Now, if you were going to a black-tie optional event, what would that mean to you?
Black tie, right? At the very least, a dark suit? Fancy dress?
Tuxedo, check. Fancy dress--plus fancy hair (styled by a professional), check. I married a man who bought his tux for the wedding--and seven and a half years later, he still fits in it. (Disgusting, I know. But I love him anyway.) See?
We were good to go.
What? What black-tie optional event did we go to?
My adoring husband managed to snag up us two (corporate-purchased) tickets to a "Signature Chef's Auction and Culinary Sampling," which turned out to be a fundraiser for the March of Dimes.
Okay, sure. We had to scramble for a sitter (also known as my friend Leah H., her patient husband, and two entertaining young children), but the March of Dimes. We could go and support the March of Dimes and consume Culinary Samples prepared by Signature Chefs. Not a problem.
We live in a Midwest town of 45,000. We were a little unsure who would be the 'chefs' in this case. But hey--a free, black-tie optional date. Ready to go.
Because I love you, I will include the picture our son took:
Oy. But I take comfort in the other picture he took that night:
See? He took better pictures of me and my husband than he did of Gater. Cold comfort.
Anyway, so we go. And immediately, there was a problem. A problem in the form of polo/golf shirts.
Yes. We were at a black-tie optional event, and there were men (plural) wearing polo shirts. Anyone want to hazard a guess about the number of men who were wearing black ties?
Yup. Just my man. We could see polo shirts from the car. "Wear it like you own it," I said. And he did.
I did better. The women took 'black-tie' much more seriously. I was good. Even in those shoes.
So we go in, where one of Jason's coworkers immediately said, "Waiter? Waiter!" Yeah, that was the crowd we were in.
Okay! Not a problem! We own it! Bring on the Culinary Samples by Signature Chefs!
Ooh, problem number two. Just as 'black-tie optional' turned out to be open to interpretation, so did the word 'chef.' 'Chef,' in this case, applied to the following establishments:
1. Panera Bread Co. (also known as St. Louis Bread Co for those of you in MO.)
2. Pop's Pizza
3. Terrible's Mark Twain Casino (although, to be fair, these people were ACTUAL CHEFS--but the shock of the local casino set me back)
and my favorite: 4. County Market Catering (a regional grocery store chain)
Other 'chefs' included a Greek restaurant, a Thai restaurant, and a fudge shop. Not that I minded the fudge. Bring on the fudge!
So, it turns out that words that we thought had 'meaning' were open to 'interpretation.' 'Black-tie optional' means you shouldn't focus on the black-tie part, but the optional part. 'Chef' means not Cordon Bleu trained, but person who cooks food.
Whatever. We had a damn fun time. We sampled everything. (Well, I sampled everything. The vegetarian I married sampled a much smaller selection.) The food was great, especially the pizza. We sat with three other couples from work, including Diana, who took the good picture of us (HI DIANA!) and made a variety of snarky comments. At least everyone at our table had on a tie.
And we brought home a souvenir! We didn't win the dog basket for Gater in the silent auction. But in the live auction, we bought this.
Yup. We bought a printer. A big printer. Some might even call it whomping huge. A four color laser printer that fills up a significant corner of my newly enlarged office with its "stylish details, including a soft curve design and two-tone gray coloring that complements the modern look of today's PCs." Really. I didn't make that up. Someone else did, poor sap. Thank goodness I scored a filing cabinet capable of holding it up at a yard sale last weekend, because otherwise, it'd be on the floor.
So the evening was a success. The kid had fun playing with friends, we got out of our normal routine while looking fabulous, and office equipment was purchased.
Anything for a good cause!