That is how much a martini, Blue Sapphire gin, very dry...just a whisper...two olives costs at a high class wedding reception.
Which I went to tonight.
Which is the first social thing I have attended in a couple of years.
Which, being social and where I would not know hardly anyone, is an exceptionally difficult thing for me to do. Turns out that I knew, not counting the bride and her parents, four people, one of which I ran into only as I was leaving.
I do not do social. I had planned on attending the wedding ceremony early this afternoon. Church weddings are fairly anonymous when you do not know anyone. You can show up, watch two wonderful people begin a new path in their life journey (or continue as is the case with this particular couple), get all emotional, weep a little in relative privacy since everyone is watching, or supposed to be watching the show, and leave with a renewed faith in the whole damn world and its people.
That is what I love about weddings. I do not like receptions, but I went to this one because it was the preference of the bride, just in case I could not do both the ceremony and reception. The church is far away, and by yesterday I had decided that I would do both, ceremony and reception.
Then, huge surprise, I could not make myself go to the church. I waffled all day about tonight's reception, but I had been warned on Monday that since I live barely a half-block from the reception site, that if I did not show up, someone would walk over and drag me out of my house. Well, I knew that would not happen, that no one would notice that I was not there and I could make some lame excuse later. I have already bought a great present, so no problem there, and I found yesterday that I did not have a single article of clothing that was without a couple of holes, so I went to the fat babe store, found they were closing and also found a decent top and jacket for 30% off, plus another 15%.
So, I had gift and proper clothing and only a few hundred feet to walk and I barely made it. Right up to the last hour, I was not sure that I would not just stay home.
And, during those hours I did what my spiritual adviser advised yesterday morning. When something is just too hard to do, take a step back and ask myself what I am feeling. Maybe what I am thinking, should that not be too stressful.
I did that and finally, after many attempts to distract myself and even more navel gazing, that the reason doing/going anything social is so freaking difficult is because when I would do anything like that, in that old life, there were always consequences that were not so great.
So, I asked myself, why should that matter now that I can make all of my own decisions and not have to worry about any consequences of any kind, except for having too many glasses of toasting wine and have to crawl home. I asked. I waited for some reasonable answer.
It came. Aftershocks. I still have them when I do or think something that would not be allowed in that other life. I am not worried about who is going to do what to me when I get home. But, whilst I am...mostly...ready to move on to new and unencumbered and not-consequested experiences, my limbic system is lagging behind. Damn wimpy limbic responses.
However, I did go, threats aside, walked around to look for people I knew, went to the dinner (which was amazing, by the way) had two martinis (one free, one insanely priced), two glasses of wine, two glasses of water, three pieces of really good bread, a nice pear, Gorgonzola, cranberry and walnut salad, more excellent and silly and pointless and marvelous conversations than anyone deserves and two pieces of wedding cake.
I listened to the toasting speeches, most of which were very nice and sentimental, except for the groom's father. I watched the requisite melodic slideshow presentation of the lives of the bride and groom, from infancy (a particularly weird and kind of gross image of the groom shortly after birth) all the way through to, most likely, yesterday. I watched much younger and more sober people dance. I had a nice conversation with my friend's (mother of the bride) cousin, two their old neighbor, his son and a few with two complete strangers.
It was a wonderful evening and experience, and, hopefully, only the first of many to come. I know that some of my friends will most likely be pleased that I might not continue to bail out of some event at the last minute. If they have given up inviting me, it is moot, but I do hope that I can stretch my willingness to take some more chances, a few more risks (of the easy kind).
Whatever. I have my first new clothes in more than ten years. I have a cool name place thing on my mantel, and I have the most lovely memories of a great meal with fabulous people. And, I have a slight buzz, one that did not require me to stumble or crawl home.
All in all, a jumbled, somewhat stressful, and still successful day. Oh, and I also have those two pieces of wedding cake to keep me company. Moist white cake, pure raspberry filling between the four layers and the lightest buttercream icing.