Saturday, December 3, 2011

World AIDS Day at Grandma's House

A person can’t fully understand how random New York City is unless you live here. Visiting gives you a taste of the madness, but it’s the day-to-day stuff that holds the most promise for shear insanity.

I work part-time for a company I’m not allowed to mention since I signed some sort of contract or something saying I can’t blog about it, so we’ll call it Grandma’s House… why Grandma’s House you may ask? Because it makes me laugh. Anyway, so I do a few different things at Grandma’s House; one of which is working at art shows. There was an art show Thursday night. The three assignments to choose from were: main entrance, signing people in, and pouring wine/water (by the end of the night people were wishing I possessed some Jesus-like skills to turn the water into wine after we ran out).

The first part of the night, I had the pleasure of signing people in at the front door. The building has a couple galleries on other floors, so people would come in packs armed with their plastic cups of wine. FYI to all my NYer friends: Thursdays are gallery night out here and it’s free and you get unlimited free wine! Why am I just finding out about this?!?!? Don’t waste another Thursday sober…oh yeah, and support local artist. I’m hard of hearing in one ear (little known Alicia fact!) and I make a ridiculous amount of typos when people are hovering over me; needless to say, the email contact list will probably get 72% of them bounced back. Most people’s email addresses are Google, you’re successfully running shit online. My favorites included: the guy named Cosmo (which is actually his middle name), the French guy with the 14 letter last name, and the Russian lady who spelled her name using other words (e.g. D as in David, A as in Apple, D as in David, etc – I wish everyone had done that). The dad of one of the artist referred to his son as “the fruit of [his] loins.” As much as I enjoyed butchering people’s names, I wanted to go inside to get in on the art action and the tips!

Pretty sure I found my calling as a bartender that night. Wine makes people happy; and the happier they are, the more they tip. I can now uncork a wine bottle in like 10 seconds which is a great skill to have professionally and personally. Being that it was an art show, there was a very diverse crowd. You had your average 20-somethings that think art is cool and come to get drunk off the free wine. You have your fancy industry folks. Then you have your eccentric peeps that show up with painted faces and 5-inch platform silver sparkle boots (he was also wearing a gnarly fake fur coat and had a cane – the mental picture is forever imprinted in my memory). As a female, I knew I would be sexually harassed at some point in the evening. My stalker Oleg/Olef (I already told you I’m hard of hearing which does not pair well with loud music and a heavy accent) who was clearly in his mid-60s asked me if I like girls and if he could get my number. I give him props for trying, but not sure where he got the idea that I would want to correspond with him in the future. I was also approached by a photographer who insisted I do a shoot with him. I’ve seen Tyra. I know what can happen. This dude is gonna try to lure me to a hotel room for the "shoot" and talk me into some “tasteful artistic nudes.” Sorry homie. I’ll pass… and by pass, I mean Google you to see if you’re even remotely legit and then email you just for kicks.

Here’s the sexual harassment rundown...
Number of times my hand was kissed: 5
Number of times asked for my number: 3
Number of times told I had a nice smile: 6
Number of times told I was “sweet”: 10
Number of $5 tips: 3

The last stat is the only one I'm really ok with. Hey, it’s about time I benefit financially from being a woman. Not to mention, I was rather generous with the vino. We just had red and white. I learned that the majority of women prefer white wine and when men find out there is no beer, they will begrudgingly drink red wine. The growing tip jar gave me the much needed energy to stay on my feet since I had already worked a full day and worked until 8 the night before. My favorite tip was my triceratops figurine. Her name is Wino Dino. I think the guy with the mini dinosaurs (yes, he had several) was from the wine supplier because the company uses dinosaurs on their labels. If he wasn’t, then it’s just a happy coincidence.

After cleaning up, we were hanging out in the kitchen and I found out one of the head guys at Grandma’s House is like some super scientist that is making major advances in HIV/AIDS research. We had met him earlier and he was around all night. How cool is that?!?! And it was even cooler because I found this out on World AIDS Day. We split up the tips, downed one more cup of wine for the road, and then headed home. I felt like a mediocre stripper with my small wad of ones in my purse. All-in-all, it was a fun and successful night.

Lesson Learned: Everything is fun and games until the wine runs out.

We went through about 7 cases in 2 1/2 hours.