Unsolicited Endorsement: Doodle Dot Com

by Claire Zulkey

If there are at least two things having a group of girlfriends is good for, it’s fun get-togethers and having a full inbox. Because one cannot happen without the other.

You know the drill. It’s someone’s birthday, or the gang hasn’t gotten together in a while, and thus it’s time to pick a date on the calendar for everyone to go out and drink some wine and crush some guacamole and catch up and talk some shit while the guys sit at home wondering why they never go out and have fun like this with their friends (it’s because they’re not organized the way we are). But then the emails start:

LADY A: “Hey girls! It’s time for us to get together and I thought I’d throw some dates out there. I’m free on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 28th and 29th!”

LADY B: “Hi there! Fun! Of those dates I’m available on the 3rd and 28th!”

LADY C: “I can do the 2nd!”

LADY B: “ I can do the 2nd, but only in the morning!”

LADY D: “Argh! None of those dates work for me! But you guys go ahead and have fun without me. I’ll join next time.”

LADY E: “I’m free on the 27th!”

LADY C: “Noo, we can’t get together without you, D!”

LADY A: “Well, crap. Should we try for 2012 then?”

LADY B: “I can’t in 2012!”

After much wrangling and clarifying, eventually something works out and it’s a lot of fun until it all starts up again and then you remember the upside to staying home and reading magazines.

This is why I would like to endorse Doodle, a service that’s valuable when herding up a bunch of people to meet at one place and time. It’s not complicated: Lady A enters the dates when she’s available and sends out the email with the unique link to the poll. All the other ladies go in and check off the dates that they’re available, and the best-looking date wins. It’s sort of like a one-time-use Google calendar.

I should say that I’m not receiving any compensation by recommending Doodle, I’m just excited by how much it’s improved my social life. Since I’ve started using it, I’ve noticed a decrease in inbox volume and shorter turnaround time between the concept of getting together and actually pulling the trigger on the date (as well as hypothetical annoyance, but I’m never annoyed by my girlfriends. Never!).

See you at dinner! First pitcher of sangria’s on me. Please don’t talk about me when I go to the bathroom.

Claire Zulkey is the author of AN OFF YEAR, and is a television critic and contributor to the Los Angeles Times and AV Club. She lives in Chicago, where she hosts the literary humor reading series Funny Ha-Ha.