Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What your costume could say about you

Alisha: There are tons of challenges to finding costumes for children, but what about those pesky problems when searching for a costume at age 32? You have to take into account size (not many shops carry Troy plates for a 52-inch chest) and quick escapability (hey, if you find a cute security guard at the party, you don't want to spend 20 minutes peeling off your Wonder Woman outfit).

But most importantly, what costume you choose says a lot about you as a potential mate. Let's examine some costumes men and women might select this Halloween. Men first.


Deirdre: The crux of this is how good the costume is. If it's detailed and fits well, the guy not only wants to be a hero, but he might be straying into comic book convention territory (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). If the costume is cheap, he's probably going for Jack Black-type humor, but he'll come off as a loser.
Alisha: If a guy wants to be Superman or Captain America, then I'm betting he's a good kisser and is quite passionate -- they always want to savior the moment.


Deirdre: Ghost costumes tend to involve full-body covers, which screams SHY to me. Zombies would imply someone creative (because of the makeup and "acting" abilities necessary), but also someone who gets their jollies off scaring people.
Alisha: If it's just a guy in a white sheet, I'm not impressed. But a white sheet with black holes in it, Charlie Brown style, shows a desire to be different - which is a good quality when picking out a mate.


Deirdre: A man who likes to be in charge! And what woman can resist a uniform? Not original, but still a smart move.
Alisha: Screams authority issues. But maybe that's a good thing if you're wanting a man who takes control in the bedroom.

Now for the women.


Alisha: Can you really take home a girl who wants to be Firecrotch for Halloween? Come on now.
Deirdre: HA! Or the chick who wants to flash everyone getting out of the car? Classy. It's also a cop-out, because it's a great cover for when they start drinking.


Deirdre: Name one fairytale where the chick doesn't need to be saved. It might be a turnoff for dudes who like strong, independent women, and depending on the amount of body glitter used, it might make for a messy make-out session.
: Fellas, if you see a woman dressed up as Cinderella or Snow White, I sure hope you have a large savings account. That wedding is going to rival Princess Diana's, I guarantee you.


: I picture the librarian types choosing cuddly animals as their Halloween costume, and of course, I immediately think those are the quiet, demure types out in public and the spontaneous, wild types at home.
Deirdre: Why do so many women go hoochie with it, though? "Sexy" kittens and Playboy bunnies. How obvious is the "touch me" message? And guys, how many men besides you have taken them up on it?

Readers, what are your ideas for costumes and their hidden meanings?

Monday, October 29, 2007

'Crazy in love' taken to a new level

Yesterday afternoon a friend and I watched an unnerving documentary, "Crazy Love" (released on DVD couple weeks ago).

It's about Burt Pugach and Linda Riss, a couple whose story started when they met in the '50s. Burt spotted the lovely Linda and decided instantly he had to have her. The two dated for years, and when Linda finally spurned him (I won't tell you why, but she was well within her rights), Burt went over the edge. He did something horrible to her (I won't tell you what, but it was despicable), and for it, he spent almost two decades in prison. When he got out he was as obsessively in love with Linda as ever, and continued to try to win her over.

HE DID. They married. They're still together.

My friend and I spent most of the documentary shaking our heads in wonder. "Uh, I'm OK not dating right now," I murmured as the story took its dark turn. Singlehood never seemed so ... safe.

The unsettling fact is that you really don't know who you're getting involved with when you start seeing someone. We all take a chance when we let someone new into our lives. Much of the time we're lucky, but in some cases, what begins as love mutates into something more sinister.

Also at the heart of the documentary is the knowledge that relationships work because the people involved are getting what they need out of it. What may seem kooky and ill-advised to us on the outside looking in may be perfectly natural and necessary to the folks who live it every day.

Ugh. The story of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss is scary enough for me this Halloween season, thank you very much.

Friday, October 26, 2007

This company offers 'sex lessons'

“Company bosses say giving their predominantly male employees lessons on the menopause and foreplay gives them a healthy sex life, which in turn makes them happy, productive workers.”

Now that’s a statement you don’t hear every day when you’re at work, eh?

An Australian coal mining company has decided to offer classes on, well, bottom line: Understanding women.

My husband keeps chiding that one day he’s going wake up and he’ll know all there is to know about women, and then, all of a sudden, he'll die. If you don’t get the joke, ask a man to explain.

But truth of the matter is, if the employees are expressing a desire to learn more about why their wife just might not be in the mood when experiencing hot flashes, then good for them. I’m glad to see this company -- albeit one that’s thousands of miles and two oceans away -- deems such lessons as important to the well-being of its workers.

Not sure about your company, but The Charlotte Observer has a group of people who come up with ideas and ways to keep its employees healthy, such as weight-loss classes, a massage therapist, sessions on nutrition and yoga classes (all of which are not free before you think it).

Suggesting the group looks into a class on sex, relationships and marriage sounds like a mighty fine idea. If men need to learn more about effective foreplay for their spouses, then women sure could use some tips on listening to their husbands. Um, so I hear.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Speed dating: The straight story

A reader sent me an e-mail after my recent post about a speed dating event I attended. I thought others might have the same questions, so I got her permission to answer her here. She wrote:

"I've been trying to get friends to go speed dating with me, but it was a no-go. I'm 31, but I like men who are a little older than me. I'd love to know more about how much it cost, where it was held, was it weird being there with no wingman, and the types of questions you were asked."

Let's get the basics out of the way. The event was $35 (it's usually in the $30-$45 range), and sponsored by I found out about the event -- held in a nice, public Charlotte wine bar -- from a friend, but you can find them easily enough with a Google search or through singles organizations.

Now, onto the more interesting question of the wingman/wingwoman. I'd recommend going to a speed dating event alone. Why? A woman confidently striding solo into such an event is sexy, no? Plus, once you get started you'll be in one-on-one conversations with men, so whether you're there alone or with friends won't even matter. (If you're worried about your safety going it alone, you can always tell friends where you'll be and have set check-in times on your cell. But I can tell you I've never felt uncomfortable or threatened in any way.)

The last time I went speed dating, a few years back in San Francisco, I was with two girlfriends. I found if you're with someone you know, you tend to stick together and avoid meeting other people. Last week, I had such a good time laughing and exchanging stories with some of the women that we wound up swapping phone numbers. New friendships may develop!

And something important to think about if you go with a wingwoman or two: there's a good chance participating men will say "yes" to all of you. Then what do you do? I've known that to happen several times, and while no cat fights ensued, it did make things awkward.

As for the questions I was asked, there were some basics pretty much everyone wanted to know: Had I ever been married, did I have kids and what did I do for a living. Because Charlotte natives are few and far between, I was often asked where I was from. Keep in mind some speed dating events have rules forbidding people to ask about careers or salaries (to keep people from discriminating against those in the "wrong" tax bracket, and to deter stalker-types by limiting information, I suppose), but there was no such restriction at my event. Each chat lasted about six minutes, and the conversations veered in all directions. For example, with one guy I talked about the first marathon I completed. A different man got the story of my first (and last) attempt at snow-skiing. With another I discussed my trip to Tokyo; with yet another I had a lively discussion about the most recent movies we'd seen and books we'd read. A couple guys told me the brief histories of their failed marriages; several discussed their kids; one dude was really into ballroom dancing and the lindy.

In all, it was a fun time -- but then, I wasn't trying to discern my soulmate during six-minute conversations with strangers. What I'm saying is, don't put all your eggs in the speed dating basket, but use it as merely one of several ways you have of meeting dating possibilities. As one guy I briefly dated from my first speed dating experience put it: "I met nice people that night. But they were people I could've met anywhere."

He was right. Such events are great for people who are shy, or who have been off the market for awhile, or who just want to work on their conversation and flirting skills. And there's always the possibility that you will have strong chemistry with someone and want to see them again.

That brings me to what comes after the event. You say "yes" to people you genuinely want to see again. Don't pick them just to be nice or because you feel sorry for them; that's not fair to them and ultimately, it would be a waste of everyone's time. And if you get less "yeses" than you expect or a person you really liked doesn't respond to you, I know this will be hard, but DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Just because you're not what they're looking for doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. It just means you're not what they're looking for. It's a hard lesson to learn -- in fact, I'm still learning it -- but it'll save you a lot of angst and therapy bills if you do.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in speed dating

I figured the meet-and-greet segment of my dating game could use some work, so I went speed dating the other night. I hadn't been in years. It's good practice, plus the age range was 35 to 48, and I was curious to see who would show up.

The event was held at a wine bar, and when I rushed in, late, almost everyone was bellied up to the bar, buying liquid courage and checking each other out. The wine bar's other patrons watched us curiously, wondering what was going on. Once I cooled down and had a glass of wine in hand, I surveyed the scene. I was the only black chick there. Out of 22 participants -- 11 men and 11 women -- there was me and one Asian guy. I wasn't uncomfortable, but I was hoping there'd be more diversity. Also, I felt like a giantess. I think I was the tallest person in the bar. But those are my issues.

Let me hit the high (low?) points of the speed dating itself. And by all means, e-mail me (just click my name there on the right) if you're considering speed dating and want to know more.

Here's how the event worked: The women sat at tables and every six minutes (a bell would ring to signify the time), the men would get up and move to the next table. You're given a card so you can take notes on everyone you meet; I wrote stuff like, "ugly necklace," "really intense," "raunchy!!" "wife had mid-life crisis" and "nice, but no chemistry." You also decide if you want to see the person again, because after the event, you log onto the speed dating site and click "yes" or "no" next to their name. You then receive an e-mail when someone gives you a yes.

The event was for ages 35-48, but listen, fortysomething guys -- if you want to date but are unclear about where to find women your age who aren't cougars, try speed dating. The women at this event were attractive, professional, intelligent, well-groomed without being hoochie (in fact, I fastened an extra button on my shirt so I wouldn't be the hoochie one) and they seemed to have their crap together. Also, I found out from the guys that several women were like me: no kids.

• And fortysomething gals -- the men were polite, very nice and in search of serious relationships. Their clothes matched their shoes. None of them seemed outwardly crazy or stalkerish. The group included an accountant, a couple guys who worked for banks, a couple mechanics (I, for one, would love a mechanic. So handy!) and several techies (software, IT, sales). All could carry on a conversation and only a couple spent too much time talking about psycho ex-wives. Most had at least two kids.

Here's the sad part: while there was a waiting-list for women (remember when I told you there's millions more of us?), not enough men signed up. The organizer had to bring in two guys from a younger group. The difference was startling. One of the younger dudes had his shirt unbuttoned way low (to show off his pelt of fluffy chest hair) and his first words were -- I kid you not -- "come here often?" The other, when I asked why he was there, responded, "to drink!" Niiiiice.

Again, fortysomething men: YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

After we finished, there was more mingling and chatting, but many rushed off to pick up kids and relieve babysitters. I rushed off because I felt like I'd just done 11 job interviews and was exhausted. I went home, logged onto the site and clicked "yes" next to only one guy's name. (One of the mechanics.)

So I bet you're wondering if any of the guys clicked "yes" next my name. The wait was agonizing. I wasn't excited about any of them,
but logical thought flew out the window. To get no "yeses" would be wonderful (Whew! We agreed there was no chemistry!) and horrible (What? None of them thought I was pretty or funny or charming?).

Over the next couple of days, I got e-mails. Three said yes (the dude I picked wasn't among them). Yay! And boo!

Oh, well. My meet-and-greet game is much tighter now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

He said ‘I love you’ – after one week!

A man and a woman meet for their first date. Sparks are flying. There’s a connection, something neither have felt in many months. He was in a new place, not exactly knowing where to look for women. She was busy with school and work, not exactly enough time to find a mate.

The date was a hit. They part that evening, with 100 miles separating their lives, and they can’t get their minds off of each other. They talk every day on the phone and make plans to meet one week later.

That date finally arrives and it’s a magical evening of dinner, a movie and holding hands.

Then, out of nowhere, it happens. He says: I love you.

Whoa, horsey … I love you? After one week? What? Are you kidding me? How does he know? One week! Are you talking to me (as she looks over her shoulder)?

She feels strongly for this guy, but … wow … to utter that special phrase is a big step. You don’t just throw that around like it’s nothing, buddy. She’s taken aback, flattered at the same time. She manages to say she’s fallen for him but using the big ILY is moving just a tad fast.

Two weeks later, she realizes this is the guy for her and it isn’t so hard to say. It felt right. It was meant to be. He just knew it before she did.

Who says there’s a true timetable on using those three words?

Besides, it only took Alisha three weeks, and her husband one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Long-distance love sure isn't easy

Deirdre: You've written about how you and your husband often don't see each other because of conflicting schedules, but what if you hadn't seen each other because you lived far apart -- do you think you still would've gotten married?
Alisha: He lived north of Greensboro when I first met him and I went to UNC Charlotte, so for three months, we did long-distance dating and it wasn't easy. If we had to date like that for years, gosh ... I don't know.
Deirdre: I've never been in a long-distance relationship. I attempted the early stages once, but with the wrong guy. He was a wannabe player and couldn't be trusted. Who knows what he would've been doing when I wasn't around!
Alisha: I admire anyone who has successfully pulled it off. It does require a lot of trust, tons of patience and a willingness to try phone sex.
Deirdre: HA! You cut right to the heart of it -- how do couples last without a steady level of physical intimacy? I think it depends on their personalities. And sex drives.
Alisha: Yeah, kissing the phone good night is not my idea of intimacy, though sometimes it is comforting to at least have someone who cares and can be there when you need to vent. It makes me wonder if some couples function better when there's distance rather than being on top of each other all the time.
Deirdre: You just made me think of a former co-worker. She and her man were a great pair long-distance, but as soon as he moved to be with her, their relationship crumbled. When you're apart, there's mystery and romance. When you're together for an extended period of time, the flaws are inescapable.
Alisha: So, is it really a relationship if you get together just a couple times a year?
Deirdre: I think a relationship is whatever the people involved agree that it is. If couples feel their needs are met even though they only see each other once or twice a year, more power to 'em. You never know what's going on inside a relationship unless you're in it.
Alisha: Amen to that. It's got to be challenging to maintain a marriage via e-mail, phone and trips home every couple of months. I'd like to see my husband take out the trash from 2,000 miles away!
Deirdre: Well, that's just it -- you have to be comfortable living what's essentially an independent life. You have to have enough self-confidence and enough faith, love and trust in your partner to believe even though you're miles away, you're still crucial to each other.
Alisha: There you have it, folks: If long distance works for you, congrats to you and yours. If it isn't, um, well, ever heard of online dating?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Is love in the cards for me?

So I was at the Renaissance Festival with some friends over the weekend. In between watching the jousting and the bellydancers, a couple of us stopped to visit a tarot card reader.

I asked about my romantic possibilities, because isn't that, like, the psychic law? You ask about your love life and/or your professional life. After studying my palm and laying out the cards, the reader told me several interesting things. Most noteworthy: I had not yet met the love of my life, but he's coming. When I flat-out asked where he is, she replied that I'm looking for him in the wrong places. My guy is an "oddball" and "quirky" (doesn't surprise you either, does it?) and I have to change my location. When I told her I have no plans to leave Charlotte soon, she said I have to completely alter my strategy and start going to places I don't normally go to find a mate.

Hmm. Many of these "experts" make their living off being able to read people, so whether this woman was for real or not could certainly be debated. And her advice was very common sense. If what you're doing isn't working, you have to try something else.

Well, I'm going speed dating later this week; that's different. (And yes, I'll report back!) And on our way out of the Ren Fest a chick in wench garb incongruously handed me a flyer for an upcoming auto show. Ooh, was that a sign? Is my future beau a car fiend?

Uh, I'm willing to try someplace different ... but only up to a point.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An ad for adultery

I was breezing through my e-mails when one of the newsletter roundups I receive stopped me cold. The topic: a billboard in Los Angeles that reads: "Life is short, have an affair."

It's an ad for a dating site that caters to married people.

WOW. Uh, aren't you supposed to stop dating after you get married?

To me, this billboard is wrong on so many levels. Oh, I'm not saying the company should be forced to take it down. They paid for it, and it's on them if there's a backlash and they get no business from the ad. But c'mon -- this Web site is trying to make one of the crappiest things a person can do to another seem cool. Can you imagine driving along the freeway with your kid and they ask you about it? Who wants to have that conversation?

Wouldn't it be interesting if someone put up an opposing billboard on the other side of the road? Maybe it could read something like ...

-- Life is short ... why not admit the marriage isn't working and move on?

-- Life is short ... why betray the one you love?

-- Life is short ... especially when you give your spouse HIV after screwing some stranger you met on an adultery Web site.

Readers, would this billboard bug you? Or are you about to go to the site and set up your first date?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trying to set up friends? Beware.

We all have those special friends in our lives who are single for one reason or another.

And every time you go out with them, you, as the happily-married person who wants your friend to experience the joy a relationship can provide, scan the room hunting for people who look like they have jobs, don't live at home with mom and aren't wearing a wedding band.

And then it hits you that you have other single friends who have similar interests to this particular single friend, and Oh My Gosh! ... why not set them up? It's perfect. Both enjoy playing outdoor sports, reading Pat Conroy and listening to Rush, so they would naturally have to fall for each other. Right? Not necessarily.

Have you ever really tried setting up two of your single friends on a date? I have once and it bombed. I thought I had matched them up perfectly based on their personalities, looks requirements and hobbies.

Um ... where's that "Gong Show" bong when I need it?

After the date was over, the not-so-happy couple called -- individually, of course -- to tell me: Alisha, it's the highest compliment to set up your friends because that shows you care and you know me well enough to try to find a suitable mate. So I appreciate you and your valiant effort. I do, I really do. But, Alisha, don't ever try setting me up again because that was the worst date I've ever been on.

Maybe you've got a success story of setting up your friends?

I sure hope so ... because I give up.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Snuggle up and practice kissing

Alisha: It's October and it's my favorite time of the year. One benefit of fall is cooler temperatures and that always makes me want to snuggle up to my husband and spend more time on the lost art of kissing.
Deirdre: Aw, man, do you have to rub it in? It been far too long since I've been kissed!
Alisha: That's a shame, because kissing is such a passionate endeavor. But, I do have to say, there are some guys who don't have a clue what they're doing. If I wanted my tonsils cleaned, I'd surely ask first.
Deirdre: I know, right? They don't even do that for you at the dentist's! But it's about more than technique. A friend of mine is dating a guy who's a great kisser, but she isn't turned on by him at all.
Alisha: That's a tough situation because anyone who really knows how to kiss well, they're a keeper. Some folks treat kissing as an appetizer to the main course, when they don't realize truly good kissing - when there's a connection - can be a full meal.
Deirdre: So true! When I was younger, I had some hot makeout sessions with guys in clubs ... and then we went our separate ways. Sometimes, great kisses really are enough to hold you over.
Alisha: Ahhh, the prelude to the kiss, you know, that time right before your lips touch and you feel each other's hot breath.
Deirdre: And maybe they tease you a little and your lips don't actually touch, but they're soooooo close ...
Alisha: I told a guy friend that kissing is a lost art. You want to know his response? "All women say that." I was taken aback. Surely women aren't the only ones interested in kissing?
Deirdre: Bet you 5 bucks your friend's woman would say his kissing skills need work. People who enjoy the sensuality of intimacy -- the touching, the holding, not just the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am -- know kissing is integral.
Alisha: That might be true, but I'd think it'd be difficult to tell someone he or she needs improvement if they're not willing to hone their skills. One thing I was thinking about: What about kissing when you get married. Is it appropriate to french kiss or should the happy couple just give a peck and move on?
Deirdre: I think whatever the couple is feeling in that moment is appropriate -- including french kisses -- as long as the new hubby doesn't make a boob grab or something. Save that for the honeymoon.
Alisha: It depends on the place of the wedding. Not sure I'd find it appropriate if a couple were french kissing in a formal and very religious wedding. Now, if y'all are in Vegas, let the tongue tussling commence!
Deirdre: Good point! But back to what you were saying about telling someone they need improvement -- isn't showing better than telling? Or were you thinking tell them if they just don't seem to get what your lips are saying?
Alisha: Everyone learns differently, so I'd think it depends on the person whether you need to keep kissing so they'll learn, or whether you should write out explicit directions. Maybe there's hope for born-again kissers out there?
Deirdre: Hey, there's always hope for those willing to learn. And practice is so much fun!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Are you a 'pet parent'?

The other night I came home late from a long work shift. As I pulled into my driveway I remembered: I was out of cat food and forgot to buy some.


Screw it, I thought. I'm not going back out. As usual, my cat Jezebel was right there at the door to greet me and demand her dinner. I weaved and dodged her as I went for the food container and emptied the dregs -- pellets and crumbly fragments -- into her bowl. Jez took a sniff, then looked up, meowing. Clearly, she still expected dinner.

"That's it. That's all you get tonight. Eat up," I announced, then headed upstairs, turning out all the lights. Then I sat in the dark, holding my breath and listening for the crunch of her chowing down. Silence. I risked a peek into the hallway and there she was, walking toward me. Pitiful meows. I went down and tried to talk her into eating. She walked away and plopped down dramatically in the middle of the floor, looking up at me with sad eyes.


I trudged upstairs, put my shoes back on and grabbed my wallet. I explained to Jezebel that I would be right back, I was only going to get her some dinner. Then I went to the nearest open gas station and bought her some overpriced tuna.

I recently wrote about relationship trends, and one of them was "pet parents": people who treat their pets as if they were their children. Now, I don't carry Jez around in a purse or dress her up in stupid outfits (have you ever noticed how dogs usually don't seem to care, but cats always have this trapped, "call the SPCA" look in their eyes? It's because cats know stupid outfits are very very WRONG). But I do kiss her and rub my face against her belly while making silly noises, and I talk to her all the time, expecting an answer. I squeal when I see cute toys and buy them for her. When my mother and grandmother call and get the machine, they often coo at Jez, telling her to let "mommy" know they called. And I never make her move, not even when she has stretched her sleeping length across the bed and I'm in some convoluted, cramp-inducing position to accommodate her, or when she's curled up on top of me and I have to go to the bathroom or I'm hungry or the phone is ringing, because she's just so damned cute.

And I go out in the middle of the night to buy tuna fish because she won't eat what she has.

Some of you are nodding in recognition, I just know it. Let's have it, you pet parents (and enablers) out there: what will you do for a furry loved one?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Married couples, single folks can be friends

Scene: Two women are shopping at Carolina Place Mall on a Saturday afternoon. Both are in their late 20s and have been friends since college. One is getting married in a couple months to her high school sweetheart. The other is hopelessly single, but has received two winks on in the past week! We listen in on their conversation as the iced lattes are finished off and Macy’s is the next stop.

Woman 1: Once you get married, won’t you drop all of your single friends because they won’t understand and you’ll run out of things, like, to talk about?
Woman 2: Um, no. It’s not like that at all. Why would I stop hanging out with you?
Woman 1: Maybe because being a third wheel is not my idea of a good time?!
Woman 2: You know how John and I are, we love our friends, and there’s always room in our friendship for the single as well as married ones.
Woman 1: I don’t know … just seems like we won’t be able to go to BAR Charlotte anymore or go cruising down Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Instead, we’ll resort to talking about ya’ll buying a house, planning for a family and going to brunches instead of bars. All that married stuff.
Woman 2: Girlfriend, hold off on the kid talk – you’re moving a little fast. Just because my priority is my soon-to-be husband and you might not fully understand the fact he doesn’t ever replace the empty toilet roll with a new roll -- it must be a guy thing -- does not mean we cannot hang out.
Woman 1: I guess you’re right. I just hope it won't be awkward.
Woman 2: Seems silly for married people to say "I do" to your spouse and "sayonara" to your friends just because they’re single.
Woman 1: If you say so. We’ll see.
Woman 2: We will … Whoa! Check it out; Macy’s has a sale on diamonds. Maybe John can upgrade my diamond for our fifth wedding anniversary?
Woman 1: You just got your engagement ring! Aren't you moving a little fast?

Note: The conversation and women are fictional, the problem being discussed is not.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Singles, let's help each other

I hear it all the time: there's nothing to do in Charlotte. It's hard to meet people in Charlotte. Where can I go to meet someone my own age in Charlotte? And so on, and so on, and so on.

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I try to think proactively about the dating process, rather than just whine and moan about how bad it is. So here's what we're gonna do: we're gonna use this blog as a dating resource. Every now and then I'll share some places and hopefully, you'll share some as well. We'll form our own singles community, and help up each other's game.

OK, I'll start. I recently went to an event hosted by Club Blume, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's social group for twenty-and-thirtysomethings who have an interest in the arts. It was a free screening of the original "Ocean's 11," starring Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, followed by wine and yummy munchies, then a screening of the "Ocean's 11" remake with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. The turnout was so-so, but I think it depends on the event; newcomer reporter Leigh Dyer went the night they screened '80s faves "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club" and the place was packed. (BTW, Leigh often mentions events for single newcomers on her blog, New Around Town, so it's a good resource as well.) Club Blume offers pre-show mixers, discounted tickets and more. In addition, the Blumenthal has Out on the Town, a gay and lesbian social club.

I'm really gonna frontload this sharing process by including some singles stuff from our new Living Here magazine, which was in newspapers yesterday. (It's all online, too.) Here's a list of organizations for singles and places to meet singles. Here's a column by Denise Renfro, a single staffer who has more good advice. And here are Paid to Party columnist Tonya Jameson's nightlife suggestions of cool places to par-tay. If you can't meet folks by going to any of these places, we really need to talk about your strategy.

Alright, readers, your turn. Been anyplace recently that was either A) super-fun, B) loaded with hot single people, or C) both? Do share!