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Did Everyone Get That?

The Cutting Edginess of Dating in 1999

by Colin Lingle

As everyone’s favorite calendar-boy "Gregory" moves from his teens to his twenties, we find the same questions dogging us that our ancestors did: "How do I ask someone to the Harvest Ball?" "What do I wear to a Winter Solstice party?" "Do you think he/she, like, LIKESlikes me?"

Well, if you were lucky enough to be alive and clicking in 1999, at least you had some help. Studious readers of the past year’s Big To Do have learned some clever tricks for meeting, mating, and making it stick.

For those of you who might have been pencilling your paramour’s name upon a Peechee folder instead of paying attention, let us quickly review. Below, it’s the best of the Big, organized in a handy crib sheet.

Lesson 1: Get Out There

Scientific studs… uh, studies have shown that the odds of meeting your particular capital-S "Someone" simply skyrocket when you LEAVE THE HOUSE. Who knew? So… how do you A) get in play; B) do something worthwhile; and C) show how good intentioned and generous and giving and earnest you are? Try volunteering! No, scratch that… Volunteer! Not only are there thousands of organizations across the country (including one in YOUR community), but many of them – such as Single Volunteers and Seattle Works – are deliberately designed to be social activities. How perfect is that? Now you have no excuses. Go forth and mingle.

Lesson 2: Go Have Some Fun

Newsflash: "Everyone" is "Always" too "Busy" to do "Anything." Yes, well, here’s a BG Rule of Thumb: For every action, there should always be an equal and opposite night spectacular enjoyment (within reason). But where’s the grin in dragging yourself down to yet another bar for just another drink? These days, if you’re going out, you’ve got OPTIONS. Do a little research and you can probably find an innovative venue in your Anytown, U.S.A., that puts a new spin on the old drill (stop what you’re thinking; stop it). Take your posse (plus the requisite friends-of-friends) to a new high-tech night out or find a location like LUVBUZZ that will do the romantic research for you. It’s the new millennium, darlings; how do you think the Jetsons met?

Lesson 3: Play Well With Others

Now that you’ve met a person worth your valuable while, you’ll want to find out how they do in a creative group setting. Take it upon yourself to design a social evening that will engage and entertain a group of ’00 sharpshooters like you and your gang. Barbecues are overdone. Bowling – still classic, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to literally spend the night in someone else’s shoes. Tie your party to a classic event that’s not the Super Bowl. Or why not take it to the next level? Create a citywide scavenger hunt of ten fantastic nightspots. Rent the aquarium… and serve sushi. Your imagination is your only limit. And in this case, it’s a limit you should go over.

Lesson 4: Always Be Closing

There comes a moment in every nascent relationship when it’s time to close the deal. Are you taking it up a notch? Are you going exclusive? Are you using certain vocabulary words or aren’t you? If you, personally, are heading that direction, you want to make the decision to come along very easy for your paramour-to-be. One perfect night – timed just so – can make all the difference. A few things will help the situation shake out as it should. The right atmosphere. The right meal. And, for heaven’s sake, the right music. If that doesn’t get your honey to join up, then it just wasn’t meant to be.

Lesson 5: Aisle Be There for You

For some of you, 1999 was the year that you decided to tie the big, frilly, surprisingly expensive knot. As is our way, Americans celebrate the culmination of this particular relationship arc with elaborate shows of spending, gifting, and getting. But again we hear you asking, "Big To Do! Isn’t there an easier way?" Yes, there is. The same ingenuity that gets us in and out of the grocery store in no time (oh, wait… well, it’s supposed to help) has now been turned to the complicated ritual of the bridal registry. Don’t be fooled; this is just as much a test of your compatibility as anything. You might as well make it fun.

BONUS LESSON: Celebrate in Style!

Now that both you and the Big To Do have made it to the end of 1999, it’s time to tip a glass and put the "bbl" in "bubbly." Find out what’s "coming up next" when you pop the cork on December 31st, on your wedding night… or even after you win your Oscar Pool.

That was the Big To Do that was! Look for more great advice from the front lines of dating in 2000!

Colin Lingle recently joined Team BG and is already considering getting serious.

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