Just call me Cinderella.
Every year my husband and I attend the ball held to benefit The Legal Aid Society.
I’m sure many a New York glamour gal would probably play the blasé card: “Oh, it’s not so glamorous…rubber chicken…only made an appearance then left…” But not me.
The event was held across from Chelsea Piers at the IAC building, which was designed by renowned postmodern architect Frank Gehry. It was glamorous. The food to die for. And we stayed until the end. Not to mention that it raised a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
Yes, this is the life—getting dressed up and going to galas (on a week night no less)—that I envisioned when I was growing up in the Bronx. In fact, in high school, I once found myself, inexplicably, on Sutton Place. As I looked through the gate on East 52nd Street to watch the sun play off the East River, I looked down and saw two beautiful women (who I decided were models, apropos of their flawless figures) sunbathing in the backyard of their brownstone. “That will be me someday,” I told myself. Yeah, well, we can dream.
So anyway, once a year I get to glam up for an evening. However, the hours that lead up to the ball can only be described as more “cinder” than “ella.”
I’m sure those who do the weekly (nightly?) New York charity ball circuit know a different drill than I do. A facial for that dewy, fresh look; a mani/pedi with polish to match the gown du jour. Hair/make-up done by a professional.
I still had all my usual house chores to get done, as well my writing assignments. Somewhere in there I showered and did my hair, upon which I used enough product to keep it bouncy from day until evening. I did not have the luxury of fussing over myself the two hours before I had to leave, as I had to pick up my daughter from school and then go right to a doctor’s appointment.
When we got home at 4:15, I declared it “homework time.” My daughter said she wanted to do it after dinner as usual. I explained I was going out and we had to do it now. “Later,” she insisted. Now. Later. Now. Later. The threat of canceling the next day’s playdate pushed me into the winner’s circle.
I did myself the favor of getting a roasted chicken and pre-made side dishes from Gristede’s. While my children and mother ate I got ready.
The ball began at 6:30 p.m. I left at 6:15 in hopes of arriving fashionably late at 6:45. (Actually, I just wanted my husband and his colleagues who were going right from work to be there before me, so I wouldn’t wander around by myself waiting for them.)
The cab driver took the scenic (long, traffic-ridden) route, so when I arrived at 7, I was just late.
Once there, I allowed myself to feel as though I were actually part of Manhattan high society.
When I got home, my children were still up. I had to return emails regarding the aforementioned playdate; fill out some school paperwork my son handed me at 11 o’clock at night; and was too keyed up to sleep, so I got a jump on the next day’s TO DO list. By 2 a.m. I had exhausted myself enough to finally go to bed.
Yes, a full day followed by a whirlwind evening that ended in the wee hours. That’s just how we New York glamour girls roll.
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