Help! I’m Surrounded By Straight People!

Let’s play a little game of “Never Have I Ever.”

“Never have I ever been surrounded by a couple hundred seemingly desperate straight women and douchey men who can’t dance at 7pm on a Thursday night.”

If you didn’t just put down a finger then you should have been at the launch party for this new dating app called Hinge this Thursday in Chicago. Seriously. I have never been surrounded by so many heterosexuals that early in the evening who were “looking.”

Probably about a week or two ago, I received an email from “The Social Mistress” – a ridiculously fun lady that The Sassy Nebraskan and I met a while back at a scotch tasting event that I’d RSVP’d us to before realizing she hated scotch so much (whoops) – that there was a new dating app throwing an open-bar launch party at one of the best night clubs downtown (there’s always celebrity sightings there on the weekends). With zero hesitation (you had me at “open bar”), I clicked the link, RSVP’d and was on the guest list.

So here I am, walking into Studio Paris and busting out my iPhone to show that, yes, I did download this app – a prerequisite for being allowed to enter. Coat check: check. Bag check: of course not. I’m not letting my Mary Poppins bag (you can seriously fit just about anything – minus a coat rack – in this behemoth) out of my sight.

And it’s a good thing I didn’t, because this bag proved to be quite the conversation starter. After making a beeline to the bar for a glass of wine, I was ready to wait for The Social Mistress to arrive.

And that’s when the sharks attacked.

Enter two ladies (who by the end of the evening I’d become friends with) also on a wine mission. After a quick “OhmygodIjustloveyourbagwhereisitfrom?!” ice breaker and a few compliments back and forth on our clothing choices for the evening, we got down to the nitty-gritty.

“So have you been seeing anyone?”

“Have you tried the online dating route?”

“How did you find out about this party?”

“Have you met anyone off this app yet?”

“Which app(s) or websites do you like the most for online dating?”

“Oh, so you just came for the open bar too?”

Holy mother of god. I had never been grilled like this in the first five minutes of meeting someone. It was like being a witness in a murder trial with either Judge Judy or Fiona Goode reigning supreme. I wasn’t sure which to be more afraid of: running out of wine and having to wait another hour for the bartender to come back, or which question might be fired off next.

Right about then, I noticed The Social Mistress across the bar and mentioned to the girls that my friends had arrived. We exchanged the obligatory “Have a great night! Good luck!” pleasantries and split up. Thinking this would be the last I saw of them, I headed over to meet up with the mistress and her friends. Joking about the number of seemingly desperate women flocking to the men in suits like sharks to a drop of blood, we caught up on what we’d been up to lately and what other open bar events were coming up where we could end up on the guest lists.

Sure enough, the girls returned. There’s something about standing near a bar when the drinks are free…you just always see the same repeat offenders. But then again, I can’t judge because we were there for the free drinks too.

Fast forward a glass of wine. We decide to do a lap then leave and hit the afterparty. Running into the girls again, I decide it must be fate. Third time’s a charm, right?

At this point, the straight men had begun their mating dances of douchery. Girls were prepping for the next morning’s walks of shame. Wine was being spilled (and not by me for once!). And here we were, sipping our wine and laughing with one another about how good of people watching this was. If people watching were an Olympic sport, we’d all have taken home a gold medal that night. Perhaps they’d even have made a new platinum medal for us.

9780762448975Overall, I decided that I don’t understand straight people. Y’all are crazy. It’s a good thing I bought this book recently because I’ll need to do some studying before I go to another one of these mixer things. I think I’m just mostly confused about your awkward mating dances and ever-so-quickly-put-on beer goggles. Oh wait…..you’re just like all of us gays, just in a different environment. Hmm…

While it was, in fact, a good time and I left knowing two new people who seem totally normal and fun – who doesn’t love a fellow wino – I walked out having met exactly, count ’em, zero potential dates. Did some of these Desperate Debbie’s and Douchebag Dan’s leave with some phone numbers, plans, or a bootycall Thursday night? More than likely. Am I judging? Not at all. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.

Is this Hinge app cool? From what I can tell, yes. There was nobody really explaining the details at the launch party (weird, right?) and I had to ask The Social Mistress why people were wearing blue or white sunglasses – apparently one color meant you were single, and one meant you were taken. Here I was just thinking these straight people had “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” playing on repeat in their heads all night. What they should have stood for is “I’m here to meet people” or “I’m just here for the open bar” then they would have made a little more sense. But I digress…this app seems cool. It pools your Facebook friends to see which of their friends are single and share the same Likes, location, and sexual orientation as you then presents them to you in a very Tinder-esque “swipe left for no and right for yes” based on whether or not you think they look/sound attractive. Pretty easy.

Did I end up leaving alone? Of course.

But did I have a great time, meet a couple new people, and take full advantage of an evening of free wine and socializing with some phenomenal people-watching? Absolutely.

Now let’s check out these connections and see who Hinge thinks I should meet…

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