A Swellegant, Elegant Party

The title for today’s post, in addition to referencing one of my favorite songs (seriously, it’s Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby—what’s not to love?), also describes what happened last night. There was a reception for the Fulbright grantees at the American ambassador’s residence, and it was definitely a good night.

Bing, Grace, and Frank all approve.

Being the hyper-prepared person that I am, I started getting ready early. I sent out messages to my more stylish friends early in the day, asking for suggestions vis-à-vis hair, makeup, etc. There was also a Skype date with my sister that involved the pair of us looking through my Pinterest boards and discussing my options. This is what I love about the Internet—it means that I can have this kind of conversation with my sister as though she were with me. We can both see what the other is talking about, and I can even use my webcam to make her check that the back of my hair looks alright.

The hair was definitely the most difficult part. I had planned on doing a sock bun, since they’re pretty ubiquitous and really, really cute. According to the YouTube tutorials I found, they were also easy. This, friends, was a lie. After five tutorials and countless attempts, I had nothing to show for my efforts but a tangled mess and a cut-up sock.

When his hair looks better than mine, we have a problem.

Thankfully, one of my neighbors saw my desperate Facebook appeal for assistance, and did my hair. Then, it was over to my friend Casey’s flat, where a couple of us met up for snacks before heading over to the residence.

We got a little lost on our way, because we missed our bus stop, and ended up running to avoid being too late. What this really meant was that I shucked off my heels and ran in my stocking feet, because heels are not my friends. I only put my shoes back on when we reached the gates of the residence.

The party itself was quite nice. I only spoke to the Ambassador in the receiving line (because he went to Duke. And also because I’m not important enough to have extended conversations with ambassadors), but I spent some time catching up with the other Fulbrighters, and also hanging out with the embassy interns and enjoying the food.

Oh, the food! You guys—it was so good. There were tiny cakes, and bits of bread with different spreads, and mini schnitzel on toothpicks. But the best bit—the bit that opened the heavens and set the choirs of angels singing—was the chili martini. It was a martini glass filled with mashed potatoes and chili. It was easily the best part of the night.


The reception only lasted two hours, and as soon as we got past the residence gates, the shoes came off—at least until it started raining. Cold feet are one thing; cold and wet feet are quite another. As soon as I got home, it was time for fuzzy slippers, flannel pajamas, and the season premiere of The Hour, aka The Show You Should Be Watching. Keep an eye out for a review later this week!


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