"The Single Life" Survey Results

We figured our readers might have some hilariously awkward dating stories at least as entertaining as Melinda Urick and friends' tales in our February issue. We were right. Here are our three favorite stories from readers about singlehood, from clevelandm

"He neglected to tell me that he was up for the murder of his wife."

1st place: My sister, Marianne, our friend Laurie, and I went out one evening. We were very successful: we each picked up a really nice guy. Marianne picked up a lawyer. Laurie picked up a pharmacist. I picked up a recently widowed man. I was especially impressed by his being married 27 years and missing the married life. His two children were both grown and out of the house.

He neglected to tell me that he was up for the murder of his wife. Marianne's lawyer friend informed her that he had seen him in the court house that day and why. He told her to warn me. She did, and that was the last time that I was allowed to pick up my own men. My sense of the right person is way out of whack. To date there has been a hit man, a transvestite, and now the wife-murderer. I now leave it up to friends for the screening process, since I have no sense.

—Diane, 51, Cleveland

"I began worrying that my family would be searching for my bones in the woods the very next day!"

2nd place: Some of my scariest, yet funniest stories come from tackling the dating scene via the Internet. • One night, I waited for an Internet date at Dave & Buster's restaurant in Westlake. When he actually walked into the bar area, I noticed that the lovely, salt-n-pepper hair the gentleman had posted in his Internet photograph was colored a hideous shade of orange-brown — what little hair he had left. The photo must have been 10-15 years old. He then proceeded to down 4 or 5 beers, and felt at liberty to begin putting his arm around my shoulders — even though I'd only known him for an hour or two. I nearly ran out of the restaurant at the earliest opportunity, pleading a migraine!

The next Internet date took me for a long ride on his Harley way out to Lord knows where, and when I asked him what the quaint little red barn/schoolhouse was that we were driving past, he said that it was Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood schoolhouse. I began worrying that my family would be searching for my bones in the woods the very next day! That was our one and only date.

The third Internet date asked me to lunch, which I thought was very gentlemanly and considerate in this day and age. But when I drove to the address and location he had specified, it was a firehouse. We ate in a dirty kitchen, off paper plates, with six other firemen.. and I had to buy my own soda out of a machine! I made the mistake of telling this man what singles bar I hung out at most of the time and — you guessed it — he showed up that night totally drunk, and very amorous. Yikes!

—Sharon, 44, Lakewood

3rd place: I met a date, had a cocktail and some nice conversation. After we chatted for a while, we agreed on dinner. As we sped off, into what I thought would be a fun and productive evening. She kind of put a damper on the whole night when she asked me if I minded if we stopped by her place and picked up some clothes for her mom. She needed to drop them off to her — as she was being shown from 2-4 and 7-9 the next evening at Repeppi Funeral Home. Oddly enough, I received a mysterious phone call and had to take a rain check. Always hoped the service was nice, for her dearly departed's sake.

—Greg, 39, Cleveland

What's it like to be single in Cleveland?

41 %: So-so!
22 %: Great!
19 %: Good!
11 %: Rough!
 7 %: Terrible!

Survey Results

Click to The Single Life feature from the February 2005 issue for more on Melinda Urick's single life saga.

We also asked our readers to share the best and worst pick-up lines. Some were so shockingly bad, they'd terrify anyone into fleeing the bar. "I might be the worst-looking person in this bar, but I'm the only person looking at you," was our favorite, perfect for a night of desperate standards-lowering. "Wanna see my dogs have sex?" was more the sort of line that get you to pull out your cell phone and speed-dial your biggest, scariest friends for protection.

"Best" pickup line is, of course, relative. Some would say there's no such thing; several of our readers suggested that "Hi, my name is ___. What's yours?" works better than any moment of failed wit. Still, one school of flirtation says any laugh, even a cheap one, beats earnestness most nights. So we plan to try our favorite this weekend, if we figure out how to deliver it with an ironic wink: "Are your parents terrorists? Because you're the bomb."

Where are the best places for single people to meet? A lot of you agree with Mel and her friends on this one. In the category of best bar for meeting new people, the most votes went to Mel's choice: Liquid/Fusion. The Blue Point Grille and Winking Lizard got some votes, and there were scattered mentions of the House of Blues, The Harp, The Treehouse, and Jillian's. When we asked for the best place to go to with your single friends, the most popular choice was the Warehouse District. Some people picked the Flats (really? was anything open the last time you went?), and the Winking Lizard chain got a few votes.

Like Mel when she decided to flee to Phoenix, a lot of you are down on the local dating scene. "What's it like to be single in Cleveland?" we asked in a multiple-choice poll, and 41 percent of you chose, "So-so. I bet I'd have more fun if I lived in Chicago/New York/[insert other big city here]." We've got our share of optimists too: 22 percent picked, "Great! I'm having way more fun than my married friends," and 19 percent said, "Good! There's lots to do, and it's easy to meet people." (We noticed that those who said "Great!" were more likely to recommend Irish bars, such as The Harp, the McCarthy's Ale Houses, and Pride of Erin. We've always suspected the Irish have more fun.) Only 11 percent of you agreed that single life here is "Rough" and that "My friends and I drink heavily and complain we can't find any good men/women." And, in a sign that Clevelanders are often discouraged but never give up on their town, only 7 percent picked, "Terrible. I'm moving away as soon as possible."

Click to The Single Life feature from the February 2005 issue for more on Melinda Urick's single life saga.

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