|We were shocked, shocked I say by how we saw people behaving!|
Last week, Cookie and husband went to a fundraiser for a good cause. It was held at a very chic mansion in a very chic neighborhood. The husband and I more beer and pretzel guys, so I have to admit that we encouraged to come by Nancy, our hostess, I bought the cheap tickets because I felt that they were reasonable. The suggested donation was $1,000/couple - way out of our league. But when you made the suggested donation, each of you received a gold pin and a private audience with some Broadway star that Cookie has never heard of or could tell you what plays she starred in. Whatever, but unless you had that glint of gold said "Star" wouldn't talk to you, which I found silly. I mean we forked over a few hundred dollars, she could have at least said "Hello," right?
The cause is dear to our hearts and we were looking forward to seeing how the other half lives - as our hosts are both straight and well to do old money. But raising funds for this organization (Women's Reproductive Rights) is something that I must do in the memory of my mother who schooled me well on what happens when abortion becomes illegal. And this whole Trump in charge of the Supreme Court scares the living daylights out of us on several levels.
Anyhow, each of us dressed in suit and tie went, parked, went through security at the said mansion (you never know what looney is going to try something stupid at an event like this) and signed in. We received some slight directions for what was in which room and a briefing on the where certain foods could, and could not be taken because of the Kosher/Non-Kosher thing.
In the Drawing Room, there was a string quartet playing soothing music. The conservatory there was the gentle murmuring of a fountain and a place for us to leave raincoats, umbrellas, etc. Kosher Food was being served in the Living Room (on blue rimmed Lennox, which could not leave the living room) and the real food was being served on the gold-rimmed Lennox in the dining room.
This is important because 1) this was held during High Holidays in the Jewish Calender, 2) This is still Maryland and all manner of shellfish is always served. The bar/cocktails were being served in the "Dressy Kitchen," while the Messy Kitchen was used for the Non Kosher food prep. We noticed that the guest house was being used for the Kosher food prep "because the family doesn't keep Kosher and the Rabbi could bless the guest house after it was emptied of furniture." We learned by listening in that the furniture had to be stored in the pool house, and the structure scrubber from floor to ceiling.
For the love of chopped liver, right?
Being raised in a Reform Jewish household, and being that maternal grandson of a farmer known for his fine Poland China Hogs, this Kosher thing to me always seemed like a big to-do. I mean really - with Donald Trump in the White House, Hurricane "Flaunce" wreaking havoc, that monster typhoon in Asia, Global Warming, etc., does God really care if you eat bacon? Or a crab ball? God is bigger than that.
But at $1,000 a couple I guess you go the extra mile. Especially when you have 100+ people at an event.
Anyhow there were was chattering couple everywhere, but alas, Mr. Husband and I knew no one, and Baltimore freezes you out when you don't know people, or have the gold pin on the lapel. We got looks, and cheap social smiles, but no one engaged us.
But Cookie was APPALLED at the table manners of some of the these Hottentots and Poobahs because I witnessed men and women shoveling food into their mouths over the buffet table. Try and imagine people at a salad bar reaching into the food in with their fingers, and then eating it over top the platters and bowls!
Who raised these Rottentots?
Dr. Ph.D. was eating stuffed mushroom caps over the serving platter like it was his personal feeding trough! This man had to be in his 60s, and he should have known better. And it didn't stop there! We witnessed others stabbing food with a toothpick, eating it off said toothpick and jabbing another in the chafing dish with the same pick! Another woman could under why she couldn't take her gold-rimmed plate into the Kosher room and get some chopped liver. Did she not get the tour?
At one point we were called outside where chairs had been placed in a semi-circle to hear Miss Broadway thank us for being there, especially those in the gold pin club who shared her "passion for the cause" (Really?), sing a song from her show, tell her personal story about choice and ask us to dig deeper and give more. The husband leaned over and said "Katherine Hepburn did it better in Stage Door. And with calla lilies." The Host and Hostess thanked us. A local politician talked too long about themselves, and when it was over, we decided that it was time to leave despite our host's plantive calls to stay around and engorge on the food: "everyone stay and eat, we have plenty of food and the bartender is here till midnight!" We all stood up, thankful that was over. I went into the house to get our umbrella, and Husband to stuff a couple fresh scallops into his mouth.
The husband pointed at the worse offense of the night - people had stuck their name badges to the Hepplewhite buffet like it was a trashcan. They were also stuck on the door jams, fireplace mantles, and the marble fireplace mantles. There was a young woman who worked for the organizers trying ever so carefully to remove these tags. The husband and I gathered a few very carefully, and the hostess who invited us thanked us and took them.
"People are such pigs," she said, her breath hot with cigarettes and scotch. "And it amazes me how these name badges won't stick to suit jacket but refuses to lift off a hand polished French commode."
We agreed - not that we have any antique French commodes with hand polished marble tops, mind you - in solidarity and sympathy.
"But," she continued sotto voce, "when you are shaking them down for money like this, you can't police them on the little shitty thing unless you see them stealing something."
Really? Stealing something?
"Oh, yeah, We lock up the good stuff for these events now. Just because they have money," She scrunched up face smiled and gave a kitten wave to an old woman waddling our way, "doesn't mean they are honestLY ANNETTE! I was afraid I wouldn't get to thank you for coming. I want you to meet Cookie and his Husband..."
After a minute or two pleasantries, Annette, who was huffing and puffing from her walk from the buffet table to the doorway where we stood froze us out and stole Nancy from us when she found out we weren't really Baltimorians. ("So, you really have only lived here six years?" Well, Nancy, I wanted to ask you...")
And with that, Umbrella in hand, we left while the diehards stayed behind.
Sometimes its good to do what you can. Sometimes its even better to see how the other half lives. But the only thing I would ever take from a part is maybe a mint on the way out and a few good stories tell.
And Annette really needs to eat fewer meatballs and go see her cardiologist.