I went to The Very Merry Holiday Sing-Along Spectacular tonight at The Loft with my friends Jenny and Rich. They take video clips from movies and TV shows with Christmas songs in them, edit them together and subtitle them, and everyone has a most wonderful time of the year caroling, indoors, together with a bunch of strangers. And it’s a toy drive, too, so it’s made of all kinds of win.
Events at The Loft frequently encourage costumes. (I won the prize for best costume at a showing of Cry-baby this summer, actually.) This time, the dress code was “over-the-top Christmas garb,” with an emphasis on ugly Christmas sweaters for the official Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. I do not own an ugly Christmas sweater. I don’t own any Christmas-specific clothing whatsoever, actually, (except for maybe a pair of socks somewhere in a back of a drawer) but had a couple ideas of what I could make work for the occasion.
Naturally, I didn’t try on any of these possibilities until a few hours before it was time to pick up my pals and get to the theatre, and the things I thought I was going to wear…well, I just wasn’t feeling it. On any of them. But I had one dress that, while not particularly Christmasy, had both red and green on it, and really, what more do you need? Plus it’s comfy, and one of my favorites. I decided to pair it with my red and green embroidered combat boots, a pair of candy cane striped socks, and top the works with a Santa hat. Perhaps not the requisite “over-the-top,” but at least I made a Christmas-themed effort, right? And I thought I looked pretty cute.
So we get there, and get settled in our seats, and the program director, Jeff, comes out to introduce the evening, as is his wont, and announces that we will begin with the aforementioned Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. And contestants start making their way to the stage.
At this point, the woman next to me–actually, she wasn’t next to me; my purse and jacket were, so she was 2 seats away–turns to me and says, “Oh, you should definitely be up there with THAT dress!”
And I laugh, loudly, and say, “Except for this wasn’t actually meant to be an ugly sweater.”
“Oh, but you should still go! You could win!” she says, totally missing the bit where she insulted one of my favorite dresses. Twice.
“With people up there with actual lit-up Christmas lights around their necks, I’d never have a shot,” I said, kindly. Probably more kindly then she deserved. She finally gave it a rest after that, probably because there was action happening up by the screen, and not because she realized she’d put her foot in her mouth.
In my house, growing up, there was a fair amount of emphasis placed on couth–having it and demonstrating it. Evidently, this was not standard curriculum in other households. Merry Christmas, lady.