Ladies and gentlemen, start your lovelorn (767) engines!
An online dating service plans to fly single men from the Bay Area to New York City, while sending a load of single women in the opposite direction.
Heralding the notion that there are too many men populating Silicon Valley and much of the region and too many women crowding Gotham, The Dating Ring plans to tamper with the love odds just a little bit.
What started recently as a joke at the dating firm quickly evolved into a video that's now exploding over social media about singles of the species being dropped 3,000 miles from their natural habitats.
Lauren Kay, CEO of the dating service, is seeking $10,000 to $50,000 in Crowdtilt funding to buy plane tickets for some lucky single people on Memorial Day weekend.
If enough dough doesn't rise, people who make donations to fund the offbeat cause will get their money back. But if all works out as planned, both burgs will be the scene of "matchmaker-curated dates" and at least one big smoochie party.
"Think of it as us sponsoring a fun vacation," said Kay, a new San Franciscan (by way of New York City), trying to dial down the snarkiness that has accompanied the widely seen video. It portrays attractive young people pooh-poohing their hometown choices, while cooing over what they might find in the "other" place.
"It's a crazy idea that started out in jest," said Kay, a recent Ivy League grad who speaks about dating with the seriousness of a scientist. "But it is not that crazy to go to another city with better odds to look for someone special."
Census data from 2012 does indeed show 21,086 more Bay Area men ages 20 to 34 than women in the same age group. And in New York City, there were 69,869 more women than men in that age range.
If you parse the data to include just the unmarried people aged 20 to 34, there are 77,227 more single men than women in the Bay Area. However, there are actually also slightly more single men (7,215) in that age group in New York.
But, hey, in a city as huge as New York, that's a rounding error. And we certainly don't want any facts to get in the way of a cool idea.
In any case, denizens of both cities are up against serio-comic reputations.
Will the tough-as-nails New Yawk women go ga-ga over the Bay Area's gentle, well-paid nerds? Or will those no-nonsense women be disappointed with the infamous Peter Pan-like men-children who are more dedicated to video games than grown-up romance?
On the flip side: Will the Valley Cats descend on the Big Apple and be lustily mobbed by ladies who appreciate them as mellow fellows? Or will their apparent softness get them socially chopped into Chiclet-size pieces and dumped into the Hudson River?
Richard Lane, a Bay Area dating expert with Events & Adventures, points out that the high-tech industry is a super-magnet for gents who tend to be smart, highly skilled and active outdoors.
Lane predicts that the locals heading east will be looking for female brainiacs.
"They will want ladies at the same level of intelligence as them," he said. "Bay Area men will want someone who wants to get up and go. A woman who will hang with him at the sports arena in sweats, with her hair pulled back, by day -- but that night, can dress up, go dancing and knows how to pick the right wine to go with a great meal."
Of all the potential problems with the crisscross plan, nothing outweighs the possibility of real love blossoming between two people separated by a giant slab of flyover territory.
"This is basically asking the New York women and San Francisco men to plan on starting a long-distance relationship right after meeting," scoffed Jeremy Bollinger, president of DateSwitch, a San Francisco speed-dating firm. "Why do this, when there are actually San Francisco women looking for San Francisco men?"
When asked her opinion, a lass with a lilting brogue who answered the phone at Danny Coyle's, a famed Irish bar in San Francisco, put the whole bicoastal relationship problem another way.
"Silliest thing I ever heard," she said sourly. "I'm here? The lad is in New York? What's the point?"
And then, without another word, she hung up.
Database producer Danny Willis contributed to this report. Contact David E. Early at 408-920-5836.
LOOKING FOR LOVE
Here were the number of unmarried people ages 20 to 34 in the Bay Area and New York City in 2012:
Difference: +77,227 men
New York City
Difference: +7,215 men
Source: U.S. Census Bureau