When you walk into a room full of people wearing paper bags over their heads it turns out it’s every bit as weird as you’d expect.
“Its Valentine’s Day and I had to put a paper bag on my head just so that guys will talk to me! What has my life come to?" Giggled one girl in the ladies loos, as a few of us took refuge half way through the night to gain some breathing space and perhaps a little perspective, before returning to supermarket chic.
“I just love how they lead you through the restaurant downstairs, past all the couples having romantic Valentine’s meals. Up to all the tragic singles with bags on their heads!”
“Yeah, it’s like; here’s what you could have had! Oh no wait, you’re single? Unlucky! Right this way to the sweaty face party!”
You had to laugh. Because if you didn’t, really, what was there? And, it was funny! I couldn’t help wondering if we were the lucky ones.
It seems if you’re single in London Valentine’s has becomes the time of year, to not only poke fun at all those ‘silly couples’ throwing around the ‘L word’, but also, at yourself.
Loveflutter’s paper bag party was definitely a night for singles that didn’t take themselves too seriously.
And, possibly, also should have been reserved for those who do not suffer from claustrophobia.
Luckily I fall into both those categories and love the paper bag initiative! It’s definitely original, whilst playfully dancing around that old joke, which I think we can all relate to. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely had moments when I’ve wished I could hide from the world or a date, or both!
When I turned up at Oslo in East London, I was met by our host for the evening, who handed me a paper bag and explained that I had to wear it until 10pm when there would be ‘the big reveal’. I was alone and apprehensive to bag up. A part of me felt nervous: What if this was some cruel Internet hoax? I would put the bag on and walk into a room where I was the odd one out. Everyone would be laughing and pointing...
...I knew this was probably the not case becasue Charly Lester, Aka Miss 29, had invited me along. From what I knew of her from the 30 Dates Blog, she definitely didn’t come across as a mean practical joker.
I was excited to meet Miss 29, I’m a little bit of a fan girl as it goes and can whole-heartedly recommend her blog. So it was the first time ever I had arrived to an event early!
As I waited I noticed a few guys walking in to join the paper bag party upstairs. I hung back nursing my gin and tonic at the bar, sheepishly hiding my own paper bag beneath my coat, trying not to give the game away. But at the same time, I relished in the naughtiness of spying the faces of possible 'suitors', who would soon be concealed.
Miss 29 was playing it a little cooler than me, so as I waited curiosity soon got the better of me, twisting my arm and pulling me up to the party. Curiosity and not wanting to forget what colour shirt that hot guy was wearing. The plaid shirt that would be his give away once he was bagged up. Blue Checked… Or was it green?
It’s tricky to navigate your way around a room whilst inside the bag. You have zero peripheral vision, drinking a beer is a hilarious dribble defying act and getting someone’s attention can be near on impossible.
So when I met Miss 29, after a few hilarious and clumsy drinks at the bar, she wasted no time setting me the challenge of chatting to five guys in the next half hour before the ‘reveal’. So, boldly I bundled off into the sea of faceless possibility.
The first guy I spoke to? Well, it was Blue Green Checked. He was slightly shorter than I remembered, but I decided not to get hung up on the physical and try to have a conversation, with a bag on my head. Wasn’t that what the event was all about?
It turned out I didn’t make it through five guys, I was stuck on one. I knew it was cheating, because I had seen his face, but I was confident he hadn’t seen mine. The jig wasn’t quite up. I’m not sure what we talked about, but when he walked me to the bar he put his hand on my back in a kind of guide or support way. We’d both agreed it was tricky to navigate from inside our paper shells. So I let him keep his hand there.
Quickly it was 10pm, our host was up on a table, the countdown begun. It was the strangest faux New Years ever. Blue Green Checked leant in and for a bizarre moment I thought he was going to kiss me. How did I even think he would do that through the cut out mouth slot?
“Get ready to be disappointed!” He said with a grin.
“You too!” I called back.
3, 2, 1!
Paper bags whipped off, thrown into the air like mortar boards at graduation. I turned back to Blue Green Check.
...He was not my Blue Green Check at all. I looked around and noticed several other guys all wearing the same lumberjack get up. What was it about this crowd and plaid? Is that what goes with brown paper bag?
I wasn’t completely disappointed. He was cute, good-looking and clearly not full of himself. We’d talked our way through the time allowance of my challenge, (I hoped Charly wouldn’t be disappointed either) so when he offered to buy me a drink downstairs with the rest of the normal faced world, I said yes.
I passed the original checked shirt on the way out, but it didn’t matter. In truth, without the bags, I might have been heading down to the bar with The Original. But bagged up I had, dare I say, connected with a really cool guy. Or as connected as you can be from inside a bag.
Would I bag up again? Sure. I love Loveflutter's initiative of ‘saying no to shallow’ whilst the rest of the world still obsesses over Tinder and profile pictures. I’m just not sure I’m so crazy about what their night did to my hair. Oh, wait…
Look out for more kooky Loveflutter events here.