Nothing to do on the weekends? Meetup.com is a social networking site that helps people with a similar interest move their interactions from the Internet to the real world. While most of these groups are pretty predictable (think Scottsdale shopping meetup), many venture into stranger territory. Here are 10 of meetup.com’s most unexpected gatherings within 25 miles of Tempe — from furry fandoms to naked therapy, there’s something for everyone.
Are you a lonely pug who’s just looking for some friends? If you answered yes, then the Phoenix Pug meetup group is for you. Group members meet regularly to “play with people and pugs of all shapes, sizes, and mixes too.” While I wasn’t aware that pugs came in any shape other than “cute,” I’m in love with their group photo — a photograph of a pug in a fashionable pink hoodie. Friends of pugs are welcome too.
No matter how great your friends are, there are always some things that even they can’t help you out with. For those times when you’ve got a problem that can only be solved by getting naked with strangers and talking about it, visit the Naked Life Coaching group. The group page also promises to impart a greater understanding of quantum physics to members. So there’s that.
Japanese Lolita fashion is a subculture involving incredibly intricate, Victorian inspired clothing, accessories, hair and makeup. Local women who take part in or are interested in experimenting with the cupcake dresses, over the knee socks, long wigs, and elaborate headpieces of Lolita fashion join Arizona Lolitas to meet other Lolita enthusiasts. If you don’t know what Lolita fashion looks like, Google it. I promise, it will be worth it.
This group just made me sad. After I read the group’s description, which laments an aging hipster’s inability to see a show without “feeling like a cop or a dirty old man,” I knew exactly who I was dealing with. Dude, I’ve seen you at shows. Yes, you look like a dirty old man. You’re wearing a fedora, singing way too loud, and you’ve been hitting on girls who are half your age all night. Give up the dream now- it’s time.
I’m not here to put down a group of bros who are just trying to support each other and overcome their crippling fear of women. If you think that meeting with a professional attraction coach will improve your chances of finding your one true love, go crazy. What I am interested in is Natural Pick Up Artists’ promise to help members become “the man of every woman’s dreams, the ULTIMATE ALPHA MALE.” What women have these guys been talking to? Ladies, if this “ULTIMATE ALPHA MALE” truly sounds appealing to you then please explain it to me.
The furry fandom is a group of science fiction fans who are interested specifically in anthropomorphic animal characters. Many of these fans dress up as their favorite characters, or create their own- these are often known as “fursonas.” While this fandom mainly exists on the Internet and at conventions, Arizona furries have branched out into the wild world of meetup.com. The group is for furries and friends of furries, and looks to correct the stereotypes and misconceptions that give furries a bad name.
This group is only for people who have or are interested in raising a small flock of chickens in their backyard. I thought that this would limit group membership, but the group’s meetup page has over two hundred members. My favorite part of this meetup is their tagline, “let’s talk chicken over chicken.” This group wins all of the awards for most disturbing food served at a meetup.
This group meets up to discuss the latest UFO and extraterrestrial news, just in case you don’t spend all day searching the sky for the signs of an alien landing. Other topics of interest include planet x, galactic politics, and the illuminati, so each meeting has something for everyone. Group host Apollo is a self described UFO researcher and “bull dog investigator” with over 30 years in the field, so be ready to learn how to spot a UFO from the best of the best.
This is the part where our list gets a lot more intense. Do you want to do more with your weekends than repeat an endless cycle of creating and nursing a perpetual hangover? Maybe it’s time for you to discover your past lives, courtesy of Preparation for Contact’s Apollo. You’ll discover a new past life each time, courtesy of Apollo’s past life readings—he channels “the ascended masters” to tap into your previous selves.
Although the world did not end this December, this group is still ready for the worst. “We believe that the chance for drastic change in our time is very high,” the group page says. What better way to spend your last few months than by meeting up with a bunch of strangers to get ready for your imminent demise! The group also emphasizes the importance of being able to live completely independent from other people—except the ones that you meet on the Internet, of course.
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