August 2011

Recently, it occurred to me that maybe I’m not running into Mr. Right is because Mr. Right doesn’t shop for lipstick at Sephora or hang out on my couch watching The Bachelorette. I need to figure out where he spends his time.

I’m not into reading magazines on the toilet, so I join a flag football team, shaking off the memory of a pre-teen me plucking dandelions in the softball outfield. Now, I’m a grown woman — I have the fixings for martinis in my pantry, and a mortgage! — and flag football is just a game … like Scrabble.

I show up for the game, decked out in long sweats to protect against skinned knees. My teammate Jared playfully hurls a football toward me. I crouch into tornado safety position and shield my head with my hands. Jared tells me I need to tuck in my T-shirt so I can Velcro this unattractive flag contraption around my waist. I try to explain that if I tuck in my T-shirt, my waistline will look thick and rumply, defeating the reason I’m here. “It’s a rule,” he says.

“I’ll be the quarterback,” I joke in the team huddle. No one smiles, because this is serious business. One guy seems kind of cute — cropped hair, big muscles, five o’clock shadow. “I’m Jennifer,” she grunts when I introduce myself.

The rest of my team includes a nondescript selection of guys with square-jawed faces whose obvious goal is to — yawn — play football, and two Pamela Anderson types with tanned legs sticking out of short shorts and T-shirts tied into cute knots revealing pert abs. Hey, isn’t that against the rules? Anyway, betcha these girls cry the first time the ball sails their way.

Team captain Matt scratches X’s and O’s in the dirt with a stick, like in the movies. I wonder which X I am … or are we the O’s? I take my place alongside my teammates on the field. “We’re going the other way!” Matt snaps at me. “Block that woman over there.” He points to a horse-like creature snorting at me from the other side of the field.

The ball snaps, and I run toward the Horse. She tramples all over me and gallops off into the darkness. Ouch. This is only a game, I remind myself … like Pictionary. I wonder how soon halftime will arrive so I can buy red licorice at the concession stand.

“Run that way and try to catch the ball,” Matt orders. Before I can explain the multiple reasons why this is not a good idea, the ball hurtles toward my delicate facial bones. I put my hands out, not to catch the ball, but to prevent it from inflicting permanent damage. It smacks my middle finger in a direction nature did not intend. OUCH! But I will not cry. I will NOT cry.

The score skyrockets to 13-0. We’re the zeroes. Blonde twin Krissy skips onto the field to replace me. I get to work braiding blades of grass on the sidelines. Krissy turns out to be a speed demon in waif’s clothing. The Horse tries to trample her, but Krissy darts away, managing to look adorable in the process.

Halftime. Sweet halftime. Is it only halftime? As Matt swipes his X’s and O’s, he directs his comments at me as I’m munching on my red licorice. “LA-dies, this brown object is a FOOTBALL.” I’m a grown woman with the fixings for martinis in my pantry and a mortgage. And it’s only a game … like Monopoly. And I will NOT cry.

Jennifer is ejected from the game for kicking the Horse in the hoof. Krissy leaves the game because she has a date. “Next play is a required woman’s play,” Matt tells us. Collective groan from the guys. “Kandy’s injured.” Kandy cradles her fingernail, chipped on the last play. “Which leaves … Amy.” Another collective groan from the team. “When the ball snaps,” he instructs me, “run to the right and look for this BROWN OBJECT.”

That’s it. My finger may be broken, my waistline rumply, but I’ll show them. The ball snaps. I run to the right. Which is when Matt swoops in, literally picks me up and carries me around the field, planting me where the ball is headed. I’m so stunned the ball sails over my head. The Horse whinnies. Matt curses. The Zeroes remain zeroes.

That night I curl up with an ice pack on my finger and Icy Hot slathered on my wounded pride. What was I thinking, trying to meet Mr. Right in his own habitat? Boys will be boys. And in some ways, I’ll always be that pre-teen plucking dandelions in the outfield.

Say … I wonder if Mr. Right plays Monopoly?


ubuibmel's picture

Wow was this article timely. I had just been having a conversation about where to meet men in this town!! I'm sorry to say I'm thankful I'm not alone in that quest.

Seriously...where do the available 40 something, worthwhile, men hang out?

aplachy's picture

Ah, the eternal question in Nashville!! Anyone have any suggestions?

GurleyBrown's picture

Amy, I have felt your pain. I joined a DODGE BALL team a few years ago in an attempt to meet single guys. Instead of a boyfriend, I picked up huge bruises.

HerQuest's picture

I've actually devoted years of research to this very topic...not flag football (definitely not that), but where in the world the good men are. I'm convinced they're all hiding out in their backyards drinking beer while I'm lunching on delicate sandwiches and fruit tea at some girly cafe. For more ideas (shameless self-promotion here!), check out my blog,, and my Facebook page Good Ones Are Gone.

Lady-Jane's picture

The key word in that question is Good. So ladies if you are serious about looking for a GOOD man. May I suggest what I did. Step One I prayed and had faith that God would answer my prayer. I asked Him for specific qualities in a man. One thing I knew for sure is I would not settle for mediocre. I didn't look for a man in the wrong places. When your desiring to meet someone to spend your life. Why would you seek them in places you dont like. Women who do this end up with less than what they desire. Then later they wonder how did I get into this? So Good men go to Good places like church.. But beware there are even fakers in church because men know Good women go there. Discernment is a must. I met my husband on a christian dating site called christian dating for free I also met others that turned out to be good friends.
So if you are really seeking a good man check out this site.
Also know that GOOD men want GOOD women they know what they are looking for. And by the way not all Good men are taken. But if your believe they are how will you ever recieve one?
Be Blessed..

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