Have you ever been wandering around Union Square and discovered the entire square was covered in a huge tent for a private party with music blaring from inside? Like maybe last night?
I was there! And now I finally know what it's like inside.
Because she is Melissa Griffin (those are the only details I have to go on), Mel got us VIP tickets to the Hearts After Dark Benefit for San Francisco General Hospital. The invitation instructed us to dress "San Francisco chic."
I never really know what to expect at these events. I just show up and entertain Melissa in case she gets bored. I'm very good at pointing out people in weird outfits and socialites (often times the same thing) and politely pretending to listen while people discuss politics.
We arrived with some of Mel's fancy pants friends and we quickly ushered into the huge tent where Shannon, a girl I went to high school with gave me a plastic VIP bracelet and pointed out how excited she was to see Tainted Love perform.
Immediately inside the tent we ran into Boe who introduced us to more fancy pants people, including Daniel Lurie who is in every single 7x7 Magazine.
I never know if I should pretend not to know who these people are, but I'm a big fan of his non-profit, The Tipping Point. The Tipping Point is, in my opinion, the San Francisco chic-est organization in town. They throw the best parties (I've never been. I can just tell) and they give all of their money to incredibly poor people in the Bay Area. As socialites go, I was impressed (which I am easily, so, you know).
Suddenly, photographers started snapping away.
"Can I get a shot of the three of you?" Flash, flash.
2 seconds later, "I'm going to make this guy's night!" The next photographer exclaimed, implying that Daniel "New York Social Diary" Lurie would be excited to have his photo taken with the likes of the Griffwoods. Flash, flash.
A photographer's assistant came by and scribbled down our names. He got Melissa, I doubt he even needed Daniel's and then gets to me.
"Beth Spotswood!" I screamed over the music. "B-E-T-" But he was gone, having most likely scrawled "Ben Johnson."
Daniel wisely excused himself to run after the photographer and rip the film from the camera to stomp it out of existence as we sipped water from wine glasses and mingled with the VIPs. Chatting with Boe again, a server came by with a huge tray of foil wrapped caramelized onion sliders. One might think that with my new clutch in one hand and a wine glass of water in the other, in a black wrap dress and too much lip gloss, I'd politely decline.
And one would be wrong.
I tried to eat that burger in a ladylike fashion as I looked around the tent. The VIP area was cordoned off with shrubbery (!) and open bars abounded. The servers never ran out of food and it was all really good food. There was no crappy skewer or awkward taco. Everything was, at least to my ghetto ass, incredibly well done. No lines, tons of seats, loads of people to talk to...I was delighted to be there!
Melissa and I had been given these vouchers and told we could redeem them for a limited edition Ed Hardy t-shirt. I practically had a Bill Clinton, I was so excited. The entire shrub-walled VIP section contained designer-clad rich folks clutching free Ed Hardy t-shirts like they were going out of style (never!) and I kept saying to my best friend who couldn't have cared less, "I've got to get my Ed Hardy t-shirt before they run out!"
"Fine." She rolled her eyes. "Give me your bag and go get one."
My big concern is that someone would see me redeeming a voucher for a free Ed Hardy t-shirt at the Hearts After Dark VIP shrub-lounge. "Oh look, there goes Spotswood. Lining up like it's sample time at Costco."
But come on. It's a free limited edition Ed Hardy t-shirt. I had to.
So there I am at the Ed Hardy table, backed up against a bush in the middle of a tent in Union Square picking out my Jon Gosselin and I hear, "Hey Spots, what the hell are you doing."
Er, um. Hi Max. I'm not doing anything. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Max was with the stunning and well-dressed Jen, Alice and Kelli, all of whom joined us in the metallic silver ottoman area. The best part of the party was the people watching. It was quite a mix of political folks, business types and socialites. At one point, one of the girls (I won't reveal who because discresh-Anne is my middle name) pointed out an older woman sitting inches away.
"Look at her great glasses!"
I didn't even have to look to know who she was talking about. "That's Ellen Magnin Newman. And that's her husband Walter. We aspire to them."
And then, with sliders and Ed Hardy and water in fancy glasses and socialites and me in heaven, onto the stage comes 80's cover band Tainted Love. Say what you want about the 80's and about cover bands, but it is nearly impossible not to love Tainted Love, unless you are a person who enjoys not liking these, which I know much of my neighborhood thrives on.
Gina sashayed over and yelled into my ear, "Bethy! You've got to see the folks dancing up front! So fun!"She was right. A crowd had gathered at the front of the stage and this times a hundred was going on to my great amusement.
We finally decided to head home, although not before Melissa and I swung by the candy booth, where we could select candy from huge glass jars which were wrapped up in little take-out boxes. Mel and I ran out into the rain, walking right past Lori Puccinelli Stern, who's BFF with the Mayor and the Missus and scares the shit out of me. She is the publicist for Hearts After Dark and every other event in town and I imagine she could probably have me deported if she felt like it.
"Melissa!" I gasped. "That's Pooch!"
Melissa refuses to read the society pages. "Who? What?"
I hissed the only description I could think of. "She defended Jennifer Seibel in the comments of SFist."
I don't know why I offer that as a biography or resume for someone who's probably perfectly lovely. But everytime I crack open San Francisco Magazine and see Pooch smiling with Hooman, it's all I can think of.
I went home with my candy and my t-shirt, desperate for Jersey Shore to come back on TV so I can enjoy both at the same time. But why wait? Life's short! Thanks for the memories, last night fancy folks! Spotswood out...
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