When I headed to my friend Jen’s engagement party last Friday evening, I thought I was in for an easygoing night out. Little did I know, what lay ahead of me would be anything but carefree.
This party. It was supposed to have food.
I ran home straight from work to shower and change before going right out again, not even stopping for a cereal bar or handful of pita chips. That’s right: I didn’t even have a snack. Why would I need to snack? I was about to eat at the party. When I arrived at the cocktail lounge with my appetite in tow, I was in for a sick surprise: This party did not have any food whatsoever.
I was trapped.
Now, let me set the record straight. I’m not one of those ungracious face-stuffers who goes around looking for a free meal every chance she gets (unlike my friend Cindy, who once snatched a bag of trail mix off the craft services table when Suits was filming on her block). But the invitation said, “Refreshments will be served.” These “refreshments” usually include some passed canapés, cubes of cheese, or at least a slimy bag of baby carrots and garlic hummus. Yet when I looked around the room, I didn’t see so much as a Triscuit.
Where was the food?
Immediately, my palms grew sweaty and I started to panic. This was nothing short of a breach in the social contract. A waiter handed me a glass of champagne. I thanked him and asked in a quivering voice, “Is there food?” He looked down at the ground, ashamed. “No,” he whispered, and rushed past me. There was nothing he could do.
I felt weak. Not just metaphorically; I hadn’t eaten since my salad at noon, and it was very hot in there. The glass of champagne did nothing to sate my hunger as I made my way to the guests of honor.
“Congratulations!” I slurred at Jen and her fiancé, that guy she met at business school with the teeth. “Is there no food?”
They simply chuckled, and Jen gave him a knowing glance, as if to say, “I knew you were going to ask that!” Well, maybe she should’ve also known to put out some goddamn food when that’s what you’ve offered. “No, unfortch,,” she said with a twisted smile. “We figured everyone would eat dinner beforehand.”
“But it’s only seven,” I said, with a nervous laugh.
“Sorry girl,” Jen said, through a growing fog. “We hope you’ll stay through the speeches, at least.” And with that, they left me there like a dog in the road.
This party. Was supposed. To have. Food.
My stomach growled angrily. I was at a loss. Social conventions would require me to stay for at least an hour, but surely those unspoken rules didn’t hold true for parties with no food that had previously promised food? I dragged my limp body to the bar, where I spotted Jen’s cousin who I met once. “Hey, Lynn,” I yell-whispered. “You wouldn’t happen to have like a Luna bar or anything in your purse?”
Lynn rummaged a bit and said, “I usually do, but I gave mine to a homeless guy on the way home from work. Sorry!”
I steeled myself. “Can you describe this homeless man and did he seem like a sharer?”
Lynn gave me a look and walked off with her rosé.
I was feeling more deflated by the second. My blood sugar was dangerously low, probably. The bartender looked at me with pity. “What can I get you?” he asked, setting out a cocktail napkin.
“I’ll have a martini with fourteen olives, please,” I said.
“I’m sorry ma’am,” he said. “It’s just beer or wine tonight. There’s a Chipotle around the corner, though, if you’re hungry. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the speeches, would you?”
And that’s how I got uninvited to Jen’s wedding.