Late April I stumbled on this article from the Seattle Times: “Dating in Seattle? Maybe it’s time to put down the phone and check out a ‘Not Creepy Gathering’” It piqued my interest and upon reading, I learned Jenna Bean Veatch was inspired to create a structured event designed to help people make connections. I shared the article with a co-worker and we decided we would satisfy our curiosity and check it out.
The venue was quaint with a small center stage. We checked in, and made name tags, where we also drew symbols of the gender we were interested in. There was also a mini bar on site for people who needed a little liquid courage.
The moderator, Jenna got on stage, gave a little welcome speech in which she encouraged us to commit to the event, and be flexible with our expectations. Once the intro was over we launched into our first activity: writing a love letter we’d like to receive.
The whole room gasped! After scribbling something down about dogs, we were told to stop. and the next instruction was to find someone….and the whole room was like ooooooooooooooooo…and she quickly quipped…” find someone next to you to exchange the folded note.” And we all heaved a sigh of relief…and so we exchanged noted about 5 more times…almost guaranteeing no one ended up with their own note or could trace the author.
I ended up with the most AMAZING note, it was almost like the author knew my soul. My colleague read it and was like wow, that is so you. I plan on framing that beautiful note. I have decided to not share the content of that note. Sorry ladies and gents, some beautiful things should be protected.
The rest of the evening went as follow:
Gather in groups of 3-4
Moderator calls out a question prompt,
Move to another group.
20 mins later the ice breaker stopped, and we were engaged in a freewrite session. The prompt this time: “What do I want…” we were given 6 mins to complete this task.
After 6 mins, we got another prompt: compress everything you’ve written into one sentence…wait there is more…then we were told we would share the compressed version on stage...If you guessed that the room erupted in a shout of ohhh noooo…you are right!
The moderator re-assured us that no one was going to die from this exercise (lmao), and we all should take comfort knowing we were ALL nervous, anxious, etc. To show leadership, she went first and recited her “I want…” and as we all lined up and cheered each other on, it started to feel easy.
I heard some of the most profound, warm, funny things. The one that stuck with me was from a lady who had to be in her 60’s. Hers was so simple yet powerful: “He gets me.” I mean isn’t that what it boils down to? We all want someone who gets us.
Some notable mentions:
“Someone to carry grocery bags.”
“Someone to name a puppy with.”
“Someone who is into puns…”
“Someone who thinks I am an awesome dancer...I am not!”
“Someone I can figure out life with.”
“Someone who permeates love”
The collective response from that room could put hallmark out of business.
It was an interesting experience. I started off a bit iffy but just went with the flow. I took away some of the icebreaker questions that I will be using. Questions like what is your favorite feeling? who is your favorite person? Also, I learned that at the end of the day we are all trying to love and be loved in return.
Here’s a kicker, I didn’t meet anyone that I was particularly interested in there, BUT I met someone right outside of the venue at the end of the event (will keep you posted). Talk about irony.
Oh yea, if you are wondering what I shared on stage, here is what I want:
“I want my Lobster. Someone who sees me in my own light and CHOOSES to love, respect, and support me despite of my shortcomings.”
If you are curious about the Lobster statement, watch this clip.