Part I: 'Wud yu bee muh date?'

Dating columnist explores local barista coffee house wisdom

Posted: Sunday, January 03, 2010

Restraining orders aside, I think I am pretty good boyfriend material. A few mends, a couple stitches, sew in a reinforced pouch and someone might make a good purse out of me. Add in the fact that I just duct-taped my one good shock to the undercarriage of my 280,000-plus mileage Chevy truck and, wow who could not find me irresistible?

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

So why is it so hard to find dates - for both sexes - in Juneau? Depends on who or what is looking.

This week I cruised the barista backdrops of Juneau, looking for insight. Surely baristas have heard it all. Well, I guess they hadn't heard, "Hi, I'm from the Juneau Empire, and I'm working on a dating column. Would you like to be research?" before. There is not a colder sound than that of sliding plexiglass in your face.

Seriously though. This is what was ordered and transpired:

At The Grind Coffee Co. on Glacier Highway, coffee masters Jess Lombard and Kaila Murray are both single.

"I had one guy ask if I was on 'Hot or Not' (a Web site's who's who of hot babes), and I laughed in his face," Lombard said. "I said, 'Yeah, my brother and I get on there all the time to make fun of people.' ... Then he looked really hurt, and I felt really horrible. He actually thought I was on there. I have no idea why guys can't meet girls here. We have no problem."

Guys. Please. This, even when sincere, is kind of right up there with, "Are you a model?" or "Did I see you on the cover of (insert magazine here) with (insert famous celebrity here?)"

"I had some guy say, 'Do I know you from somewhere?', and it was my second day in town," Murray said.

In a local Starbucks, baristas Josh Feak (single) and Heather Guthrie (not) say a definite no-no is to ask for phone numbers straight up. They have even been asked if they were tired because "you have been running through my mind all day."

The going joke at Silverbow Inn & Bakery was written on a poster that has since been misplaced. The verbiage said, "Is that a bagel in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Single managers Joe Anderson and Paul Jenne both agree it's hard dating because of the small-town-everybody-knows-everybody mentality, but they also have no problem meeting people through work.

"It's easy here because we are always meeting people," Jenne said. "We get regulars and remember their names, and we get to call out their orders - and add a wink if need be."

"Just get a job at the Silverbow and you will be fine," Anderson said. "Seriously though, my advice is just to smile and say 'Hi.' I have noticed it is a lot friendlier here in Juneau than Daytona Beach where I go to school."

After multiple caffeinated coffee stops, I had to try to relax in front of my only dating partner of late, the television. Imagine my surprise when a phone number appeared on screen for a dating site associated with ACME. Now my only experience with anything ACME relates to the cartoon misadventures of Wile E. Coyote in some fool-proof scheme to catch a certain Road Runner that, of course, leaves him in various stages of disarray. Usually it is with the help of some outlandish and downright dangerous products that fail. So I already have that in my life. Do I really need a dating service to get more of it? ...

The answer is out there, and together, Juneau, we can find it.

• Klas Stolpe does not have a restraining order, is not a marriage counselor and is just trying to find dating help for singles. Contact Klas Stolpe at

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