Like a friend who quotes Harry Potter movies constantly, dating in Sandusky can feel hopeless.
I learned this the hard way.
Moving to the area in early 2008, I was immediately told by my twentysomething peers that I might as well upgrade my Blockbuster membership since I’d be spending a lot of time alone in my first-floor apartment watching movies.
Coworkers warned me the dating scene in Sandusky was a horrorfest full of characters so frightening they would send a shiver up Stephen King’s spine.
They said all the good ones were taken. All the bad ones were single. And all the single ones were secretly married.
Or something like that.
I got the picture, but, come on, how bad could it be?
Bad, it turns out. Real bad. Stephen-King-writes-a-novel based-on-“Tommy-Boy” bad.
(I know the film “Tommy Boy” was set in Sandusky, but that doesn’t make it good.)
A year and a series of dates later, I am one bad date away from joining a monastery.
Granted, I went on three perfectly pleasant dates with a perfectly pleasant girl recently. But this was the exception. The rest of the time, things never clicked.
Part of the problem is the demographics.
Every time I am out in a social environment filled with people roughly my age, all the women either have rocks on their fingers or huge rock-chested boyfriends hooked under their arms.
From what I’ve seen I’d guess the Sandusky area has fewer twentysomething singles than it has city commissioners.
Of 80 metropolitan areas surveyed several years ago by the group Sperling’s Best Places, Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria ranked 67th for the number of 18-to-24 -year-old residents and the percentage of whom were single.
And remember this includes Cleveland, Lorain and Elyria. Imagine where Sandusky ranks on that list.
To be sure, I’m not much of a catch and flirting has never been my strong suit.
Dressed as Harry Potter last Halloween, I was approached by two attractive women at Cabana Jack’s Halloween bash.
One of the women was wearing a Harry Potter costume — or, more accurately, the sexy equivalent, complete with a short plaid skirt and top with the insignia of Hogwarts, the fictitious school Potter attends in the J.K. Rowling books.
The sexy Potter wanted to take a photograph with me.
Giving her the once over, I tried cracking wise. “Man, it looks like Hogwarts relaxed its dress code a little,” I said, I thought rather cleverly.
The girl did not seem to think it clever at all. Nor did her friend. No response. Nothing.
The camera clicked, sexy Potter said thanks. That was that. This pretty much sums up my experience with the opposite sex in this town.
Don’t get me wrong: Cool, single twentysomethings have to be out there somewhere.
I occasionally see them driving by or smiling in photographs printed in Spotted. But I have no idea where to look for them.
I looked for them at the bar. Looked for them at the mall. Looked for them on the shore. Looked for them at community events.
Still single, still Blockbuster’s best customer. But through it all, I have not lost hope. I will find a good woman in Sandusky even if it takes dressing up like a children’s book character to break the ice.