Happy Valentine’s Day. Wanna go on a date? I’m serious.

I have a plan full of love and friendship and all things Valentiney.  (And if we’re going to be honest, I also have a fear that this will turn into that party I tried to host where no one RSVP’d and I felt like a total dork.)  How would you feel about a Girls’ Night Out of monumental proportions (based solely on the criteria of cool and classy and hopefully that more than 3 of you will come)??  I’m also going to try really hard not to put parenthesis at the end of every sentence I write (Really.).

Here’s the thing.  I am a big Jane Austen fan.  I think some of you are too.  About a month ago, I received an email from BYU Arts — it was just a newsletter mailing; I don’t mean to make it sound like I got some exclusive invitation–, and my eyes focused on the bottom of the page where they announced their upcoming play:  Persuasion.  Eeeek!  I love Persuasion.  It is my very favorite Jane Austen novel, and was actually my first introduction to her work when I saw the movie production of Persuasion at BYU’s International Cinema forever a few years ago. And I love plays!  And they’re doing a play of it!  You’re probably starting to get the idea . . .

Tickets go on sale today.  I asked Matt if he would go with me, and he painfully consented, kind of like I would have if he asked me to go see a play of Star Trek or Ghost Hunters.  I thought to myself, “This is more of a girlfriend thing.”  Then I remembered that despite living here for six months, I don’t really have any girlfriends yet.  I posted an open invitation on my neighborhood’s blog, but only one person expressed any interest. (By the way, if you see this Yolanda, you’re totally invited.)  So then I started thinking, “why not invite some blog friends?  I bet some of them would be interested.”  (This whole thing is starting to sound a lot more pathetic and desperate than I intended it to be.  Oh good grief. It’s not.  I promise.)

So.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

Saturday, March 19.  7:30 show. (If tickets are not available, then I’d shoot for the following Saturday.)

Maybe preceded by a fun, chatty dinner, like at 5:30. . . either a restaurant or a potluck (Preference?)

Leave your husbands in charge of the kids or get a sitter.

Come have FUN.

This invitation is open to anyone who can travel to the BYU area.  (Unless, of course, you are a 50-year-old creepy guy named Guido who poses as a Mormon mommy blogger just so you can meet the faces behind all these glamorous stories.  In that case, you are most certainly NOT invited.) Here are a few reasons that you might be thinking of that could keep you from coming, which I will now immediately debunk with my crafted rebuttals:

“That sounds really fun, but …”

1.  “… I’ve never even met Stephanie and it would feel really awkward to just show up as a stranger.”  Two things:  First of all, who cares?  Chances are that there will be several other people in the same boat and we can use this as an excuse to meet each other.  Second, I’m sure that the small handful of people who actually have met me in person can testify to this:  I am not worth getting intimidated over.  I’m pretty normal, and down-to-earth, and I promise I will make you feel welcome, even if you are a “stranger.”

2.  “… I feel really self-conscious around people I don’t know very well.” Come anyway.  I will wear sweatpants and no make up if that makes you feel better.  I’ve done several bloggy get-togethers, usually small-group lunches, etc., and I’m always surprised at how quickly we connect and how easy the conversation is, even though we’ve never stepped into the same room together in our lives.  The fact is, we have a lot in common.  Besides, half the evening will be spent in a dark theater and you don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. Oh!  And one more idea: bring a friend.  🙂

3. “… This sounds stupid and I have no interest in meeting Stephanie anyway.” Well, in that case, you may want to stay home.

Now that I have alleviated all your fears, let’s talk business.  Let me know in the comments if you think you’d be interested.  I’ll respond with an email that has more details about ticket prices, how to pay (yes, you will have to pay for your own ticket), etc.  I think I’d like to buy the tickets by this Thursday so that I can reserve a large chunk of seats together.

Is there anyway to say “please come so I don’t look like an idiot when my first attempt at girls’ night out turns out to be only me and my grumpy husband” without sounding desperate?  If there is, then insert that here.