’t for me, nor was it serving me in the way that it probably should have—which may have been my own fault. (Whatever. I was resisting. Fine.) If OKCupid shot an arrow in your direction, then great, good for you! I mean it, and you probably deserve it.

I am done. In an effort to be confident and not the guarded human I tend to be. I have decided to stop living in a fantasy land, envisioning the perfect romance, and instead become an active participant in my own life. Shit isn’t always just magically going to happen; I have to make an effort to put the work in to make it happen and live the life I know I deserve.

Thursday night my heart and I stepped on over to Flavorpill’s “The Rules of Attraction” party held at Above Allen at the Thompson LES. Upon my arrival I noticed a gigantic line—a gigantic line of CHICKS. I made my way to the back of the line of babes and waited. If you really want to annoy the shit out of me, force me to stand in a line only for the anticipation that the coolest thing ever is just beyond the velvet rope. My friend Janira was beyond late, and I was beginning to realize that I was probably going to have to head into this party solo. I was about two seconds from peacing out, but I forced myself to stay. I had to at least give myself the chance to be open and see what this party was all about.

When I finally got inside (solo), I quickly (and I mean quickly) realized this was not my scene at all. I looked over to the bar, which was swamped with the masses, who were guzzling a little liquid courage courtesy of Tito’s Vodka. As I was waiting to consume a vodka cranberry like it was 2004, I overheard the two dudes behind me exchange these words: “ I am quickly losing interest.” “Free booze and an excuse to be social?” “I guess.” I could tell these guys were likely in the same boat as me, but at least they had each other. Did I talk to them? No, of course not. Thirty minutes later I finally got my drink (which, I am convinced, had no alcohol in it), and I made my way around the crowded party, still on my own. I decided to people watch since it was evident I was not going to talk to anyone. Here are some notes I jotted down during this time.

  • Girl wearing shirt that says “THE FLIRT EXPRESS.”
  • Girls seem like they are dancing for attention and so far no guy in a suit has even looked in my direction.
  • 7:56 pm: cool, I just dropped gum everywhere.
  • Girl eating Cheetos out of the bag—classy.

I texted Janira to find out her whereabouts and warned her that the chances of her getting in were slim. Since she wasn’t missing much I said I would meet her and run to the nearest spot away from this party. Before I left, “Last Dance” came on the sound system (RIP Donna Summer!) This got everyone singing and dancing in typical deceased music icon fashion; it was then, of course, followed up by some Whitney. I mean, don’t we all just wanna dance with somebody? Yes. Yes we do.

Now, I know this was suppose to be an effort in me being “open” and “experiencing,” but I know what I want, and I can’t force fun and conversation if it’s just not there. I left the fluff for those who looked like they may actually be having a good time and met Janira, who had arrived with four lady friends I’d never met. I reassured them that they weren’t missing out on anything going on inside that couldn’t be found outside, to which they were almost relieved because they didn’t have to force being anything other than themselves. Janira’s friend told us of a gallery opening she’d heard about happening in the neighborhood. This was what I was looking for: spontaneous, unexpected fun.

While I didn’t meet the love of my life last night, I was open to just being out and living in this city that has so much to offer. Sometimes you don’t have to put yourself in a situation where there is an expectation of what is supposed to happen. While I know this all has a Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed tone, I am begging you: if you have someone awesome and are just scared to fully commit out of fear I ask you to rethink, to live in the now, because the future may just be right in front of you.

I am single, yes. I know what I want, and I wont apologize or trick my heart to think otherwise. I want a man who doesn’t care if I pair leopard print with sparkles, someone who laughs at my jokes and understands that I don’t take things too seriously. Above all else a man who treats me with a little respect, some dignity, and is uninterested in playing games. I know you’re out there, I am ready, I promise I wont resist!

When I got home I did what any respectable woman would do: I took out the garbage (insert metaphor here) and made a gigantic bowl of popcorn.

[Photo: Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez]

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