Sensational, Single and Ready to Mingle!
Each year before our photo shoot and auction, we organize a mingling event for the 20 Sensational Singles to get to know one another and for them to get to know us a little, too. This year’s mingle was held at Catch 31, Virginia Beach’s trendy Fish House and Bar. After learning some names, enjoying some cocktails and mingling to our hearts’ content, we headed up to Sky Bar to go over some final details and, most importantly, to feel fabulous in our VIP section.
Timeline of Events (Times are estimated and events are recorded as remembered)
5:30 Angela, My and Pam arrive at Catch and, after locating our reserved table, begin setting up.
5:32 After stacking our model release forms on the table and spreading out several issues of last year’s Sensational Singles issue, we determine that setup is complete.
5:45 We eagerly await our Singles. Angela orders a vodka and soda. My and Pam—mimosas.
6:00 Chris is the first to arrive. (Ladies, take note of this punctuality!)
6:05 Mark (who is a chef) arrives and compliments Angela on her food pictures he’s seen on her Facebook page. The compliment is reciprocated, and Angela notes that Mark tends to use lots of bacon in his cooking.
6:07 Tyler arrives—finally, our first female Single is here!
6:10 My questions whether a gentleman standing in the bar area is a Sensational Single. After flipping through our photos of this year’s Singles, we determine he is not.
6:13 Loretta arrives, and we immediately recognize her from her photo. “How did you know it was me?” she asked. “From your photo!” we replied. We also let her in on a secret: we make an effort to study the faces and names of the singles each year in preparation for the events. Yes, even flashcards have been created in the past.
6:15–7:00 Other Singles begin to arrive, including Allison, Dora, Dicky, James, Emily, Cheran, Shane, Andi, Oscar, Ross, Mary Ellen, Joey and Dana.
One by one, Pam explains that they’ll need to sign a model release form so that we have permission to use their photos in the magazine and that they’ll also need to sign a liability waiver saying that they won’t sue us if they fall of the stage during the auction…
After much nervous laughter, each signs their forms and is then given a wrist band allowing them access to all of the unforeseen and magical happenings as well as privileged benefits that only Sensational Singles have the liberty to enjoy (a.k.a. extended happy hour prices—right on!)
7:08 Our photographer, Dave, arrives and begins to capture the evening through photos. Some Singles ham it up for the camera, while others grab fellow Singles into their photos or try to shy away from the flash.
7:15 James and Mark decide on the classy cocktail route, each ordering matching martinis.
7:18 Allison goes around the circle, reciting each person’s name. Quite the memory on this one!
7:30 Delicious appetizers are brought out for all to enjoy including Crispy Fried Calamari, Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Classic Margherita Pizza. Our girl Dora is the first to go for the food—we like her style!
7:35 As Angela holds a plate with a freshly dipped baguette, My knocks the plate out of Angela’s hand, the baguette smashing into My’s neon pink dress before hitting the floor. Both parties scan the room to make sure no one noticed this incident before picking up the baguette and searching for stains on My’s neon pink dress. Dora witnesses the entire fiasco transpire.
7:45 We learn that Shane has a bit of a Southern accent.
8:00 We also learn that Emily collects snow globes.
8:15 James photobombs a picture. Oh, James!
8:20 Some of the Singles with children begin sharing photos with one another via their cell phone albums. They’ve got a cute bunch of kids between all of them!
8:30 Dora shows us a photo album on her phone of her dog, Bentley, who we may forever refer to as Cutie McCuterson.
8:45 It’s time to go up to Sky Bar! We cram into two elevators, excited and eager to see our VIP section!
8:47 Security guard is hesitant to let us in early, most likely thinking, “With all these beautiful Sensational Singles coming to Sky Bar, it will surely make ordinary people lose confidence and want to leave.”
8:48 Ross, who seems to know everyone, assures the security guard that we’re good people.
8:50 We’re in! The Sensational Singles gather in a circle around Pam, who thanks everyone again for participating and encourages everyone to say their names and a little bit about themselves in case they didn’t all get to meet downstairs.
9:00 Sky Bar’s Diamonds in the Sky event kicks off, featuring fabulous rhinestone-studded shoes and purses by Obsidian High Heel & Strassing.
9:05 Angela comes across the most wonderful pair of shoes. Ever.
9:10 Emily and Shane ham it up for an impromptu photo session.
9:15 We congregate around and on our VIP section, which turns out to be two swank beds side by side overlooking the luminescent Virginia Beach skyline. Very Sex and the City.
9:20 Ross removes his shoes. His feet are well groomed and odorless—we know how to pick ‘em!
9:30 Most Singles head home, while a few stick around to continue the party. The DJ spins—the night goes on!