Where can a woman find a cluster of quality men? Men who are stable, intelligent, well-employed and dependable? It isn't in the bar and it's not at a health club either. Granted, I think the idea of meeting men in a gym is just hunky and will continue for a long time to come. However, I surmise that the future perfect pick-up spot will not be a fitness centre. There, scouting is obvious and the men, hard to type. No, the future perfect pick-up will take place at the specialty bookshop. And more specifically, the computer technology magazine stand or bookstore.
I took it to task to test my theory and selected Maison Internationale de la Presse on Montreal's Sainte Catherine Street. I chose this store for three reasons: first of all my computer savvy friends said it was the best (most popular) techie store in the city; second, it is close to Place Ville Marie, the daytime repository of hundreds of young professional men who need to keep up with technology, and three, because here the tech magazine section is highly rated, so I figured I might find a top notch guy.
During the course of my study I spent time talking to many customers of the male variety and discovered that the majority tended to be executives, not techies, who use the "Internationale" as a reference library more than a magazine store. These men were smart, friendly and successful. Their lives were too occupied with business and success to make them bar regulars. However, they did find the time (usually lunch hour) to return again and again to the "Internationale" to find an answer to some computer problem or do research.
I developed a tried-and-true "approach system" that I highly recommend for those of you interested in trying out this new way of connecting.
The first step is to start a project: If you are a computer-owner, decide to upgrade your software, or create a website for yourself or your business. Or anything else that gives you a valid reason for browsing. For non-computer owners I recommend that you buy one! Or at least look and sound like you are in the market for one.
Next, I suggest that you pick a persona and become either the computer-savvy female offering advice or the damsel in distress and seeking assistance. The latter is the best for those of us not too computer-conversant. Besides, real men love to "rescue" women. Now you are ready for the approach.
Once you spot a keeper, stand near him and start a conversation. Pretend you are searching for something. Ask if he knows a lot about computers. Ask what he does for a living. Once you know his profession it is easy to ask for assistance. Simply tailor your request to his domain of expertise. For example, if he is a web designer, you (coincidentally) will be looking to design a web page. Ask for his help and exchange business cards. This way everything appears to be professional and you have a valid reason for getting to know him.
Lastly, and most importantly, follow up - no one can possibly know if they have met Mr. Right after just one brief encounter in a bookstore. The best way to weed out the ones with true potential is the follow up phone call - now you can be more personal, chat and see if you are interested in moving to the next step. The meeting.
Don't worry, no one says you have to follow through on any of your "projects." If you decide he is not for you, change your mind about making a web page (or whatever) and if it does work out and you start to date this someone whom you can't wait to introduce to your friends, tell him the truth, I am sure he will be flattered.
And finally, if you do make it to the tech section of a bookstore but don't find your Lancelot? At least, you probably learned something about the new technology and are better prepared for what the future may bring.