Mingling With Rich People
2005-11-12, 10:43 p.m.
Man, I've missed prepping for formal events. Haven't done that since the last prom, either.
Mom and I spent Friday night (after the requisite bad Dad visit) and most of Saturday morning looking for jewelry and purses to match our formal wear. Since Mom's outfit was a particularly tricky shade of hot pink, that was pretty difficult.
I ended up wearing the black dress Jess gave me awhile back, as Mom determined it was the most formal of what I'd brought over. I tried it out with some shawls and another jacket, but I ended up wearing it with a short black velvet jacket with embroidery on it that I found for $3.50 at Salvation Army years ago. (Seriously, $3.50?! For a jacket that probably cost a few hundred when originally purchased and was in perfect condition? What were they thinking?!) I'd had it for years, but never had it to wear anywhere before either.
All things considered, it was kind of funny to think about how cheap my outfit was compared to what everyone else probably spent on theirs. I'd had the (gold) shoes for years, bought new pantyhose, the dress I got from Jess, I'd had the (cheap) jacket for years, and I borrowed a necklace from Mom. The most expensive thing I probably had on were the earrings.
It was a pretty zooey day, though. We ran around to various stores on Saturday, then Mom insisted on going to visit Dad ("What if he dies that day? At least I could say I saw him on his last day." Way to put the pressure on yourself there.) despite us having no time really in which to do it, then got home late to do the primping...and we were supposed to be there at 4:30. Course, nobody ELSE showed at 4:30 besides the catering staff and the high schoolers that were supposed to escort the rich people (who can't find their own tables or turn in their own tickets, apparently?), so I guess that worked out. Course, that led to things being zooey when people started showing up for the 6 p.m. event at 5:20.
They had a movie theme going for this event, and had a front area separated from the back area for cocktails and ticket processing. They had cardboard movie stars and Oscars set up along with palm-tree-ish shrubbery, and a fancy entryway. They took photos of people, and one chick was dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for picture ops and singing opportunities (it was one guy's birthday...I heard his wife say later she stayed close by in case...oy). There was also a guy dressed as Elvis, but from what I understand he looks like that every day as a matter of course. Hell, we've got a guy like that working on campus that gets trotted out at the annual picnic. They also had a cabaret show after the auction bit was over.
A friend of Mom's showed up to run the ticket booth with us. They mostly wrote down who had what programs and at what table they were at. I mostly handed people stuff and put stickers on the meal tickets indicating who had beef, salmon, or stuffed portabello mushroom for dinner.
When we finally got to go sit down, we were seated with a younger couple and (surprise, surprise) one of the VP's from my high school, or at least that was the job he was doing when I was there, and the wife. He didn't know who I was, and in turn he was surprised I didn't know his daughter-in-law because she graduated when I did. *shrug* Afterwards, Mom was all, "He was kind of strange," and I was all, "Yeah, all the VP's were, though this one wasn't the weirdest." I heard he later became the principal of The Other High School In Town. They were nice enough, though I get the feeling that I was pretty boring to them because (a) I'm not married, and (b) therefore have no hope of having cute little kids of my own so they could talk about parenting. I saw the VP's wife start bugging the other woman at the table- I believe her exact words were "Do you work or do you have kids?" Eeek. I know, different generation and all, but...still. She didn't have much to say when the other chick said she was a newlywed and didn't have kids yet. I ended up talking to the other chick about designing jewelry instead.
Oh well, I guess that's what all of the free champagne is for, eh? Saw a fair amount of people getting tanked at this sucker. (I heard enough stories from Mom afterwards that uh, perhaps explained why so many were tanked.) I'm still wondering what the heck the mushroom was actually stuffed with. Potato? I really couldn't tell. Mom ordered the beef and figured out later she'd somehow gotten a mushroom...and she hates mushrooms. I didn't know what to say to that, other than, "Well, they call portabello mushrooms the steak of mushrooms..." But otherwise it was pretty good. Maybe not as good as the conference food on Tuesday, but still, it was an expensive free spread.
All things considered, mingling with rich people wasn't too bad. Mom pretty much knows everybody in town and introduced me to them, and most of them seemed to like her a lot and were nice to me. (Especially after the champagne kicked in.) I guess what surprised me was how many of the chicks didn't even have makeup on, and that they looked like normal folks, but just in formal wear. Nobody outright looked anorexic and Botoxed the way I was kind of expecting. One girl (some rich guy's date, I guess) even had a conspicuous hickey located about an inch above her boob, and she hadn't even tried to cover it up! And really, it all boils down to everybody, from rich folks to the catering staff, having to use the same public bathroom where water had somehow been splashed EVERYWHERE. I guess that's the girl equivalent of everyone put their pants on one leg at a time?
I generally forgot they were supposed to be loaded until the end when Mom was taking everyone's money and people would come up to her and say, "I bid $1300 on that trip, and I won this thing that was $1600, and then I donated like $800 to the food for kids program, and blah blah blah..." The idea of dropping all of that at once, yeesh. It threw me a bit when this woman who looked like a total soccer mom was throwing down like $3000 at once.
It was a fun thing to do. I was well-behaved, and I mingle well with the rich people like I think I'm one of them, apparently. Good for me.