At the ripe old age of 26, I have technically been single my entire life.
I may own pajamas with brides on them, but I still don't believe there's anything seriously wrong with me.
None of the boys I've dated have ever turned into recognized boyfriends, and I'm getting tired of carrying heavy things by myself. So instead of joining an online dating site or moving home to become a spinster, I've been baking cakes and taking them to bars around LA for the last six months as a way to find a boyfriend. This was all an accidental discovery after bringing a birthday cake to the Edendale bar last year got me rom-com magical results. Boys seemed to appear out of nowhere, drawn to the cake, and by default, drawn to me, now oddly safe to approach and somehow much more desirable. "You MADE this cake?! Are you an angel?" My best friend Chrissy joked as we were leaving that I should just bake cakes and hang out in bars to meet boys.
This has materialized into a very real dating strategy for 2013, which I've taken to calling "cakebarring" and have been documenting on a blog. I thought I'd be more likely to find a boyfriend volunteering at a retirement home or getting into a low impact fender bender, but the experiment actually seems to be working. At this point, I've baked 18 cakes and gone to 18 bars, all with varying degrees of success. I've gotten three phone numbers, a business card, a new girl friend, an almost boyfriend, and consumed enough cake to bring on what I'm sure will be a frightening yearly check-up at the dentist.
I have six more months to go.
This is what I've learned so far:
Boys Will Eat Anything. They don't care about frosting, flavors, or presentation. So don't kill yourself in the kitchen -- the people you're about to encounter will just be happy to score some unexpected dessert.
Have A Strategy. You cannot be shy. If boys aren't coming to you, you have to go up to them. Have a friend sit with the cake while you make a loop around the bar to scope out victims. Choose a ruse if you wish. "We just happen to have this leftover going away party cake..." You'll usually return with some willing takers.
Be Inclusive. Anyone eating the cake is good publicity. Offer a piece to anyone who looks friendly--girls included or guys who are clearly taken -- because their best pal Jake could be in the bathroom and you could totally end up with a
husband phone number.
Don't Make Assumptions. That bubbly girl standing with that cute guy in glasses could very well be his sister. Offer them both cake and see what happens.
Bring Forks And Napkins. Bars will fail you in the utensil department, and you don't want to have whipped cream on your chin while talking to a pair of young filmmakers. Don't worry about coming across as too well-orchestrated.
Bring Friends. They Could Meet Someone, Too! Invite buddies who can go with the flow but know to jump in when your conversation with a weirdo is getting weird. Despite warnings not to bring guy friends along for fear of warding off male attention, mine have proven to be proactive and helpful with coaching and cake logistics.
Don't Give Up. Some bars will have unfriendly patrons who don't like dessert or pretend they don't hear you. There's something wrong with them, not you. Regardless of measurable success, it just matters that you're trying.
Trust The Cake. Striking up small talk with a stranger in what is usually a dark and noisy corner can be very challenging. But armed with a cake, you too can be fearless. You have an instant conversation piece.
They May Be On To You. While enjoying your cake, boys may ask you things like, "Do you just bake cakes and hang out in bars?" You can scream laugh and say no, or you can be upfront and reveal your entire scheme. Your choice.
You Have Nothing To Lose. The best thing that can happen is you meet someone. The worst thing that can happen is all the people in the bar are gluten-free. More cake for you.
Check out photos of Audrey Shulman and her new friends partaking in cake.
Follow Audrey Shulman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cakebarring