As I’ve mentioned before, there are several factors that make meeting people in Victoria difficult. First of all, there’s an exceptionally large population of Senior Citizens and Hipsters. The overabundance of white hair and flannel shirts often makes feel like you are living in the film Cocoon or an episode of Portlandia (or “Cocoon-Landia” – a scary hybrid of both) If you’re not looking to meet octogenarians, or someone who wears an excessive amount of plaid, your dating options are limited.
Added to that, it feels like I have already dated everyone in this city . Plus, I also suspect some people might be under the false impression that I am not in fact female. As part of my on-going inquest into the Victoria singles scene, I’ve come up with a new theory as to why dating just hasn’t happened for me here:
I’m living the life of a Senior Citizen.
Recent Vegas antics aside, since moving back here in November I have become a Golden Girls episode of one – minus all the pastel colored pantsuits.
How does one turn into an honorary Senior Citizen? Easy:
1. Move back in with your 63 year old mother, to a town, so full of retirees, it’s known as “Canada’s Jurassic Park”
2. Work from home so you can avoid making contact with people your own age.
3. Start planning your week around various Senior discount days.
Oh the discounts you get when you get older! Although getting older kind of sucks, you do get access to a lot of cheap stuff. (I’ve learned this while tagging along with my parents on their shopping trips.) This is how my week usually pans out:
MONDAY: Monday is Senior’s discount night at one of the movie theaters in town, which means it’s usually the night I go to the movies with my Dad. Sure, Monday is an odd night to go see a movie, but to quote my Dad this weekend when I asked him if he wanted to go see The Five Year Engagement with me: “I don’t want to break the bank and pay $10 to go to a movie on Saturday when I can pay $5 to go on a Monday, Simone.” Because my Dad always pays, he makes the rules. Sometimes, my Dad’s friend Ron comes along. Having no kids of his own, I think he’s excited to hang out with anyone who isn’t a Senior Citizen. Plus, I think they enjoy having someone to answer their questions like “Simone, yesterday I heard someone say “that’s just cray!” Is that the same thing as saying something is the bomb?” It’s a WIN/WIN situation.
TUESDAY: Senior Discount Day at Value Village. 30% off! My Mom and I usually go to check this out together because we both love treasure hunting. She’ll pick up interesting finds for her vintage store while I usually find a Michael Kors blouse that someone has managed to pass over. We’ll often run into my Dad’s friend Ron who I suspect (like me) also craves human interaction.
WEDNESDAY: Coffee date with best friend. Catch up on emails that I neglected while doing Senior activities.
THURSDAY: ARGH, FOOT PAIN! Go to mall to shop for comfortable walking shoes. While there, see a display for the Victoria Cactus club – not the bar, the actual club that grows cactuses. Consider joining.
FRIDAY: Check out weekly Church rummage sale with my Mom.
If you’re looking to really get down with the Senior Citizen lifestyle, I would also suggest eating dinner early. Like, really, really early. There have been several times that my Mom have gone for dinner at 4:15 pm and you know what? It’s been awesome. I’m always super hungry around 4pm anyways so why not just have dinner? What are you waiting for?! Eating dinner early means I can feel less guilty later when I indulge in a snack while watching Seinfeld re-runs with my cat (this is how most of my nights play out in case you were wondering.)
A few weeks ago, my Mom and I decided to take an after-dinner jaunt down to Value Village (it was Senior’s Day after all.) While cruising for bargains we bumped into this guy I’ll call “Government Guy”. I met GG a few years ago when we both attended a dinner party hosted by a mutual friend. After the party, I added a bunch of the people I met to Facebook, GG included. I never heard much from him until 6 months ago when he started to “poke” me daily. In November I ran into at the grocery store and he said to me:
Him: “Your name is Simone right?”
Me: “Um, yeah!” (What I really wanted to say was “DUDE OF COURSE THAT’S MY NAME. YOU’VE BEEN POKING EVERYDAY FOR SIX MONTHS. I MEAN, WTF!” – but I didn’t because I’m Canadian and overly polite)
When we ran into him at Value Village my Mom asked:
I told her about the Facebook poking situation and she replied:
“He seems really creepy”
“He’s not, I think he’s just awkward”
“Simone, what type of normal 30-something is shopping at Value Village at 8:30pm on a Tuesday?!”
“Oh that’s different.”
Is it though?!
At 31, I don’t feel old but to be brutally honest, I actually enjoy doing some of these Senior-ish things. It’s a welcome respite from my busy life in Toronto which often seemed like an endless string of nights out, product launches, PR events and elevator pitches exchanged over cocktails.
Over the past few months I’ve been saving up all my party energy which I totally let loose while I was in Vegas a few weeks ago. I had an amazing time at Bloggers in Sin City and spent the entire weekend being very Un-Senior-Citizen-sy. Being with the BiSC-uits, made me feel like I was back to my old self. Although, I probably don’t need to be eating burgers at 3am or walking around with a to-go cup full of Mimosa everyday, the experience has inspired me to step things up a bit in my life before I do start rocking a pastel colored pant-suit with a matching sun visor.
Granted my town doesn’t have swanky nightclubs where you can dance underneath a fake eiffel tower or bars that serve your beverages in tumblers made of ice, but I’m sure if I made more of an effort to do things the “hot 30-something crowd” in this city does (whatever that is?!!) I’d probably increase my chances of meeting eligible bachelors. However, if I did this I might have to give up my commitment to Value Village Tuesdays.
And really, when it comes down to it, who needs a boyfriend in Victoria when you can get vintage Valentino for $5?