May 27, 2005
In a departure from my normal Thursday routine of working late and then going to Nia class, last night I made my debut on the charity benefit circuit at an event for the new Michigan chapter of Justice for Children. I’d passed the first time the opportunity to go came up, as the invitation said “black tie” and there is nothing that fancy in my current wardrobe. Sure, I could have gone out and probably found something to buy that was appropriate, but since I’m not at a weight I’m happy with shopping for clothes is not something I want to be doing right now, especially for something I wouldn’t get much wear out of. Then my boss circulated the invitation again, saying wearing a suit would be fine and the company would pick up the cost of the ticket, so at that point there was no reason for me not to go. I had a suit to wear–a sea green silk one, with a knee-length skirt and jacket decorated with embroidery in the same color accented with just a few tiny beads. It’s perhaps a bit matronly, but at an event attended by 18 of my coworkers I’d rather err on that side of the fashion spectrum.
When I’d grabbed the address off the hotel’s website yesterday and popped it into MapQuest to get driving directions, I failed notice that the latter added a W. before the street name and it took me two trips around a large block before I realized maybe I should try the E. addresses, since either 600 W. did not exist or the hotel was in stealth mode, invisible to the passing motorist. Thus the 15 minutes it should have taken me to get there turned into almost half an hour. Because I was late and because I thought it might rain and I didn’t want to risk water spots on my suit, I used the valet parking. I don’t like valet parking. It’s not that I’m afraid the valet will make off with my car–my little Focus was no doubt the least impressive vehicle they had the keys to last night–it’s just that I’m overly sensitive and protective about some things, and my car is one of them, plus there’s the tipping issue at the end of the night, and I’m never quite comfortable with that, either. (I know, it’s a wonder I manage to function in society.)
The cocktail hour was nearly over by the time I got there; I had enough time to talk to a few of my coworkers and get reacquainted with or meet some of their spouses but not enough to figure out that there was champagne included in the price of admission or to eat any of the hors d’oeuvres. Probably just as well, as that meant I had plenty of room for dinner, which was very tasty. I’d chosen the vegetarian entree when I signed up, and it turned out to be a very nice eggplant and cheese dish. The creme brulee for dessert was so wonderful I seriously considered trying to bribe one of the waitstaff to get a second helping, but decided that probably was not appropriate behavior for a fancy charity event.
After dinner, there was a fashion show of clothes I might consider wearing if I were very skinny and had a different life. One of the models looked like Carmen Electra and another bore a slight resemblance to Natalie Portman–they were later introduced as Miss Michigan USA and Miss Teen Michigan USA (or maybe Miss Michigan Teen USA? I don’t remember). One of the non-beauty queen models was so thin that the bones at the tops of her shoulders stuck out–I guess that’s one way to stop tank top straps from slipping off.
I hadn’t bid on any of the silent auction items–I did like the reproduction of a possibly by Da Vinci painting that had an opening bid of $3200, but even if I had that kind of money to spend on impulse I think I’d go for a new sewing machine before getting a painting that would make the rest of my stuff look crappy by comparison (except I don’t think $3200 would be enough for the Bernina I covet, the one with the stitch regulator, so me and my Singer will just have to stick together a while longer)–so I didn’t have to stay to see if I’d won any of them. There was something called an afterglow listed in the program, but I was tired and had an hour’s drive to get home so I left before I saw what that involved. I wonder if everyone kicked their shoes off and ate leftover creme brulee and took turns trying on the big tiaras the beauty queens put on after the fashion show. I hope not–I’d be sorry to have missed that, at least the creme brulee part.