Bill Clinton, Cocktail Parties & Laughing Cow Cheese
Something awful happened last night.
I had to attend a cocktail party. There are many things wrong with a cocktail party starting with me in a dress. Never mind the dress actually, add to that high heels, stockings/nylons - have you ever worn those things after eating a Lebanese Pita Wrap with Cabbage? Not good.
Besides I have to call my mother and ask to borrow one of her outfits and then I have to go over and try a bunch on while she stands beside me as we look at the wonder of me in her closet mirror (while she states "Why can't you dress like this more often?"). I also have no idea how to match anything so I go with the "all black" theme however most of my mother's dress up clothes are pink or peach or Melba and well that just makes things worse.
If I was accompanied by Bill Clinton to all of the cocktail parties I have had to attend, they would not have been half bad. Bill would do all the talking and I would just have to stand beside him smoking a cigar. Bill is good at cocktail parties. Bill is good at alot of things and I don't care what he did besides running the world - he's got my vote.
Now that I have made good use of the words Bill and Clinton, let me get to the crux of the matter. Cocktail parties require me to stand, talk and chew in public. The talk is what my mother refers to as "small talk". Everyone asks the same questions "How are you?" "What are you doing?" (as in career), and then I get to say "How are you?" and "What are you doing?" Then I move on to the next person as do they although there are several different ways of doing so.
1 - Just walk away when they turn their head to look around.
2 - Politely say, "It was nice to see you" and then both of you walk away - just make sure not to head in the same direction because not only is it awkward but you may actually have to speak to them again.
3 - Wave across the room as if you see someone and take off.
I prefer the "Ashram" style cocktail party. Everyone takes a code of silence and they also fast (this way you don't have to face someone who is chewing open mouth on a cheese ball). I think this is brilliant - no talking, no eating and if that's the case, we may as well all go home, take off those nylons that are stuck to us like a rubber band, get in our sweatpants and fart (cause let's face it - that cocktail food gives us gas - you bet it does).
You need to know at least 2 people at a cocktail party so you can "hitch a ride" which basically means you find them and never let them go. Otherwise you're standing in a corner like the last kid to be chosen for the basketball team. Although it's easier to slip out if you are on your own so there's a benefit.
Worse than a cocktail party is a Sunday "affair". Let's use a Bar Mitzvah as an example. So you've worked hard all week. You spent your Saturday shopping for groceries, going to the dry cleaners, bringing the kids to hockey, baseball, ballet, belly dancing and finally it's your day - Sunday - the day of rest. But no, there is no rest for you and your fellow Jewish friends because one of them has a son who is suddenly becoming a man (and getting well paid to do so) and you are about to be dancing when it is still light out with some 14 year old choreographers leading the way as part of a $10 000 DJ company.
Sidebar - why do husbands turn into pedophiles at parties where young girls dance with them because they are hired to do so by the DJ company? Not my husband (he prefers petite women who wear jeans, no make up and write strange blogs). Really, you want proof? Ask to see the video (worse than actually being there) and catch the look on the faces of many of the men while they check out the exposed body parts of these girls. The only men who get away with this are the ones in the fashion industry because they have an excuse "I'm looking for a fit model" or "I brought those jeans in from China".
So you basically have to pay to go to these events. It's like buying tickets for a great concert cause the amount of those tickets is about what you have to give as a present in cash in order to be looked upon nicely by your friends. The difference is that instead of watching John Mayer do a guitar solo, you are watching an acne covered 13 year old boy (not a man at all) sing out of tune in Hebrew.
Then it happens - you line up to retrieve your "seating card" that has a number on it that informs you of the table you have been assigned to and it's pretty much a crap shoot. If you really want to know how your hosts think of you - check out who they seat you with and go from there. This is really bad. You have to sit down, in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and eat a 5 course meal that has no taste whatsoever (forget choosing between the fish and the chicken because the chicken tastes like fish and the fish tastes like chicken). Listen Bill Clinton isn't going to eat this stuff - he's vegan now - how can I take him with me to this affair if they aren't going to offer him a vegan option?
So you take your seats and there is always that one couple that starts all of the conversations - they are hosting their talk show - there are jokes, interviews and commercials (when they finally stop talking and eat their chicken or fish). I love those great big centre pieces that the hosts spend lots of money on and the guests steal and bring home for no apparent reason. I've seen all sorts - ones with lollipops coming out of them, rocks and water, marbles and rocks, flowers and teddy bears - they are all just wonderful, practical and money certainly well spent.
However the most important purpose centre pieces fulfill is that they block at least one couple sitting across from you so that is 2 less people you have to make conversation with - genius.
Getting back to the Sunday afternoon thing - don't you feel stupid dancing during the day? Perhaps you feel stupid dancing during the night as well but at least it's dark and most people are drunk and well no one can see you pulling your underwear out of your ... The open bar is the best - who gets drunk on a Sunday afternoon in synagogue? Whomever does really needs to get out more and explore the world at night at an after hours club where they don't announce the family and then have them run out to a cheering crowd who is clapping and in their heads saying "What? Now they're celebrities cause that 18 year old DJ is suddenly a maven and announcing them into the room? How much did I pay for this again?
Listen, I have a great idea.
I would replace all of the centre pieces with a big box of Laughing Cow Cheese. This way everyone at the table would laugh, eat cheese and go home because they would have such as stomach ache from that rubbery crap they would have no choice.
Unfortunately, I still wouldn't be able to invite Bill Clinton because he doesn't eat cheese and I would have a hard time keeping my nylons on and that cigar in my mouth.
Cheers, L'Chaim, Mazel Tov and Bill - Call me.