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Big Night at One Big Event
Saturday evening, I attended One Big Event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The event is a fundraiser for the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective. It is a gala affair with guys in tuxedos and gals in cocktail dresses and vice versa. Mid-afternoon, I began my femulation and was ready to go about an hour before I had to go, so I took some photos like the one you see on the right. The dress I wore was absolutely fabulous and wearing it made me feel wonderful beyond compare. Throughout the evening, I received many compliments from friends and strangers alike. It is a dress I will have to wear again and again. Left home at 5:15 and parked my car at the Convention Center garage 15 minutes before the start of the event, so I was able to get a strategic parking spot close to the entrance of the Convention Center rather than in the heights of the fifth or sixth level of the garage. I say "strategic" because after a long night of partying in high heels, it is nice to walk the minimum distance back to where your chariot awaits you. I took the escalators to the top of the Convention Center and checked in to find that I was seated at table 4. Usually, I end up sitting at a table with double digits, but thanks to my friend Diana and her friend Joe, I was seated in the front row of tables. Nice! The cocktail hour ran from 6 to 7 PM. It gave everyone an opportunity to schmooze, check out the items up for bid in the silent auction while drinking your favorite beverage. I recognized a few people and exchanged pleasantries.
After viewing all the auction items, I want to sit a spell, so I saw a seat available at a table where two young women were already seated. I asked if I could join them, they said yes and we exchanged introductions. The first time I attended One Big Event, I assumed all the attendees were gay, lesbian, trans, etcetera except for the politicians and dignitaries. I since learned that a good portion of the crowd were civilians representing the various corporate sponsors of the event, as was one the women I was sitting with. She was from Travelers Insurance and the other woman was her guest. They were UCONN graduates as I am and we exchanged stories about our experience on the Stores campus. We parted ways when the dining room opened – I to table 4 and they to a table with double digits. Table 4 was populated by me, Diana, Joe and Joe's family. They were a friendly bunch and we got along swimmingly. Dinner was very good and in mass quantities – so much so that I did not finish a course, not even dessert. After dinner, the folks who head the Health Collective spoke followed by two politicians, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and Connectuct's U.S Senator Richard Blumenthal. They both were encouraging... that despite the current occupant of the White House, the good fight will continue and we will be triumphant again. Their words pleased the crowd of 400 to no end. At past One Big Events, the politicians speak, then get out of Dodge to attend to other matters, so I was surprised when Diana nudged me to look up and see the Senator visiting tables to shake hands and schmooze. When he came to our table, I got his attention and he came over to shake my hand. I was not going to let him getaway with just a handshake, so I told him that I liked him so much that I would vote for him twice, once in girl mode and once in boy mode. He got a big charge out of that, laughed, shook my hand again and said thank-you. Very cool!