Burbs of Love:
The Road to 2.4 Children
or, In Fact, I Can Promise You a Rose Garden
by Joshua Allen
Young people looking for love tend to flock to cities where there's no shortage
of clubs, bars, and massage parlors. But as populations swell and sprawl, more
and more people are finding themselves in the outskirts of town, away from the
bright lights, throbbing life, and whatever else these urban nightmares are
supposed to offer.
Yes, I, too, fled the tiresome beauty and culture of San Francisco for the
banal glory that is Mountain View, the dark heart of Silicon Valley. And I've
never looked back.
you cry. "You somehow manage to meet a wide variety of available, inoffensive
women! How is this possible in the family-glutted 'burbs? Surely you make the
trek to the city when you want to find someone with wit and grace, or at least
someone who doesn't spend their Saturday nights clipping coupons and changing
Friends, that is just not the case. I'm here to tell you that suburbia is not
only teeming with opportunities for the single person on the prowl, but it also
guarantees a happier relationship once you find that special partner. Here are
just a few reasons why:
1. Single people in suburbia have jobs. There are none of these starving
artists you find in the city who promise to pay you back as soon as those
ingrates at the coffeehouse buy one of their paintings or whatever.
2. Single people in suburbia have cars. So say goodbye to chauffeuring
your loved one to her Wiccan empowerment class
every Wednesday night.
3. Single people in suburbia are desperately lonely, and thus have relatively
low standards. This can only work to your benefit.
Sprawl You Need Is Love
Now, where to begin? It's true that Silicon Valley, and your local suburban
center, is lacking a vibrant nightlife. Drive around town after midnight and
the most happenin' place will be either the 7-Eleven or Red's Exotic
Lounge & Fried Chicken Hut. So you'll need to get used to keeping your eyes
open during the daylight hours.
Think about your ideal mate and what sort of demographic group he or she would
fall into, then match those results with a particular store. For example, there
have been reports here in the Valley of frantic women hanging out at the electronics
überstore Fry's, on the
hunt for geek bachelors with IPO money to burn. Personally, I'm more interested
in women with green thumbs, so I spend my Saturday afternoons over at Target
in the Home & Garden section, armed with several complex questions about integrated pest management.
In fact, Target, Wal-Mart, and
other soulless entities offer just about every product under the sun, and every
suburban dweller must pass through their hallowed halls at some point. So just
pick a category that suits your needs -- Jewelry, Hardware, Camping Accessories,
Young Miss -- and see if your mate is lurking there.
common meeting place is the laundromat. Generally speaking, the suburbs tend to be made up of families
in homes and single people in apartments, so guess who's going to be washing
their dirty laundry in public? A bunch of unattached folks trying to kill
time for a couple of hours, maybe by making idle chitchat with your bad
self. I find the old "Can you spare a dryer sheet?" to be an excellent
icebreaker. You can also learn a great deal about your potential love-interest
by sneaking a peek at their laundry. Those Confederate-flag-themed thong underpants
might be a warning sign... or not, depending on your needs.
Stalking the Wild Suburbanite
Sometimes, however, it's not so easy to find that single needle in the haystack
of married couples. That hot mama who's winking at you while refilling her Mountain
Dew at the Taco Bell could very
well be a soccer mom suffering
from pink eye. So do a little legwork first. I'm not suggesting out-and-out
stalking, per se, but always be on the lookout for little clues. Is the person
in front of you at the grocery store buying single-serving mac 'n' cheese and
fruit cocktail and maybe even one of those mini astrology scrolls? Does he need
to spell it out for you?
But if you're tired of all this detective work and just want a straight-ahead
meat market, look no further than your nearest convention hall. Here in Silicon
Valley, there's always a half-dozen Internet conferences going on at any one time, each
one packed with badge-wearing businesspeople, drunk with the freedom of being
away from home and on their company's expense accounts. The air is thick with
pheromones. Showing even the slightest interest in someone's brochure or promotional
gew-gaw is usually enough to get something started. Sure, it may not be
that meaningful relationship you've been dreaming of, but it makes up in convenience
what it lacks in class.
And isn't that what suburbia's all about?
Joshua Allen is a puppet CEO for the elaborate tax shelter known as Fireland. He is constantly dictating memos
to his large pool of personal secretaries.
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