Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love of Friends Or: How I learned to stop worrying and start loving Valentines Day

I am always single on Valentines Day. Ok, I’ve been single pretty much my whole life, but I do date, and I’ve never even been seeing someone over the Hallmark holiday. I can’t say that I’m particularly embittered towards Valentines Day. After all, any holiday that results in discounted chocolate is fine with me, but I have had better days in February.

There was the year in college where every single one of my 5 roommates was in a relationship. On the 14th, they all did cute date things. I studied for Econ. The next year, I worked. Then last year, everything changed.

See, Valentines Day isn’t just a problem holiday for those of us who are single, it’s just as bad for couples. All of a sudden there’s the question of are we the type of couple who does something romantic, or are we the type who don’t make a big deal out if it, because “we don’t need a specified day to show that we care about each other!” And then there’s the terrible conundrum of what to do if you’ve just started seeing someone? It’s too early to be overly romantic, do you even acknowledge it with a gesture? Or do you ignore the holiday completely?

The minute we get out of Elementary School, Valentines Day is a minefield thrown into one of the most depressing months of the year. February is cold and dark, and you are so over winter, and chances are most of us single girls have given up on shaving our legs altogether at this point, so who in their right mind wants to feel romantic?!

My amazing friend and coworker, Regina Anderson recognized this problem. She saw her friends, single and committed, all stressed out over Valentines Day. So, she threw a party. What started as a potluck at her house, has grown into an annual event. Last year, over 300 people crowded into the WYEP studio in the Southside, to eat, drink, view and purchase art, and listen to local bands and dj’s. It was the best Valentines Day I have ever had.

This year, I got in on the planning committee, and have been working on this event with the rest of the LoF team since June. Love of Friends 4 is going to be even bigger and better than last year. The most amazing thing about this event, is that it’s all volunteer based, and supported by our circles of friends. The artists showing their work, the bands playing, the people in charge of food, the handmade tote bags we’re making out of old t-shirts as the goody bags this year. All of this is possible because of our incredible and talented friends. This is a homemade event, and there is a lot of love put into it. I have never had more fun in the planning process of an event this size before.

Here are the details:

Sunday, February 14, 2010 at the Hunt Armory in Shadyside.

8pm – Midnight.

$14 for admission, $25 if you want one of the aforementioned tote-goody bags.

Did I mention that the proceeds benefit the Midwife Center, and Planned Parenthood of Western PA’s Action Fund? Two awesome organizations here in Pittsburgh.

Your admission gets you drinks (open bar, no drink tickets), food, amazing Pittsburgh bands Meeting of Important People, and Nick Westman and the Central Plains will be performing. Later, DJ Gordy Greenawalt (Title Town / Vipers Soul Club) will be on stage. Artists from all over town will be showing their work, and it will be for sale if you see something you like. We’re going to have make your own valentines stations, and screen printing stations for those of you who want to get crafty. This year, we’re also having a cookie table! (one of my fav. Pittsburgh traditions.) If you show up with 2 doz. cookies, you get $2 off of your admission.

Dress to impress, this is a party! But it’s also Pittsburgh so you know you’ll be seeing everything from cocktail dresses to flipflops and at least one Steelers Jersey. Regardless of your current relationship status or views on Valentines Day, I promise it will be a great time. Come with your friends, your significant other, someone you'd like to be your significant other, come meet your significant other! Flirt, don't flirt, just have fun. Also, the next day is Presidents Day, so most of us don’t even have to wake up for work!

Follow us on twitter @LoveFriendsPgh, or on facebook, for up to date party information as we get closer to the big day.

February 14. You, me and 400 of our closest friends. I’ll see you on the dance floor.

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