MADISON, WISCONSIN - Ginger Trumple, 32, has been looking for that special someone for several years now. She has tried the regular internet dating sites, and some unusual internet sites and those just didn't produce the results she was looking for. After trying speed dating at a downtown club, which turned out to be another bust, she is now highly involved in Masquerade Dating.
"It is so great, you know," Ginger enthuses, "to date someone while totally hidden behind the costume of your choice. They don't know who you really are and you don't know who they really are, so you can really communicate without the usual hang-ups, like how someone looks. You get to know the person inside before you even know what that person actually looks like!"
Masquerade Dating got started in Madison after a group of "thirty something" friends attended a Halloween party two years ago. Everyone was totally disguised in costumes and they all realized it was so much more fun and a lot easier to interact. One thing led to another and the idea was fleshed out by a couple of entrepreneurs in the group.
Gerald Simmons and Lucy Clooney are the creative minds behind the new trend.
Gerald explains, "We rent a ballroom type building and we have dating functions at least twice a month. People pay a small fee at the door and then they are free to talk to as many people as they want. This is just a hobby for us, so we don't really have to make a lot of money."
According to Lucy, "We have already had at least 21 engagements and 5 of those couples have tied the knot. We are often invited to the weddings which is a lot of fun. We dress up in our masquerade costumes and attend to support the couple."
When asked what happens when the dating couple finally removes the costumes and show their real selves, Lucy admitted, "Not all couples are happy with what they see, but a lot of them are, so we figure it is a still a good service. We wanted to give singles another way to meet and it's working!"