Week 2: Organic Dating — so Many Ways to Meet Men! ...

After my week of online dating, I thought I was ready for anything. Blind dates? Bring it on! But then I remembered I had to do a week of organic dating, and realized I'm a total chicken. And, since I was unable to line up even a single blind date, I thought I’d do the week of organic dating first. Turns out there are so many ways to meet men!

What is organic dating, you ask? It's the flip side of the online dating coin: approaching men I see out and about, rather than waiting for THEM to approach ME. That doesn't sound too difficult, does it? Well, it is. I spent seven days second-guessing my best pick-up lines and wondering how in the world guys do this ALL THE TIME. It's nerve-wracking, and to be honest, I faced the week with dread. Here's what happened in my quest to find ways to meet men.
Day One: Happy Halloween!
It's Halloween, but it's also Monday, so my plan, as I lay in bed this morning, was to approach someone I saw at school today. Once I got to school, I saw the fatal flaw in my otherwise brilliant plan — there's only one guy in my Monday class, and while he's as cute as a button, he's younger than my daughter. So it's out of the question to approach him. I popped into the library after class and nearly everyone was about half my age. Approaching a random hottie at school? Not going to happen today.

So now where? My list of errands included a trip to the gas station, the post office, Best Buy and the bank, then trick-or-treating with my youngest later on. Best Buy seems to be my best option, unless I stumble across someone while I'm driving, which is highly unlikely.

As I predicted, the post office was a bust. The only two dudes in there were retirees. The gas station? No-one there either. The bank was also devoid of dateable men. My last stop of the day was Best Buy, and while it was crawling with people, the only guy I saw was a manager, wearing a costume… as a bunch of grapes. Yeah, not going to happen, even if it is Halloween.

Day one of organic dating is a failure. I didn’t approach anyone, mostly because I just plain didn’t see anyone interesting.
Day Two: Kid Control
For Day Two, I left the house early for school so I could sit in the library and study/prowl. And do some homework, but mostly prowl. Sadly, there was no-one there to prowl… well, sort of. There was one guy, but he had a baby in a car seat with him, along with a pre-school aged boy child who seemed to enjoy nothing more than tossing magazines about. He stopped only when I offered him a set of Russia maps and my coloring pencils to make a “pirate map,” which his father greatly appreciated. Daddy wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, and was actually really attractive, but any man who takes his little ones out and doesn’t have the good sense to ply them with distractions obviously isn’t the right guy for me. By the way, surrendering my maps of Russia to the guy’s little boy means I don’t have them to study for my Geography exam, but it was worth it to keep the little boy still for five minutes, trust me.

Next stop, Geography class. Time to replace the maps of Russia and check the room for potential victims… err, I mean, guys to potentially chat up. The ratio of guys to girls works in my favor in this class, and a number of them are uber-cute, but I have a big problem with approaching any of them because there are still so many weeks left in the semester. If they run away, screaming, when I attempt to be flirty, I’ll have to be embarrassed until the middle of December. How do guys do this?

I also stopped by the grocery store and while there was a hottie in the produce section, and he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring either, I lost him near the pomegranates and though I stalked the surrounding area for a good three minutes, I couldn’t find him again.

Darn it! Day two was also an epic fail.
Day Three: Still No Luck
Day three: more school. More library time. Still no luck. Darn it!
Day Four: A Small Break
So, day four. I had school, then an event to cover for the local paper I freelance for. I figured, yes! An event to report and shoot… there are bound to be loads of men there, men I can flirt with and chat up. It didn’t quite turn out that way. I arrived to shoot the event, scoped out a total cutie, and then was hijacked by someone else. Boo! The cutie left, and I left not long after, disappointed. He was my first potential, and my week is almost over.
Day Five: What am I Doing Wrong?
It’s day five, my week is almost over, and I haven’t really flirted with anyone, not to mention chatting anyone up. I’m thinking about the rest of my week — school on Saturday, shopping and lunch with my aunt on Sunday — and I don’t see how it’s possible that I’ll come into contact with anyone I might make a mini-move on. It’s time to redouble my efforts. There are other classes at the college besides mine on Saturday (flirting before and after class?) and there are bound to be waiters and other patrons at the restaurant and other shoppers while I’m out with my aunt. Right? Maybe I’m just being too picky, or not observant enough. Isn’t there anyone to flirt with in metro Detroit?!?
Day Six:
Finally, a fella! I’m at school, and there he is, in the hallway. He’s cute, not too young, and better yet, as I walk by, he smiles at me. Not a creepy leer. A nice smile. I smile back, do an about-face, and follow him (discreetly I hope) into the library (where, incidentally, I had been sulking all week). We sit across from each other at the computers and he catches my eye and smiles again. That, my dear, is all the encouragement I need! I say hi, quietly (this IS a library) and he replies. We chat, quietly, for a few minutes, and as I get up to leave (I’m actually late for class, but who cares?), I ask for his number, which he produces quickly. I do not give him mine, because I have no actual interest in calling him or setting up a date (I am sort of seeing Ice Cream guy from the week of online dating). But hooray! Finally! A guy! A number! It’s not hopeless, and it really wasn’t that difficult, after five entire days of warming up.
Day Seven:
Today is Sunday, a day I typically spend at home writing, so there’s little chance of me meeting a guy today. I do make a trip to the grocery store for diced tomatoes and notice a different cutie from the one I saw at this same store earlier in the week. I smile. He smiles back. I could get his number, but there’s a pot of soup waiting to simmer at home, which is why I needed these tomatoes to begin with. The cashier is also cute, though a little young, and so is one of the guys in the parking lot, loading two lonely bags of groceries into his car. I smile and say hi as I walk past, and he looks up and says hi back. I feel like I am on today, and it feels good.

This week, I learned two very valuable lessons. The first is that guys have it hard. It’s not easy to flirt with and approach strangers! The second is that there really are guys out there to approach, even if you don’t have an active social life, even if you are a big chicken (like me). I also learned that flirting is fun, and it won’t kill any of us to smile and say hi once in a while. It’s not impossible, if you know a few of the places and ways to meet men…

I also learned that I am DREADING the week of blind dates, since I don’t have a single one lined up, still. Stay tuned!

Top Photo Credit: fifj