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February 16th, 2004


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02:28 am - A Novel Valentine's Day
As a single American male, there are several proscribed reactions to Valentine’s Day. On paper, the easiest is to ignore it – much like any other holiday or anniversary, for most of the world it still remains just a day. One only has to be careful about accounting for the unusual behavior of other people and businesses, as I learned with skipping Thanksgiving and sitting out most of New Years.

Ignoring a date you may have associations – trumpeted from all store windows – is easier in theory than practice. Therefore, another rote reaction is to be bitter on the Day and either party alone or with other similarly situated friends.

I took a less worn alternative, I think. This was prompted by discovering the opportunity at a moment where I was unsure how I would handle associations of the day. Thanksgiving had been harder than I expected, and while I generally sneer through the veneer of the Hallmark Holiday, I could put myself in a position to not be emotionally at risk regardless. And learn a great deal about people.

I found myself at the 2004 version of a
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As a single American male, there are several proscribed reactions to Valentine’s Day. On paper, the easiest is to ignore it – much like any other holiday or anniversary, for most of the world it still remains just a day. One only has to be careful about accounting for the unusual behavior of other people and businesses, as I learned with skipping Thanksgiving and sitting out most of New Years.

Ignoring a date you may have associations – trumpeted from all store windows – is easier in theory than practice. Therefore, another rote reaction is to be bitter on the Day and either party alone or with other similarly situated friends.

I took a less worn alternative, I think. This was prompted by discovering the opportunity at a moment where I was unsure how I would handle associations of the day. Thanksgiving had been harder than I expected, and while I generally sneer through the veneer of the Hallmark Holiday, I could put myself in a position to not be emotionally at risk regardless. And learn a great deal about people.

I found myself at the 2004 version of a <a href=” http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3015498”>Ball</a> that last year rated as one of the <a href=” http://www.post-gazette.com/seen/20040105secondbest0105p1.asp”>10 Best Parties in Pittsburgh</a>. It was a charity event, $200-300 a plate, for the American Heart Association, held in the Hilton. As written up <a href=” http://www.post-gazette.com/seen/20040216event0216p1.asp”>here</a>.

<lj-cut text="I did not pay anything to go.">I did not pay anything to go.

A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of a novel organization called the <a href=” http://www.psvn.org/”>Pittsburgh Singles Volunteer Network</a>. The idea is to organize volunteer work for local non-profits, with the hook being balanced gender ratios and an obvious social overtone. The idea is singles that are looking may be able to have some time on their hands, and they may as well do something productive – that volunteering can be made a social activity.

“An Affair of the Heart” was pitched as an opportunity to dress up for Valentine’s Day. I was sufficiently intrigued to know <i>who</i> participates in these things, as well as scoping out who attends these things. It seemed like there was a wealth of opportunity to gain experiences and sociologist research, while occupying myself on an otherwise eventless night. Lacking shame, there seemed minimal downside. But the reader will note that had it gone badly, this would not have been documented.

It was fun, but it wasn’t terribly well run. Our prime responsibility ended up as pit crew for the live auction. Our job was to spread out among the tables, flashlight in hand, and if anyone in our sight was attempting to make a bid, use the flashlight to grab the attention of the auctioneer. The auctions were disappointing in yield, but still exciting to watch… and people did walk away with a beautiful, red, brand new Mercedes SLK convertible and other such treats (New Harley. Flight via Lear Jet to NYC, Broadway show of your choice, and posh accommodations. Party for 12 at the Hilton – open bar, 5 course dinner, 6 luxury suites. And so on). The silent auction included a wide range of stuff, the most popular of which seemed to be stuff signed by Pitt wunderkind Larry Fitzgerald. With both the live and silent auctions, several items went for below market price… had I not just ruined a tire and felt more flush, I might have acquired some interesting stuff (we were given the option and encouraged to join the auctions if we wished). The prices things went for were… bizarre (gym membership, worth at least $100, went for $30; $60 gift certificate went for $150, and so on). All in the name of charity, I guess. Last year the event raised over $500,000.

Demographic descriptions of the PSVN and AHA attendee crowd omitted intentionally. I did meet a cute girl, but did not talk with her sufficiently. An heiress or two seemed to be flirting as well, but that did not amount to anything either.

It was an evening.</lj-cut>

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:leko
Date:February 16th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
How much did Paris Hilton end up going for?
[User Picture]
From:daemonv
Date:February 16th, 2004 08:27 am (UTC)

Re:

(Link)
As a party for 4, she raised more than the Harley and less than the SLK.

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