I’m writing this Saturday morning having just taken my vitamins and minerals and supplements and starting in on my coffee. I take a daily gummy multi-vitamin, which, as a result of the lack of sun for the past few days, was, this morning, more like a jujube (those little hard candies one used to be able to buy at movie theaters). It has turned cold again and the clouds last night were generous enough to let loose with rain enough to moisten the top layer of the earth, freeing some new aromas of spring. The garden at CASA is coming along nicely.
The Monte Carlo Night to benefit the Patronato Pro Niños was held on the grounds of the Matilda Garden Hotel, located on calle Pila Seca, one of my walking thoroughfares in El Centro. The rain and cold meant that I struggled with what to wear to the event, as the ticket said “Evening Wear.” But what is Evening Wear? In San Miguel? Earlier in the week I had seen tents and outdoor seating being delivered to the hotel so I knew the night would be mostly outdoors. I have nothing that could serve as a “formal” wrap in the cold and damp. I tried on one dress and put it in the give-to-someone pile as over the the years the knitty thing had grown longer or I had grown shorter, or both, but if worn, I’d have performed a face plant at some point as my shoes would have caught the hem. So I settled on a springy, florally long dress (my only other option unless I were to wear my bold patterned tunic with green tights and tall boots, which I later learned would have been perfectly fine as several younger attendees wore things that were more cocktail-houry in tone than Dance with the Prince in tone). I thought there would be a lot of black worn (and there was), much of it sparkly (it was), and I thought of what a Frenchwoman once said of her friend who dressed for a party in all-black: “what, are you going to a funeral? Put on some color!”
Deep-down the whole reason to attend the event was to finally wear my pearls, which I bought during my year in Chicago.
Was I going to wear heels? I decided no. Being tall I always have that as a reason to not wear them, but as this event was outside I would have struggled with heels sinking into the earth with my food plate going airborne above me as I fell backwards. It was a wise decision as M, who sat next to me at dinner, said her heeled boots were aerating the turf.
I had arrived early (it only took 10 minutes by cab to get to town) so I had the opportunity to check out the seating arrangements. Almost every table was reserved with someone’s name, so you know this organization is liked and well-supported. As far as I could tell there were only two unreserved tables, so I picked that closest to a gas heater and the dessert station.
M participated in the silent auction and won a pair of beautiful cowgirl boots that would be custom made for her. P, an actor from New York City, and her friend sat next to her. S, who is a member of the organization’s board, sat on my other side. The conversation was light, fun, and we had a good time through the buffet dinner. The food stations were English, French, Indian, and Italian. I would have preferred good Mexican to the offerings, which were adequate but not outstanding, but one should never anticipate too much in the way of food from an event like that.
Everything in the Silent Auction was beyond my means: there were vacations for eight, chef-prepared dinners for ten, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, home furnishings, beauty offerings from spas and nail salons, clothing, and my favorite, a barbecue for 20 with a dressage presentation! The one item that truly interested me, but the opening bid was so far out of my price realm that I bid the room adieu.
The Casino part of the evening, which I had anticipated to be the reason to leave early, also proved to be fun as M and P and myself, while playing different tables, checked in with one another from time to time.
R, who knew them both, was playing some pokerish game at the same table with P and, for some reason, thought P and I were on a date, so that led to some P.G. Wodehouse-type table-of-manners misunderstandings that provided laughs for everyone.
I knew almost nothing about roulette, but knew enough to play one of the colors and was ahead for awhile, but in the end the kids got my money.