We’re off to a fundraiser tonight for the Human Rights Campaign, dressed in our evening best. Tonight, we’ll reassure our relationships to those we see only a few times a year. We’ll say hello to powerful people who’ll forget our names. We’ll meet new friends, and, God willing, meet the proverbial him.
The tables are cozy white rounds as they usually are, simple but elegant. The atmosphere is warm, familial, empowering. And the wine flows. And flows. It goes down too easily. Only standing to visit the restroom reminds you how many glasses you’ve had.
Ross Mathews, our beloved and surprisingly down-to-earth compatriot, speaks as a professional comedian at his caliber would: sharp but welcoming, resonate but enlightening. His words turn eloquent for a moment as he explores his childhood struggle with sexuality. I admire him. My friends agree.
Ross takes the stage following an intermission for dinner—an intermission during which I forget a crucial part of being a good dinner guest: use the restroom when the time is right. The consequence? Instead of focusing on Ross during his piece, I focus on him finishing so I can answer nature’s call.
When Ross finishes and people stand in ovation, I duck out quickly and use the restroom. When I return the audience is silent, listening to our next speaker. As I make my way back to my seat, through that thicket of the groomed and powerful, I see it happen: a beautiful young woman in a stunning red gown falls from her chair as she leans over for her purse.
She’s gorgeous. She hasn’t registered her wine intake, I guess. And this becomes my favorite part of the evening: listening to a superstar comedian deliver self-deprecation to show humility. Watching a pretty young lady take a soft tumble to show her not as the mannequin she appears to be, but a real life human being.
Sometimes we all need that fall. To remind us we’re on the ground just like everyone else.