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Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 01/28/2009

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

By Ellen McCarthy

February 14 is less than three weeks away -- which means we are about to be consumed by a particularly incessant screeching echo: "He went to Jared!....Jared!....Jared!......Jared!"

It's amazing how much about this holiday seems like a contrivance --- or worse, a punishment. And it can feel especially so for singles.

Pouring cement in your ears and aggressively ignoring the whole Valentine's Day charade seems like as fine an idea as any. But if you're in the market to meet someone, this time of year does represent a sort of opportunity. Over the next few weeks, singles soirees will be popping up all over the region. We'll bring you as many options as we can, starting with a few this week:

Tonight, DateandDash, a speed-dating company, is hosting an event at Chi Cha Lounge. It's open to college grads between 23 and 35, and if things don't go well you can always lick your wounds with a pitcher of beer next door at Stetson's. It starts at 8 and costs $35. For more info, see

Friday night, ThingstoDoDC is having a singles extravaganza at UltraBar. The club will be opened up to 20-something singles for 4-minute dating, a lock-and-key exchange and other icebreakers. Also helping to break the ice: that hour of open bar included in your $27 cover charge. Register at

If you operate better with small crowds and low-key conversation, Saturday night's singles dinner in Bethesda might be the best option. Pros in the City is hosting this three-course meal at BlackFinn Restaurant, where you'll rotate seats once during the meal and have time to talk with everyone at an after-dinner reception. Tickets are $50 if you register by Friday at

And now that you've got Valentine's Day on the brain -- sorry -- I need to cull your innermost thoughts. Weekend is looking for six-word missives inspired by Valentine's Day. Bitter is fine. So is sweet. And the best ones will be published in the Feb. 13 Weekend section. Click here to start writing.

-- Ellen

By Ellen McCarthy  | January 28, 2009; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Misc.  
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