I love how Philadelphia magazine's fall issue included a section about the best places to snatch up a date, including the bookstore, the coffee shop, and the laundryomat. Shmitten Kitten's recent post offered similar advice (though somewhat tongue in cheek), but I have to say, none of these locations have ever worked for me. I went to the same coffee shop for six years when I lived in State College. Never once did a conversation spring up between me and a guy, unless it was, "Can you plug my computer in for me?" And never once did I witness the spontaneous conversation spark between any two other strangers. It doesn't happen often, because it's creepy. It's creepy to just start talking to a stranger for no reason. Okay, fine, you could say one or two innocuous things like, "I love hazelnuts." Or, "Drinking this much coffee really makes me have to pee." But then if you try to extend the conversation, it would seem odd and fake. "So, I see you're reading Deluze. You must be a grad student, am I right? What's with him and that Guitar dude anyway?" And if anyone tried to talk to me at the laundromat, I would be offended. Usually when I'm out doing laundry, I'm wearing the very last possible garment available, meaning a pit-stained tee shirt and ex-boyfriend jogging pants with cat hair and am not thinking at all about dating. And I don't want some random person coming over as I'm shoving dirty underwear into the washer. "Hey, I noticed you have a couple of thongs and I thought I'd say hi."
Or maybe it's that I just don't know how to pick up men.
Once, when I was at Penny's Noodle Shop in Chicago with my friend Becky, I thought I was having eye contact with this guy across the room. I cleverly wrote my phone number inside a gum wrapper and then put the gum wrapper back in it's sleeve, sans the gum. We left the restaurant around the same time, and as the guy and his friend were talking on the sidewalk, Becky and I walked by them. I held up the wrapper to the guy and said, "Stick of gum?" He said, "Yeah, no thanks." Denied.