Camille and I went to our first Christmas cocktail party that may have been my last. Oh my…did I take the wrong culinary left somewhere.
It was one if those corporate shindigs always catered by a company called something like, Wall Street Wizards or Gastronomical Delights. The waiters wear slick navy suits looking more like traders than servers.
The two of us snappily suited up hopping a cab that cut into our dinner money. See, I would have opted for the express…seven stops and you’re on Wall Street twenty-minutes later, but Madam simply wouldn’t hear of it.
“I am not taking the train in my best Armani Susannah, I mean really.”
And of it course the taxi turtled its way down Park at the height of rush hour. I could have walked alongside, it crept that slowly.
When we got to the old J.P.Morgan building which for me is always exciting, he being such a historic figure and all (1837-1913…American king of finance, banker, philanthropist, art collector), we were greeted by a hat-check boy named Polonius. No, I did not make that up…my mind at this hour, which is 8 a.m. on a Sunday, is still rolling over.
As we went in, the space which is cavernous, seemed to eat everyone up…a good thing since elbow to elbow cocktailing is not my idea of a good time. We drifted in, Camille in her vintage LBD (little black dress), and me in my short winter white Theory skirt with one too many buttons left open. We both had on sexy black textured tights making us look right out of Cabaret.
A tray of flutes went by championing champagne, error number one. I’m not saying it was the worst champagne, but guaranteed, it wasn’t the best either. But who could say no to those glasses, the Audreys of stemware.
Next came the parade of hors d’oeuvres that get a 10 and you could dance to them (an old American Bandstand reference). Mushrooms stuffed with crab, smoked salmon wrapped around celery for dear life, Brie nestled in sun-dried tomatoes all served by men who could have graced the cover of Italian and French Vogue…smiling I might add.
I couldn’t help noticing how they all wear such nice watches. Go figure.
So, if nothing else, we were aptly fed and more than a little entertained. The women alone were like a sideshow all preening vying for a dinner invitation. That’s the great thing about being old, you prefer to dine a’ la carte. Even Camille says, one’s better off the beaten path someplace after a couple hours of corporate canoodling since it’s downright exhausting.
“So what firm are you with?” Muffy number twelve, who looks 12, will idly ask. I always say Lockhart/Gardner. “I’ve heard of it,” she’ll say in her best Cosmo/Marie Claire voice.
Of course you have you addled cow, or calf, I’ll give you that. It’s from the TV show, The Good Wife.
Camille and I laugh at how dim these little girls with scrolls up the wazoo are. How bout rather than framing one of those, you frame your brain.
Just a thought.
Cut to – two hours later. We never make it to dinner since I start hurling tuna tartare in the taxi coming back uptown to Mr. Muhammed’s chagrin behind the wheel.
Camille, at one point, when he was yelling at us through the rear-view mirror in between calls to Iran said, “It’s not like it smelled too good back here to begin with,” which was more than a little true.
Rolling out of the cab, I demur when Camille offers to come in to hold my hair back as I barf in the privacy of my own home.
I do so have hair.
I’m from Connecticut remember, where illness is private never letting them see you sweat, or vomit up little fancy fins that cost you your dignity…and when did I, pray tell, ingest a toothpick?
So that’s why I’m perched in bed like a sick moose my throat feeling like the sound stage of Lawrence of Arabia.
I just looked up to see my Sally Bowles stockings twisted around my desk chair like a big black armband.
Uh-oh…will you excuse me?
Here comes Charlie Tuna for one more curtain call…Yeah you know what? I think it may have been Star-Kist.