Please enjoy the following excerpt of a conversation I had with my male friend, O, about bidding on a charity auction to have dinner with David Duchovny and Nick Lea (it’s loosely reconstructed, but you’ll get the idea).
O: “$4,000 for dinner? “
K: “Yes. But it’s for charity.”
O: “$4,000 for dinner??????”
O: “But, you’d rather be tortured than go to dinner.”
O: “You’d spend $4,000 to be tortured?”
O: “Is someone naked?”
K: “Excuse me?”
O: “Is someone naked? As in, are you eating dinner off of someone?”
K: “Um, I don’t think David or Nick have added that to the description of the evening’s activities.”
O: “Do they expect to be eating stuff off of you?”
K: “What kind of restaurants do you go to?”
O: “$4,000 for dinner?”
K: “It’s for charity.”
Sigh. It’s very difficult to explain the temptation to other people who are actually sane, and who don’t actually face the reality of this particular enticement.
The conversation started with a simple question: what would you pay to win an auction for dinner with someone you admire (or desire)? For me, the limit appears to be $4,000. It’s probably actually much less, but $4,000 is the top of what I could justify for curiosity masked by the guise of charitable giving. It’s also the rough amount of my refund, so it’s not something that I would miss. O never did give a number for how much he’d be willing to spend on Jessica Alba (or would have spent before the engagement and pregnancy aspects arrived).
I’m curious what your number would be? If David Boreanaz, or George Clooney, or Alex O’Loughlin, or [fill in the blank here with your most appropriate distraction] were up on the block for dinner (wait, why does that sound like you are actually eating them? Yeah, that’s not right. Also, gutter minds, I can see you) what would you spend?
Oh, and before you ask, no, I haven’t bid on the auction. Why? Please let me illustrate with this handy equation:
Dinner + Stress + Night = Disaster!
There was a small problem with the eBay auction, and they had to re-list, but the high bid before that happened was in the neighborhood of $3,000, so it was within my “drop-dead-and-hide-my-face-with-shame” bidding range. But I haven’t done it. I just can’t. I seriously don’t think I’d ever live through it.
If you know me, you know that dinner is not something I enjoy doing normally, particularly on someone else’s schedule. Dinner at 4pm is a lot more palatable (pun intended) than dinner at 8pm. My body just finds food after a certain hour unacceptable even under the best of circumstances, and my life of early wake up calls has left for even less wiggle room. I mean, Wolfgang Puck catered the Leatherheads after party, and I still didn’t eat (Chloe said the food was beyond wonderful). Dinner has the potential for physical complications, so I avoid it. Bidding a lot of money on dinner seems vaguely suicidal.
Did I mention that dinner combined with stress is rarely a winning combination for me? There is more than one reason that I fear a return to dating. First dates are stressful—except for the handful of you (like the Ex) who find getting to know new people “exhilarating”. Sure, it’s exhilarating—much like being thrown off a bridge without the benefit of crash mats below, or the limited comfort of a bungee cord. If you thought my clothing dramas were bad when trying to figure out what to wear to Leatherheads (an event that was essentially watching a movie in the dark if you forget the party portion), can you imagine what I would go through in order to dress myself for something like this? Hell, I’d spend another $4,000 on possible wardrobe options alone.
Also, dating should never involve food—at least not in the early stages. Even if you love to eat and don’t risk the possibility of violently re-introducing your dinner to your date, you do risk the threat of embarrassing yourself. Who wants to embrace spaghetti on a first date? The sauce alone is a high-wire act. Ever start carving into your nice, juicy steak only to find out that your new date is a vegetarian and can barely conceal his horror?
Yes, I realize that I wouldn’t be buying a “date” with David and Nick. First off, I don’t love the idea of dating two men at once in general terms—I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable with the literal sense. Second, even in my most hazy star-filled dreams, I don’t play those reindeer games with men who are married, or are in committed relationships. Also, I’m pretty sure paying for a date is edging closer and closer to the whole “prostitution” thing which is rarely linked to charity (although now that I think about it, I bet the charity would end up with a lot of money that way). Lastly, men don’t look at me for any reason, so even if these two men were single, reality would never be that kind.
I know what you are thinking, “if you hate the idea and don’t think you’ll live through it, why do you keep checking the auction site?”
Well, it’s not like I don’t appreciate every opportunity to beat myself over the head with the possibilities. It’s only the very real chance of having to finish the event in the hospital that keeps me from clicking on that “bid now” button.
DM did bring up an interesting point: if I could live through this kind of evening then actual dating won’t be nearly as painful. That’s a hard one to argue. I could look at this as extreme practice dating. We’d have the painful elements of dating, night, inferiority complex and stress, but without the other issues like having to return a phone call, or the threat of ever seeing the date again.
I know, I know—you well-adjusted types are yelling “how do you know this would be a bad thing?” or “this could be a great opportunity to network, increasing the chances of working with these guys someday”. To all of you, I just shake my head and laugh. No amount of daily affirmations ending in “and darn it, people like me” is going to erase a few decades of ineptitude when it comes to relating to men.
Regret? Now, that could be a winner. I’m looking at a mental scale with all the dangers associated with this type of reckless hopefulness on one side and the prospect of regretting inaction on the other. And right now, they are dead even.
What would you do?
Bid early, bid often: http://search.ebay.ca/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZ123Q5fgoodQ5fthings