Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Desperate and Dateless

Happy Valentine's Day!  For some of us, today is a glorious day--filled with hearts, and flowers and sunshine and puppies and all that is right with the world.  For others,  it's a day to be suffered through--accompanied by vodka and ice cream and chocolate and vodka.  For others, it's just Tuesday.

For me, you ask?  Drumroll, please.

Once a year, on Valentine's Day, the editors at Action News want to show its viewership what dateless and desperate people look like on Valentine's Day.  When they undertake this act of public service, they show my picture.

It's awesome.

It's not only awesome, it's an annual event.  This is the 11th- count em, 11th- year that video has aired on the news.

Yes, I'm serious.

Yes, I'm really serious.

Yes, I know I'm a bit of a storyteller, but even my imagination isn't this good.  I could not make this crap up if I tried (and, yes, I've tried).

And yes, more people then you've ever imagined watch the news, and they apparently all watch Action News.  I don't know why NBC and CBS even bother to air televised newscasts.  Everyone I know seems to watch Action News.

I owe you all a story.

Flashback to Valentine's Day 2001.  My friend "C" (a/k/a the "Idea Generator") learns of an annual Valentine's Day event at the Irish Pub called "Dateless and Desperate".   We don't have boyfriends at the time.  We think the name is kind of awesome.  We decide to go.  If I'm being completely honest, I didn't require much convincing.  I'm a sucker for a good tongue-in-cheek name.

In any event, we arrive at "Dateless and Desperate" and a while later, I am selected to be a participant in the Dateless-at-the-Irish-Pub version of "The Dating Game."  Unsurprisingly, I don't win.  What I didn't realize until after I lost this game is that Action News was there at the time, filming the game, amongst other things.  Some of those "other things" included me.

The initial airing of the clip was a thing of beauty.  On the 11 PM news, right after Action News showed video of all of the flowers and all of the nice couples getting married at halftime at the Sixers game, they show the clip.  The lead in was "just because these people are dateless and desperate doesn't mean they can't have a good time."  And then there's a lovely close-up....of my face.

Awesome.  Yes, Philadelphia, I am the face of the dateless and of the desperate.  My parents are so proud.

C's mom was nice enough to tape (on VHS) my 15 minutes of fame.  C and I watched the video when we returned to her house for the night, cringed, had a good laugh and then arrived at the realization that most people had something better to do at 11 PM on Valentine's Day than watch the late local news.

That would have been an incorrect assumption.

The next day, I arrived at work, and at least a half dozen of my coworkers were kind enough to point out that they saw me on the news.  Then, there were the phone calls...and then, there were the emails.  My favorites were from my friends' parents and my parent's friends.  Turns out, LOTS of people watch the late local news.

A few days passed, everyone (or at least everyone but me) forgot about it, life went on.

Except for one slight problem.  The Irish Pub still holds the "Dateless and Desperate" event annually.  Action News still covers the event annually.  They have not shot new Dateless video since 2001.

Yes, this means exactly what you think it means.  This means that my face (and my 2001 hair and my godawful goth lipstick) is plastered on the news...EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.  Sometimes, Action News mixes it up and plays it on the morning news, sometimes at noon, sometimes the late night news- but they still freaking play it.  Bonus points for them also having it on their website (video section).

Every year, I get phone calls, emails and  (more recently) Facebook messages on Valentine's Day (or February 15th) that start with "hey, I saw you on the news."  Only now, I'm on the downward slope of my 30s, someone's wife, and...oh yeah, someone's mother.

Every Valentine's Day, I'm a year older and a little less cute.  I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is the annual reminder of how I will never again be that skinny and how I wasted my  years of being that skinny with bad hair, misguided clothing selections, and downright appalling makeup.  I mean, seriously.  I look like a (admittedly less cute) version of a 90210 cast member---the post college years.  Youth is truly wasted on the young.  I suppose one upshot to aging is that the clothes dramatically improve.

Yes, it happened again this year.  This year,my face is shown just as the announcer says "and if you actually are attached this year, here are some ideas".

Yes, I'm a precautionary tale.

A public service announcement from Little Miss Sunshine:  Kids- stay away from any digital video.  You may end up on You Tube, entertaining people for years and years.

SHIT!  This video better not be on You Tube.

If you missed it this year, fret not.  I'm sure Action News will air it again in 2013.

This really, really better not be on YouTube,

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