I’ll tell you where to find eligible, sensitive, loving, manly men are, and that’s Queens, which is like Brooklyn, if Brooklyn didn’t try so hard. This magical borough in New York City is positively thick with emo blog hacks from Texas. But if this gritty urban paradise isn’t convenient, then the next best place to meet men is, you know, wherever.
I get asked all the time where to meet men, presumably because I am a man and I might know where they hang out. Correct. First off, they’re not hiding. It’s not like handsome bachelors scatter when the kitchen light is turned on. I imagine if you want to meet men, you should go to those places where men hang out. Chainsaw Shack. Bacon Depot. The Beer Spa. If you wander into a sports bar and you’re not a sports fan, just remember two things: A) clap when the guy you’re into claps, and 2) watching sports is not unlike watching a ceiling fan go ‘round and ‘round. Just stare and let the noise and men in tight pants hypnotize you. If you’re interested in hipsters, you can hit up any bar that looks like a 1920s’ soda fountain. Just stroll in, order a craft beer, and turn to the first moustache and say, “This place was cooler, like, five years ago.”
You could meet guys at The Apple Store, if you’re religious. There’s the bookstore, which is what every relationship article about “meeting people” suggests. This is probably why I get the distinct feeling at bookstores that everybody is looking sideways. The last time I was at a bookstore, I swear every attractive, fashionable, sophisticated man and woman had their noses in a book of precious fiction, but were glancing to their left and right, checking out other literary poseurs. You could also meet men at the gym, I suppose, but the gym is the one place in society where you can make noises like you’re passing a pine cone in public. If a woman approached me while I was on the treadmill, I’d spend the entire conversation thinking, Is she staring at my nipple sweat stains?
Of course, most people meet people online. Online dating, like MySpace and beer pong, is this generation’s disco. In 10 years, no one will ever admit to having any knowledge of those three things. But I’ve come to realize that online dating is a lot like a Red Lobster commerical. I use to love Red Lobster, because that’s where my family would go after church every Sunday. Church was where I learned that Jesus was probably very nice, but probably super boring. I loved Red Lobster as a pre-teen chuboid because my favorite flavor profiles were “salt” and “crunch.” Recently, I went to a Red Lobster because I’m an ironic Internet troll, and because I was feeling sentimental. But really, it was because I saw an effective television commerical that made Red Lobster look like it was an ideal place to have a delicious meal. The advertisement was nothing but succulent shrimps crashing through waves of water, and some chef talking about “grilling” and “sealing in the juices.” “Sealing in the juices” is not a phrase that ever happens in any kind of conversation. For almost 30 seconds, all I saw where shrimps and lobsters cracked over and doused in oily hot butter. When I was finally served at Red Lobster, what I got was a plate with deep-fried sea cockroaches. That’s online dating: it just looks like delicious jumbo prawns jumping through a waterfall. But the truth is: everything is frozen, de-thawed, and microwaved.
Actually, I don’t think I know where to meet men. I don’t even know where to meet women. I can tell you where NOT to meet men, if that helps. I would avoid highway underpasses and free clinics and windowless vans. Every relationship I’ve ever been in has started the same way: she smiled at me and I said “hi.” I met one at a Christmas party, another at orientation for a new job, and another at a dog park. I’ve met women volunteering, hanging out, and at the grocery store. They found me or I found them, but the fact is, we met and I didn’t blow it.
When I think of dating, I think of dogs chasing cars. Dogs chase cars and have no contingency plan for what to do if they ever actually caught one. Most lonely-hearts fret and furrow about “where” and “how” to find love, and never think to ponder what to do once they’ve hogtied it.