Dan About Town

My first experience of a ‘singles’ night

I went to a singles party the other day, which I admit had great potential to be mortifying but I at least thought I'd be able to write a blog about it. However, it was so uneventful that I didn't even bother. On reflection though, the evening probably is worth recounting because maybe someone is interested in how these things work... or don't work.

It was organised by a woman named, strangely, Jack. This set initial alarm bells ringing that perhaps I should have heeded. I was invited by a friend of mine and her flatmate, also a girl, and we went together, which made it less daunting.

An acquaintance recently told me he'd been to a singles night that was full of hot girls and he swanned out with at least four phone numbers. I wondered if this trip would be comparably fruitful.

The "party" took place in a pub, although it quickly transpired that they hadn't booked the whole place, rather they were huddled together in a corner of it.

I'll come clean now: I didn't really speak to anyone at the singles night. This was simply because an initial three-second scan of attendees rendered no female faces that piqued my interest. Or put another way, they were all ugly.

[Relevant: Why men are scared of being single]

Tell a lie, I did speak to a fellow called Chris. We talked about buses, I think, or something equally banal. We didn't at any point acknowledge the fact we were at a singles party. I think Chris was quite keen on one of the girls I'd come with; I gathered this when she bent over to pick up her handbag and he made an approving gesture, for my benefit.

Then there was Andy. I don't want to be mean about Andy because I don't know him well; all I said to him was "hello". I assume he was there to meet a nice girl. Andy was approximately 63 years old, which was silly. It probably wasn't his fault that it was silly. It was surely Jack's fault for inviting someone at least 25 years older than all the other guests.

Andy, Chris and Jack are the only people I remember from the singles party. The rest I only recall as a nodding swathe of blurry, tragic faces.

My two female companions were similarly unimpressed and we quickly distanced ourselves from the group; instead adopting an aloof, too-cool-for-school demeanour. We did tequila shots and secretly made fun of the singles as they faded into the throng. But it was hard to feel superior, given that we'd made a special effort to meet them in the first place.

In fact, it was probably one of the more soul-destroying moments of singledom I have experienced. Not because it caused me any particular personal discomfort, but just for the thudding mediocrity of it all. Why did these pleasant people have to endure such a badly planned, plodding evening in the awkward company of strangers? I suppose it's because they are all haunted by the spectre of being alone; social outcasts in a world made for couples.

I can't blame Jack. She was only trying to do her best; to drag herself out of a rut, maybe, or to help others meet someone nice. And actually, they may have done. I say the night was uneventful but for all I know it concluded in an orgy with Andy at its fulcrum. After edging further away from the group, I finally left without saying goodbye to anyone, except the two people I arrived with, and with no phone numbers. I wonder if Chris is on Facebook.

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