Twisting the Night Away

Tonight, the Americorps team got to dress up and attend the ChildrenFirst fundraising “sock hop,” Twisting The Night Away, as sort of roving Americorps ambassadors to the wealthy patrons who were supporting our programs with their ticket money and silent auction bids.

Since I am NOT a poodle skirt kinda chick and refuse to spend real money on costumy stuff I’ll never wear again, I was a little stressed out trying to figure out a something I could pull together on the cheap that wouldn’t leave me with a bunch of unwearable duds. A few trips to the Goodwill, though, netted me a real-world-wearable, pink gingham check, button up, short sleeved shirt with 50’s-retro styling and a matching silk neckerchief, which I paired with a pair of jeans (cuffed) and an existing pair of pink Keds. Since my hair is pretty short, I did a half-arsed job at a 50’s pouf and called it a night.

Several of the rest of the team did go in for rental poodle skirt costumes, and the guys did the inevitable greaser look, which was fun. Some of the other looks included a Blues Brothers looking outfit, some sweater sets and retro dresses. I didn’t do much dancing, though. I felt kinda out of place – I’m just not much of a “dress up” chick now that I’m not performing on stage anymore. Weird, but there it is.

The event itself was okay, but I have to snark on the band a bit because, although this was a de facto sock hop, they only played a few actual 50’s tunes. The rest were anything from John Fogerty to Stevie Wonder to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Not exactly a Buddy Holly retrospective. It was verging on surreal to watch a room full of alcoholically lubricated 40-somethings in prom gear twisting the night away to Superstition and American Girl.

Anyway, everyone seemed to be having fun, so I guess it was okay. But seriously, if you’re going to be playing at a sock hop, IMHO it behooves you to have a full playlist of actual sock hop music on tap. As one attendee remarked to me during a particularly un-sock-hoppy 90’s hit tune, it was more of a “wedding set” than anything approaching 50’s music.

On the upside, the food was outstanding. And plentiful – enough so that during clean up, part of our job ended up being dividing out the leftovers amongst interested parties. I ended up with enough black olive tapenade with provolone to feed a Roman army, along with a large ziplock of crostini, a small container of a humms-y dip and the leftover grilled pineapple (which was actually supposed to go home with someone else, but they went home and left it, so I adopted it). One of the venue crew went home with one and a half large catering platters full of mussels. And so on.

It’s one of the great perks of Americorps – since you’re broke, but doing good work, folks love to feed you. As a ‘corp member, you attend lots of events, and you almost always get first refusal on what are often some very high-end leftovers. It’s like free karma – feed the Americorps and any number of venal sins are immediately expunged from your record. Seriously. Would I lie to you?

Mmmm…leftovers.

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