I sat across from him and listened. He was trim, tall, bearded (as they all seem to be), a recent transplant, having only lived in Seattle for a year or so and worked at a start-up, after burning out at Amazon (as they all seem to have). He rode his bike around town; he had good taste in food and wine; and he lived across the street from where we were meeting. He was a software engineer or did something in tech (as they all did). And he was utterly unmemorable.
I don’t think he asked me a single question about myself. Our date—if you call these impromptu Internet meetings, dates—lasted an hour. It felt more like a job interview, but not the way a date is supposed to be a job interview. There was no grilling about where you were from and what your family was like and what you were looking for.
No, I spent a half hour or more listening to him talk about his job. Since I am not in the tech industry, I don’t understand any of it.
. . . .
I hadn’t been out of the house all day, I work from home and I see no people except in a computer monitor, so human company, any kind really, was necessary. The restaurant was about to close and we had to go elsewhere or part ways. Even though I was bored, I wasn’t ready to go home, and I wanted to get a second drink. He offered wine back at his house and I said no. He was good-looking enough, but I wasn’t going to be able to get it up for a boring tech dude. And my city, Seattle, like San Francisco is lousy with them.
As technologist and writer, Jeff Reifman, pointed out in a post titled You’ve Got Male: Amazon’s Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene, Amazon, which is located less than a mile from my house, has had a huge, awful impact on Seattle’s dating scene. He estimated that in the 25–44 age group, Seattle “has 119 single men for every 100 single women, slightly better than San Francisco at 121—but equal if you add in the impact from nearby Bellevue, which is an awful 144.”
. . . .
But Reifman’s post confirmed that as Amazon grows, the number of (boring) men grows too. The gender disparity is bad enough in San Francisco that one company, The Dating Ring, has resorted to flying women into San Fran from other cities.
Hold the Champagne, girls.
You might think an abundance of men is a great thing, but as a wise woman once said, “The odds may be good, but the goods are odd.”
“I’ve lived in Seattle for seven years, single most of them,” Annie Pardo, a 31-year-old freelance event and communications consultant in Seattle, wrote in an email. “The only thing that has changed is the increase in men I’d never want to go out on a date with.”
. . . .
The exact same scenario has been playing out in San Francisco for the last few years. One woman, Violet, a 33-year-old who has lived in the Bay Area for eight years, with one of those in the “belly of the beast,” Palo Alto, experienced many of the same things I and other women did. They had money, but they were boring. They had a lot to say about their job, but their development as a complete human being seemed to be stunted. And they exhibited little to no interest in the other person at the table.
“There were a lot of tech men. I could talk a blue streak about them. I don’t have much positive to say. The biggest thing, the thing that bothered me the most is I felt like my intelligence was greatly devalued,” she wrote. ”I am a smart woman. I have a master’s from Berkeley in philosophy. My brain is very abstract, though, the exact opposite of so many men in tech who have very concrete/literal brains. They interpreted information as intelligence. I constantly felt like I wasn’t seen or valued by them, even though I experienced a lot of them as having a very limited view of the world.”
Link to the rest at Salon and thanks to Chris for the tip.