I promised an acquaintance that I’d go to the charity event she was chairing. The anticipated crowd was described to me as "over 500 young professionals" which was just perfect considering I am neither young nor professional.
Of course, those in attendance were going to be the antithesis of everything I am or aspire to be. A mix devoid of any substance; the kind of people who I’d fit in with at face value, but would never be friends with: douchebag guys with $75 haircuts, Seven A-Pocket jeans and twill J-Crew blazers; girls in towering Jimmy Choos, cuffed skinny jeans and oversized Gucci bags. People in fields like PR or marketing or advertising or any of the other image-conscious professions young, dead-behind-the-eyes, up-and-comers get into.
When I arrived I recognized one girl, a friend of a sort-of friend. She perfectly epitomized the sea of people in whose stupidity I was now very actually drowning: Vapid. Mindless. Shallow. During the Obama/McCain elections, when she heard that Black Panthers were stationing themselves at the polls, she wondered aloud to our mutual friend about how the people got the cats out of the zoo and, when they got them to the polls, how they were able to keep them there without being bitten.
My premonition about the guests was correct, and I spent most of the night in a corner by myself watching the Summer’s Eve mingle with the Dead Air. I listened in as they discussed the important topics of our day, like tooth whitening and frozen yogurt and—the biggest insult to writers with integrity everywhere— the accolades and merits of the "so well-written" Lauren Conrad "LA Candy" series. If they kept talking this way, it was likely I wouldn’t have to use my fingers to purge the bruschetta I was nibbling on.
But as I stood there alone, in the corner, talking to no one— not as much by my own choice as by their choice—it became very clear who the moronic loser was.
I crammed another few pieces of bruschetta down my throat and headed to the restroom.