How to be proper at a grown-ups event — aka “Free wine? We’re there!”

Frat party after midnight. Premiere showing of “Twilight Breaking Dawn.” The wedding reception where you’ll run into your boyfriend’s moderately-crazy ex-girlfriend. These are all places we don’t belong, but sometimes end up at.

Last Saturday I had one of those occurrences. And, as it was about to unfold, I turned to my roommates and whispered, “I’m going to blog about this!”

We didn’t really belong, but c’mon, we were on the VIP list, people!

Anyway, I was added to said Very Important People -list at the last minute because I hadn’t intended on attending the engagement that my roommates, Alex and Joanna, and a few other friends were planning on going to at the WAC (Washington Athletic Club) downtown. I was supposed to play ultimate in the rain. But, my game was canceled so I weaseled my way onto the list.

The “weaseling” entailed texting Alex and asking her if there was room for me. She checked with other friends in the entourage and I was added as someone’s plus one. The whole ride downtown, I was confused on whether or not I could be myself (Kristin) or if I was pretending to be my plus one (LB). — I know this sounds confusing, but please stay with me, I promise the story gets better.

We arrived at the event room that the wine tasting event was being held. (Yes, wine tasting!) My name (Kristin!) was listed at the bottom of the VIP list, all was well so far. I glanced into the room before we hung our coats in the coat room and it was very evident that we would be the youngest ones attending this fundraiser wine tasting event.

How did we even get our names on the VIP list to begin with?  Alex and co. have great (hidden?) grape stomping skills because the weekend before they won tickets to this event at some stomping competition at Wine World.

I immediately made eye contact with someone I knew before I even had the chance to fill my glass with the never-ending samples of wine. It was one of my high school friend’s (Julia’s) dad.

We start chatting about how my new job is going, etc. etc. — the usual parent-to-friend-of-offspring conversation. Then he politely asked what the heck I am doing there without literally saying, “Why are you here?” with a, “So, are you part of the Rotary club?” (The Rotary was hosting the event. Or, at least they had a big part in it. I don’t know the details. I was a stranger’s plus one, after all).

I explained that my awesomely-talented friends won us tickets. (Tickets that cost the normal-person there about $50 a piece).

*************

“It’s funny to see what type of people show up to these things,” I overheard a random 45-ish-year-old woman say to her husband at some point during the night.

Did she mean these young hooligans to her left (us)? Or, some folks who were a tad under-dressed? It was probably us. The age group of the attendees was definitely in the 40 to 60 crowd. My friends and I are in our early to mid-20s.

************

“Kristin, the last time I drank wine with you, we were slapping a bag of Franzia,” Kent, one of our friends in our entourage, said to me.

It was the truth. This time our wine was in glasses that clinked. And, we were eating cheeses. And, not swearing on an ultimate field. And, were dressed nicely.

Several wine glasses later, Kent purchased five raffle tickets and walked away with no wine basket. We observed an auction where people gave bids on large sums of money to donate (without receiving anything in return). We didn’t even take a number paddle when we checked in because we knew we wouldn’t be participating. There were people giving away money — I mean, donating money for a good cause — that was more than my monthly rent.

Joanna also surprised us by throwing down some random facts on tannins (stuff in wine? sorry, I was busy taking notes on what I would write this blog post on that I didn’t really pay attention to her explanation). The reason for the tannin-talk was because Pearl (another one in our entourage) brought it up because she overheard some strangers talking about it.

Moral of the story: Be friends with people who can stomp grapes and win free stuff — like tickets to wine tasting parties. If you know nothing about wine, just pretend and smile. If you’re on the VIP list, everything will be OK — especially if you’re with your friends. Because, it was.

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