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Arts and Entertainment Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 8 years ago

Man Up Sarasota: a Confession Turns Girls' Night Out

by: Kristen Pace

I am one of those poor souls who desperately needs to be liked. If you don’t particularly care for me, by all means write to [email protected]. I will come to your house, cook you dinner, buy you presents and seduce you with my awkwardness. I will fixate on that time I made a joke and you were the only one that didn’t laugh. Was the delivery lacking? Were you distracted by the fact that my nose is crooked? Attractive men of Sarasota, you may have witnessed this behavior if you’ve been in my scope long enough to wind up on the receiving end of one of my crushes.

Before I started writing these articles, I was a scared little ninny afraid to eat alone. Writing this column has been very rewarding so far, because people are actually reading it and liking it. For that I am humbled and grateful. I was at a restaurant opening the other day, and an acquaintance asked if I knew who “I” was. A friend of mine told me that the Scenestress really liked one of my articles, and I experienced a moment in which I was more starstruck than the time Vince Vaughn bought me a martini in a Chicago bar. Small-town fame, or in my case, infamy, was going to my head.

I’m obsessed with love and the sudden gaping lack of it in my life, so I figured I’d fill that void by doing something fun for the column---and let’s face it, get a date. I got seven hot, single, successful women to agree to come with me. Hot women, free food, free booze. I figured the guys would be signing up in droves. It was not to be.

Checking the Blonde Out of Water Facebook page every morning became a masochistic exercise. Nobody clicked the "Like" button, although a few brave souls that I think we personally begged to enter the contest made a comment here and there. Traffic was low on the TWIS website. Rejection. I began to picture all my fellow writers at TWIS, dressed in Armani suits, smoking Cubans and drinking Macallan 18 Scotch in the back lounge at Selva. They would be chuckling like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers at my pathetically amateur attempt at PR. Because that’s what people who laugh at you in your imagination do, especially writers from this publication.

The “crazy” in me began to brew, and I knew it was about to come out of the purse. I took matters into my own hands---but it didn’t exactly go as planned. I was at a business dinner with Matt Orr, the owner and founder of this publication, some of Sarasota’s most talented writers and other movers and shakers about town. Traffic on my Facebook page had gone up drastically almost overnight. Okay ... overnight. Matt, being the social media expert extraordinaire, wanted to know if I had done something special. I mumbled that I’d “tell him later” and may have actually attempted to crawl under the table. I had been caught.

I bought "likes" on Facebook, with the hopes that it would somehow help this contest go viral. I had gotten a few hundred likes on my page in record time, but there was a catch: all my new fans were Malaysian. I had become an overnight sensation in Kuala Lumpur. For a few hours, I convinced myself I was going to be to the South Pacific what “The Hoff” is to Germany. Yes, you read that right. I bought likes on Facebook because all of Lady Gaga’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s fans combined wouldn’t be enough to fill this void.

Enough! Game over. The men of Sarasota have driven me deep into the catacombs of crazy, and my girlfriends and I have decided to take a stand. We’re done begging you boys for a date, so put the video games down and man up. We are inviting all the single ladies of Sarasota to a Valentine’s Day Happy Hour Social at the Half Shell Oyster House on Main Street. 6:30-8:30 on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Be there or be square.

There will be prizes and the Blonde will be unbagged. Men, if you have any sense whatsoever, you will show up to meet one of these belles at the Shell. Shave. Wear a nice shirt. You may meet a nice girl: they do exist outside of the Ladies Nights and Little Black Dress parties of this town---and as for you women reading this, you might meet a new shoe-shopping buddy.

If just one of you guys is able to bring your “A” game, we will take you to our fancy dinner at Darwin’s on 4th later on. You don’t have to bring flowers, because Victoria Blooms has already offered. But I’m not saying sweetening the pot with your own addition wouldn’t help---their new shop is also on Main, so you could stop in on your way for a single bloom or two. You don’t have to buy us a box of chocolates, because the Lollicake Queen has agreed to provide us with these scrumptuous little masterpieces for dessert---but we wouldn’t turn down extras if you wanted to stop and pick one up on your way in.

All the work has been done for you, so just show up. If none of you boys decide to show, then we’ll have a fine time without you feasting on fine food, drinking expensive champagne and drunk texting our exes.

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