Well, I have killer heels, a hell of a dress, a decent basket, and it’s for charity. This isn’t about love connections. It’s about fundraising. Time to charm your ass off!
That was my inner pep talk as I readied myself at the 2012 1n10 singles auction. I’d caught wind of the auction through a good friend and it piqued my interest immediately. An opportunity to put myself on an auction block for a charity that provides much-needed services and community for teens who’ve just come out and are facing adversity? Sign me up!
I bought a dress, an expensive one that would make an impression and show off my million dollar gams. I collected donations of cigars, wine tastings, and artwork from local businesses to put together a goody basket that the highest bidder would win–along with me, of course. I convinced two girl friends to auction themselves off along with me–power in numbers.
I arrived the night of the auction ready to flirt my ass off…and realized it would be a little harder than I thought. I was surrounded by a sea of gorgeous gay men, which is a fabulous place to be if you’re sipping cocktails and dancing to house music, but if you’re a straight girl trying to get these beautiful men to bid on you instead of the handsome stud next to you in tailored Cole Haan–yeah, it’s a little bit harder.
Thus, the pep talk.
I resorted to strutting around in my five-inch heels, being overly-provocative by asking if random men would like to “check out my package.” If they said “yes,” I presented my list of goodies to them from between my legs. Some men laughed, loving my brashness, and considered bidding on me. A few did! Others, afraid of all things vagina, looked a little anxious and passed on my advances.
After making a few laps, my friend who had roped me into this–I mean, graciously offered me the opportunity–told me that she wanted to introduce me to someone. Ooh! Was she giving me a little boost here, perhaps directing me toward a friend with money who would graciously bid on me?
I saw his hair first and the chords of the infamous Jaws theme song rang through my head. That faux-hawk was glorious.
My friend ushered me over to her friend, introduced us, and then said, “I can’t believe you guys don’t know each other yet. You’re both straight and single.” And then she walked away, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
I’m pretty sure my first comment to this guy was, “I like your hair,” or something equally suave.
But I guess it was enough, because we struck up a conversation. Just as I was starting to think, Maybe I can charm this guy–this straight guy!–into bidding on me, we were interrupted by the host of the evening. The host explained that word had gotten around that there was a straight guy in our midst (oooohhhh, aaaahhhhh!). Well, the other straight guys who had initially volunteered for the auction had backed out at the last minute (pussies), and well, would you mind putting yourself up for auction?
NO! NO! NO!
I knew he was the proverbial unicorn in the crowd, but dammit, he was my unicorn – perhaps my only shot at making some money for 1n10. Alas, his novelty proved too strong. He agreed to auction himself off. Suddenly, he was part of the line-up and I knew I’d need a new strategy–again. We teased each other a bit about being each other’s opening bids, but in the end, we went our separate ways to work the crowd.
Though I was disappointed that I couldn’t keep hustling this guy, I was impressed, too. A lot of guys in his position wouldn’t have offered themselves up, too scared of being checked out or bid on by a gay man, their machismo getting in the way of doing good. But not this guy. It took some guts…and some heart. I have to admit that I was a little turned on.
The patio at Province proved to be small and we kept running into each other. I found out that he had once had his own cupcake business (what a coincidence!), that he was a graphic designer, and that he was vegetarian–to which I think I made a smart ass comment like, “How sad for you.” (Seriously, who handed me those champagne cocktails?! Oops.) Luckily, he didn’t take it personally and we kept talking.
At the end of the night, I was bought for $450 by a dapper man who bought, I think, three or four of the singles that evening. I was proud of myself. I put myself out there, did something different, and racked up some karma points by raising money for charity. I strutted away in my expensive dress and heels with a big smile on my face.
I guess I owe Facebook for what happened next. I got a friend request from “Jaws,” which I accepted. About a week later, I got a personal message. Would I like to go out for drinks sometime? Yes, in fact, I would.
On our first date, we went to Hanny’s where we shared tales of drunken nights on tequila and the best concerts we’d been to. I felt myself smiling…A LOT. It was easy, we laughed a ton, and I remember being very impressed that he was wearing a tie.
When we reached the bottoms of our glasses, there was still energy in the air and I don’t think either of us wanted to call it a night. We decided to move to Copper Blues for some music, dancing, and maybe one more drink. There, he requested the DJ play “Ice, Ice Baby” (which we’d discussed in length at Hanny’s) and I house danced in my black motorcycle boots to showcase my mad dance skills. He walked me to my car, kissed me, and then asked to see me again on Wednesday for swing dancing and The Sugar Thieves.
I said “yes.”
It’s a year later (to the day) and now we’re creating drunken tequila night memories, still laughing together, and I’ve been introduced to my man’s impressive tie collection. I can’t believe it’s been a year…It’s been a pretty fantastic year.
I met my best friend and someone who makes me happy every day by taking a chance and participating in a singles auction for charity. Even better, I got him for free.