I now own several suits. I guess there was intention behind it, but it really just feels like they turned up one day. It’s gotten to the point where I now have more suits than occasions annually for which I’d need a suit.
Last night was one of those rare occasions. Every year I go to a fancy Toronto Library fundraiser called Hush Hush. Look, I’m not a fancy person. A large majority of the stuff in our place is second hand or scavenged from sidewalks. I seldom throw down a ton of money on new clothes, when I could just go to a thrift store instead. I’m not a fancy person. I just ate cabbage with tinned tuna and cottage cheese. I’m not a fancy person. It’s uncommon for me to go to the bathroom at home with the door closed. I’m not a fancy person. I have an alarmingly high threshold for eating food off the ground. I’m not a fancy person. I spend many minutes watching gifs of children falling over. I’m not a fancy person.
Look, what I’m trying to say is that this annual party is kinda special. It’s nice to get all fancied up on occasion. This year my girlfriend came too, which was a treat. She had a new dress that made her look like a goddamn princess and I… well, I had one of my several suits. The gendered fashion disparity was no more evident than at a shindig like Hush Hush. The women were garbed in all manner of interesting and provocative dresses. The dudes almost uniformly wore suits with shirts. Some guy had a bold red suit and another had fluorescent green socks, but they were the outliers. Hey, I looked fine, I’m not dumping on that, and we certainly looked a pair together. She just looked a little more extravagant than I did and that was fine. I was there to eat, drink and play games.
The food was great. I don’t know how to say that food options had been more interesting and varied in previous years without dumping on what was there. It still tasted great, it just wasn’t as exploratory. That said, there was this very tasty thinly sliced strip loin atop smoked carrots and some kind of spinach puree, topped with crunchy potato shavings. Of course there were sliders, because what do rich people love more than smaller versions of something that already exists? Sliders were great. Little truffle mac and cheese baskets came around and I grabbed them most every time they did. If I wasn’t explicit enough, they were tiny baskets made of crispy cheese, filled with truffle mac and cheese. Someone we chatted to earlier in the night told us to stay away from the vegan Philly cheesesteak, and look out for the tiny chicken Wellingtons. She was on the money. The Wellingtons were hard to track down. My girlfriend found one over the course of the evening, though I swear I saw sliders 5+ times. The vegan Philly cheesesteak? The “steak” didn’t have the taste or consistency of steak, and the “cheese” sauce tasted similarly uncheesy. I get that it was from a vegan cookbook that was being featured and they wanted to be flashy, but it just wasn’t a comparison. I think the A&W burger is the only vegetarian/vegan substitute I’ve had that tasted anything like the original. Why make so many substitutes and not just entirely different dishes? Beats me.
The booze was free flowing and all included in the ticket price. I mean, aside from the food that’s kinda the point of the event. For the most part it was great. They had three different bars set up, so you could always check out a different side of the room to see if it had shorter lines. A local distillery supplied their boutique black strap rum, moonshine and gin. There were speciality cocktails just for the event, though by the time I found out they had them, they’d already run out of the central ingredient. Wouldn’t you be pumped to try some kind of black strap rum, peach and habanero concoction? Alas, me too. The only bummer was getting stuck in a drink line for half an hour (of a four hour event. It was a while) ’cause multiple lines converged into one and everyone was ordering 5+ drinks for friends. Still, moonshine and ginger kept me buzzed all night and the wait for spirits didn’t do enough to damper mine.
Being a fundraiser for the library’s digital collection, they had a bunch of cool gizmos to play with. One selfie station made animated gifs that could be emailed to you. Another had a ring of cameras to take pseudo 3D photos. One more had a built in ring light for super defined shots. They had photographers walking around too. There were 3D printers making keychains for guests to take home. They had three VR games set up for partygoers to try. There was a big TV hooked up to a SNES/N64 emulator, so Mario was going all night. There was also a neat little arduino based light game that was simple to learn and neat to play.
So I ate a ton, drank a ton and played a couple of games. If this is what being fancy is like, maybe I need more suits.