A Woman leans against a bar, drink in hand (gin martini, dirty, extra olives). Other Women and Men mill about, flirting. Man approaches. He speaks with an Italian accent.
Man: Hey there … (peering at her nametag) … TK421. Wishing you a very lovely beautiful day as you are.
Woman: Okay. Thanks.
Leans in to kiss her. She leans back. Awkward pause.
Man: Have fun and enjoy!
Moves on. Man 2 approaches. He is a bit nervous.
Man 2: Hey there … (peering at her nametag) … TK421. I think you have such a beautiful smile and eyes and that I love them.
Woman: Huh. Wow. Thanks.
Awkward pause. Man 2 moves one. Man 3 approaches. He poses several times in bicep-enhancing positions.
Man 3: Hey, rockhardabs, here. I value knowing oneself. Hard work. Accomplishing goals.
Woman: Yes. Sure, me too.
Man 3: Right on. (lifts shirt, reveals abs, points at them) Am I right? Am I right?
Woman (muttering into her drink): (Answer privately).
Awkward pause. Man 3 moves one. Man 4 approaches. He is really sweaty.
Man 4: Hello there … (peers at nametag, then just stares at boobs) … you ladies looking for a (does boob juggling gesture) threesome?
Woman: Nope. Not. Nope. Move along. These are not the droids you’re looking for.
Man 4: Hey, that’s —
Woman: Nope. Not. Too late. Move along.
Awkward pause. Man 4 moves on.
Woman: I don’t know if this is going to work. Maybe I should update my profile.
A Bartender appears.
Bartender: What can I get for you?
Woman: Guys who like girls, Ages 30–50, Near me, Who are single, For new friends, short-term dating.
Bartender: Would you date someone who has smoked a cigarette in the last six months?
Woman: Well … smoked one cigarette? Just one? I mean I guess no, I don’t want to date a smoker, but once – it could have been for a show. Or just one night out or something.
Bartender: Yes or no.
Woman: Okay, I guess no.
Bartender: Would you consider yourself extremely honest, sort of honest, or not at all honest.
Woman: Umm, I’m pretty sure honest is a finite value, so you can’t really be extremely honest, you’re either honest or you’re —
Bartender: A, B, or C?
Woman: Jesus. Extremely honest.
Bartender: Coming right up.
Man 5 enters in workout clothes, sweatbands and all. He holds a sign that says, “tightbuns” as he passes in front of Woman. Man 6 does the same; his sign says “cute4x4guy,” but he is not wearing a shirt and is using the sign to obscure his face. Man 7: Uncle_Bob. He looks exactly like your uncle. Man 8: “Stud_27” is wearing a gray unitard that covers his body and face.
Woman 1: Okay, okay, this is really not working.
Bartender: Perhaps if you answer more questions.
Woman (sighs): I don’t know. Why would anyone want to date me anyway. I mean look at me, I’m sitting here, friendless, helpless, hopeless, unemployed in Greenland.
Collective inhale of shock from everyone in the room. They cease flirting. Freeze.
Woman: Oh, no, I’m not. I was just quoting …
Collective exhale. Unfreeze. They resume flirting.
Woman: Wow. Good kinesthetic response.
Drums her fingernails on bar. Sips drink. Tries to fish olive out of glass but it keeps slipping out of her fingers. Finally puts her mouth to the edge of the glass and uses fingers to spoon it in as she slurps up the remaining gin. Man 9 approaches. He looks like a totally normal, very cool guy. Woman spits olive and gin back into glass as she says,
Woman: (Skip question)!
Awkward pause. Man 9 moves on.
The other people in the room are coupled off now, making out like they’re on a nighttime soap opera (open mouths but no tongue, moving their heads too much side to side, running their hands up and down one another’s backs). Except for one couple. The Woman spies them, lights focus in on them, all the other couples freeze. They are speaking to each other in low tones, looking back and forth from one another’s lips to eyes. She laughs and brushes her hair back. He inhales – you can see the effect of the pheromones on him. She touches his hand casually. He traces a line down the side of her bare arm and rests his hand on her knee. She whispers something in his ear. Again you see him smell her. During all this the Woman has been unconsciously inching forward, closer and closer to the couple. She is too close. Suddenly they notice her, she realizes where she is, the lights change back and the other couples unfreeze.
Woman: I am so. Sorry. How embarrassing. I didn’t mean to intrude. It’s just that–you seem so real. I mean, I don’t know, this bar, you just like really … wow. Yeah. Sorry.
Starts to walk away. The man stops her.
Man: Hey, it’s okay.
Long Pause. Woman stares at them again. They smile.
Woman: So you did it! You actually found each other this way!
Man 10: Sure! We’re a committed couple looking for a playmate. You interested?
Woman: (Softly) D’oh.
She walks slowly back to bar. Resumes position from opening. Collective inhale.
Blackout. End Part One.
… to be continued on the next Internet Dating: A Play.