“Hey, are you single? Are you vaccinated? Do you live in DC? We’re having a rooftop party, and we want you to come.”
The to-the-point Tik Tok posted from Beneeta Kaur’s account features her and Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani on said rooftop in northwest DC. Kaur, 31, is a former lawyer and now full-time Twitch streamer, and Varkiani, 30, works for a progressive communications organization. The friends, who met in high school more than 15 years ago, attended a singles party in Columbia Heights in January 2020 and wanted to host one of their own now that things are opening again.
Instead of mingling with people they already knew, they figured they might “diversify our options.” Intended as a joke, Kaur posted the Tik Tok on Friday morning. After three days she had nearly 96,000 views, and more than 1,500 people RSVPed through a Google Form saying they wanted to come.
“We were honestly hoping for an extra 30 people,” Kaur says. “All of a sudden, my phone started blowing up.”
The party was originally open to “millennials of all genders and sexual orientations,” the Google Form says, and the invite even offered to help connect the unvaxxed with vaccine appointments. But after the crushing response, the women decided to get more “picky” with the requirements, Varkiani says. They filtered out hopefuls who aren’t in the 25-35 age range and who don’t actually live in the area. Even after that, there are still more than 600 yeses.
So much for the rooftop. (Its max capacity is 100 people.)
“We are trying to figure out next steps and contacting venues to see if anyone would like to host this party,” says Varkiani. “Obviously people are interested. They want to get out there. We think it would be really fun.”
Party-planning by Google Form was initially an attempt to keep Varkiani’s address somewhat private and control the crowd. Among the data collected: phone number, email, full name. But people were not asked to confirm their vaxx or relationship status. That’s on the honor system. “Our overall goal is to meet new people,” says Varkiani, “and hopefully not be single at the end of the pandemic.”