The other night my sister-in-law Gloria and I went out for dinner and some holiday, sisterly fun. There was an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at the bar/restaurant Jeff and I used to eat at all the time in college, and I was dying to go (and in need of the prize money).
First objective: Where to find Christmas sweaters without having to buy them
Our dear mother-in-law is a teacher and wears a different Christmas sweater to work every day from December 1 through January 6. She's always encouraged us to borrow anything we need from her, so I asked to see her vast collection of knitted holiday goodness. She began showing me her newer, cuter stuff, but I told her I needed her oldest, most interesting sweaters. Done. I left with a fuzzy pom-pommed number for myself and one with demonic-looking teddy bear soldiers for Gloria that belonged to our great-aunt's 97-year-old friend. Awesome.
Second objective: Food, of course.
We met up at my apartment and proceeded to Landmark. We got there at around 9pm. Of course, I had called ahead to see when the best time to arrive for the contest was, and was told 9pm. No problem. They charged cover, which makes me mad when all I want is a cheeseburger and fries. We were seated in the waaaaay back, where they stash the old people. Behind the wall. So the young college kids can't be frightened by the sight of us.
Dinner was yummy and fun. It was interrupted by a former patient who spotted me and came over to say hello, and some fans of our awesome sweaters.
Third objective: Survive the bar.
Around the time that my food arrived, I realized it would be an ordeal not to choke to death in the fuzzy sweater. I rolled up the sleeves and resigned myself to the fact that I might choke up a hairball later. It is also around this time that I was itching beyond all reason and sweating.
After dinner, we asked the waitress when judging would be for the sweaters. she said around 11 pm. No problem. We can do this. I of course have no job to go to in the morning, but Gloria did. Did I mention this was a Thursday night?
We leave the table to walk around and intimidate the competition. There were some seriously lame Christmas sweaters. Only two guys came close to our magnificent outfits.
Meanwhile, I am still itchy and overheating. I can't even get a drink because believe it or not, nobody wants to serve a girl in a fuzzy sweater. Water. I need Water! We're tired. It's late. We're dying. And Itchy!
At this point, it's 11:15. where is the contest? We keep asking. Then the DJ announced that "Voting will take place in the Spot at 1am."
What??? I leave it up to Gloria because she has a long commute in the morning. she's a trooper and wants to stick it out. "We've made it this far!"
We proceed to nurse our drinks that we finally got and laugh at all the little girls who dressed up to go out. Not dressed up for the contest, but dressed up like... I don't even know what. Lots of them were wearing little tank tops. I was overheating in my Polyester, but it was freezing outside that night. Some of them were wearing long-ish shirts with no tights or pants. Odd.
Third objective: Survive the Spot.
The Spot is a silly, tiny "club" attached to the Landmark restaurant. When it first opened it was an abysmal failure because nobody at college was interested at all. They closed it, made some changes (added a "VIP" section, LMAO), and reopened it. I guess the kids liked it, because it's more popular now, I think because it's the only place to dance since the college knocked down all the frat houses.
After people-watching for way too long, we reluctantly go to the Spot to see where voting is. It's a dense, gyrating, hormonal, loud, 90's rap blur. We squeeeeeeze our way through the crowd to the back. Whew. We ask Giant Bouncer Man where we need to be for the contest. He grunts back that he doesn't know and tells us to ask the DJ.
At this point, I think my core temperature is about a million degrees. Game face. We're here to win! We squeeeeeze our way through again, but not before I get stopped by someone who wants to dance. I give him the, "Sorry, no thanks," shake of the head and flash the wedding rings. Did someone seriously just hit on me in this sweater?!
We make it back by the DJ. He has no clue what's going on. I see the VIP section (LMAO), and some glorious space and seating, so we camp out there.
Objective four: Stay awake.
Hilarity ensues. There is one of those dance-floor/stage thingies where girls can dance. we're sitting right behind it, front row seats. Still more girls scantily clad. One girl has a homemade "bling" necklace which is, not exaggerating, a foot wide and six inches tall. It read, "Mill St." I guess it's a really neat place to be. Another girl was wearing a lace black shirt with black panties and a black bra. That's it. Another was seriously checking herself out in the mirrors on the dance floor and taking pictures of herself for a good 20 minutes.
I am so tired at this point. I feel bad for Gloria, but she seems to not hate me yet. Watching the kids is keeping us awake. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a kid drinking champagne, complete with bucket of ice. I mentioned to him that I have never seen anyone drink champagne at Landmark before. Next thing I know, he sends over a glass, complete with head nod. Awesome.
It's finally 1 am! We line up with other sweater (sweating) people. There are some lame ones, and I feel really confident. After all, I was born to be on stage. I really think it's going to be between me, Gloria, and these two guys in granny sweaters. (One had doilies!) Gloria gets eliminated immediately because her sweater was too "cute and festive." huh? I last a little longer, but ultimately we lose to some guy in a plaid suit, which is annoying because it was not a Christmas Sweater!
We got hosed, but the memories last forever. : P