Recently I became aware of a new website getting an inordinate amount of buzz from the media, the cyber community and women who travel on business.
Inviteforabite.com bills itself as a “safe, friendly place for women to meet and eat. At home and away.” Basically, the site aims to find female companionship for women who feel uncomfortable eating alone in public places.
Darn it, ladies, once again all the attention is focused on you!
Granted, I’m not asking for a similar site that locates a fellow bro that I can share a steak with. I’ve eaten hundreds of restaurant meals alone and have never felt self-conscious or been convinced that everybody is staring at me the way mothers stare at a middle-age man walking near a playground and wearing a raincoat. I recently returned from New York City and actually relished some of the meals I ate in solitude. Perhaps it’s because tables in Big Apple restaurants are squished so close together that I can eavesdrop on multiple conversations simultaneously. For the record, there’s a one-bedroom apartment on East 86th that’s about to become available. Also, Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn’t as good as Brian Dennehy in Death of a Salesman. I acquired both of these information nuggets while eating spicy gai yang at a Midtown Thai establishment.
OK, girls, I get it. Maybe eating alone makes you feel unwanted, unloved or unsafe. Maybe you’re tired of hiding those feelings by reading your BlackBerry mail while waiting for your Caesar salads to arrive, hoping that everybody will look at you and assume you are dining solo because you have important business matters to attend to. But before you develop the next website, mobile app or live event that spotlights a particular “women-oriented” issue, remember that men have problems, too. And we’re starting to feel a bit slighted.
That doesn’t mean I’m asking you to stop marching, running and walking for women’s health issues. But how come there aren’t as many events for men’s maladies? Why not a 5K fun run for male pattern baldness?
AskPatty.com offers automotive advice. For women. I’m sorry but a car is a car, correct? What tips do women, and only women, need to know about automobiles?
“Don’t buy German cars, ladies. They stall in front of nail salons!”
Another website, fishinchix.com, caters to women who like to fish. Girls, if you are hiding fishing secrets from the male population, it’s time to fess up. Will my Rooster Tail lure attract more bass if it’s pink? Dipped in Chanel No. 5? Frustrated fisherMEN need to know.
See what I mean? Guys, let’s put our thinking caps on. Surely we can develop some websites and apps that address problems specific to us. Here are a few that I propose:
vickybuddy.com — Gentlemen, ever feel uncomfortable when your wife or girlfriend drags you into Victoria’s Secret? No ESPN anywhere. This site lets you hook up with another guy in a similar situation. Together you can sit on a mall bench and discuss football while your significant others browse for lace panties.
wear-this-instead.com — For the fashion challenged guy. Get dressed in the morning, snap a photo of yourself and upload it to a (thankfully) password-protected server. Within seconds, the site will politely suggest alternatives to the Green Bay Packers tie you were planning to wear to the job interview.
runninglateagain.com — A message board where men can share their most infuriating stories about their other half's lack of punctuality. A guy will feel better knowing he’s not the only one whose wife repeatedly says, “just five more minutes” even though he’s had the car idling in the garage for half an hour. Also available as a mobile app that automatically notifies restaurants and pleads with the staff to hold the table because you’re on your way. NOTE: This only works once per evening. If she continues to stall, the app automatically orders takeout pizza.
GroceryJolt — A great mobile phone app for guys whose wives send them to the grocery store. Ladies, you will love this one. If he forgets any item, the app sends a powerful electrical shock through his body before he reaches the parking lot. He can re-enter the store and retrieve it once his legs begin functioning again.
Feel free to contact me if you have other suggestions. Or join me for dinner. It will be easy to spot me in a restaurant. I’m the guy confidently sitting by myself, making plans for a nationwide march on Washington. The goal? Eliminate beer bellies forever!
Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad
Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.