I Hate Your Galas
For the most part, formal events are terrible. I think I can say that's a conservative description, an understatement perhaps. Because unless you're the center of attention and you have people catering to you and feeding you grapes right from the vine like you're Julius-fucking-Caesar, being stuck in a monkey suit and forced to surrender money and gifts and watch as some asshole gives a presentation is just awful.
The exception is weddings. Weddings - most weddings - get a pass because of the open bar and the advocacy of binge-drinking. An open bar could make an Iranian stoning fun to attend. Add in a band that has a kickass repertoire and a lead singer that looks like Rod Stewart on heroin, and you have yourself a fucking awesome night. The only downfall to a wedding is if there's a DJ, and the DJ thinks he's the MC of a 8th grade dance. And of course, the real killer: a cash bar. Couples who commission a cash bar at their wedding should be forced on a Spanish Donkey. I once went to a wedding that had a cash bar. It was so depressing. I left to go to the liquor store and bought a liter of Jameson and a bottle of ginger ale. I vomited on a car hood at 11pm.
Stupid, insignificant events, as formal events, are THE WORST. They make me want to dive into the back of a cement mixer. It's Billy's birthday today? And you're not having it at Burger King? Well, then you suck. Oh, you're disappointed with my attitude, are you? Well guess what? I'M FUCKING DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR ATTITUDE. I'm disappointed that I missed CC Sabathia strikeout 10 and then swallow a lost child, whole, right on the pitcher's mound. And I'm disappointed that I missed Darrelle Revis return an interception 101 yards for the go-ahead touchdown because I was too busy attending Billy's 6th birthday at the Four-fucking-Seasons. He's six years old, for Christ's sake, he still believes in Santa Claus and he still occasionally shits his pants - do you really think a BBQ with a clown and some presents in your backyard would have been a letdown? Well, I don't. In fact, I bet he won't look back on his childhood and wonder why the fuck he never got to eat too many hamburgers and too much Carvel cake and spend the night puking in the toilet. I also bet your friends would be less likely to turn down an invitation to his next birthday if they knew they wouldn't be forced to wear a suit in 115° heat.
It only gets worse as you get older. A 5th wedding anniversary gala? Fuck you. 5 years of marriage isn't SHIT. My parents have been married for 40 years. Yes, FORTY YEARS. Now that's an accomplishment. When you get to 40 years of marriage call me and I'll put on a tuxedo and clap my hands and fake-laugh when one of your dope friends makes unfunny jokes at your expense. But 5 years? Send each other some eCards and shut the fuck up.
And what makes most of the events worse is the mixture of people that attend them. It's never intimate. Oh no, you have to invite EVERYONE you know. I spend half the time trying to avoid your fucking Uncle who thinks making off-color remarks about black people and young girls is as hysterical as his gingivitis death-breath. And I hate the too-drunk-person at an event that is not the forum for people to get drunk at. For some reason I am always near the guy at the Holy Communion when he falls over a cement macadam and splits his forehead open on the concrete and his wife begins screaming at him and then kids start crying and all other types of fun shit follows. The randomness factor of the attendees always adds a little too much anxiety. What if I get stuck at a table with the cousin who is 700 lbs? What then? Am I really expected to not stare in awe as she inhales her prime rib? You can't ask that of me, dammit! Look at her head, it's HUGE!
And formal work events are the apex of awful. There is a bottomless well of booze despite the strictest etiquette expectations. "Oh hi there, did you see our selection of 98 different kinds of beer and vodka and whiskey? Did I mention it's all FREE? Is that an erection I see?" Who doesn't look at the open work event bar and imagine drinking 79 drinks and then doing a shirtless tap-dance to the awe and wonder of all onlookers? But noooooooo, you have to behave yourself, after all, your boss is here. It's okay for him to get drunk and shit all over everyone, but you have to stand there and sip your Amstel Lite and wish yourself off to a land where Boris Yeltsin is your CEO and you get promoted based on the amount of times you pass out on a park bench and have to call in sick due to skull-crushing hangovers.
I think there needs to be less objection to people declining to attend formal events. If I say no, I will not be coming to Steve's retirement party at the Ritz, but here is a token of appreciation on my behalf, NO ONE should get upset. Why do you care if I'm there? Do you really feel like staring at my puss all night? In fact, I bet you won't even notice. I bet you'll be too busy cheering Steve up about not having a purpose in life anymore and also planning your stupid kid's next birthday party at Cipriani's, you jerk.