Project Wingman pt. 1

Date: Saturday, May 3

Name: Tim C.

Occupation: playwright

Age: 40something

Assignment: Dinner party, rock shows (2), burlesque festival after-party.

Assessment: Tim became the first participant in Project Wingman unknowingly, so I think of this as a test run. Old pals, we ran into each other at a dinner party and spent the rest of the night hanging out. Bonus points: he had a car, so I didn’t have to drive. He came out for the long haul–first to see a couple of bands he knew nothing about (Cryptacize and Kelley Stoltz, for those of you keeping track at home) and then really journeying into the unknown (the burlesque after-party). Strikes: his driving left a little to be desired (the car was a rental; I could tell he doesn’t drive much) and he seemed at a loss of what to do with himself at the after-party. Also, he’s a smoker. 6/10

Date: Tuesday, May 6

Name: Nancy L.

Occupation: journalist

Age: n/a

Assignment: A tasting of New Zealand wines at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, followed by a gala fashion show party for the organization Arts Umbrella at the fancy-pants department store Holt Renfrew, capped by a rock show at the Plaza Club.

Assessment: Nancy is always an enthusiastic party-goer, especially where wine is involved. She talks to everyone at wine-tastings to suss out the best stuff, making her an invaluable companion. She was also raring to go to the Holt thing, and more than amenable to see hip-hop/pop act Northern State at the Plaza Club. However, she wanted to leave the gala early when she ran into a co-worker she did not want to see, and didn’t want to stick it out for all of Northern State’s set. Not that I blame her–the room was dead.  7.5/10

Date: Friday, May 9

Name: Nicole W.

Occupation: scientist

Age 28

Assignment: art opening; weird party; smelly punk show; slightly more civilized punk show.

Assessment: An unknown quantity met less than a week previous, Nicole proved to be a game lass as we made the rounds. She was interested in the art at the opening, and seemed slightly curious about the weird party (long story short: it was full of ex-pats from my old hometown). The funky odor of the NOFX show got to her, I think, as did the preponderence of testosterone in the air, but she enjoyed the dance-punk of another band at a far divier locale. However, she didn’t know many people so I felt duty bound to stay close by her side most of the night. Indeed, at times it felt almost like, whuddya call ’em, a date–not necessarily a bad thing. And she matched me drink for drink. 7/10 

Date: Saturday May 10

Name: John W.

Occupation: librarian

Age: 40ish

Assignment: Detroit rock ‘n’ roll band the Dirtbombs, quiet bar

Assessment: Having known John for aeons, I’m well aware of his advantages and shortcomings as a wingman. On the plus side, he’s very independent and can talk to anyone about a seemingly endless array of subjects. On the downside, he’s not the greatest when it comes to meeting girls. Also, does not have his own car, so I often end up driving out of my way to get him home. On this night, he enjoyed the Dirtbombs, and it was easy enough to convince him to go for a couple of beers at one of my fave hangs, Six Acres. But when I struck up a conversation with the two ladies at the table next to ours, he clammed up. 7/10

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