Friday, October 27, 2006


I don't even know where to begin. The food? The people? The celebrities? (Are celebrities people? Must research.) The underwhelmingness of it all?

Oh I was as excited as a school girl on the subway ride to Bryan's office near Radio City. Then we took a Town Car with one of the lawyers he works for, this sweet young kid, up to Tavern on the Green and when I saw the tent and the photographers, it was like my Nicole Richie moment, without the Balenciaga bag. My heart swelled. And it was down hill from there.

We were at table 98 all the way in the back. I think there were 100 tables. About 1,100 people showed up. They packed us in that tent like Japanese commuters on the subway at rush hour. As for celebrities, Ernie Anastos and Rosanna Scotto from Fox News were the only ones I saw. And that was right at the beginning, near the coat check. They waltzed by me, coated in orange make-up, trailing clouds of hairspray. And I learned about Ruth Gruber. She was there. Born in 1911, dedicated her life to rescuing Jews from oppression. Go ahead and google her. She wore a hand loomed floor-length poncho in buttercream and pink plaid. She had a handler. She was important, but I didn't recognize her the way I yearned to recognize someone.

Hillary said that she was happy to have her daughter and her mother there, but I never got to see Chelsea. So I sat there scanning the vast tented space in vain for stars. What I saw instead were a lot of guys in suits, turbans and pacemakers, and a lot of very accomplished looking women in suits and head-wraps and wheelchairs, with a smattering of middle-agers in too-tight black dresses who looked like they wanted to be the next Monica Lewinsky.

Bill and Hillary know how to give a speech. Bill is even more charismatic in person, go figure. He said something about coming from an alchoholic home and being glad as hell to have gotten away from there. I raised my glass to that. And Hillary's passion was truly contagious. She said that if our country's worth dying for, it's certainly worth voting for, and I thought she made a salient point there. It made me want to get out there and rock the vote.

But here's the thing. I appreciate the spontaneous gift of last night, but it's important for you to know that on the whole, the evening was surprisingly underwhelming. Watching the former president of the United States up there on the stage in front of that mammoth American flag, I couldn't help but zone out, mostly thinking that despite his best efforts to throw this fundraiser/50th birthday party for his wife, he's a sex maniac who got caught, and how sad it is for his and Hillary's partnership, both professionally and personally, and also, would he have found me attractive if only I could have gotten close enough to shake his hand?

So, the food. It was not Tavern on the Green's, or else they'd have closed down years ago. So about that I was less naive than I thought. Go me! I don't think it was from KFC, but if someone told me Applebee's, I'd nod and agree. For starters they served three little dishes on one big plate. Skewered shrimp on a bed of black beans and corn, a tiny bowl of chili and a teeny dish of fried ravioli. The little dishes were cleverly "glued" to the big plate with a spoonful of goat cheese. The main course was a brick of meat lasagne with a slab of grilled peasant bread artfully placed in a triangular-shaped dish.

Oh and the wine? Chardonnay or Merlot. They had hard stuff too. And tiered vanilla cupcakes with mini M&Ms for dessert. When it was time to go, we were relieved but happy to have had the experience. And getting back to the kids was like coming home in that Christmas movie kind of way. My sleeping angels. Until six this morning...Oh, and I really need a new camera. Mine sucks.


hubby said...

You left out the underwhelming performance by The Fray.

And the souvenir matchbooks from the bathroom, with the black matches with gold tips. FANCY!

But otherwise, nice reporting honey.

PS Jim is guffawing at your 'smattering of women in too tight dresses who look like they want to be the next monica lewinsky"

elise said...

woo girl!