Saturday night I was afforded a really nice opportunity to be a guest at a charity gala. Back in October one of my board members had introduced me to a man (and I am throwing in there that this man is probably in his late 40’s and happily married, just because you all tend to think I should date every nice man in my life) that has a lot of ties to the not-for-profit community, politicians, and benefactors. I originally met him for breakfast to sort of fill him in on my ideas and gather some advice from him. He loved the not-for-profit idea, flat out told me that he loved me, told me that once he said that out loud it sounded a lot creepier than it did in his head, tried to back track, and then said “Oh forget it. I love you and I love your energy. I want to take you home to meet my wife and show you off to my friends.” It was appreciated, if not a little odd. That breakfast was followed up by an email saying basically the same thing, and asking if he could set up a few more meetings for me.
Fast forward to today. This guy has been amazing. He is setting me up with contacts left and right. Two weeks ago he catered a breakfast for me. FOR ME people. This stuff does not happen to me. I get to his office and he has the whole thing set up. He even had gluten free food brought in for me, and the attendee’s are all local not-for-profit founders. When we get up from the conference table to eat, he tells everyone that the guest of honor should go first, and I turn about five shades of “I am absolutely dying” red. The breakfast was a huge success in the fact that I left with even more contacts and more meetings set up.
|This Table Seat No Less Than 16 people, Easily 24|
A few days later he emails me and tells me that he took the liberty of ordering me some business cards, which neato, was super nice of him.
Then he emails me telling me that he and his wife would be honored if I would be their guest to a charity gala event. I’m a little nervous, but the opportunity is too big to pass up, so I accept his generous offer. He tells me what the dress code is, and that he is really excited that I am coming. A day before the event I get an email titled “new information that I just found out.” In the email he explains that he hopes he isn’t being presumptuous, but his wife has almost killed him on occasion when he did not tell her specifically what the dress code was, and that it was going to be a little more informal than he had originally thought. Khaki’s or an informal dress would be appropriate, anything but jeans. Ok, I can deal with that, thanks for letting me know.
The day of the event, I’m slightly nervous. I have to go to an event where I will literally only know one person, who will be shopping me around to every not-for-profit founder, benefactor, company sponsor, and quite a few politicians in the area. Nothing like a little pressure!!
I pick a short navy blue dress and a sweater thing. I choose brown heels because I don’t want to be overly formal since he said anything but jeans. I laugh at my pale legs and remember a friend telling me that she never wears a dress without wearing tan panty hose. I can’t wear panty hose. First off, I refuse to wear something that is the fabric equivalent of a breathable balloon. I don’t want to feel like I am wrapped in a cheese cloth rubber band thank you very much. Secondly, I am too pale for them. They are designed to make your legs look somewhat natural but more flawless. No. Not on me. I am way to pale so it looks like my lower half has changed ethnicities from my top half, and they don’t make white tights for adults. So as usual, I just let all the pale hang out.
|I really need to clean that mirror|
I give myself a little pep talk in the mirror, download that horrible song by Aloe Blacc that repeatedly sings “You can tell everyone that I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man” so that I can blast it all the way to the event. Because in case you weren't aware, I’m the man.
As I’m getting ready to leave, I’m bending over putting some stuff in the trunk of my car, and I can feel the wind blow the back of my dress up over my ass. Its cold, my hands are full, I didn’t see anyone outside, so I make the quick decision that I don’t care and I finish loading my trunk. That is, I don’t care until I close the trunk and see my neighbor waving at me. I wave and jump in my car as fast as I can knowing that I just gave him a full view of my white ass and hot pink lacey thong. We both pull out at the same time, so I let him go ahead of me. He of course, pulls to the entrance of our common driveway, stops, rolls down his window, and waits for me to pull up next to him. Great, we are going to have to talk about this ass thing now aren’t we? I pull up and roll down my window. This guy is a single guy, we have always been fairly flirty with each other, but even though he is a great guy, I have no interest in dating him. “Hot date tonight Eden?” He asks me. “Nope, charity thing, I bet I’ll be the youngest person there” I tell him. He replies “Well the first time you marry for love, the second time you marry for money. Find yourself an old dude with money.” We laugh and I tell him I’ll stretch my age limit to 45 tonight, and see what I can find. He reminds me that the older I go, the fewer years I have to have sex with the guy. I tell him that it doesn’t matter, if I marry for money, the first time we have sex, I’m going to go all out and assure it’s the last time we ever have sex. I then remind myself that this is another reason I am probably going to hell, and I am on my way.
I get there, pull into the event lot, and think “Wow, this is beautiful, a tree light lined cobblestone driveway, with….a guy standing directly in the middle peeing.” I’m not making this up people, and there was no way to get around him. I’m sitting in my car, I obviously can't keep driving because he is in the middle of the cobblestone road, and I’m trying not to look, because, ew, gross. On the other hand, I can’t help but look, because hello, this is so odd, and then, I’m trying not to look because it feels rude, but then HELLO I can’t not look because THIS IS SO WEIRD. The guy finishes, shakes a few too many times to be considered about as normal as you can get in this situation, walks away, and I drive through a puddle of piss. Classy.
I pull up to the front, get out, and am greeted by name. Apparently the man had told the valet what my car looked like and had pre paid. Nice!! Good thing not many girls drive a streak blue car with a spoiler and racing stripes. I’m a unique one, that’s for sure.
I get inside the building, they take my coat, and then I make my way down, THE GLASS STAIRCASE. Who designed this? Seriously? I’ll tell you who, a bunch of chuckling horny men, that’s who. The staircase winds directly over the check in desk below. So I do the classiest thing I can think of and I pull the back of my dress through the front of my legs and walk down the stairs as if I am wearing a diaper.
When I get to the bottom of the absurdly long glass stair case, I am greeted with an overly chipper woman manning the front desk. She asks who I am, I say I’m Eden, and she cuts me off with my last name and says “Oh, the man already checked you in, he told us to make sure you were well taken care of.” She then proceeds to pin about 30 things on me. “This one is your name tag, this one is your pin that says you are a foundation donator, and this one says that you are a corporate sponsor, this one says that you are participating in the heads or tails game (?), this one says that you are a VIP, this one says that you purchased an open bar package (sorry he wasted his money on that one, I don’t drink at work), this one says you purchased the higher level open bar package (oops, sorry again), this one flashes (it really flashed, I still don’t know why, but it was very annoying because it was blinking in my eyes all night), this one is your silent auction number, this one is your live auction number, and there you go, you are all set!” Great, now I look like I work at T.G.I.Fridays and have enough pieces of flair on me to get a promotion to head server.
Ok, girl, let’s do this thing. I turn around, go to walk into the ballroom, and all of the air is sucked directly out of my lungs. I see someone walk past me in a floor length evening gown. No way. Then I see another. No freaking way. Then I see someone wearing so many shimmering items that I am temporarily blinded. No. NO NO NO NO NO. No. This is not happening. No. I then spot the man across the room. He is wearing what I can only describe as a suxedo. It looks way to nice to just be a suit, but it’s probably not a tuxedo. I don’t know, I don’t routinely shop for men’s wear, either way; I am going to kill him. I back out of the ballroom, and hide around the corner. I am literally talking to myself out loud now like an absolute crazy person. “Ok. Clearly, you are underdressed. Well, there is nothing you can do about that now. And you are flashing. You are underdressed and you are flashing. This is just great. Just freaking wonderful. Ok. What can we do about this? Nothing. We can do nothing about this (who is this “we” I am talking about? This slightly worries me that I talk to myself as if I am two people). Ok, we can do nothing about this, so we have to make the best of this. People are going to be looking at you like you are an idiot. Ok, let’s focus on the fact that people will be looking at you. What can we do about that? Nothing. You are flashing. We can do nothing about this. Ok, if people are going to be looking at you, then let’s give them something to look at. You are going to stand out, so let’s at least be memorable. People are going to be looking at you anyways, so you can either look like a sullen idiot, or you can make this work for you. Own it girl.”
I decide that I will use this as an opportunity to not be forgotten, and I march my seriously underdressed ass in there. I walk up to the man, who is standing with a group of people, and say “hi.”
“Eden, you are here! Everyone this is Eden, you are going to love her, she has a really neat not-for-profit that she is starting and I’d love for you all to hear about it.”
I spent the rest of the night walking up to groups of people and complimenting the women’s dresses, and then cracking a joke about my own. “I just have to say, I love your dresses! Clearly, I misunderstood the dress code, but you guys nailed it.” By the end of the night, I had a purse full of business cards and more meetings set up than I know what to do with.
On an odd note, do you remember the post I wrote where I talked about how I always straighten my hair because it freaks me out how many people touch my curls? Well I left my hair curly that night because it seemed a little dressier. So I’m standing by the silent auction table and this woman comes up to me and tells me that she would just love to run her hands through my hair. I must have given her a look that reflected exactly what I was thinking on the inside, because her face totally changed and she said “Oh, no no no, I’m a hair dresser, and I love working with curls.” I’m still not certain she wasn’t hitting on me, but she did give me her business card and tell me to come in for a free haircut. Listen lady, you can hit on me anytime if you want to cut my hair for free. I’ll even flirt back if you’re going to style it.
All in all, I think the night went really well. It was strange, as is the norm in my life, but I’ll consider it a success. I owned the dress mistake like a champ even though I was dying inside, and I have learned my lesson that the next time I attend an event; I should contact the wife to find out the dress code. I didn’t pick up any old rich men, but I may have gotten myself a lesbian hair stylist, and hey, I can work with that. I’ll flirt for a haircut, I have no shame.
Either way, I am so excited to see this project taking off, and I can’t wait to share more updates with you!