Sunday, February 10, 2013

First Annual Winter Formal

"You’ll have a ball in Paris. You’ll go to a party every night, drink nothing but champagne, swim in perfume and a new love affair every hour on the hour." 
-Fred Astaire

"You got that swag sauce, you drippin' swagu."
-Kanye West

No truer words spoken, Fred and Kanye. Thanks for summing up our lives.

Since the truth of the matter is that I haven't seen 80% of my coworkers in anything but a t-shirt, we decided to have a night where we would get all dressed up and go to a fancy cocktail bar.  And so a tradition was born: our First Annual Winter Formal!

Everyone was instructed to arrive strictly on time at our apartment and were allowed entrance only after saying the password.  ("Let them eat cake")

There were hats and suits, dresses and heels, ties and tuxes, even two top hats.

Then it was time for the revelation of Winter Formal dates.  All the ladies picked their corsage from the platter, which was a specific combination of flowers and ribbon colors.  Matching boutonnieres were waiting to be drawn in the most dramatic rose ceremony ever!

 The bowl of boutonnieres was passed around, and with each one drawn, a lucky lady had her Winter Formal date. You were to take official photos with your Winter Formal date and be escorted by your date when ordering a cocktail. Huge thanks to our resident photographer, Mr. Rick Alarcon, for our stunning Formal date photos.

We originally had an even number of guys and girls, but due to some last minute cancellations, two lucky ladies would have TWO dates.  Congratulations were in order to Sadie and Ellen for securing double date status.

Up next - the vote for Winter Formal King & Queen. Votes were cast for "most formal" and counted 5-6 times just to be sure.  Jillian announced our Winter Formal King, Mr. Gil Soltz!! And for Winter Formal Queen, a shocking shake-up, as Jillian announced: "For the first time in Fat Tire Winter Formal history...we have...a tie!!!"

Drum roll please....

Can you believe it?? Co-Queen of the Winter Formal!! It is an honor indeed.

The royal family, in all our royalty.

Official press photo

Please meet Cedric and Stéphane, our luxurious furs. Jillian was kind enough to lend Cedric to me for the evening, as there is no better time to adorn yourself in jewels and fur than Winter Formal.

This is my Winter Formal Boo, Jonny. He was a perfect gentleman, escorting me through the treacherous hallways and stairs of the metro.

We made a reservation at an underground Speakeasy style cocktail bar called The Ballroom.  It just has an unmarked black door and a bouncer who judges you harshly, even if you have a reservation.  He eyes everyone suspiciously, then makes you wait while he goes inside to see if he could possibly let your lot inside.
After a little wait, he returns and agrees to lead you down a dark rickety staircase, through a specified hallway and into the area which he chooses. The interior is really nice with great music, and the bartenders all wear Prohibition-era clothing - long sleeved button-down shirts with vests, bow ties, hats.  All in all, it made the perfect location for our Winter Formal.

That's our king, keepin' it real.

I had a "Midnight in Paris" moment of sorts when I was looking at our group of 20 in their finest attire, chatting around candlelight on our corner section of couch.  Either I had gone back in time or we were some kind of fancy grown-ups.

There were three favorite moments of the evening:

1. When the surly bouncer from upstairs suddenly started dancing and handing out candy
2. When "All That Jazz" came on, and everyone instantly stopped what they were doing to perform their own rendition of the Chicago hit, as if it was the only natural thing to do.  
3. One of our guides, Max, agreed to eat two raw eggs if we agreed to have "Max Week" where we would dress and act like him for a full week.  (Max Week is currently in full effect.)

Favorite photos:

Overall, it was a huge success and widely agreed upon to have been one of the most fun evenings we've ever had as a group, to go down in the books. We greatly look forward to next year's Winter Formal. There are even talks of a Spring Formal, in case we can't wait.

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