by myself at a comedy show

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After skipping a weekend of dating myself to hang out with my niece and nephew, I was surprised to find that I missed it. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the kids. But I have begun to look forward to taking myself out.

This past Friday night, pumped up with two weeks of anticipation, I headed back out to Niagara Falls for my fourth date by myself. My all-time favourite place to go on a date (and the one I was most dreading doing alone) is located in the lower level of Casino Rama: Yuk Yuk’s comedy club.

These photos were taken moments before a security guard yelled at me for taking photos in a casino:

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As was my plan all along, I positioned myself at a small round table directly in front of the stage. I ordered myself a ginger ale and a water and got cozy while the club began to fill. Soon Anthony Mlekuz, the host for the evening, burst on stage and I felt myself stiffen slightly. I had been remarkably calm leading up to the show, sipping my drinks and taking in my surroundings, but the stage was small, I was sitting directly in front of it, and my natural line of view fell neatly on his crotch. Things had just gotten a little awkward.

I consciously pulled my eyes up to his face just in time to catch the punch line of his first joke about elderly women finding him sexy. He got a big laugh, reached out and high-fived me four times, then settled back on stage and proclaimed: “she’s got two drinks and nobody’s sitting with her, ladies and gentlemen!” Another big laugh.

He started to get in to his second joke but got side tracked instead. “Seriously, why are you still sitting alone? Did you come here by yourself?”

“Yep.”

“And you sat in the front row?”

“Yep.”

“Can I just get a clap for the weirdest fucking thing ever!” Laughter and applause were followed by a moment of pause as he looked me over curiously. “I don’t even know what to do with this, it has literally never happened before.” Then he moved on. It was the gentlest razzing I’d ever experienced from a comedian. It was funny and easy and I was left to enjoy the rest of the show untouched. Brilliant!

The first act was mediocre but the headlining comic, Chris Quigley, was outstanding. I was so relaxed toward the end of the show I began using the laugh I reserve for when nobody is around. There was snorting, knee-slapping, dribble may or may not have run down my chin at one point. I was having so much fun I did not give a single shit.

I left the club feeling so light and happy I didn’t want the evening to be over yet. Oh, hello SkyWheel!

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After a lovely ride in pod number 22 of this luxurious wheel – where I forgot people outside the glass could see me and accidentally flashed my green panties to the kids in the neighbouring pod by putting my feet up – I decided I still wasn’t ready to call it a night.

Someone had recently told me about a bar in the Fallsview Casino, the R5 Lounge. They described it as sexy and classy and the perfect place to bring a really good date. I could think of no one else I would rather take.

Fun fact about me: I will walk great distances to avoid paying for parking. In this scenario, the long and scenic walk added to the overall magic of the evening.

Very happy I had chosen to wear a dress, I sidled up to the bar of easily the sexiest establishment I had ever entered. I ordered a virgin cocktail. The bartender whipped me up a delightful concoction of mango, strawberry, and unicorn kisses (I’m assuming). By this time I felt so wonderful I decided I deserved a reward. Oh, hello late-night dessert menu!

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I’m pretty sure I was just floating around on a cloud of hearts and butterflies; it was without a doubt the best date I’ve ever been on. But something completely bizarre happened after I left the bar and began walking back to my car. Amid a crowd of drunken tourists, I noticed a little old man waiting at the crosswalk. I linked my arm in his and said hello. He smiled and we walked across the road together. At the other side, we said good evening and parted ways.

I have never done anything like this before in my life. I’m not entirely sure where the hell that came from.

The only explanation I could come up with for this spontaneous act is that I was so completely full of love for myself some of it actually overflowed and splashed onto a random stranger. Come to think of it, ever since that night I have been more patient and kind and compassionate to everyone I’ve encountered. I’ve even been driving better.

Huh. I may have stumbled on to something.

-EC

by myself at miniature golf

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Saturday evening, around 8:30 pm, I went out on my first official date by myself. Please take a moment to skim through my previous post: by myself if you have no idea what I am talking about.

A first date is typically riddled with nerves, awkward pauses in conversation, and restrained farts. These are non-issues on a solo operation, so I already felt ahead of the game. I left the house looking cute and feeling well. This is going to be a breeze!

I pulled into the parking lot and my confidence deflated. Wow, there are a lot of people working on their short game this evening. I got out of the car and began setting up my tripod. In order to provide photo evidence without compromising the integrity of the challenge by bringing someone, I got a remote for my camera.

“Why don’t you just take a selfie with your phone?” my sister had asked, flabbergasted. “Because that would be too easy.”

Indeed, I intend to do this the hard way. Correction: “the more meaningful way,” says my therapist. “I think you’re just torturing yourself,” commented my sister. There may be some truth in that.

Here I am at Super Putt, in Niagara Falls, looking exactly as awkward as I felt in the moment.

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I returned my equipment to my trunk and got in line behind a group of four, a middle-aged couple, and a family of three – all of whom had just watched me take that photo and were now eyeing me curiously. The family of three approached me. “Are you here by yourself?” “I am, yes.” “Would you like to join us?”

Even though this life raft was probably well-intended, I hated being directly confronted about being alone. I had to stuff the urge to launch into a full explanation about my intentions and this new project I am writing about. Instead I smiled and replied simply: “no, thank you.”

The next 45 minutes were somewhat painless. Mini-golf is boring without conversation or flirting or competition. And it would seem I am not very good unless I have somebody to beat. Interesting.

There were several uncomfortable moments backed up behind slower people and waiting around with the other groups. The couples embraced, the families joked around with each other, and then there was me.

I wish I could tell you I stood tall and faced the discomfort with my head up, smiled at the strangers and felt as if I belonged. That would be a lie. I felt like a weirdo. I got out my phone and took photos, posted them online, and cowered behind the warm glow of the social media security blanket. (A “no distractions” rule will be observed going forward.) Clearly I’ve got some work to do.

Not wanting to go home disappointed, I finished the evening with a romantic moonlit stroll by the falls. I had forgotten how captivating it looks lit up against the night sky.

At one point a man standing beside me got up on the ledge to take a picture and I jokingly yelled, “Don’t jump!” We laughed innocently for about two seconds before his wife swooped in and dragged him away. Oh, for Christ’s sake! I rolled my eyes and headed home.

Glow-in-the-dark bowling this weekend.

-EC

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