Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chitlins and Caviar

I grew up in middle-class suburbia, the child of working-class parents who did well enough, and not more. I had everything I needed, and have very fond childhood memories, replete with bikes, a boom box, and the essential collection of Garbage Pail Kids. I have not improved my lot any, but do not regret the lack of rise to a more enviable social status. Needless to say, the black tie events were nil, and I needed less grace and etiquette than energy, and good old American know-how. However, I pride myself in being decently able to carry off a semi-classy moment when I need to.

So, now that I’m working for a group of people, that especially for this area, make more money than the President, I come across times here and there where I am not exactly in my element. For instance, every month we have an evening meeting that ends with a dinner at some posh-ish restaurant or another, where I watch in amazement as they order a couple $200 bottles of wine, just to make sure everyone knows they can. And while deep down this squandering of money for show hurts my sense of altruistic social responsibility, I ride their coat tails to a good buzz, and enjoy the extreme superiority of the flavor. I'm like their little charity case. Poor Jessica, can't even afford something better than Kendall Jackson. Poor thing.

Because of this, I am now in the midst of planning the group’s private holiday dinner, which is to be held at one of the loveliest, fanciest “mini-mansion turned hotel/restaurants” in the area. You see, back in the late 19th century, this area was popular with jet set (like the Rockefeller family), who built splendid “cottages” to rival the greatest homes in America. We still cater to a large NYC second home-owner population, and if you can ignore the overwhelmingly large number of poor people and drug dealers, give plenty of basking in culture opportunities in the summer. Anyway – so I’m talking to the catering manager for this hotel, and she instructs me to choose the allocated number of selections for each course, or to give her specific instructions for the chef and sommelier.

“You’ll need to choose several canapĂ©’s, and alert me to any vegetarians, or other dietary constraints”, she says, moving on to the entrees, which are apparently prix fixe – which I assume means they are endorsed by NASCAR.

I want to say, “Lady, it’s going to be the middle of December in New England, I don’t think we’ll be outside under a canopy, no matter what it looks like.” But, assuming by context she meant something more like appetizers, I just make note that chips and salsa are not an option. Then I google it. Why the hell isn’t horsdourves good enough? Its hard enough to spell to make it sound all special and stuff. No matter, I just murmured my assent, and assured her I’d have our selections to her well in advance, and that I was sure we’d want plenty of goat cheese and whatnot.

It’s possible that this planning will be good for me. Even with the plethora of events I’ve planned in the past, including various company Christmas Parties, cookouts and team building days –this will be by far the most elegant event. But given my knowledge consists more of barbeque's, clam bakes, and tailgating - I'm not sure I'm prepared to face this challenge without severe Internet usage, and over-googling. I feel obligated to take out a small loan to get a mani-pedi and a sleek new hair-do. I may even need to accessorize just to avoid looking like Elli May Clampet in a Beverly Hills Boutique.

In fact, I am considering skipping TJ Maxx and getting my dress from JC Penny.

Now that’s class.

6 comments:

Wow, that was awkward said...

Remember Tom Hanks in Big when he tries caviar?

You should give her a list of pigs in a blanket, seven layer dip, chips and guac, any wine not in a box, and the best canned beer in the county.

Periodically Consistent said...

Classic moment. Second only to the tiny carrots - except that's really the same moment, so second to the bunk bed sleep over.

Dude. Listen. She gave ME the list. You want I should say, "Screw you twat, I want munchies, not finger sandwiches" and then get fired for expecting them to eat Lays?

Char said...

wouldn't that be a hoot them them though, a "redneck" cocktail party - too easy a target as they would make fun. Nah - I say blow them freaking away with the thing and laugh at them being all snooty. I felt this way too with a friend of mine that earned the big bucks but she was different she loves a hot dog as much as a lobster. I say google a fancy restaurant's menu and just go down the list of appetizers there. Yeah, I said appetizers - I can't spell that other stuff.

Wow, that was awkward said...

I always recommend beginning conversations with "Screw you twat." So, yes do that, and then just go the other route. Tell her you want the ten most expensive things on the list and most importantly, a vodka ice flume.

Periodically Consistent said...

@ char - They are really very good people, they're just a tad eccentric. I constantly suggest going to the hot dog ranch for $2 drafts. Watching their faces is funny enough.

Besides - I fully intend to sneak in some fig newtons to eat in the bathroom - to save myself puking up whatever rodent they serve as a "delicacy" and thereby wasting awesome merlot.

@BH - I TOLD you we have to choose prix fixe, in advance. The menu's are just for show - you twat-sniffer.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Did you pat yourself on the back? Good incorporation of recent events. I will suspend criticism temporarily.

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You know what you can do with one of those hot dogs from the ranch don't ya?