Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In the quest to cancel my membership with "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Solo," I decided to step up my dating game to land my future "Mr. Hater." My original plan of unexpectedly landing Mr. Right (or Idris Elba) during my commute to work on the 1 train was failing miserably. It's so hard to produce an effective "come hither" stare when you're sandwiched between someone with halitosis and another with probable bed bugs. I desperately needed a new approach - or at least location. Last month I figured I'd hit the dating Powerball when my favorite bars were suddenly infiltrated by World Cup groupies, most of whom were presumably men. All I had to do was strategically place myself at the right place at the right time, like a Kardashian, and wait for the man tsunami to strike.

Manhunt Day 1 - Netherlands vs. Spain: I considered venturing to the bar solo, but didn't want to look too obvious; so I invited my girl, Kim along since she's a major "Sportsnista." She's the kind of chick who actually attends Super Bowl parties for the game instead of for the buffalo wings, fun commercials and hot guys. I can't stand girls like that because secretly I know their trivial sports enthusiasm is just another tactic to get men. We've all read the same hackneyed Cosmo dating articles that encourage women to up their sports knowledge to increase their compatibility with guys. More power to the sisters who choose to invest countless hours watching men pummel each other and toss balls around a court just so they can share an less than affectionate chest bump with their crush when their team scores. Personally, I think sports should be to men what shoe shopping is to women - an experience that requires 100% focus and best shared with the same sex.

Clad in a loose, "FIFA" tee-shirt and jean cutoffs, Kim greeted me at the bar with an incredulous "You're into soccer?" Me, wearing a similar outfit, but two sizes smaller (my body's two sizes larger), quipped, "Duh, it's only the most talked about sport every four years."

Kim shot me an unconvinced look before ordering her Guinness Stout, the Gatorade for spectators. But I didn't care that she doubted me because I'd only met her last year. How does she know that I wasn't here watching the matches in 2006? Ok, I wasn't. But she was treating me like I thought the World Cup was an international drinking game.

"Who are you rootin' for?" asked a baritone voice behind me. "Score," announced my inside commentator when I turned to see that sexy sound drifting from an equally attractive looking set of lips. I smiled while trying to inconspicuously decipher the abstract little flag symbols that represented the competing teams on the flat screens. Damn, why wasn't the U.S. playing? Apparently, I was equally terrible in both sports and geography, so I reached back into my kindergarten color lessons and stammered, "Uh, I like the orange team."

Before sexy dude could respond to my Forest Gump-like answer, Kim intercepted with her team choice, clearly the right one, since he approved with a clink of his disgusting Guinness to hers. Three Stoli Raspberry and Sprites later, the score was one-zip in both Spain and Kim's favor. I felt like a third wheel on a date with her and Senor Sexy Voice, who'd connected over their love for bad beer and boring sports.

The Sportsnista routine was clearly effective, but just not for me. First of all, I could not stay engaged in a sport where it took nearly an hour to score a point - especially while under the influence. There were barely any closeups of the players, so I couldn't tell who was cute. Soccer isn't a very complicated sport to follow, so playing the clueless sports observer by feigning ignorance with banal questions like, "What's that thing he did with the ball," did not garner a desirable response. Most guys just smirked at me sympathetically, like one does when a mentally challenged person says something cute, and answered, "You mean, kicking?" Pathetic.

I'm not sure which team took home the win that night, but I was the ultimate loser returning to my lonely apartment with no new digits and the echo of the vuvuzela in my head. Kim ended up dating "Mr. Sexy Voice" for a while until he dumped her when she refused to cover herself in orange and blue body paint to show her allegiance to the Mets during the Subway Series. Just kidding. He actually ended up cheating on her with another chick he met at a bar during the Playoffs. Guess those Sportsnistas should work on maintaining team loyalty.