For the past seven months, I have been offering homemade cake to strangers in bars as a way to find a boyfriend. Why would you want to meet someone in a bar? You might ask. Are you desperate or something? Here's the thing: I don't even like going to bars. I find them really difficult to navigate as a single person, and usually try to get away with ordering a Shirley Temple. But bringing cakes to bars works for me. The L.A. bar scene provides me with the same pool of young men that would make up my online dating options, or Grouper and Tinder matches. And offering these guys a piece of cake is an excellent social test; the way they choose to respond gives me enough information to decide whether I want to keep chatting with them, how probable it is that they're a psychopath, and if I want them to ask for my phone number. Sometimes I even ask them for theirs.
Here are some real world examples of how cakebarring has played out:
Hey there. Would you like some of our cake?
I really can't.
Are you sure? Maybe you want a piece for later--
No, I'm seriously good. I just had a huge dinner.
What? [I have a strong suspicion that "huge dinner" actually means "I'm taken."]
We have some birthday cake back at our table if y'all would like some.
Uh, YEAH. [Sounds of mental high-fives amongst hungry young guy group.]
Can I get a piece of that cake?
Sure. [Thanks for bothering to say hello first.] As soon as I finish serving these pieces to my friends [who came here with me and deserve to eat this because they just spent so freaking much in gas money], let me cut you a slice. [Who do you think you are??!]
There is a correct way to approach a girl with a cake if you are interested in eating some of it. (This metaphor is not lost on me.) My fellow simpaticos in the raised right club would tell you that to ask for something that has not been offered to you yet is a gaping social transgression. People who outright ask for cake then leave after receiving some are not considered as viable dating options. People who ask for cake but then make nice comments about it are appreciated, but probably disregarded. (This is case-by-case.) Guys who spot the cake, formulate an approach, and work their way into asking for a piece are the hands-down winners. Are you celebrating something? What kind of cake is this? Did you make it? Sure, I'd love some. Who doesn't love cake? This is slower than speed dating but probably faster than JDate. Does talking about the cake lead to other questions, like what you both do for work, and how long you've lived in LA? No, because they're too busy going on about how amazing your cake is. Marry them!
Just kidding. But seriously. If a guy knows how to appropriately segue into scoring some cake, he's probably perceptive enough to have a good head on his shoulders and know what's what. So many people my age were raised by feral cats and no one taught them to ask thoughtful questions or wait for their turn. The socially competent Hypothetical Guy In Bar you just met by offering him cake could possess other good qualities that make for valuable companionship, like volunteering to bring something when he's invited to your house, or being polite when he meets your friends. He'll know what to do in unexpected social situations, like being offered cake by a stranger at a bar. You will never feel like his baby-sitter. You could end up having fairly well adjusted children.
Should you choose to employ this strategy, you, too, could find a promising life partner in a bar, or at the very least, a considerate date. Best of luck, singletons. I'm right out there with you.