Going to the Gala

gala The community in which I live — Hemlock Farms — is a gated residential community of about 4,000 homes, 75 miles of paved road, lots of amenities — you get the picture. Lots of homes here are vacant most of the winter but things really pick up here after Memorial Day. There are a fair amount of permanent residents that are equally retired folks and families. Lots of commuters to New York City too. Four thousand invitations went out to the 50th anniversary gala which was held at the country club in the community this past Saturday. I was convinced by my friends Nancy, Buffy, Elaine (pictured here), and Landy to attend and so purchased the ticket a while ago. Now, for those of you who know me well, you are already surprised that I agreed to this since I really dislike these types of events. Large crowds, buffet food that you have to stand in line for, cheap wine and expensive liquor.

I dressed up in my “wedding outfit” that my friend Kim chose for me a couple of years ago — the only dressy thing I own — which included very uncomfortable shoes (but they looked great!). I much prefer jeans, t-shirt, and sandals for summer. After worrying over being too dressed up and arriving much too early, I drove to pick up the others at 5:50 for an event that started at 6:00. What I forgot about was that there are a lot of country club members who wanted prime seating and that retired folks do everything early! So, when we arrived, we parked pretty far from the front door of the club and couldn’t believe how many people were already there. When they say 6:00, they mean 6:00! We were instructed to go to the sign-in table where we received a map of the food stations, a rubber bracelet to wear to show that we paid the $60 to get in, and where we had to buy drink tickets! Silly me! I thought that was included in my ticket. So, after paying for 10 tickets (5 for a martini, 3 for wine), we walked into the club and found all tables taken inside and out!

Outside under the tent by the side of the lake (a beautiful spot on a lovely evening) there were more tables but all were partly taken so we found one that had four seats and parked ourselves there. The DJ was setting up outside and that’s where the dancing would be. The downside? Two food stations were outside — sushi and meat. And one drinks station that apparently ran out of wine glasses and I really hate drinking wine out of plastic! In order to get anything else, you had to go through the club dining room past the tables filled with those who I think paid more tickets for really good wine — in glasses! So for me it meant not eating much because I wasn’t willing to go foraging for my food.

After a martini and some sushi we talked for a while and I watched as the music started and people began dancing. I was (and still am) puzzled about why 80s music was the choice since it seemed that most of the people there were my age or older. At one point, I looked at the dancers (and yes, they did do YMCA!), and thought that I didn’t belong among the older crowd. Then of course I realized that I AM the older crowd! So, I sat back, used up the rest of my tickets on wine and watched the dancers and listened to music that I didn’t like in the 80s so still don’t like it now! My final take on this? It’s good to get out, we had a few laughs and took some photos, and it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. Still it was a rude awakening for me — I am part of the retired older crowd — I just need to let my brain know! Or, maybe I should never imagine myself that way — I’m still quite young in my head — not a bad way to be.