Filed by Cari Gervin
Well, Chattanooga is Mayberry. Or it isnt. Or everywhere is. I dont know, and there was little consensus from my readers this week.
Amber Greenwell agreed with me. Since moving back to Chattanooga two years ago I have found the Mayberry mentality to be accurate, Ms. Greenwell wrote. I dont run into my exs exes (frankly, I dont even know who they are) but seem to run into my exs all the time. Since I tend to date guys with similar interests it is inevitable that I will run into them downtown or at events that we would have attended together. The worst is when I find myself somewhere and realize that I am in the same room/bar/club/restaurant as four people I dated in the previous year. It is not easy trying to talk to all of them without feeling a bit guilty.
Robert, who declined to use his last name, had even harsher criticism for our fair city. Mayberry is bigger than Chattanooga. The dating pool in Chattanooga is the smallest kiddie pool with no water, Robert said, adding that Atlanta was a much better place to meet people.
Ben, who was unable to be contacted for permission to use his last name, wrote that my piece reminded him of a conversation he had a few years ago on a date in New York. When he commented on the claustrophobic nature of dating in Chattanooga, his date replied that it was the same in Manhattan.
She made her point with a question: How does anyone meet other people? For her, it was work, working out, or hanging out with friends. The circles can only get so large. Even in Manhattan ... Venturing out with no connection whatsoever is too risky, and relying on reliable connections means you end up required to deal with ex-girlfriends of your last girlfriends subsequent boyfriend (or ex-boyfriends of your last boyfriends subsequent girlfriend, as the case may be).
Ben continued, The alternative is to take up a new activities with new groups. You make new friends and they introduce you to new potential dates. You go through a phase where you are the new boy or the new girl at the dinner group, or art class ... Youre extremely popular, but eventually someone tells you that your new girlfriend dated one of your new best friends 3 years ago ... Its not the way of Chattanooga and Mayberry. It is the way of Manhattan, and the way of Modern Man and Modern Woman.
But Jonathan Cook suggested that my problem is that I hang out at the same place as everyone else. Newsflash: The world does not revolve around Rhythm and Brews, Dog of the Hair [sic] and Drink, Mr. Cook said. I know youre paid to [complain] about how [awful] the so-called dating scene is here and thats fine. Im paid to sit on a keyboard and key out mail But if youve lived here as long as I have, then you know what Im going to say next: Altogether now: Deltas ready when you are.
For the record, Ive never been to Drink.
Anyway, if you havent picked up a copy of In The City, you should grab it out of one of those swank orange boxes you see around town. Why? Because I have an article in it about a night in the life of single Chattanoogans.
I have gotten some praise for the article and also drawn some criticism, so let me know what you think. Your comments are always welcome, favorable or not.
E-mail Cari Gervin at firstname.lastname@example.org.