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I felt the need to shake things up on my second go-around on the big wheel of love. They struck me at first as sisters or an improv comedy duo, but they told me later they were just close friends. I can't recall what she said next because, well, have you ever tried to remember how a dozen people you met at a party answered the same innocuous question? His everyman charisma and Good Will Hunting-era Matt Damon looks convinced me he'd one day survive a crash on the surface of Mars by becoming a makeshift potato farmer.
"Sorry, Devon, I couldn't hear you," I said to the woman lounging on the padded blue seats on the opposite side of the gondola. Regardless, they seemed ready to break out of this stiff format. " John asked the shy college-aged woman sitting side-by-side with Devon and Elliott. On this night, John bravely guided the nervous crew of a more modest kind of vessel by prompting new questions and intervening almost every time there was a hint of an awkward pause in the conversation. The conversation largely ping-ponged between the two pairs of friends and me, our breath fogging up the safety glass keeping the cold air out. We'd earned a small achievement as a group: we'd created a modicum of intimacy in 12 minutes together.
The rules called for the "spinning singles" to swap gondolas after each successive spin in order to meet with three new members of the opposite sex, but oddly enough, we remained with our same-sex "competition" (let's face it, this event was heteronormative AF) for the entire time.
I got to know my dude datemates pretty well over the course of the night as a result. John and Michael, a pair of preppyish roommates in their early 20s were charming wingmen (wheelmen?
But that cynical thought had melted down, replaced with a pearl of wisdom I'd heard earlier from possibly some great philosopher: "I'm on a Ferris wheel in the world's greatest city, what could go wrong?
Elliott, Devon, and I were laughing at the ridiculous antics we'd witnessed. The guy who faked a southern accent to test-market it with the ladies! Moments later, while biking on Grand Avenue, I caught up to John and Michael and asked John what had happened to his quest to ask Brandi out.
(Spoiler alert: it did not go well.) And what was up with that dude who kept approaching small bands of women with the line "Hey! " (That did not go well, either.) Before they jumped into a cab, Elliott handed me her "Let's Connect" card—her number scrawled on it in blue ink. "She said yes," he said with that big, dumb Matt Damon grin.
They're desperate, chatty, needy, strange -- and the clock is ticking.
he TV news reporter kept asking everyone the same stupid question: “So, what are you doing here?Instead we talked to strangers in sober silence—a stark reminder that modern urban dating is bizarre and alienating.