Where can a girl go when she’s feeling low?

17 May

manMap's feelin lowLast week, Saturday night was survey night. I find it harder to survey on Saturdays because people tend to start their nights later, rather than straight after work. This means I can fall victim to meeting friends for dinner first, losing track of time over a bottle of wine and then deciding that the only possible course of action is staying for a second bottle. So this Saturday, I thought it best to avoid temptation. I ate leftover schnitzel from my Friday visit to Una’s and forced myself out the door by 9pm.

The night didn’t start well. Hoping to investigate the theory that men like small bars as much as women, I headed to Love, Tilly Devine. This meant walking past the Lord Roberts, an inoffensive local. Outside the Lord Bob was a sign stating the football odds for the game being screened upstairs. I had a minor melt-down. I thought football was just on Friday nights. Why was it suddenly invading Saturday nights too? Although barracking for a team is an easy way to meet guys, they’re hardly in the mood to answer questions about their social habits while the game’s on. I took a few deep breaths, told myself that small bar guys might not be into football and pushed on into the laneway.

I had high hopes for Tilly. My boss had been there the week before and had told me it was packed. When I arrived, it was comfortably occupied with its patrons neatly arranged into pairs. ‘Man and woman’ pairs. A mapper’s worst nightmare. Abandoning hope of a blog-post about love in laneways, I headed back to Crown Street to see what was happening at The Owl House. Although busier than Tilly, it was dominated by multiple-couple groups. All I could hope was that there wasn’t some poor Last Woman Standing hiding in the bathroom, wishing she’d never agreed to venture out with her happily paired-up friends. Strike two for me.

Ignoring the voice in my head telling me to join my friends at the pub, I headed along Crown Street toward Oxford Street, with no firm plan of where I’d go next. As I walked past Crown Bar and Grill, I saw a table of seven nice-looking men dining with one woman. I considered barging in to remind them that while they were selfishly in a restaurant, women in bars all over Sydney were wishing men like them would ask them out. Or just speak to them. Or even just throw them a smile. Feeling lower and lower as the hill grew steeper and steeper, I decided I should head toward to light, Gaslight Inn that is.

I’ve always been fond of Gaslight and felt sure it wouldn’t let me down. But when I got there, it was empty. Strike three. I couldn’t understand what was wrong. Yes it was cold, but it was a beautifully clear night. Was I too early, too late, too ignorant about the habits of football fanatics? I decided I’d keep walking until I reached The Dolphin, before succumbing to the cosiness of my flannelette pjs. Then I heard the happy buzzing of male voices coming from a darkened bar. Begging the mapping gods to help me, I smiled at the bouncer and found myself inside the wonderfully busy Low 302.

Although there are no stools at the fairly short bar, Low 302’s set up is great for single women. With the exception of one room next to the bar and the smoking area out the front, the space is open and easy to move around. I intercepted a group of men who then introduced me to their mates, who then sent me on to another group of guys. They were so helpful, friendly and sincere that I met my quota in less than an hour. It was a new record for a Saturday night, where I’m often competing with loud music, special occasions which I accidentally intrude and alcohol-fuelled frivolity. A huge thank you to the guys at Low 302 who reminded me that not everyone is in a relationship or watching football. If you’re looking for a smart, kind professional guy in his 20s or 30s, slip on some heels and head to Low 302. More than half the guys I surveyed were single, so you’re bound to have a great night.

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