I have a story that I think warrants telling, but my attempts to craft some clever intro to lead into it are falling pretty flat. So I will just jump right in and say that what I want to talk about is what I did Friday night, and what I did Friday night was go to a Singles Party.
Maybe that doesn't actually sound as absurd as I think it does. Maybe you aren't actually scrunching your eyebrows into your Confused face and wondering if I've lost my mind. Maybe to you (or to a previously single version of you), a Singles Party sounds like an excellent idea. I'll admit it sounded like a pretty reasonable idea to me... Or, it did when I got the widely distributed Evite announcing the event, an Evite that didn't just call it a Singles-Only Party, but used the more clever hybrid term Sparty.
A Sparty sounds just quirky and offbeat enough to be fun, I thought. A Singles Party sounds like something from another decade. I mean, do we really use the word Singles anymore? Maybe we do, but do we put the word Party behind it? Doesn't that combination of words just beg to have the word Swingin' inserted in front as well? To me, the phrase Singles Party calls up a weird 1970s vibe. It sounds like something Mary and Rhoda would have gone to and had some amusing misadventure at. It would have been Rhoda's idea to go, of course, but all the polyester suit-wearing guys with thick, bushy hair would have clamored for Mary's attention instead.
I honestly have no idea who's the Mary or the Rhoda in our group, but four of us joined up on Friday to check out the Sparty nonetheless. We were intrigued and trying to be optimistic, but our sense of humor was in check. At the very least, we would have an interesting Girls Night Out. Plus, the drinks were cheap. It's hard to beat $2 gin and tonics, so that alone seemed to make it worth the trip.
The Sparty was held at a downtown club I'd never been to before but which, in a former life with a different name, was one of the most prominent meat markets for 21-year-olds in backless tops and micro-minis. It may actually still be the place for 21-year-olds in micro-minis, but the 21-year-olds don't come out to scope and grope until after 10:00, I think. The Sparty started a bit earlier than that, which means when we walked into the club, the only portion of it that was widely populated was the penned-off raised area in the corner prominently labeled "SPARTY: Singles Party." I know that corralling the party was necessary to differentiate participants from non-, but I couldn't help thinking we were being quarantined from the rest of the bar simply because, as Bridget Jones noted, underneath our clothes, we Singletons are covered with scales.
Once we got over our initial hesitance and edged our way into the crowd, it really wasn't that absurd or humiliating, but there was definitely a weird dynamic nonetheless. I won't go so far as to say it was like locking a bunch of foxes in a hen house, but I was very aware that everyone surrounding me had one supposed thing in common, and that was that we all had a large "S" on our forehead advertising ourselves as single and accepting offers.
I can't say that the crop of potential dates was so appealing overall, but it wasn't a total bust, at least. In addition to enjoying the cheap drinks, I did give my number to a seemingly nice (and tall--6'5"!) guy who I wouldn't be opposed to going on a date with to investigate whether any potential is there. In my early 20s, I typically made sure I had a few business cards with me when I hit the bars on weekends. I treated them like the calling cards ladies in Jane Austen's day used to provide contact information to potential suitors. Since then, men have taken to plugging womens' digits into their cell phones, but apparently Tall Guy hasn't gotten the memo yet about that. Perhaps it's because he's a bit older than me (39); he's not aware of this semi-new trend. Instead, he pulled a blank index card and a pen out of his pocket to make note of my name and number. "I came prepared!" he replied, when I asked if he had any number-noting tools. The index card was not suave enough to be smarmy, and just dorky enough to be endearing, so I'm not going to fault him for this at all. And in case you're wondering, yes, I did check to see if the index card was still blank when he pulled it out. I did not, I just realized, consider the fact that he might have had several additional cards still tucked within his pocket. Live and learn, I guess.
Eventually, a loud band started playing old Bon Jovi covers, and we figured that was our cue to leave. We had one more drink in a more conventional bar in the area and then finished the night with a slice at Pizza Lucé. Frankly, a slice at Pizza Lucé is such a perfect way to end any evening that it can all but erase any bad times and ugliness that came before. I have a feeling at least one of my Sparty-going friends wishes we had just fast-forwarded to the pizza part immediately, but all in all, I'd say it was a successful Girls Night nonetheless.