Friday, June 29, 2007

Just not my kind of party, I guess

The St. Louis Magazine A-List party last night was...shall we say...different. Great music, great food, interesting people (I saw a mohawk! It's been years since I've seen a mohawk!). It's not something I'd want to go to on a regular basis, but once a year is probably fine.

However, as Aunt Peg put it, it was like 13 people planned the party and none of them talked to each other. It didn't get off to a good start with the valet parking jerks. There was absolutely no directional signage...just blockaded roads that forced you to drive around and around, trying to figure out how to get near the valet guys. I got there at 7:28; party to start at 7:30. The valets were barking at drivers to keep going, because, "we're not starting until 7:30." Um, yeah, if the party is supposed to start at 7:30, you better have your ass parkin' cars for at least 15 minutes before then. There were about 7 guys standing there, just standing, waving cars past. I was about five back, and there were twenty or thirty behind me. The other cars went. I pulled up, rolled down the window, glared, and yelled, "Hey, are you guys parking for this party?" The head jerk rolled his eyes and tersely instructed one of his guys, "Just park her. We'll just start." Uh huh. At this point my dashboard clock said 7:29, and it's spot on. Seriously. It's killing you to take cars one minute early? Don't want tips, do ya?

I got out and wandered up a block, where I saw some people milling around a very small tent. Again, no directional signage or instructions. It was the only tent in sight, and it was starting to rain. Oh, hell no. They promised big tents. The small tent turned out to be where you checked in and received your plastic wristband that I suppose proved you paid and were allowed to eat and drink. The woman who fastened mine used the second hole on the band, which meant that if I dropped my hand to my side, the wristband promptly fell off. Great. My wrists are very tiny (unlike the rest of me, go figure), but this was ridiculous. I finally went back and got a different one, rather than lose the first one and risk not being adequately fed and watered.

There was a bar about three feet away from the wristband tent, but you weren't allowed to step right over. Nope. You had to walk about 75 feet the other direction, circling around to pass over the "red carpet" and stand, in the rain, to get your picture taken. Right. Because that's what women dressed up for the evening want to do, stand outside in the rain in a line to get your picture taken, looking like a drowned rat by the time you finally get up there.

After we got through all that, we found the tiny little alley that led back to the tented area behind the building. Cool. We can do this. The giant tent looked pretty neat because it was made of clear plastic. So you could see the rain coming down and such, and you still felt outside, but you didn't get wet. At first. Later you realized that plastic tent + rain - air circulation = sauna. Holy crap. I felt like I was in an Easy-Bake Oven with about 400 of my new closest friends. Later we found a weensy elevator (occupancy: 4) that led to an upstairs bar with a balcony (very, very hip and cool) that was considerably cooler temperature-wise but just as crowded.

Throughout all this the music was pumping. It was great music, but it was so loud that party goers were forced to scream small chit chat at each other because conversation of any depth was impossible. That combined with no nametags (what is with nametags these days?!) meant networking was damn near impossible.

And to top it all off: no wine. Huh? Plenty o' Bud Select and various malt liquor drinks, along with their signature drink (a geisha something or other that was just green tea and vodka), but no wine. This, of course, meant that the party was instantly a failure in the mind of Aunt Peg.

All in all, it was interesting, but was also a good lesson in how not to throw a party. I was glad to be home at the end of the evening, even though my hearing still wasn't back to normal until this morning.

M is back from Kansas City, which is good because I was getting tired of having to say, "He's out of town" every time Zozo looked around and asked, "Dada?" Which was often. Dada is very popular at our house.

Tonight is a quiet evening at home, just our little family. I love those kinds of nights. It's rainy and icky outside, and we're just going to hang out, eat some dinner, and play.


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