Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The Wishing Chair
One of the oldest buildings in downtown Seattle, Washington is the Smith Building where, on the 35th floor of the observation deck, sits the most magical chair in the world-The Wishing Chair. That's me sitting in the chair one year ago while visiting my biological father. Legend has it that if a wishful, never married woman sits in the chair she will be married within a year. As Ray Llewellyn read these words aloud, my friend Lauralee burst into laughter at the desperate old maid who sprinted across the room and threw herself into the chair. Gripping the carved wooden armrests, I closed my eyes and wished with all my might.
Well, it's been one year. I think I should ask for my money back.
Not that I sat on my butt these last twelve months and waited for Prince Charming to find me. School was waiting when I returned from my trip. None of the young men in any of my classes for the next three semesters ever made themselves available for dating though I kept an eye out for any potential spouses and was prepared to say yes if any ventured to ask me out.
It's frustrating as there just aren't many physical places these days where single women who yearn for dating that leads to marriage can meet similarly minded men. I'm not blessed with huge network of friends and family with radars tuned to helping me find an eternal companion. The pool is drying up so fast, not even a Wishing Chair can help. Feeling like I was grasping at straws, I went online and signed up for www.zoosk.com a free singles website but too many of the flirts and messages I received were from men who were most definitely not my type. Note to all single guys: picking "Hog" as your profile name and posting a picture of your bandana wearing, potbellied self standing next to your machine might be the reason why you're still single.
I also signed up for www.ldsplanet.com and paid the six-month membership fee so I could send and receive messages. I enjoyed browsing various profiles of never married young men who had college degrees, no children, and (if they were being honest) claimed to be active in the church. I sent out lots of friendly "Hi! Oh look, we have something in common-mission, hobbies, vacation, sports, ect." but none ever returned the favors. The only flirts and messages I received were from local Utah men already divorced and considerably older than me. Not to be too cynical but if the only way for a woman to persuade a man to ask her out on a date is to bring (root) beer and be naked, well, I don't want to play this game anymore. I cancelled my memberships with both websites last month. I'm done.
That's when I was led to www.utahsmatchmaker.com two weeks ago where I filled out a profile application, submitted two photos of myself and the very next day was invited via email to schedule an appointment with a "matchmaker" for my screening interview for potential dates with "high-caliber, physically fit and well groomed" clients. The service was free for women while the men had to pay. That was a good sign. Since I had the next day off from work, I got ready for the interview, filled with hope that maybe this would lead to an opportunity to meet and go out on a date for the first time in years with someone who wasn't a loser. With little time to prepare, I selected a casual outfit and applied my makeup with extra care for the 6pm meeting in a nearby office building.
When I arrived, the young woman who interviewed me gave me the impression that superficial looks were all that mattered here. The push from her to take the next step in their client services and meet with a dating and image consultant reminded me too much of Fifty Shades of Grey and the Fiddler on the Roof tune came to a screeching halt. I am not "Barbie with a Testimony" there is so much more to me than my hooded eyes, full lips and hourglass figure. What more do I need to do to make myself a "perfect match"? Why nothing, thank you very much and I'll bet the male to female ratio clientele here is highly skewed, eh? The young woman froze at her laptop when I asked her this and I knew I'd hit a nerve. Only five minutes into our interview and when it became apparent that I was only interested in men who would look beyond my physical appearance, I was immediately shown the door. So much for "high-caliber" dating.
Subsequently, I didn't get invited to the July 20 "Holidate" where, for fifty dollars, men and their dates meet for a punch and cookies-type wholesome activity in a safe setting where they can get to know each other and the men can make their final decisions on who they'd like to see exclusively. I knew I should've worn my fishnet stockings!
Analyzing my year for any opportunities I might've had to meet someone, it was fun to look back at all the highs and lows of the last twelve months. Highs included fun outings, movies and concerts with family and friends sans any dates with single men. Lows were the cold, smoggy weather in the Salt Lake Valley this last winter that dragged me down. I stressed out a little too much over my poor Spanish verb retention but I passed my classes and breathed easier when spring came. I received an A in my six-week English course for the first half of summer semester and I'm currently enjoying a break from school.
I remain hopeful. A chair can't determine my future, no matter how hard I wished for it. The remainder of this year is still open for potential dates and opportunities to meet someone. Perhaps The Wishing Chair's legend has become obsolete but I still like to believe in fairy tales.