Last night we went to the ALS Victory Ball for the Connecticut chapter of the ALS Association. Our team, the Phillips 66, was honored to receive a fundraising award! On the invitation, the dress for the event was described as Caribbean or Black Tie. Basically, opposite ends of the spectrum.
Dressing up may seem more complicated, but after some conjecture, it's not as complicated as digging around for something vacationy that fits postpartum that one can wear in 20 inches of snow with a February pallor. We chose black tie. It was as easy as shucking the everyday clothes and slipping on a luxuriously dress of heavy silk. Excellent! Oh, and my snowboots, good for climbing through drifts. (I did bring acceptable shoes in the car.)
After summoning our sitter and unsnowing the car, we drove out to Westport, only to learn on arrival that every other invitee had opted to dress Caribbeany. We joked, on seeing the satin bowtie and cummerbund of the coat check girl, that it was fine -- that everyone would probably just think that we worked there.
It was fun, except for the whole fact of how much ALS totally sucks, and except for when I assumed out loud that a woman seated at our table was married to her own, dear, grieving , much-older-than-her, father, who was seated to her left. As opposed to her actual husband, of her same generation, who was seated to her right. (Uh, who did I think that guy was?) And when I realized my mistake, I described (in actual voiced words, that everyone could hear) the scenario of being married to your own dad (while mine own dad was sitting to my left) as "totally creepy." Which it is, of course, but it's not like that helped the situation. And then I fell silent, listening my words echo roarfully in my ears, while I desperately tried to think up some followup comments. Matthew somehow managed to engage those folks on the topic of steel drums, something he definitely knows absolutely nothing about. Thanks, honey!
We had to leave early because of the long drive back to the city. And indeed, just as M and I were about to make our exit, glowing with rum punch and an evening out and recognition of our efforts, faux pas forgotten, the very woman who had presented us the award for fund raising stopped him as he was about to enter the men's room. Without really focusing on him, she just looked at his tux and told him that one of the lightbulbs in the men's bathroom had blown out, and asked him to see to it that it got fixed.
Which frankly, he probably would have been happy to do -- he really doesn't like it when no one changes lightbulbs when they blow out. However, she quickly realized her error, blurted "nevermind no nevermind" as she turned on her strappy summer sandal, and sprinted off in horror. Hilarious.
While ALS robs some people of the ability to speak, others of us could stand to learn something from a little well-placed silence!