Despite it being a horribly drizzly, grey, not-too-sparkly Monday afternoon, I am feeling surprisingly cheery and inspired, and would you believe it, this time that’s not entirely down to me being armed with a gallon of tea. I am still riding high on last Tuesday’s Valentine's love affair. I shared a night of total female empowerment and all round love, in the name of fertility, with people I adore and I had the best time – which makes me slightly concerned no other Valentine’s day will EVER live up to last Tuesday’s fabulousness, so lets hope my dogs (Mango and Juno, I hope you’re reading this) bring out the big guns next year and send me two awfully ‘punny’ cards each to make up for it, otherwise I will have to forgo my lactose intolerance so that I can wallow in chocolate.
ALTERNATIVELY, and hear me out on this, we do a Pants Project Valentine’s Party take two?! I’ll give you a run down of how numero uno went, and then you can decide.
The Monday before our event, aka Galentine’s day, was a truly spectacular meltdown, and by that I mean everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. Firstly, I woke up with a stinking cold and sneezed throughout my three hour lecture on Feminism in Jane Eyre, then I went on a wild goose chase around the university that took me an hour because they lost the gorgeous jumpsuit, very lovingly donated by ace&jig, I was supposed to be wearing on Tuesday, THEN I got horrible writers block when I sat down to pen my speech, and finally, just as I was about to stop for the day at 8pm, I remembered I’d forgotten to write auction promises for the guests. My lovely friend Taegie and I speed typed it out and then trudged to the library to print out 250 copies. Thirty copies later, the printer had its own meltdown and shouted error at us. Turns out “the printer that never runs out of paper” ran out of paper. At 10pm Taegie and I got back to the flat, packed up a million pairs of pants to take to London and finally got to sleep about 6 hours before we were supposed to be getting up!
And just like that, against all odds and printer meltdowns, 6 months down a long line of planning, emailing and ferociously Instagramming, it was Valentine's Day. We lugged various IKEA bags stuffed with pants and decorations to London, had a quick stop at The Braid Bar (a fab brand that employs and empowers women talented in the art of plaiting) who extremely kindly said they do our hair for the event, and made our way to The Earlsfield, or home for the evening. After four hours of prep, aka hanging up a washing line of undies, make tissue paper flowers, scattering heart shaped confetti, stuffing 250 goodie bags with Moju juices, Nom bars and Moo postcards, as well as spreading Freddie’s Flowers throughout the bar, we were pretty much ready.
I say that tentatively, because I’m honestly not sure I was ever ready for how our Valentine's Pants Party turned out. As I said in my speech (I will leave a link to Pretty Normal Me’s fab Vlog, and lovely video memory, in case you wanted to watch a recording of it), it truly was the proudest thing I have done, and probably will do for a long time. Over 200 of my friends, family, strangers, Instagram accomplices turned up to support The Pants Project, raise money for Fertility Network UK and promote a message of self-love, diversity, and female empowerment. I met people more inspirational than I could ever hope to meet or be, for example Instagram and body-pos queen mindsetforlife from The All Woman Project who gives DAILY advice on how to accept yourself, and more importantly, LOVE yourself, Emily Bador the Brighton born and bred model, activist and trainee barber (an wonderful woman I grew up scrolling past on Urban Outfitters and had a voice, mind and persona so special it surpassed her physical beauty) and The Eve Appeal, a curly headed blonde duo on a mission to cure cervical cancer and the stigma behind vaginas (yes, I said that word, shoot me down I dare you).
From the word go, it was definitely a party. Pink champagne and scrumptious canapés flowing, we were serenaded by the beautiful Hollie Haines, who at no point lost her cool or smudged her perfect red lip, despite a microphone kerfuffle- because even on Valentine's Day, the course of true love never did run smooth. We had about an hour to down as much pink champers as we could, whilst I ran around with my helpers (thank you lovely girls and I apologise for making you wear party hats that are not flattering beyond the age of three) selling raffle tickets, giving out auction promises lists, saying hello to everyone and flogging crazy coloured Oddballs (mens boxer shorts raising money for testicular cancer and The Pants Project).
Despite being a musician and somehow managing to be on stage throughout my school days, I am not good at public speaking – stage fright doesn’t even cut it, and no it does NOT help to picture you all naked, who even came up with that advice because I can honestly not imagine anything more scary that a room full of silent naked people staring at you. Anyway, I did my speech and said my thank yous and it’s frankly a miracle I didn't burst into tears. Naked people jokes aside, it was incredibly liberating and uplifting for me to talk about MRKH and The Pants Project in such a public and physical way (as opposed to on the wonderful interweb), and to express my gratitude to those who made the event possible and night a success.
Speech over and done with, it was time for the auction and raffle. A chaotic hour long frenzy of pants, jewellery, booze and chocolate moose later, we had finished and sold every single donation we were given! I was sat in a corner frantically taking payments on my snazzy card reader, trying to keep track of big numbers and an excel spreadsheet (GCSE maths I never thought you’d come in handy, but boy oh boy I thank you) and amazingly, through the grace of St Valentine, we somehow pulled it off. A real life adult night of live music, drinks, an auction AND a raffle didn't end in a complete shambles. In fact, it was the opposite of a shambles. It was an incredibly moving and overwhelming display of human love and affection, support and intrinsic goodness. People turned up who I’d never met before, people who I hadn't seen since I was about 5 and friends and family from as far as Paris and Berlin came to show their support for The Pants Project, and I could not be more grateful.
A week later, I still haven't found the words to express how incredibly thankful I am to all of you who were able to make it on Tuesday, as well as the OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD-AMAZING group of people who made it such a soaraway success – the fact the whole thing didn't end in a pink fizzy mess of champagne and tears is completely down to you, THANK YOU. You will all be at the top of my Christmas lists this year, and I’ll put in a good word with the Easter bunny.
Now that I have rambled on long enough (seriously, I could write another 10 pages of me saying thank you in different ways – you are all incredible), it’s about time I told you how much we raised! What we cannot quantify, is the incredible amount of awareness we raised collectively on Tuesday night, for infertility, MRKH and womankind, but what we can quantify, is the dollar.
We raised no less that £2570.34 on Tuesday 14th of February, which brings the total of money raised since only December to a whopping £3,379.79! I can’t quite believe it – you are real life super men and women and I am one very proud human bean.
The best news of this entire blog though, is that we are by no means done – we really are only just getting started, with lots of exciting things to come in 2017.
ONLY for the rest of February, I will be posting daily (you lucky ducks) on Instagram to remind you of all the FAB undies still up for grabs on our online auction, NOW ALL FOR ONLY £10! Can you Adam and Eve it? Bid while you cam because 90% of profits will go to our charity Fertility Network UK, and you only have a week left!
Isadore Intimates will also still be donating %25 of profits from each sale of undies in Feb, so please do go grab some pants to say happy late Valentines to yourself!
And I have attached the photos taken by Sebastian Engert Photography of the evening's antics.
Thank you for the best February I have ever had, and by far the best Valentine's I will EVER have.
As always, this comes with huge hugs and an age old adage…
May the power of pants with you.
Love, Tasha x