Well, I snagged a last minute ticket to a sold out event and attended another mixer just two days later. This one was much more fun, but it ended worse. This mixer was at an indoor venue close to downtown (San Diego) and 140 (70 males and 70 females) came out on Valentine’s Day evening to try and make a love match. It definitely helped that this one had adult beverages of hard kombuchas, seltzers, and beers to sip on while you chatted with people. At this event, they played games that helped you get out of your comfort zone to talk to the opposite sex and the introvert in me loved that. (Plus I love games, just not the games of the dating world if you know what I mean.)
We arrived and everyone looked festive and nice. I attended with two other girls and actually felt pretty, which I don’t often feel, (maybe it was the fake eyelashes I pasted on) and really hoped that beauty I felt, would shine through that night. And having just done this 48 hours earlier, I felt more confident. But, I knew the crowd would be a little younger, and that had me a bit nervous anticipating all these 25 year old hipsters with not much in common to connect on. But immediately, guys came up and asked us questions and made us feel welcome, so that was nice. I grabbed a raspberry hard seltzer and felt my nerves subside a little as conversations were happening within our little group and I saw a few girls I knew who were also there on Valentine's Day. It reminded me I’m not alone and that everyone there was in the same boat.
The hosts, who are two single, Christian girls that saw there was a need and decided to start putting on these fun events, began a game that I will call “Human Bingo.” You have squares on a piece of paper with things like, “never broken a bone” or “can speak another language” and you had to find the opposite gender to sign off on it and get a blackout to win. And there was a prize involved. This forced you to go around asking others if they had done certain things or if it applied to them. But back to that prize. I’m competitive and I wanted to win. So, I was super chatty and bounced around the room to find the males that corresponded to their square. And win I did. I got a koozie, tumbler, and body wash. Woohoo. But, looking back I didn’t win in the part that counts and that’s in forming connections. So next time, I would take more intentional time to further conversations, instead of trying to win the game. More the winner at the game of life.
The next game wasn’t as fun and there was no definitive end or winner. Kind of like Monopoly where you just have to call it quits and walk away from it. And then they announced there was only about twenty minutes left before the event was over. They were very strict on the time as the event space time limit was up. This is where it got very awkward.
So, they had the men write out cards with their info on them- name, phone number, and social media handles. They said to pass them out to the ladies if they felt a connection and wanted to get to know them better. And you may be wondering, “What about cards for the women?” They want the men to be braver and intentionally pursue the women, which I totally get and want that too, so I respect that.
Instead of maybe chatting longer with people, it forced the men to just ferociously pass out their cards at the end. I was standing with the two girls I came with, and about seven guys came up to my same friend and said they liked her and wanted to get to know her better and gave her their info. The other girl and I are just standing there wanting to die. It was super uncomfortable. It was like we were on “The Bachelor” and all the guys were giving roses to the other women and my friend and I are just standing there, feeling like chopped liver. I wanted to just leave, but didn’t want to make it more awkward by just walking out. And I know the friend that received them all, felt uncomfortable too, but we were happy for her that so many guys felt a connection with her. But it did make for a defeating and uncomfortable finish and I left feeling like that was kind of a sucky Valentine’s Day ending. My friend texted me that night, “Well I didn’t think the mixer would make my self esteem worse.” And I totally related and we chatted on the embarrassing finale.
I went to bed saying I would never do something like that again. But, after tossing and turning on the event, I woke up the next morning still glad I went, proud that I myself out there and experienced it. I still had fun. And I still felt pretty, regardless of the results. I don’t want the ending to ruin the whole thing for me. Rejection in life is inevitable. If you don’t put yourself out there, you don’t get hurt, but you also don’t meet anyone and limit experiences. ‘No risk, no reward,’ kept surfacing in my mind as I was pondering this event and life. Everything in life has risks pretty much and I don’t want to limit myself due to fear of outcomes. So, who is ready to attend another mixer with me? :)