Yesterday A and I hopped the Obsession III for a Singles Boat Cruise around the Toronto harbour. It was put on by a local singles networking group and apparently they do this cruise annually and it sells out every year. A was bemoaning the fact that she was going to miss the big World Cup game and was hoping there might be a TV on board (!?). I wondered to myself if the reason there were 22 unsold tickets for men was because those 22 guys were hardcore soccer fans and couldn't imagine missing the biggest game ever to hop a boat with 50 eligible and eager women aboard, or if it's now just typical that these events are always female-heavy.
I joked with her that her Dream Guy was likely at home in front of the tube glued to the game, and not on this boat.
The event began with an ice-breaker game of a Bingo card with different attributes in the spaces like "Has pink polish on her nails" or "Knows how to speak Spanish", and you had to go around to different people to see if anything applied to them, and then get them to sign your card. It seemed to me that the men in general were not taking part in the game, preferring the women be the ones to get the conversation rolling. In fact the rails around the perimeter of the vessel were lined with men playing wallflower and looking bored.
So dejected was I at the apparent lack of interest on the part of the male population in engaging a beautiful woman in conversation, that I was almost taken aback when one actually spoke to me first as I passed him on my way to the stern to take in the view.
"Hello there...are you having a good time?"
"Yes I am...and you?"
"Absolutely," then extending his hand, "My name is F"
We then went about signing each other's game cards, and A and I chatted with him for a bit (about ten minutes) before I politely excused ourselves.
"We're going to do some more mingling...talk to you later!"
There were a few interesting people on board and I made a determined effort to mingle and chat with as many of them as possible (men and women), staying happy and upbeat the entire time.
The two guys from the whisky tasting event I attended previously were there (D and M). You may recall that D had asked for my number (and then sent me one measly text message never to follow up again), and M had sat in the corner the entire time checking his Blackberry. They were different on this cruise, and M was way more interested in talking to me than D was. He confided to me that he thinks D is great with women and he wishes he could be like him (WTF? Clearly they are both delirious). Then he went on to complain and bitch about the whisky tasting (it was a complete ripoff...but you move on), and the more M spoke the more I realized what his major malfunction is: he is just bitter in general...and this is a huge turnoff.
They served up a nice BBQ lunch, and A and I sat at the table with L, who lives in a nudist colony between Guelph and Hamilton (I couldn't make this stuff up). He was a self-professed 'fraidy cat' when it comes to women, and, though he knew my name before I even sat at his table because he was listening in earlier when I was chatting with some guys next to him near the bar, he said he would never initiate conversation with a woman because he didn't feel he was 'smooth' enough!
Really? I mean...seriously???
Meanwhile A had some luck with X...a nice fellow from the UK. They became embroiled in a session of lively banter, and I took the opportunity to break off from her to work the deck on my own. They probably chatted for close to an hour before I got her to come with me to the buffet to get some lunch. X joined us at the table with L and the four of us had a nice lunch together.
I ran into F again a few times and he eventually asked for my number. I waited a few seconds before agreeing to give it to him, and then waited patiently while he fumbled for a pencil to write it down on the back of his Bingo card. He told me I was sweet and adorable and that he would definitely be calling me. He repeated this each time I ran into him afterward. It made me a little uncomfortable, but I tried to stay light and breezy about it. I decided that if he does call me I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and go from there...if not, no biggie. Though I don't know his age for certain I would guess he's a good 15-20 years my senior, and this fact just might prove that old-school men ask for women's numbers, and the new-age dudes avoids doing so at all costs.
We got back to the dock four hours after setting out. By the time A and I made to disembark only one of us had given out our number. A was more than a little disappointed that X didn't ask for her digits as he seemed so interested in her and they had such a great talk. She said he had almost asked at one point, and then hesitated, as if he wasn't really sure he wanted to. Unfortunately The Rules tell us that we don't stick around chatting endlessly with one man, and that we must break off after no more than 15 minutes to mingle with other men. It didn't surprise me much at all when he didn't ask for her number at the end of the night because she had so willingly latched onto this man giving him no opportunity to chase her down and pursue her.
On the other hand, there was some hard evidence presented to me during this enlightening event that most men would willingly throw themselves overboard before approaching a woman and engaging her in conversation. It's a hard lesson that only further erodes my confidence in ever finding a man who has a big enough set on him to make the first move.