I went to a so-called ‘singles’ party’ on Saturday night and it was lousy.
Now, I could end this post right here. You pretty much know that I did not meet anyone interesting. The very purpose of this soiree was a dismal failure.
Instead of shutting up, however, I will bemoan precisely why it was so crap because when one is left feeling as despondent as I felt after this event, I’m told it helps to write it all down.
No-one with an ounce of insight or a somewhat firm grip on reality could argue that a singles’ party might be fun. They never, ever, ever, ever are. Let me clarify for all you happily coupled, unhappily coupled, deluded single people and newly single people who perhaps did not understand what I meant by that: events designed solely to hook singles up are *always* just festivals of self-loathing. They are feeble and depressing, and if you suspect beforehand that you would have a better time staying home alone to watch ‘30 Rock’ episodes while eating chocolate, you are right. If you suspect beforehand that you’d have a better time undergoing root canal with juuuuuuust a smidgen too little anaesthetic, you’d be correct again.
This event on Saturday night was actually a birthday party in the guise of a singles’ party. The birthday person, a woman in her mid-30s who wore a pink sash screaming ‘birthday girl’ and a plastic tiara for the duration of the bash, is an individual whom I could really classify very loosely as an acquaintance. About 11 years ago, we were varsity friends. We went clubbing together; spoke about the boys who liked her; attended lectures together; spoke more about the boys who liked her; spoke about the potential boys who might possibly like her then or in the future…. sigh. On occasion, I’d have to laugh off a couple of my other friends’ baffled questions about why she flirted with their boyfriends so brazenly.
Varsity ended and so did my interactions with this individual, fortunately, and yet two years ago, a mutual friend told me that this woman had asked after me and to get in touch. I am nothing if not a curious creature, so I did just that. All of this led to my being invited to her party this year as one of her “nearest, dearest, oldest [or] newest friends” and being told to bring two single friends with, as well.
My first thought was that I would not attend. In fact, after reading the following sentence and choking down some bile, I had all but emailed ‘the princess’ back saying that I would, in fact, be washing my cat and would thus be otherwise engaged on the night of her party: “So yes, my aim is to make this a CLASSY ‘mingling’ party of note!”
However, my sister’s voice began trilling annoyingly in my brain, urging me to ‘get out there’ and meet people. Apparently one does not meet a potential partner when one is not ‘out there’, wherever ‘out there’ may be. So, I got out there…and I made her and my dear buddy get out there with me so that they, too, could experience the joy of events designed to make you feel like there’s something wrong with you for not being presently coupled with a suitable person.
The usual happened at this party: people sat with the people with whom they arrived and who they knew, nervously sussing out who was there and who was worth looking at for longer than a passing glance. Some men and women made brave little overtures toward one another but still remained firmly planted on their safe pieces of turf. The envisaged classy mingling turned out to be the usual game of observation and awkwardness. The expressions on the faces of people as they left at an acceptable hour varied between panicked relief at being set free from the torture of such evenings, and wry confirmation of their fear that they’d just wasted four hours of their lives. Well, that’s what their faces looked like to me… perhaps they’d just met the loves of their lives and their joy looked hideous to me.
To reiterate, I went to a so-called ‘singles’ party’ on Saturday night and it was lousy. I am sure, however, this won’t be the end of the tale… I’m told it’s not good to wash a cat too often.