Friday, January 14, 2011

Hate people, love gatherings: Part 2

Now why would a busy mom squeeze herself into a cocktail dress and platform heels to go to a party with people who are not her friends?  My husband asks me this question every time we get invited to one of these things.  He's probably much smarter than I because he won't go to functions fraught with awkward conversations and false sincerity.


Four years ago, when I got my first gala invitation, I wanted to go because it looked like fun.  Any party is a good party, right?   Then I realized that most of these big events are kind of lame-o same-o.  There is nothing less-fab than a hotel ballroom full of geriatric philanthropic types.  Imagine a bad prom or wedding where no one dances.  Though a silent auction table draws out my fierce competive nature and a good gift bags still excites me, many these events are more a have-to than a want-to.  Guilt is powerful.   Either I need to support the charity or I need to network or I need to go for my friend on the Board, etc.   The vicious circle of you support me, I support you can be an exhausting time-suck.

But don't get me wrong, this was a fun one.   And I went, not out of guilt, but out of love and support for people who do amazing work.  This is the answer to why I made the effort and went.  Though perhaps to explain why I'd even question the effort,  I should give you a sketch of a couple people I knew would be there:

I'll begin with The Techstocks.  I actually genuinely like Mrs. Techstock.   She has a homey Great Plains quality about her that I can’t dis (as much as I’ve tried).   Well, okay, yes, it bothers me that even with millions in her bank account & my referral of personal shopper, she can’t let go of her Gap khakis and cotton-blend blouses.  To her credit, she wasn’t the worst dressed of the night and I’ve never seen her in one of those godawful older lady pant suits, but slapping on some make-up wouldn't have hurt her cause.   As for Mr. Techstock...not even a complete Carson Kressley make-over could help that man. Frankly, he makes me break out in hives.  You would think that being faintly creepy, short and balding would demand a little bit of personality, but nooooooo, not when you have money.   He’s one of those richly & early retired jag-offs who has traded his fortune for friends.  There he was waddling around in a turdish brown suit, getting his ass kissed by the people he paid for with his patronage.  I know the arts are badly in need of funding, but it's just sad for everyone involved.  It all makes me so uncomfortable that I tend to avoid him all together.   Though let me rephrase,  I don’t need to avoid him.   You can’t avoid someone who is trying to avoid you.   Standing about 6 to 7" (depending on the shoes) taller than him and not responding to his assumed charm, he now oozes with fear at the sight of me.   I have watched him literally pivot-turn and scamper away when we’ve made eye-contact.  Such a thing happened the other night, which is a shame since I was only one drink away from being cordial.

Next, I give you, Mr. Van der Ego whom I once worked for a very long time ago.  He’s pompous and vain and thinks way too highly of his talent.   He also tends to believe he's about 20 years younger and 30 lbs lighter.  This isn’t to say that I don’t like him.  Unlike his BFF (Best Funded Friend) Mr. Techstock, Van der Ego has charm to burn.  He's also entertaining, but not as entertaining as he thinks he is.  My main beef with him is that even when we were essentially equals and I helped him out of a jam, he insists on treating me like an underling.  This makes it nearly impossible for me to cheer him on, even when he deserves it.  But of course, we are both marvelously fake and fabulous when we do come face to face.   

And lastly, I shall vent about Peter Kleinhole, a vile old queen who fancies himself a critic.  The most unfair & infuriating thing about Kleinhole is that he is universally despised, yet because he is a vicious little blogger with an old-money fag-hag-of-a-certain-age, he's always on the guest list.  Two quick stories… 1) As the gala chairman for a charity, he hired his own production company for the fundraiser.  Quelle suprise...he personally made money, while the charity lost money.  2) He was given a press pass to a gala, but was very upset that his boyfriend would have to pay.  He caused a lot of grief for everyone involved, but in the end showed up to eat and drink gratis. Bloated & well-fed he rolled home to bitterly blog about how much he thought his free night out on a charities' dime sucked.  And he's just as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside.  I cringe to even look at him.  Unfortunately,  I ran into him twice during the span of the evening.  The first time I saw him, he had a scarf wrapped around his neck and was pointing to it and whispering “Can’t talk," to anyone he made eye-contact with.  And then later, I see him in a suit & tie (costume change?) when he jumped in front of me and clipped my drink with his shoulder as he passed.  There was not an “excuse me,” no, "I’m sorry” (Oh, he was TOTALLY talking again, btw).  He just stomped past.  Perhaps not the most mature or classy thing I’ve ever done, but I said, “Asshole!” in a clear audible voice.  He heard me and he turned around, looking through me.  Then he took a second, furrowed his brow and moved on.  I hope my drink stained his suit. 

Am I mean?  Technically, I could be meaner.  I held back.  I didn't mention Mrs. Vineyard or Miss Model/Actress/Dancer/Whatever.  Of course, maybe talking about the lovely people I enjoyed meeting would balance this out.  There were many of them.   But writing about the darling lady I met by the Truffle Mac & Cheese station who told me about her grandkids isn't as interesting.  Though had I brought my camera, this whole entry would be a pictorial & praise-fest about how the adorable Gay Marrieds who wore their suits better than Jon Hamm were the most smoking hot thing in La Jolla that night.  Alas I should start using my phone's camera more.  This bitchy bitch is signing off.

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