As a rule, New Year’s Eve and I are not particularly friendly. I am a wimp, hate the cold, hate crowds even more and enjoy few things more than curling up on a cold winter’s night with a big bottle of Merlot and some Twilight Zone marathon. Um, I mean. Insane partying. Yeah…
As this was my first New Year’s Eve in DC, I decided to attempt to shed my complete nerd-dom and hit the town. Upon reviewing my options I was lured in by the National Building Museum party. It seemed like it could be fun; black tie optional, get a cute new dress, top shelf booze flowing like water, champagne, and of course, the gorgeous museum as a backdrop (all of this according to the invitation). I am not a Georgetown scenester but I can say that I did not doubt the abilities of the party planners (Reed Landry and Fritz Brogan. I mean, Reed…and Fritz? Come..on…). All in all, I steeled myself for what should have been and could have been a fun night.
When we arrived, a cold rain blanketed the city and we were forced to stand outside for approximately 45 minutes waiting to get in. This was baffling to me, especially once I realized that no one was even checking tickets or ID’s. Hm. Very well, we were in, we were safe and drying off. On to the booze!
This is when I got the sinking feeling that the night may have already seen it’s high point approximately an hour earlier at my apartment with some friends gathered around pre-made mini-quiche and cheap champagne. We arrived at the “bars” only to find small tables, approximately the size of an office desk, stocked with Popov vodka and half empty Cranberry Juice bottles. As we inched through the line, I had several elbows in my back, shoves to one side or the next and finally a random girl pulling at my dress until I slapped her off (seriously people!). I ordered 4 drinks when I got up to the bar so I wouldn’t have to deal with that nightmare again for another…20 minutes or so. The drinks were pure rail liquor, pretty much undrinkable. Kids began just going behind the bar and serving themselves. One of the bartenders told my friend he would “give her a drink for $40 dollars” or.. if she would show her cleavage. Nice. Classy!
The line to check coats was also frustratingly long, so I stowed my coat in a random corner underneath the band stage. The night wore on, tempers ran high as people began to realize they had paid for something that was a total sham. Not only was there no “elegant champagne toast at midnight” ( I imagined my friends and I clinking our champagne flutes, giggling merrily, smiling brightly), there was actually no countdown. The deejay forgot the New Year altogether and interrupted Chris Brown’s “Forever” to rapidly spew, “AAAANNNNDDDD 5,4,3,2,1 HAPPY NEW YEAR” and cue the music immediately.
When we left the party, I have never seen such a display. It looked like a war zone; people were strewn about the floor, completely inebriated, women were missing their shoes and coats, people were crying and one man was vomiting in a pizza box (a friend asked me “why was there a pizza box at the party?” Good question. I imagine someone ordered Domino’s to the party because the food we were promised somehow never appeared). There were chairs, plants and urine in the fountains at the museum. Total and utter chaos and destruction.
Not only did it upset me that people who work in the event planning industry would so badly deceive their customers, but it was just a downright disgusting display of the behavior of my peers. Never mind that the party was horrible; people chose to create mass chaos and act like ferrell animals rather than leave or just deal with it and bitch about it on their blog the next day (ahem…). All in all the experience completely reaffirmed why, to ring in 2011, I will be at home, surrounded by good friends, good food and most importantly, no one will urinate in my sinks. Well, I will keep my fingers crossed on that one.