Wednesday, September 20, 2006

About Last Night

Last night, I took the train to Boston to attend a Villanova Alumni Function honoring the new President of the University, Father Donahue. The adventure started when I arrived with only ten minutes until my train departed to find all the parking lots full. Luckily, I work for the company that owns the hotel next to the train station, so I parked there and sprinted to the tracks with 5 minutes to spare. Unfortunately, I discovered I forgot my ID in the car while in line to board. With a cheering crowd of gentlemen, I sprinted (in a business suit) to my car again to get the ID. I made it back just in time to jump on the train. At this point, I'm disgusting and distressed. I have the feeling this is not going to be the smooth and fun evening I anticipated. Needless to say, I was right...

I plopped down in a seat in an empty section where I could quietly read and fan myself. Two minutes after I sat down, the gentlemen who were cheering me on sat down in front of me. My immediate reaction was to get up to move so I could read, however, I was too tired so I stayed. Of course I was eventually brought into their conversation, which was fine with me, as these guys were highly entertaining. (For the record, two of the men were a father and father-in-law of the other three). Turns out they were heading to a Red Sox game and had an extra ticket they were willing to give me. I seriously contemplated it, but declined. After awhile, the conversation took a turn to my love life. One of the dads asked me if I had a boyfriend because he had a son in Phoenix for whom I would be "perfect". He proceeded to telephone his son so he could talk to me. The poor boy was extremely embarrassed by his father and advised me to move to another section of the train so they would stop harassing me. I would like to say I took his advice but I didn't. Marty (Phoenix boy's dad) and Uncle Allan were too funny to go sit by myself. Once the phone calls were completed, the men started taking pictures of me with their camera phones. Talk about a hysterical sight for these 50 year old men could not use their phones. Allan sat in the seat next to me to take a picture to email to his wife of 40 years and Marty took the picture to send to his son. Turns out Allan and I were in Avalon the same weekend and we both had been to England recently. Small world. Thankfully, we arrived at North Station a few minutes after this debacle. I was beginning to fear I was destined for an arranged marriage or a drunken Red Sox game with "grand dad." Despite the valuable experience and wild entertainment, I was ready to eat, drink and be merry without the entourage.

I took the "T" to meet Meg at her house in Cambridge where I met her new roommate, Claudia, and saw her new residence. It is a strange thing to walk into another's apartment to see familiar artifacts that once adorned your own former maison. All of it just made me miss my old roommate. After the tour and introductions, we headed to the event at the Westin in Copley Plaza. Armed with our flip flops in a bag, we entered the event only to find out we missed the entire open bar hour, which they failed to mention in the email confirmation. Had I known there were time constraints, I would have moved a little faster. You can image how very disappointing this was however, the food was still available. We ravenously scoured the room to assess the options then went to town on the wonderful Italian delights offered. During this charade, I was speaking to Meg with a piece of bread in my hand when a tall man with Einstein hair walked by and grabbed the piece of bread from me, took an ENORMOUS bite, proclaimed it was delicious and then set it back down on my plate. I have no idea who this strange man was and I'd like to say I "accidentally" dropped my plate of pasta on his suit after, but I was so shocked by his behaviour I just stood there dumbfounded and speechless (a very, very rare occasion renders me speechless). Meg asked me if I knew him to which I answered no. I had no clue who he was. He disappeared into the crowd before I could say or do anything. Then, all of a sudden the lights started dimming to indicate it was time to move into the ballroom for the presentation. A dilemma arouse because we were really looking forward to a few cocktails yet, we agreed to go see 15 minutes of the presentation then sneak off to a bar. The ballroom was jam packed forcing us to stand at the back wall, which just made our escape much easier, one would think. Once the speeches started, the President of all Alumni Associations started giving out individual thanks and praise to people. The last person he mentioned was his unsung hero and assistant Mary, thereby pointing to the back of the room in the direction of me and Meg. In turn, the ENTIRE room of people turned around to look at the two of us and clap. Meanwhile, I'm looking around the room for Mary when Meg elbows me to say they are staring at us. Oh crap, they think Mary is one of us. Of course we look ridiculous and confused while 300 people clap to recognize one of us as "Mary." On two more occasions, the crowd was directed to the back of the room to clap for people directly next to and in front of us. So much for us trying to escape nonchalantly (And, poor Mary). We paid our dues long enough to hear Father Donahue's opening paragraphs until the need for different scenery called Meg to the "bathroom." I counted to 75 then followed. We made it out safely without calling attention to ourselves. Finally, we stumbled freely into the warm rainy night to look for a place to socialize privately. Since neither of us was familiar with the Plaza area, we sought a recommendation from a gentleman standing outside the hotel. He directed us to a swanky establishment around the corner. We took his advice and happily gallivanted off into the night...

3 comments:

cupcake said...

I fogot to mention this event was free, which is why I dragged Meg along with me. Open bar and free food. Who wouldn't want to go?

Anonymous said...

me

cupcake said...

If I knew which "me" it was, I'd have a better idea of why not. So for now, I'll just assume you are antisocial, which is completely ok. I don't mind a little adventure myself, but to each his own. You have to admit it was a funny evening though.