I’m of a generation lucky enough to have had both sets of grandparents alive and involved in my life for a good chunk of it as well as one great-grandmother alive for a portion of my child hood, so I know how just about everyone in the older generations of my family met their spouse. Until my parents did the hippy thing and left to see the world 99% of my family both Australian and English lived in small towns and anyone who lives in a small town knows that you meet your other half at “community events”.
For my great-grandparents and grandparents it was things like Girl Guides and Scouts activities, annual dances, community bike races, mixed doubles tennis events, balls, pot-luck dinners, the annual fair, the theatre group and so on. Even for my parents it was a similar set up you met eligible young men/women at community events and dating was watch by the entire town.
“Community events” for me and a large majority of singles living in cities just doesn’t exist. If it does it’s more likely a work related gig so you’re not looking for Mr Right your focused on no making a “career limiting comment” after a couple of wines and deciding if hitting on the cute waiter would be inappropriate and/or if you did pick him up would the office gossip notice and tell the world by next work day and so on.
However in the dating world there are “community event” type things you can join to meet like minded people. On things like Meet Up you can find all sorts of “groups” to join and I did look at joining some but for me joining things is well an issue. Both because most of the groups have a compulsory number of events you must attend and none of those events seem to match my current work roster but the big no make that HUGE issue for me is I’m not a “joiner” of things.
As I said to someone not all that long ago it’s not so much that I’m anti-social I just really don’t like people. I once walked out of a “team building” activity and when the person running it asked what I was doing I pointed out he’d just said there is no I in team so I was leaving, let’s just say it was defiantly one of those “career limiting comments” moments.
Twice in the what feels like at times desperate attempted to find Mr Right I’ve gone down the path of “community events”. The first time was when I did all the paperwork to join a thing called “Table for Eight” which organises dinners for eligible employed men/women. I got an e-mail telling me my application was under consideration but due to the large number of women in my area of my age range wishing to join that they would contact me when a place in their program became available. 4 years later I’m still waiting to get an e-mail from them telling me there is a place available and I can now complete my application and provide my payment details!
The other “community event” really actually was just that, it was a bunch of activities sponsored by the local paper in my home town for single between ages x and y. I don’t even remember why I was at home for these events but for some reason I was working from home and able to attend, much to the amusement of my family who know my objection to being forced to spend time with people in social settings.
The first event was a lunch which had nice food but the price of attending was to be grilled by the local reporter about your living situation, dating expectations and opinion of life in general. It was to be honest mind-numbingly boring. To start with I was the youngest attendee, the fattest attendee, the most educated attendee and the only one without kids. Ok I probably sound like and intellectual snob but I have 3 university degrees and at the time I had a high flying career in Defence, most of the other attendees hadn’t even finished high-school and had never left the area we all grew up in. The conversation around the table never got to discussing things like world politics, recent books, current local issues of discontent, it mostly revolved around kids, schools, x-partners, gym routines and so on.
The next activity on the Events calendar which was the final event I attended was a barefoot lawn bowls afternoon. It was an interesting afternoon to say the least. There was twice as many men as women to start with. Either a large proportion of the ladies lied about their age or they’d done a LOT of sun damage to their skin in their 20s & 30s and someone should have done a background check on participants.
Why the background check? One of the guys attending was an off duty cop and had to call his work to have one of the other guys attending arrested for breaking his parol requirements as he was a recently released violent sexual offender and on the local cops watch list.
Apart from the guy getting arrested one lady was removed by management for refusing to take her 6 inch spiked heels off when standing on the green. Another lady got told to either put underwear on or go home, if she wasn’t wearing a skirt short enough to show everything every time she moved it might not have been an issue but as it was she nearly gave some poor old guy heart failure the first time she bent over to pick up a ball and flashed her hoo-haa to the world.
So I can honestly say been their done that and it’s really not my thing to “community events” but at least I tried it despite the fact I’d rather be shot and slowly bleed to death again than have to spend time with random strangers in a social setting.