Sunday, November 15, 2009

the bidding

i was part of a tri-ward date auction last night. using canned foods as currency that would be given to a food bank, each ward offered up five guys and five girls to the highest bidder. in what i took be a compliment, i was one of the eligible bachelors from the 89th. along with our stellar selves, we had to supply the date activity so that the winning bidder wouldn't get stuck with some aimless evening. i went with dinner (either thai, chinese, or japanese, to make things a little more interesting) and country swing dancing, something that gives us a chance to talk but doesn't rely entirely on conversation.
i was excited and nervous, 2:1.

overall, it went well, along with a few "kinks", as my friend daniel noted at church this morning.

i arrived with my bag of cans from my recent trip to macey's, and saw that i had more than most people seemed to have brought. according to the exchange rate based on the size of the cans, i had 33 and a good chance of winning a date. there was a "menu" printed up of all the people up for bid and their activities. tragically, several of the guys' dates were more interesting than most of the girls'. our cute relief society president was offering a horseback riding date. i decided to save my cans for her.

the auctioneer was an extrovert from our ward who did an excellent job, keeping things fun and lively, avoiding any potential awkwardness that can arise from humans being sold for canned goods. the bidding followed numerically from the list and i was #21 out of 27, which i wasn't sure was an advantage or not. most people seemed to be waiting for "big ticket items", namely the guys with the byu football tickets and the jazz tickets. bidding generally started at 10 cans, and if you broke 20, you could consider yourself a success.

i fought for the horseback riding, so much that our executive secretary was going around to affluent others and procuring additional funding for me. she ended up being the most popular of the girls, and i was competing with daniel, whose roommate gave him all of his cans and surpassed me around the 40s. then, some guy in the back yelled out "100 cans!", and we found out who owned those boxes stacked by the wall. i wished i could have ran to macey's for a moment....

taken too seriously, the flaw in the event is that it's all superficial. pretty girls and cool guys with exciting activities went for a lot. those with less flair went for less. no master's hand here. the biggest fiasco of the night was over the byu football tickets, with two girls bidding over 100 cans. the catch was that one girl, who passionately wanted to go because she'd never been before, didn't really have that many cans, too busy with winning the bidding to care. people kept passing cans to her table, but no one really knew how much she had. eventually, the bidding had to be called and the matter was settled between the two of them. i was up on stage, seated on the waiting couch next to daniel but it sounded it like got a little intense down there.
in the end, i think the girl who legitimately had the cans won it.

watching this from the auction line on the stage, daniel and i were talking about how much we might go for. i would be happy to break 20, i said. he noted how much he was spending on his date, a homemade five-course gourmet meal and seemed pretty excited for the whole thing. by this point, the auction had been going on for a while and people were a little worn from the football incident. he was called in to the hot seat and bidding opened.
he got one bid.

i about died inside for him, and we exchanged looks as he went off stage. before me were a few girls, and i bid for the girl who was taking us shooting. again, daniel and i were competing, and he bested me. still, i held nothing against him. after his disappointment, he deserved it all the way. i bid on a few other girls, but was beat every time, often by a guy who must have filled his car with cans, as he won about five dates.

what am i worth? in the muppets Christmas carol, scrooge sings that, if you want to know the measure of a man, you simply count his friends. my brother then noted that i was worth 15 people. i'm cool with that. but, up on stage, in front of everyone, i sold for 18 cans, which i deemed respectable and worthwhile. and, strangely, was only one can less than the guy with the jazz tickets.

our horseback riding relief society president texted me afterward, saying she had to leave but asking how much i went for. she said she would have made sure i went for at least 20.


Brooke said...

I agree with the muppets, myself. The true messure of a person should be deemed on their character, personality and values, not if they have Jazz tickets. The popular vote of what is a worthy something and what is not worthy something is, in my opinion, always flawed, because not everyone likes what is popular. I am glad that the hand of the master is involved, because if it were a bidding world, some of the best would be tragically discounted. Congratulations on the 18 cans! :) (and you were afraid of two bits...[insert eye roll here])

The Former 786 said...

Wow. I can't believe how many canned goods your ward has to give away. You're one charitable (rich?) group!

I've been part of an auction before and it is quite stressful. I'm glad that you had a good time with it. Let us know how the date turns out.

Becky said...

It sounds like it got a little crazy, but I'm glad it was alright. Happy dating

Jaime said...

man.. that seems like my worst NIGHTMARE! getting up there and hearing crickets... i couldn't do it. you're brave!