The dream (and reality) of my first masquerade.

The Prince

Originally this was to be a story. Now it’s just what happened tonight and a story will come later out of it. I can’t tell you final reactions, or it’ll destroy the suspense of whether or not this was a good night, so let us start from the beginning and take this journey together.

I arrived at the building with valet parking out front. (At which point I found it’s a $10 charge, I don’t have cash on me, and I took about 15 minutes hunting down a parking spot to get into the Milwaukee Fish Market to get an ATM. It was humbling, just like the state of my car.) They whisked my car away and I went in, dressed as above but also with a suit coat. I looked incredible. I walked into the place, with a chic bar, beautifully dressed women, and well dressed men. (Half of them weren’t wearing masks, while I was dumbly wearing mine with pride. I felt ridiculous within the first ten minutes.)

Meeting new people, I was complimented on my taste with the tie, shirt, and vest. Made a new friend and felt pretty confident. It would be an amazing and glamorous night of dancing, carousing, and meeting new and eligible women.

(There was no dancing. Not sure what I was thinking on that one. Even if there was, I don’t know how to dance in a formal setting. As for carousing, in role playing terms I started the night with a Socialize of zero. I knew maybe five people in the room and I’m not good at approaching strangers. I can hardly hold a conversation with an acquaintance. But oh did I try. I tried hard. And apparently I had some left over XP because my Socialize raised a whole point through a lot of awkward meandering, observing, and finally approaching people…awkwardly. Oh so awkwardly. Those first few people approached are basically burned contacts unless they forgot me. I can only hope.)

(As for the meeting new and eligible women, this sort of happened maybe. I mean, most of the design community consists of women. Some of them have to be eligible, right? However, at this point it was sort of a bust. I was out of my element, I hadn’t had lunch or dinner, they only had appetizers, I had a glass of alcohol in me and was feeling woozy, and basically the only person I successfully spoke to were the people serving food and making sure everything was in place. While this is a skill, and generally these individuals have the pulse of the room, it wasn’t doing anything. I even tried calling Jesse for advice on how to carouse, but I had no signal. I was on my own. So I walked back into the hall and….)

I approached a most beautiful woman and just spoke to her at length about what she planned on doing, where she was going, how graduation went, as she had only been in the work force about a year now. There is a guilty joy I must admit, as well, some background if you will. I love working with designers. When I had a woman and she would ask me about my day after visiting designers, I would sheepishly say “Good.” It was great. Designers are some of the most beautiful, elegant, well dressed, classy women I’ve ever met. Was I about to run away with any of them? No. I had the woman I loved, I wouldn’t replace her for the world. But here I am, single by little fault of my own, and surrounded by some of the most charming and successful women I’ve ever met. (And I really wasn’t much of either charming or successful, but I could fake it well enough.)

Numbers were exchanged (on business cards), meetings were agreed upon (so I could convince them MTS was a good chair company or to plan for future events), and words were (shouted over the din of the crowd) spoken to each other. One spoke to me at length and even told me I look handsome. After complimenting her, she even informed me she wasn’t fishing for a compliment. (I really am that socially awkward. Plenty of people can attest to this.)

By the end of the night, I had spoken at length with some amazing people, of both genders, made some new possible friends, and I only felt a little weird. I was even invited by a head designer of one of our biggest dealers to get a tour of the show room. A bit excited about that one simply because this show room should be incredible and I’ve never seen it before.

Overall, the night was incredible. I was only a little weird, and it seemed I could get past it. That or people are currently going home speaking to husbands, wives, or friends saying, “Met this really weird guy. Kind of creepy, but I did my best to be nice.” But I’m pretty sure I did okay.

2 thoughts on “The dream (and reality) of my first masquerade.

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