"You'll find love once you stop looking!"
"You know what your problem is—you're just too picky!"
"Awww . . . you're so great . . . my husband and I were discussing you last night, wondering what could be wrong with you that you're still single. Because, you know, you just seem so awesome!"
Anyone who's been single for more than a minute has heard one or more of the above lines. And the fact is—they're all bullshit. Plenty of amazing, beautiful people stay single for any number of reasons. And plenty of amazing, beautiful people hook up because of nothing more mysterious than dumb luck. Here are a few of their stories.
W4M: Vegetarian, PETA member seeks taxidermist/hunter.
Rebecca Suzanne, marketing manager for www.babeland.com, was devastated when she had to put her cat to sleep. "It was very sad and traumatic. He wasn't that old," she explains.
Not knowing quite how to memorialize her pet, she turned to a pal. "I was crying to a friend the next day and told her that the vet suggested keeping a tuft of fur." Her friend told her about a woman she knew who'd had one of her cat's paws taxidermied.
"I thought it was really weird, but the more we talked about it, I thought I'd check into it. I had to bury him within a few hours." She looked in the phone book and began calling different taxidermists.
She found one whose office was about an hour from her Oakland, Calif., home. The taxidermist told her that he'd done entire house cats, never a paw, but said he could manage it. Then he added that he was leaving town for a few days in a half hour. Since she was an hour away, he asked her if she could put the cat in the freezer and wait until he came back.
Um, no! "I hadn't even been sure I was going to do it, but I got in the car, threw the cat in, and got down there before he left.
"I was expecting some old curmudgeonely ZZ Top–type guy, but John was my age," Suzanne says. "We spent about an hour talking. He was kind and compassionate and told me about putting his dog down. It wasn't the sterile experience I'd expected."
Suzanne thought there was a mutual attraction, but quickly put it out of her mind.
Apparently it takes a while to taxidermy an animal (who knew?), and a couple months later she got a call. "I thought he was calling to tell me the paw was ready, but he asked me to lunch. I was hesitant. We're very different people. I never thought I would date a taxidermist."
She put him off, saying she needed to think about it. "I called him a week later and said we had to take it slow. I had to get to know him better."
Her hesitation came from 20 years of being a vegetarian. "I was a member of PETA," she laughs. "I think I've mellowed as I've gotten older, and it's easier for me to see the gray areas—but to go out with someone who's (a) a taxidermist and (b) a hunter?" It was a stretch, but she did it, and seven months later they're still going strong.
But about that paw . . . "A few months after I picked up the paw, my home was burglarized. They took a pretty little box that had the tuft of fur, but they didn't take the paw. I'm hoping the burglars opened the drawer it was in and got scared."
W4W: Bawdy burlesque queen seeks soldier girl.
Seattle's Audrey McManus and her girlfriend—whose name she can't disclose because Girlfriend is a member of the armed forces—met three times before the fourth proved the charm.
"The first time I met her was at a burlesque show when we both lived in Boston. I was trying to seduce her into buying some of our troupe's merchandise." McManus worked the charm, flashing her boobs, and while her future partner was intrigued, young McManus was all business.
The second time the two crossed paths was at a fetish flea market. "She helped me move a table full of dildos out of the way so a flogger vendor could get their stuff by our booth." Again, McManus gave their meeting not a moment's thought.
By the third time the two ran into each other—at a drag show McManus was performing in—Future Girlfriend was getting a little irritated by the fact that she was not registering on McManus' radar and made her cough up the cover charge even though she was on the guest list. "But," McManus protested, noticing that the woman patrolling the door looked vaguely familiar, "You know who I am!"
Future Girlfriend just grinned and agreed. "You're right. I know exactly who you are." And made her pay anyway.
"When we finally met the fourth time," McManus laughed, "she reminded me of all the times I'd met her." This time they were at a mutual friend's house for a party. (Finally! A boring old normal venue!) "I was in the kitchen and I noticed a family portrait—turns out this mutual friend was Bob Vila's daughter!" (Sorry, but This Old House still doesn't trump a table full of dildos.) "So basically, we ended up talking for hours in Bob Vila's backyard."
A year later, the two moved from Boston to Seattle and have been here for two years, with only a minor—yet grueling—interruption when Girlfriend shipped out for Iraq. Happily, she made it back just fine.
M4W: Unemployed, homeless, married (but separated!) guy seeks hot chick with apartment.
It was a weeknight in Manhattan, and that meant only one thing to former Marine Capt. Jon Connors—another night of drinking and carousing. This particular night brought him to Rodeo Bar in New York City. Not only does Rodeo Bar feature amazing country music with no cover, but there are free peanuts for the eating—which, when you're unemployed and homeless, means a free meal.
Connors sets the mood: "I noticed a hot little Bettie Page–type perched on a bar stool with a friend. They were being circled by various midtown idiots in blazers—the type who figured they were 'slumming it,' by hitting up a country bar."
He watched as she pulled out a cigarette. "I stepped over and lit it for her. Funny, because I hate smoking, but at the same time, I always think a gentlemen should carry a lighter."
No doubt intrigued by his goofy manner and working implement of fire, the hot chick—Erin—began chatting with him.
"My opening line, which was nothing but the truth was, 'Hi, my name is Jon, I'm unemployed, homeless, and in a failed marriage.'"
Incredibly enough, Erin didn't walk away or laugh in his face. Connors continues, "After a few hours of chatting, drinking, and smooching, the evening was coming to a close. I walked her to her nearby apartment and basically begged her to let me 'sleep over.' Funny thing is, I wasn't trying to get lucky, I just wanted a place to sleep and possibly shower."
Nice try, Jon. "She, like a good girl, sent me on my way with a doorstep kiss, and her e-mail address."
Vowing to win her over, Connors walked "home" to his car and climbed in. "When I awoke the next morning, my face was smeared with red lipstick. I found her e-mail address, and began scrounging the seats for change. I cleaned my face off with a T-shirt, and then walked over to the nearest Kinko's, where I rented five minutes of Internet access."
Ah, sweet Kinko's. . . . "I sent her an e-mail with the heading 'I'm the drunk guy you met last night. . . . '"
That was years ago, and they've been married for over a year now. Connors is now gainfully employed and the couple just bought their first house. He adds, "Nice guys don't always finish last."
Judy McGuire writes the Dategirl column for Seattle Weekly.