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Saturday, March 20, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

What do (some) women want? A Microsoft man

By Leslie Fulbright
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

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In Alisa Blomstrand's dating game, Microsoft men are the only players.

She's not one of the countless single women who vow they will neeeeeeeever go out with a Microsoftie, who label them workaholics or computer geeks.

Rather, she is one in a contingent of single females bent on finding Mr. Microsoft Right.

For years, Microsoft has been seeping into the Eastside's culture and demographics. It also has secured a domain in the dating world, and some women are banking on it as a way to find their ideal mate.

Blomstrand, 22, and other searchers of the software staff say they like Microsoft guys for their intelligence, their stability and, some admit, their fat paychecks.

Blomstrand has gone out with 10 Microsoft men in the past six months and says it is the only type of man she wants to date.

"Guys at Microsoft tend to be quirky," said Blomstrand, of Bellevue. "Plus, they are stable and fairly intelligent. I like that."

Blomstrand finds her dates online. Many Microsoft men list their profession in personal ads. Some boast about current projects or impart the joy of getting paid to work on the Xbox game.

One user on Match.com, MSFTMAN, promotes himself as "your Microsoft teddy bear." Another, WIZKID, writes that he is a high-techie looking for a mate, that he has a good job at Microsoft with 20 years of experience in the field of systems engineering.

A 42-year-old Microsoft man named Dean, who didn't want his last name used, said women go for "softies" for two reasons, because they have a steady job and because they are more intelligent than average.
 
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"I think if I were a woman looking for a great guy to start a family with, it's a no-brainer, I'd move to Redmond," he said.

Owen Braun, another single Microsoft guy, said he is turned off by women who want to date him only because of his job.

"I have met some women who just care about security and a good paycheck and react positively to me for that reason," he said. "I don't generally click as much with them."

But women looking for Microsoft men say there are plenty to pick from.

April Scrattish, a 27-year-old Gig Harbor woman who finds intelligence and wire-framed glasses much more sexy than a pretty face, said she gives off a vibe that seems to draw Microsoft men.

"Anywhere I go, I can attract a Microsoft geek from 50 yards away," she said.

Microsoft man hunters frequent places where the guys hang out — Bellevue's Rock Bottom brewery; the Marina Park Grill in Kirkland; and the PRO Sports Club, a Bellevue gym where Microsoft workers get memberships. Blomstrand said you can go to any Indian or Thai restaurant in Redmond around noon and find one.

And these men are not just on the Eastside. Seattle is overflowing with Microsofties. Many dine at El Gaucho and Wild Ginger, salsa dance at the Century Ballroom, have brunch at Julia's on Broadway and party at the Fenix Underground.

"You meet them everywhere," said Kellie Rogers, a 24-year-old Seattle office worker. "I don't ask them where they work up front, but it always comes out. Usually, the guys I am interested in work at Microsoft."

As a contractor currently working at Microsoft, Cristal Choo-Kang, 25, has gone on about 20 dates with Microsoft men in the past two years. "I tend to be attracted to smart people, and Microsoft is overflowing with them," she said. "I am attracted to men who are ambitious and want to do great things for the world."

The only problem, the women say, is that Microsoft men are often so occupied with work that you may not get to see them much.

Last June, Choo-Kang vowed she would never again date a Microsoft man for that exact reason. Three months later, she met her current Microsoftie and they have been together ever since.

"He makes time for me," she said.

Scrattish said she is still searching for the right guy for a steady relationship.

"The main reason I date computer guys is they are smarter than the everyday population," she said. "I like the way they think logically. But their brains switch off in social situations. We have to work on that."

Leslie Fulbright: 206-515-5637 or lfulbright@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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