Oh, to be young and single and living on Capitol Hill, where on any given night you can go to one of this neighborhood’s SHIT ton of bars and find it jammed with your fellow sex-craved twenty-somethings, many of them eager to acquire phone numbers in hopes of commencing a brief texting relationship that will probably amount to nothing, save for creepy and bizarre drunk propositioning texts days and weeks after the initial meet.

At some point, this got to me; my phone was filled with too many first names of boys whose faces I couldn’t quite recall.  So, about a month ago, I decided to shake things up by getting an account on okcupid.com, a free online dating site that, in addition to allowing the user to create a fairly thorough profile, provides survey questions that help ‘match’ you with potential mates, as well as instant messaging, photo albums, relationship/personality tests…the works.

NOTE: My one qualm with this site is that there is a section called “Activity” on the homepage that shows WHO has looked at your page and WHEN they last did (imagine if facebook had this…people would be deactivating their accounts in droves for fear that everyone would finally know the extent of their creepy stalker habits).

Thus commenced my foray into the world of online dating.  I set up a profile, snooped around a bit, and kind of waited to see what would happen.  And, after a couple weeks of sifting through my message inbox and deleting lame shit like “How are you?” and “Ur hott” and only responding to people that ACTUALLY ADDRESSED the crap I wrote about myself on my profile, I had managed to arrange and go on three first dates with three very different dudes, at three very different bars.

Here are my reviews of three first date spots:

Date #1 : Dinner @ Broadway Grill – Early evening dinner here could be alright, but this place is fairly empty around 6-7pm on weeknights, which means that there’s gonna have to be a lot of good conversational energy or it ends up being kind of awkward between topics because there’s not a lot going on in the background.  On the plus side, it is near a lot of other shit on Broadway, so one can always flee the scene for a stroll down to Vivace.  But otherwise it’s a bit intense.

VERDICT: Wait until the 3rd or 4th date.  Too much, too fast.

Date #2 : Drinks @ Pony – Hey, I’m gay, and you’re gay, so if we go get a drink at this gay bar, it should be cool, right?  Well, maybe.  Indeed, Pony caters to us homos.  And, let us never ever forget the FUCKING AWESOME firepit and (recently) covered patio.  But, if it’s balls-ass cold outside, the firepit may not cut it.  And inside, the large amounts of cock covering the walls, the ever-classy glory hole in the bathroom, and the lack of seating and loud music make it a more difficult place to have a normal, i’m-not-necessarily-trying-to-fuck-your-brains-out-tonight conversation.

VERDICT: Are you just trying to hook up with someone??  Too gay.

Date #3 : Drinks @ the Living Room – Oh wait, did you forget about the Living Room too?  I did…it’s quite far down Olive Way.  But, if you can make the trek down the Hill, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Two levels, plenty of seating on both couches and at tables, a smaller bar that still has a good atmosphere and isn’t too crowded yet has enough people to provide interesting energy…need I say more?  If you’re into having a good conversation where both parties can hear what the other is saying, definitely go here.

VERDICT: Yes yes yes.  Great, casual spot to meet up with someone (granted, I’m biased, because my first date here turned into many dates with the same dude who I now have boyfriend status with…wow this okcupid thing actually worked!).

Anyway, if you have patience and you’re open to enduring several mildly- to moderately-lame dates before finding someone substantive, maybe as a winter activity you should give online dating a try.  Go ahead!  Be adventurous!  Have other good first date spot recommendations?

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Okay, all you not-from-Seattle bitches.

Let’s get one thing straight (which is hard for me to do, considering the extremely high levels of GAY coursing through my blood vessels): winter in Seattle really is not the worst thing ever.

I know that it rains, a lot.  And that it’s pretty fucking cold and dark and damp for like 9 months.  And that, on the off-chance that it does snow, all hell breaks loose and the city shuts down and gets all post-apocalyptic n’ shit (did you see the abandoned metro buses during that snowstorm a couple of years back?? fucking CREEPY).

But it’s really not that bad here.  Whereas February in the rest of the country means sub-zero temperatures and thick sheets of ice complicating the weekly run to Wal-Mart, in Seattle it means one has the option of sitting on the OUTSIDE patio at Linda’s (last night, anyone?).

Yeah, this shit is mild.  Thank you Olympic and Cascade Mountains and proximity to saltwater; you create pretty good neutralizing forces such that the weather here isn’t ever that terrible.  So why the whining and moaning, all you non-native Seattle residents (and I know you all are, I like never ever meet people from Seattle in this city…)?  I mean, you did choose to move here…

Perhaps growing up here has hardened me to the long gray months, and they really are awful and I should be up on the Aurora Bridge helping construct that new suicide fence.

Or perhaps it has just become cool to bitch about the weather all the time.  Granted, I understand that sunlight is important (yes, I’ve been prescribed Vitamin D by my doctor), and that people really DO experience mental/emotional health side effects from the winter.

However, maybe instead of rolling over and pitifully looking out the window with Bon Iver on repeat, we should all GET OUR ASSES OUT OF BED and at least pretend that it’s not so cold and wet.

So, some suggestions to combat the not-really-that-awful Seattle winter:
– take yourself to a movie (Black Swan got REAL cray-cray at the end)
– after seeing Black Swan, be inspired and sign up for a dance class (yeah, I’m such a fucking tool that I actually did this…hello Beginning Ballet!)
– get a book and go READ it somewhere that is NOT your home, like in one of the million coffee shops in this town
– take a weekend vacay to another gray/wet city like Portland or Vancouver, BC to commiserate with your fellow winter sufferers (rideshare on craigslist!)

Or, actually look out the window at the torrential downpour and gale-force winds, let out one long resigned sigh and go back to bed, dammit, because today it happens to be especially nasty.