I attended my first benefit gala last night. It was called Intrigue: The Fire and ISES gala. It was held at the Tabor Center. (a small shopping mall in downtown Denver) When you walked in, a big flame shot up in between two ice sculptures. There was a red carpet and when you walked down out, there was a line of volunteers flashing you with lights to simulate paparazzi. You then mounted an escalator and you received a program at the top. Waiters circulated with trays of mojitos and wine and hors d'oeuvres. There was a band playing on one stage and then another smaller stage with a flamenco dancer and singer. After about half an hour, they ushered us all up to the second floor. As you went up the escalator, there was a wall of fabric with shadow dancers behind it. You then walked down a lighted passeway to the end where another band with dancers was set up. They had dozens of tables. Some with molecules made of lemons as centerpieces. Others had elaborate floral arrangements. There were three buffet tables and chefs were cooking the food while you stood there. Salad with walnuts, pork chops, oysters, prime rib, pasta dishes, etc. One buffet table was covered in real flats of grass. There were three open bars upstairs. Every so often they would announce the next act: a pair of dancers doing a routine, a fashion show, an aerialist. I decided to leave after about an hour because although it was interesting, it wasn't much fun wandering around alone. I sat down to consider my options when a girl from my group named Meredith spotted me. She insisted that I join them and I wandered around with them for an hour. That was a lot more fun. I met some really nice people. At 10pm, they shuttled everyone back downstairs where they had transformed the area into a dessert buffet. They had created a covered tent feeling to it. The buffet was fondue. You would gather different fondue items like strawberries, marshmallows etc and then there were two fountains of chocolate and white chocolate fondue to dip them in. The crowd was a little intense so I decided to head out. At the door, they handed me a canvas goodie bag with samples, coupons and other freebies. The event was pretty cool. Not your stereotypical gala event. I think it would have been more fun if my friends could have been there but I'm glad I got to meet some new Junior Leaguers.
I felt so out of my element I did some weird things, though. I have to constantly fight shyness so sometimes I do things to try to drive myself out my shell. For instance, one man trying to make conversation with me asked how my new Member course with the Junior League was going. I told him it was great except for the hazing. He asked me what kind of hazing and I said, "They make us stand in the middle of a circle while they whip up with pearl necklaces and pelt us with white gloves." I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth. Everyone thought it was funny but I couldn't think what possessed me to say that to a group of strangers. Shyness can do weird things to you.