I walk in mid-presentation of what looks like a filthy-rich, newly sexually active, 16-year-old ice-skater's wet dream of a clothing line. Hesitating, I take out my phone and start snapping some photos. I turn to my boyfriend, Steve, and whisper, "they're not all like this." He doesn't know that I'm referring to how strangely set up this party and/or '"fashion show" is. All he sees are some very made-up women in very skimpy clothing, so he's all set. The presentation ends and I sprint to the open bar.
"What are you guys serving?"
"We have rum, vodka, coke, Beauty Water, and sparkling apple cider."
"He'll have a rum and coke... what are people mixing the vodka with?"
"I don't know."
"Has anyone tried mixing it with the 'Beauty Water'?"
"I'll have a vodka and 'Beauty Water'."
For the most part, it ends up just tasting like water. We gulp down a few drinks to make the most out of the night and start to explore the space a bit more. My eye quickly catches the free bags of skin care, making a note to myself: grab two on the way out. Steve and I eventually, kind of find the food. The "hors d'oeuvres" served at this particular function consisted of two plastic (like take-out, throw-away-after-one-use kind of plastic) bowls of popcorn and about three small plastic bowls of Jelly Belly jelly beans. A man stands behind the gorgeous array of corn and beans, and guests seem to assume that's a sign not to take too many of the covetable treats? So no one tries to steal the high-end serving bowls? Who knows.
The second designer's presentation begins and, though I claim to be a writer, I am sure I could never put into words the level of awkwardness during said presentation. Not only does the introduction take about ten minutes and make very little sense, but this designer shows only three pieces of clothing. The models walk up and down the non-runway about five times each, showing off the eco-friendly line of Renaissance-fair-meets-Xena-
The night goest on and gets weirder. In the corner of the room, a little bald man in a Loony Tunes tie is having party guests fill out forms then wait their turn to lay in a reclining chair before he places futuristic glasses on their faces, enormous headphones over their ears, and covers them in fleece blankets. We decide that we have to partake in whatever the hell this is so Steve and I fill out the form (rating from 1 to 10 our levels of stress, anxiety, depression, discomfort in our neck AT THIS VERY MOMENT) and wait. Soon, it is our turn. We know this is supposed to be some sort of relaxation deal, but really have no clue what we're in for. The old loony tune gets me all set up. A deep-relaxation-type sound turns on then, suddenly, mini multi-colored strobe-lights flash inside of my space-glasses (we had to close our eyes of course) as the old man lifts my right earphone and whispers, "Enjoy your voyage...", and it begins. What "it" is, I'm not entirely sure; but my seat becomes some kind of very complex vibrating machine and the sound of shooting off into space rings throughout my ears as the strobes continue to flash. For the first ten minutes of this "voyage", I focus only on trying not to laugh. Eventually it does become quite relaxing (OK. I didn't find it all that spectacular, but I understood that I was supposed to and I could appreciate it). I do feel completely out of touch with every thing around me and with time, in general. This is because, when the voyage ends - and the little bald scientist once again lifted my earphones and spoke, "Welcome back." - everyone is gone. The party is over. The DJ had packed up and people are sweeping the floors.
Steve and I look at one another and immediately have to look away so as not to show fear, but more predominantly not to laugh in this man's face. Where had we just gone? Had he sucked out a part of our souls? What year was it? I look at my watch; 45 minutes have gone by. We missed the party, completely. Loony Tunes is hyper and tells us to stay put as he shoves comment cards in our faces. "I have to add money to my parking meter! I'll be right back! Don't leave!" He disappears. We fill out our comment cards and try to book it out of there as quickly as possible. Then I realize: there are no more bags of free skin care... no. No, no, no. That's why I came here, for the free skin care! I ask around then find the short Asian woman who had been handing out the goodie bags all night. She is standing by a box filled to the brim with the gift bags' fixings: moisturizer, sunscreen, cleanser, toner, eye cream, and the bags themselves.
"Oh, would I be able to put a bag together before I leave?" I ask.
"Let me see..." as she crouches down and simply stares into the box, pretending to dig around inside of it. Does she not realize that I can see all the contents of this box, as well? It's just another odd cherry on top of the odd sundae.
"No... there are no more," she lies. "So sorry."
"But, couldn't I just -" I point to the box, desperate.
"No, so sorry, all out." She closes up the box and walks away. Whatever.
Steve and I turn and leave with the DJ who is still enjoying a drink, in the elevator. "That was weird." I say aloud.
"You should've just taken it," says the DJ, motioning to his large suitcase, "this thing is full of stolen booze. They'll never know." Noted. So, thus we end our oh so fancy night stepping out into the freezing-cold and trying to make sense of everything that just happened. We never make sense of it. Who could?
Written by: Delaney Yeager