Whether you've already passed it or you're staring it down like the barrel of a scary aging-laser, your 30th birthday is a big deal.

Which is why Claudia, who's concurrently hitting 30 and the breaking point of hearing friends ask why she's still single, has set up a dauntingly rom-com-ish mission for the month of August: 30 dates in 30 days. (The scheduling
alone would daunt the bejeebus out of us.)

She'll be chronicling the whole thing on her blog
, See Claudia Date, where potential suitors can also check out helpful Claudia Fun Facts and (super-cute!) pictures of her.

We asked Claudia to fill us in on her mission thus far, and she'll be keeping us posted for each awesome/excruciating moment. Here's what this brave soul had to say before she embarks on a month of awkward appetizer-sharing
.

The two most common questions I hear as a single girl are as follows
1) "Are you dating anyone?" and
2) (After I answer "no") "WHY not?"

I'll admit, the question normally comes from family members, but I get asked from more non-blood relations than I care to admit.

One year ago, I moved out of my East Village apartment in New York City and headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where I had a new job waiting for me. I was definitely nervous moving to a place that I'd visited only once after living in New York for the last 10 years of my life. I wondered how I'd meet new people and make friends, but in time, I did just that. But one year later, there's still one area where I desperately need help: dating. And did I mention my 30th birthday is around the corner? Single and 30 ... lovely. Thus, an idea began to take shape. I would really "put myself out there" and attempt to go on 30 dates in 30 days, all while turning 30 years old.

I bought a domain name and secured a username for nearly every social media platform I could think of, and voila! I tweeted and emailed a few of my friends, along with a few local media outlets in hopes of getting the word out. Little by little, I started getting feedback from total strangers.

The date requests are starting to trickle in. In three days I've gotten messages from a few men actually interested in meeting me. At this point I have nearly a week's worth of dates lined up (although not all in the same week), but not every date is completely nailed down just yet. And another encouraging factor: People I don't know are rooting for me, as well as giving me some advice.

The most common? "Meet in public places." (Thanks, guys!) I've heard this advice from strangers, friends and, of course, my mother. But don't worry, this was definitely rule number one for me and something I will definitely adhere to. (Second-most common bit of advice: "Bring pepper spray.")

Although most of the feedback has been positive, I have also had a few naysayers. They think that I'm doing this for publicity or that I wouldn't be doing this if I were serious about dating someone. Well, the truth is, I kind of had to publicize it to get the word out ,and I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't serious about trying to date someone.

Clearly what I've been doing my entire adult life wasn't working, so this new approach can't exactly hurt me now, can it?

Do I expect to meet the man of my dreams? No, but it would be a pleasant surprise. What I do expect is to go out with people who were daring enough to take part in my experiment and possibly make a few new friends in the meantime. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll meet a few guys I genuinely like. And if I'm REALLY lucky, they'll like me back and we might be able to go out on a second date at some point.

At the very least, I'll have a couple of good stories to tell to the next non-stunt date I'm with.


Claudia is a 29-year-old New Yorker (via Texas) transplanted to South Florida. She's addicted to Google Reader, iced lattes, the Yankees, and "Mad Men." She lives in Fort Lauderdale with her awesome cocker spaniel, Fozzy.

Know somebody who'd make her a great date? Hit her up at SeeClaudiaDate !