In the digital dating age, mobile apps allow homosexuals to hide behind our phones— escaping that oh-so-familiar “fear of rejection” as we blindly swipe left or right only to ignore our “collection” of matches. Modern dating has its perks, but it’s increasingly difficult to meet people in “real life.” Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “We met in the produce aisle at the local grocery store.”?
That’s where German supermarket REWE comes into play with anyone who’s single and ready to mingle. The company extended store hours to host its first ever “Single Shopping Nite,” Friday, encouraging guests to “flirt between the shelves” at one of its Hamburg locations.
Join us “for good music, a welcome drink, entertainment and a relaxed atmosphere,” read an open invitation on Facebook. “And who knows, maybe you’ll ‘really get to know somebody in the supermarket.'” Couples (swingers?) were also welcome to attend. Kinky!
All kidding aside, as I canvased the aisles as a casual, outside observer, I couldn’t help but notice the very primal aspect of the obvious PR event—catering to very basic human instincts to hunt, gather, and mate in surroundings we typically don’t consider romantic.
“Dare I linger in the personal hygiene section?” I thought. “Oooh, look at that one. Too bad he’s wearing a ring. Could all of this give a whole new meaning to ‘clean up in aisle seven?!'”
I found myself congregating with other like-minded people who enjoy free samples, sinking my teeth into a “Hamburg boy” (a hot dog suggestively filled with white cheese) at one station and nibbling from a fruit platter at another station before finally refilling my beverage.
Suddenly, I started having visions of the lengths one of my favorite sitcom characters would go to just to meet a man:
We live in an era where mobile apps put thousands of potential partners in the palms of our hands. Yet the dating game still seems quite isolating because we often fail to go beyond surface-level connections, settling instead for instant gratification. A shopping night for singles at a grocery store (nostalgic to say the least) offers yet another option for people who want meaningful relationships but don’t know how or where to find one.