“It’s hard finding love,” Rippy said, noting that his wife of 30 years was somewhere nearby. “I’d hate to be single again. It’s scary, dead set.”
But that’s why the balls matter, he added. Along with the awkward singles, the free-flowing beer and the backfiring pickup trucks, or “utes,” turned on and off to create fiery explosions called key bangs, there are people who connected at balls and come back to socialize.
“Who here is a couple?” Rippy yelled, meandering through the crowd.
Within a minute, Jess and Matt Chown emerged. He works on sheep farms; she works at an aged-care home for veterans.
“We met at a ball in 2011,” Ms. Chown said. “I laid eyes on him and it was love at first sight.”
“You know why I come? To do things I can’t do in church,” Mr. Chown said. Standing at least 6-foot-3 and wider than a tree cut for timber, he kicked a trash bin, making a loud clang.
Everyone laughed, including his wife.
“You know why I come? To do things I can’t do in church.” Australia’s Bachelor and Spinster balls bring together single people across the country’s vast distances. https://t.co/ml0oTxW6ds
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) November 19, 2019