That was the theme of the Valentine’s Day party I was fortunate enough to be invited to.  How’s this for posh:  One of our cities most wealthy and eligible bachelors has started a tradition of hosting a party at his home on Valentine’s Day for singles only.  His home being a ridiculous mansion on the water, obviously.  Invite only.  The invitation read as follows:

If you received this and you are dating someone, you may not attend.
They should be taking you out elsewhere.
If not, break up with them and then you can come.
If you know someone who gets dumped before the party, please tell them not to blame me.
We will all toast to not being invited next year.
Every guest is REQUIRED to bring one (and only one) single friend (either male or female, it doesn’t matter)
You do not need to arrive with your guest. Their name will be on the guest list.
You cannot RSVP with someone who is invited
Cocktail attire.  No jeans, no sneakers, no one with significant others, no exceptions (you will be turned away at the door).
FYI – No smoking indoors or out.  Put your patch on.
This is an adult party in my house and I’m expecting adult behavior from everybody.
Anybody who doesn’t know how to act like an adult, shouldn’t come.
Have fun.  That’s all.

Jealous yet?  I can’t lie.  It was quite the extravaganza.  Full bars indoor and out, valet parking, food, dessert, bartenders, servers, classy romantic-ish music playing in the background.  No detail overlooked.  I chose one of my favorite single friends, S.S., to be my partner in crime for the evening.  She has become somewhat of a dude-magnet of late, so I thought she’d be a good person to work a room with.  An accurate prediction.  Two of my other close girlfriends were also in attendance, so no matter who showed up from the opposite sex it was already a good night.  Interestingly enough, S.S. and I had a brainstorming conversation a week earlier in which we thought we came up with the best, most creative idea ever.  My single girlfriends and I are always talking about our Plutonic Boyfriends.  Those guy we love, trust, and hang out with – but just don’t have a romantic connection with.  So our brilliant idea was that we should throw a party where each of us brings one of our single guy friends and we could determine if maybe someone else’s plutonic boyfriend could be our real one.  One of our friends suggested we call it a  “Trash & Treasure” party.  She had the right concept, but we needed to come up with something that would actually entice our invitees to attend.  And then I got the invitation to the party For The Unattached.  Basically our idea, with a little more class and about 100 more people.  Here’s the thing though.  When I tell you that for a big city this town is really small, that’s not me exaggerating or being dramatic.  Between me, S.S., and my two other friends, we basically knew everyone else there.  That’s the thing about being single for so long in the same place.  Everyone’s circles start to mesh together.  You’ve already run in to all of these single people before either through mutual friends, at happy hours, at weddings, at the gym, at last years Unattached party, or via their online dating profile.

Even though everyone at the party seemed to already know each other, that didn’t stop the ‘fishbowl effect.’  That feeling where you walk in to a room and you might as well be stuck in a fishbowl surrounded by people staring you up and down from every angle with no escape.  Guys looking for the girls with the shortest dresses and longest legs, and girls checking out who’s dress is cuter or who’s heels have red bottoms.  Not to say I’m not guilty of participating.  Come on.  You know how they say “you’ll find it when you’re not looking…?”  I’m sorry but when you put a single person in a room full of 200 other single people, I dare them not to look.  I could feel the judgment on my skin as strongly as the heat from the heat lamp I was standing under.  And that is, of course, why God invented wine.  And why I, being the witty researcher that I am, had to find ways to distract and entertain myself.

We spent some time getting to know other single yet fabulous women, and trying to convince everyone they need to practice yoga.  Then I tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to find guys I could have intelligent sports-related conversations with.  This is about when S.S. introduces me to one of the guys she knows at the party whom I have never seen before.  You think I’m about to say we hit it off and went home together.  Not quite.  I’m pretty sure I insulted him.  As he’s talking to S.S., one of the first things he says to her is, “Why are you here?  How are you still single?”  Cue Bridget Jones:  “Oh, I don’t know.  Suppose it doesn’t help that underneath our clothes our entire bodies are covered in scales.”   Yes – I know it’s meant to be a compliment.  However, when you’re at a party where most of the guests are over the age of 28, what do you think the answer to that question really is?  My mother always gave me the advice not to ask questions that I didn’t want the answer to.  And the answer to that question by a lot of the unattached attendees was either because they are divorced, because they’ve had their heart broken, because they just broke someone else’s heart, because they made a series of bad relationship decisions, or because they’ve been searching everywhere including the Internet to find a significant other and all they have to show for it is a series of bad dates and funny stories.  So when I pointed my finger in this guy’s face and mandated that he never ask that question ever again, I did it with good intentions.  Although I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy.  Which might have to be my answer to his question.  Which is probably why…

I’m going to be single forever.