Imagine, if you will, your most socially anxious situation...
THAT was my night last night.
No, it wasn't a public speaking engagement (although something along that order would be a very close second). it was having to go to a "fancy" party in Dallas.
Tom doesn't invite me to work related events very often, so when he asked me to attend the holiday party of one of his, shall we say more affluent clients, I thought I'd better attend.
But, like everything else in my world these days, I didn't put much thought into the evening before it was actually taking place. (This is my attempt at practicing life in the present moment. Which is really just my excuse for being lazy.)
Anyways..my story begins here:
Yesterday afternoon I decided I should to shower before picking the kids up from school because I knew Tom wanted to leave by 5 p.m. to get into the University/Highland Park area of Dallas by 6 p.m. (this is where George W. Bush lives...didn't find this out until much later).
Mia was the first on my pick up route, I told her Brigham was in charge for the night because mom and dad had a fancy party to go to.
Her response, "Mom, you're not gonna wear that sweat suit are you?" (This is how well my daughter knows me...99.9% of the time I live in a sweat suit with my hair pulled back).
"No Mia, I just didn't want to get into my dress before we had to leave for the party." (Let me also add here Mia describes her fashion style as "not really girly", she refuses to wear socks and anything denim or frilly. Though she is okay with sparkles. Mia has very smelly feet and will wear a winter coat and flip flops to school on the coldest of days if she has gym because the smell of transitioning from wearing her boots into sneakers embarrasses her).
Finished rounding up the kids, getting the low-down on homework, giving Brig instructions on dinner/showers/dog chores.
It's 4:50 and Tom is already done dressing for the party. He hates being late. I go to put on a dress (the one I have that I think will fit and make me look less than forty-six). No nylons. I honestly cannot remember the last time I wore nylons, I absolutely HATE the way they feel on my body. (Guess now I know where Mia gets her pickiness from).
Plan B: black skirt with black boots. The only shirt available is a white cotton t-shirt which I decide will work fine with a festive holiday snowman scarf over it. You know, the kind that has a button to push so it lights up and plays music. Very fashion-forward.
Run comb through hair, throw on mascara and some lipstick (I can hear Tom tapping his foot and jiggling his keys in the foyer).
Uneventful, traffic-laiden hour drive from Flo Mo to [what I find out along the way] is a very wealthy area of Dallas.
As we arrive at the entrance of the building Tom says it will be valet parking. Pulling up ahead of our super-cute Kia Soul (the latest model with the red pin-striping) is a Ferrari and a Bentley.
"Tom, you did not tell me how fancy this party would be!" (I am now shuttering at the thought of having to carry in my Vera Bradley hipster bag. What screams more middle-class suburban housewife than a VB bag?!...and a holiday scarf that lights up for Godssake!)
Full realization there is nothing I can change at this point.
I look behind us to see yet another Bentley pulling into the valet lane. Attractive-looking twenty-something driving the car (find out later it is the owner's son, of course).
Gracefully step out of vehicle and greet the polite attendant. Pretend (while sweating profusely) I actually belong at this event.
I hope to God there is chardonnay.
God answered my prayers as we walked in the door, two nicely-dressed young men with trays of chardonnay and champagne warmly welcomed our arrival.
(There is nothing like a little chardonnay to calm the anxiety of the socially inept).
Meet the owner of the establishment...did I mention the party was at deBoulle? (If you are unfancy, like me, deBoulle is a jewelry store. A VERY PRICEY JEWELRY STORE.) Wondering (as he shakes my hand) if he can feel the callus on my thumb from four hours of leaf-raking last Sunday.
This first glass can NOT go down fast enough.
Fancy jewelry store owner speaks with Tom for a few minutes while I "take in" the scene. Lots of old and young people milling about carrying beverages, a plethora of wait staff circling holding trays of tasty-looking appetizers and more beverages. Patron station set up with a stunning ice sculpture. Several banks of jewelry display cases all sparkling to the hilt. Tall, thin twenty-somethings in slinky black dresses wearing gobs of diamonds chatting with the guests (telling them about the various pieces they are wearing).
Me, trying to hold up the corner of the room while husband continues to chat with client and store marketing team.
He finally joins me again (90-seconds felt like a lifetime). We decide to walk around the jewelry display cases and play our version of "what would you buy if we won the lottery". Several expensively dressed salespeople ask me what I'd like to try on as we stroll the cases. I put on my best no-thanks-just-happy-to-look-at-these-earrings-that-cost-more-than-the-home-we-just-bought expression..
We stayed for about an hour and a half, during which time we never saw anyone use the restroom. Until Tom decided he had to check it out. It was, of course, very fancy. I wanted to feel more like the elite and not make a potty stop during the party.
We decided to stay long enough to see the 50-foot real Christmas tree be lit by 25,000 lights. Here is the picture:
Overall, it was an evening that solidified my commitment to being less-than-fancy. ( I just don't fake fake well at all...some people can pull it off, me...not so much). And I am okay with that.
When it was time to leave we waited for our car...the two cars before my little Kia Soul were a Porsche and a Maserati. I kid you not. When ours pulled around the corner it was all Tom and I could do to graciously walk over to it and get in (all the while hysterically laughing).
They did have a photo booth that was fun...here is a picture of me and my unfancy husband:
Hope all your holiday parties are fun, even if you are the fancy type!