I have a rule against drunk shopping. But I didn’t always. The policy sprang from necessity after attending my first-ever school fundraising auction. Poured into an oxygen-inhibiting costume, plied with signature cocktails, and woozy from watching wealthy parents race to the bottom of bid sheets, I lost my shizz and wound up owing \$500 for a one-night chocolate fountain rental.
Five hundred dollars. For wet chocolate.
When sobriety surfaced, I literally wept with panic. What had I done?! I had a young kid, a new mortgage, a mediocre salary, and, like, six friends — none of whom were likely to pay $83 each to lap gurgling goo from a humming appliance atop my hand-me-down kitchen table. No, you know how this ends. I took a bath on that chocolate fountain. And possibly … also … in it, but that’s my business.
A dozen years and as many auctions later — at Cabarets and Carnivals, through the Enchanted Forest, and aboard the Orient Express — I’ve learned to sip my wine and hide my bid number. But I can’t say I’ve learned to love the annual campus clusterfund that is the school auction.