Thursday, March 10, 2005

My life as Carrie Bradshaw, Part II

Okay, so we get an email last week from our friends Roger & Bugsy, inviting us and our mutual friends Mike & Clark to dinner tonight. Rog reminds us that it's "Dine Out for Life", a fundraising opportunity where participating DC area restaurants donate a percentage of their proceeds from the night to Food & Friends, a DC area AIDS organization. Food & Friends delivers 3 meals a day to homebound people with AIDS. I used to be a kitchen volunteer there a few years ago. So, as if we needed an incentive to go out to dinner with friends, of course we said yes.

Then yesterday I get this idea: Let's have a "Sex and the City" boy's night out! You know how the "Sex and the City" girls get all dolled up, meet at some restaurant and have cocktails and dinner. Miranda wears that smoky eyeshadow that she only wears for such evenings, Samantha wears those 6-inch long dangly chandelier earrings, Charlotte wears a sleek strapless number (she always does), and Carrie will have to buy a new pair of $400. shoes. You get the picture...

To their credit, they all four agreed it might be fun, so it was settled. However, Rog & Bugsy said that although they'd heard of "Sex and the City", they'd never actually seen the show. My heart began to sink. I know Mike & Clark had seen the show, but they are usually not the dress up type. In all reality, I just felt like we should do something different, and not go out to dinner wearing the same old clothes I'd worn to work that day.

I'm pretty lucky: I can wear whatever I want to work. Most of the time it's jeans and a pullover. In the summer it's shorts and t-shirt. Since I never see clients face-to-face and I work in a small office, I dress in what is the most comfortable so I can be the most productive. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I just didn't want the six of us to meet for dinner looking like I look everyday at work. I wanted the glamour, the sparkle, the feeling of being a "Sex and the City" girl. Yes, this night had to be different. I had to be different.

So, being the eternal optimist, I took and deep breathe and wrote back to the boys to lay down the fashion rules of the evening: no jeans, no sneakers, a solid sweater was okay, but a shirt had to have at least two colors. Now, you might be surprised at my need to review the fashion rules with 4 gay men. But, contrary to the stereotype, not all gay men are good at floral arranging, hair styling, home decorating, and fashion. Now you know. But after a little initial jeering, they all agreed to the terms. And I knew exactly what I'd wear.

I'd wear the ensemble I had put together for Joe's company Christmas party. Although I didn't know anyone when I arrived with him, I knew practically everyone by the time I left. They were all compelled to talk to me about my 'loud' shirt. My outfit was a big hit!

So as I began to dress this evening, I started feeling excited. I started with a pair of black gabardine slacks by Liz Claibourne that I'd found for a mere $39.95. Next came the infamous shirt: a very large paisley print in pink, grey, and black on a white background. Although I got it for only $19.95, it looks WAY more 'designer' and expensive. To tone down that outrageous shirt I slipped on a black leather sport jacket. Now, this is NOT a jacket you'd wear outdoors for warmth. Au contraire, this jacket is cut like a sport jacket you'd wear with dress slacks and a dress shirt - only its made of smooth black leather. Hot!!! I got it just before our trip to Las Vegas in Dec '03. And the finishing touch was a pair of black, square-toed leather shoes I snagged for only $29.95. You must admit that men's leather shoes for under $30. is unheard of! Unlike the real Carrie Bradshaw, I am the quintessential bargain hunter.

Joe looked very sharp in a pair of black slacks, shiny black leather shoes, and a smart-looking blue, black and grey stripe shirt. It looked especially good on him with his black hair. With our ensembles complete, we left to meet the boys. I dropped Joe off in front of the restaurant, since the garage was full and there was no street parking, which made us late. He joined the boys and I finally found a place to park.

Our table had a curved banquet and 4 chairs, and although I'd have pushed others aside to sit in the banquet, I didn't need to. The only empty place when I got to the table was one in the banquet. As we sipped our Cosmopolitans, I leaned back and tossed my arm up onto the back of the banquet, exposing more of my 'loud' shirt, and enjoying brief but fleeting glimpses of "Sex and the City"-ness.

Roger & Bugsy made concerted attempts to dress appropriately. I especially enjoyed Roger's bright multi-color stripe shirt and sunflower tie. Mike & Clark broke the rules, but I tried to hide my disappointment. Clark had on a dark grey crew neck and khaki pants, and Mike had on a hunter green cotton button-up and khaki pants. Can you say "Casual Friday"??? Mike joked by saying that he didn't own any fun or funky clothes. "Everything in my closet is solid or beige." I'm afraid my gasp may have been audible, but I hid it by pretending to cough.

Then our dinners arrived and we enjoyed the delicious and spicy Indian specialties of the Aroma restaurant. We talked and laughed and caught up on each other's lives. We really had a good time, and were too full for desert. I couldn't believe how quickly the time passed, and it was soon time to go home. After all, it is a school night.

No comments: