Pertinent Details

24 Jan

Sometimes, I miss pertinent details.

For instance, I once got an email about a “Young Professionals Event” in Boston.

Oh, I thought, I’m a young person in Boston! I should go to this!

Pertinent detail missed: professional.

When I got to the event – wearing jeans – the bartender asked me if I wanted anything.

“I’ll have a Diet Coke, please.”

“A Rum and Coke?”

“Nope, just a Diet Coke is great.”

Apparently they don’t get many 19-year-olds at young professional events.

Soberly, I approached a table of kind looking 28-year-old people and began to “network.”

“So Sophie,” they asked, “what do you do?”

“I’m a student at BU.”

“Oh, wow, you’re getting a head start!”

Awkward laughter. Nervous glances.

It was a miracle I got out of there (three hours later) without anyone asking where my mommy was or if I needed a diaper change.

Another instance of pertinent detail neglect? The time I neglected to remove the sack of Silicon from my new water bottle, and so drank a gallon of Silicon-infused water. It tasted kind of like cucumber-infused water, but with an edge. (The “edge” being possible death.)

I survived, but lost an entire day to “Mom, I need to get my stomach pumped” anxiety.

Last night, I was again affronted by the consequences of not paying attention to detail.

BU held its annual 121 Days to Graduation Party.

I had received, oh, I don’t know, maybe twelve emails about this event? And yet, for some reason, a few things didn’t exactly “click.”

The first being the timing of the event.

The party was to be held from 9pm to 1:30am. Usually, I am the last person to arrive anywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever arrived somewhere first. Even when I was born, I made sure to pop out after the baby in the next room, just to be a diva. (More likely than being a diva is that I was distracted by something in the womb and so was late to arrive.)

Last night, for some reason, I came to the conclusion that I needed to arrive at the party promptly at 9pm.

Maybe I confused “party” with “court date” or “job interview”? Hmm nope, I’d probably arrive late to those, as well…

Maybe I’m subconsciously following through on one of my New Year’s resolutions? If that’s the case, I wish my subconscious had opted for the “I vow to stop eating steak as a mid-morning snack” resolution.

Anyway, I convinced my friend Emalie that she, too, had to arrive promptly at 9pm.

Arriving early wouldn’t have been the worst thing had I not also missed a second pertinent detail of the event instructions: dress code.

Apparently the phrase “dress to impress” is not part of my lexicon.

Knowing that we’d probably head to a bar after the party, I opted to wear pleather leggings, a skimpy tank top, and “statement red lipstick.” (Ohhh, it made a statement, all right.)

Luckily, Emalie had opted for a similarly casual (although classier) look.

When we arrived, it was clear that everyone had interpreted “dress to impress” as “dress to impress Beyoncé,” or “dress to impress the Queen of England,” or “dress to impress the Dean of Students who’s taking pictures with people ON THE RED CARPET THAT’S LINING THE ENTRANCE AND ON WHICH YOU MUST WALK TO ENTER THE EVENT.”

Others of us had dressed to impress a Fifty Shades of Grey convention.

I now know that the unfortunate downside to arriving places early is that your visibility increases 135%.

When we walked up the stairs, we were greeted by about thirteen different “entrance greeters,” all of whom seemed very eager to check us in to the venue. (Probably because we still had our coats on.)

All of these people were dressed up.

We quickly ran into the bathroom to assess the situation.

I rushed to the mirror, only to find that I was still, unfortunately, wearing the exact same outfit. Funny how that works…

After giving ourselves a pep talk – which sounded something along the lines of “Where’s the bar, I need to find the bar, this will all be remedied soon” – we headed back out.

When the coat checker asked if she could take my coat, I resisted heavily. Without sound, you would have thought she’d asked if she could have my firstborn child. (An exchange I may have been willing to make, if it meant I could keep my coat.)

Reluctantly, I gave away my coat.

Emalie and I stumbled around confusedly, trying to find a way to avoid the red carpet. We tried two different doors, and were scolded each time by the cops who were manning them. After pretty much guaranteeing ourselves a spot on the “suspicious persons” list, we finally decided to be brave and emerge onto the red carpet.

Two awkward pictures and a few unwelcoming stares later, we were finally inside!

And…the ballroom was empty. EXCEPT for my friends Bonnie and Kelly, and some kid who was staring at the wall.

What do you do at an awkward party? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Storm the dessert table.
  2. Ask the dessert server when you can expect the cake to be cut.

BU cake

3. Be annoyed when she says “probably not until later.”

4. Ask the bartender what ratio of juice to alcohol composes the sangria.

5. Ask the bartender if she can pour more alcohol into the sangria.

6. Be told that’s not an option.

7. Feel more embarrassed about your outfit than alcoholic-seeming suggestions.

8. Stare at colorful screens with awe and wonder:

Bonnie staring

9. Talk about current events.

10. And by that ^ I mean dance alone on the dance floor for a bet of $20.

11. Not get $20 because your friends know you’ll do it for free.

12. Alternate between outbursts of “We should really go home and change, it’ll only take fifteen minutes!” and “We don’t have to change! We are confident, let’s rock it!”

13. Ask if there are any other foods besides desserts.

And finally, the most crucial step of all.

14. Text ALL of your friends and tell them they HAVE to come to the 121 party and that not that many people are dressed up.

…Meaning the four people in the room who are already eating cake.

“Hey, Dean Elmore, what should we do about the four ‘inappropriately dressed’ delinquents over there?”

“Oh, let them eat cake.”

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