Q&A: Stephen M. Dupree, one of 24 bachelors being auctioned to benefit the Friends of Literacy

Stephen M. Dupree is one of 24 bachelors being auctioned to benefit the Friends of Literacy on Friday, Feb. 10—meaning that audience members will bid on a date with each of the men. The contest also involves online voting for Knoxville's Most Eligible Bachelor.

Give one good reason, or the best reason, for someone to vote for you as the Most Eligible Bachelor or bid for you in the auction.

I already think pretty highly of myself so there is no real threat of a dangerous inflation of my ego by doing either of those things. With the other contestants, you just don't know. The last thing in the world anyone wants is to cause a dangerous ego situation by paying too much attention to someone who is not used to thinking of themselves in superlatives.

What's the most literate thing you've done recently?

I am currently near the end of the first draft of my second book. I should think that qualifies as literate.

Do you feel it's a conflict for you to be auctioned as a bachelor when your 2011 book, Before You Take the Plunge, is a guide to marriage?

The perspective I bring to my book on relationships is that of one who is (currently, frequently) above the fray. A lot of it is my observations of marriage as an outsider. Some of the more generic relationship advice comes from my own life, but I have friends and siblings and coworkers and such. All of those are relationships and none of them require me to be wed.

Are you aware this is the first time the Friends of Literacy are listing the bachelors' heights? Will this work for you or against you?

I was not aware of that. It should be a plus for me with the 6-foot-tall-range bidder who would like a chance to show off her favorite pair of spike heels without making it look like she has been raiding the local elementary school for dating partners. Between 5'2" and 5'9" it is probably a non-issue.

And a bidder who's shorter than that?

If someone's under 5'2" it may just start to work against me.

How will you make the winner of your date feel special?

Well, duh! I will be attentive to her needs. Until I have an opportunity to assess the situation up close and personal, I cannot possibly be more specific than that.

You probably don't realize that last year's bachelor's auction interview subject, Jesse Fox Mayshark, actually met his steady girlfriend as a direct result of the Metro Pulse interview. Do you hope to have similar results?

Well, when you think about the fact that said steady girlfriend did read about Jesse in the article but did not actually take part in the auction, it would be self-defeating of me to say that I want to have that happen. I mean, if the ladies see me as looking for someone outside of all of this, they might focus their attention elsewhere. And no one wants that!

For more information on tickets to the Feb. 10 event or to vote for Knoxville's most eligible bachelor: friendsofliteracy.org