Saturday night we went to the HRC dinner. Our first return to the event in the last decade. You all know I’m cheap, so I always hesitated paying almost $200 per ticket for a subpar meal and a usually sub-subpar comedian, as it never seemed worth it.
But we are at different places in our lives, and running with my theme on being more social, there is no more social gay event than this. 800 or so of my not-so closest friends in one room and in suit and tie. Cleveland did away with the mandatory black-tie uniform a few years ago.
Last time I think we knew one person at our table. This time, even though I was not table captain, I coordinated about 2/3 of our guests. And new the other table folk save one. Chef Bob was the captain, and he brought a priest as his guest since his partner was out of town. I was instructed, with advance
warning notice, to be on my best behaviour and not say or ask anything inappropriate. Buzz kill!
The one guest I was not counting on being at our table was HRC president, Joe Solmonese. But it was unknown to anyone that he would be sitting with us.
At a reception before the dinner, Denton and myself, went up and introduced ourselves (again, before we knew he’d be at our table) and he was extremely nice and approachable and we had a nice conversation.
Ted Stickland, Governor of Ohio was there too. But since it would seem that Hillary won’t be the nominee for the Dems (I’m just guessing), the chances of Ted being VP are greatly diminished. But his speech was nothing short of kicking off his re-election campaign for 2010. It was all about his accomplishments and what he has done the 14 months he’s been in office. That is when I leaned over to Denton and said the post title quote.
The Lt. Governor, Lee Fisher was there too. (Lee always reminds me of when I met Morty 20 yrs ago, and how on his beat-up Impala, the bumper sticker taped into the back window for Fisher. Morty just couldn’t commit to sticking it ON a bumper.) Lee was the best spoken and actually very funny.
I shouldn’t neglect to mention that Dennis Kucinich and his statuesque mail-order bride were also in attendance. There were also a number of folks from my old employ there….and a few from my current.
But back to Mr. Solmonese. He was easy to talk to when he was actually at the table. He left to hit the podium as a speaker and then there were the many people who stopped by to say ‘hi’. We did talk a lot about non-HRC things and when he found out I am in DC a few times a month he said we should have lunch.
Certainly it was a nice gesture and one I never expect(ed) him to follow through on. But before the event was all over, he provided me is email address and cell phone number to call him next time I’m in town. ……and you know, I think I will.
Though as someone at our table said to me afterwards, “you know, when you call he’s going to say ‘………..and you are………who……..?'” Which of course, plays into my total lack of self-esteem and the belief that no one ever remembers me.
The joke is on them though, as I had already played that scenario in my mind a dozen times before it was said aloud. So THERE!
Song by: Janet Jackson