It’s the museum’s party, and I’ll cry if I want to. At home, of course.
By Hannah Wallace
For a few short hours, I thought I had scored a deal to the swankiest event in town.
Then my dreams were dashed. By a typo.
Within hours of receiving the (what turned out to be faulty) UnGala press release, Copy Editor Megan and I had rallied our dates and begun dreaming of dress shopping. But when I went to cash in on what we thought was a special rate for members of the media: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, I was quickly informed: Media people are invited to purchase UnGala tickets for two hundred and 50 dollars—not the slick $50 I’d already started saving my pennies for.
LOCKED OUT: As much blog publicity as I have to give, my checking account can't get me into Sarasota's gala season kickoff.
Now, in hindsight, a lot of things didn’t add up. Well, one big thing: How on earth would they let riff-raff like me and Megan into the UnGala? Oh, I see: They wouldn’t. The phantom discount would still have been a significant investment to someone in my tax bracket (though I was wholly ready to pay); alas, the full ticket price registers far too high a percentage of my income for me to qualify as a proper UnGala attendee. Counting the dress I would’ve bought (and it would’ve been nice, you can count on that), a regular, no-discount-Joe UnGala ticket would’ve put me back a month’s rent. And I’m guessing the museum folks wouldn’t let me sleep in the loggia.
(On a side note, when I worked in the museum’s gift shop a couple of years ago, I used to take afternoon naps in the courtyard grass—take that, Ringling!)
Tickets cost that much, and they expect people to make donations on top of that? Well, yeah, they probably didn’t need us there doing keg stands on the Ketel One ice fountain or whatever it is we poor people do when we’re overwhelmed with riches.
To be fair, museum reps were immediately, thoroughly and professionally apologetic about the mistake—professionalism that I, of course, hoped would turn into a sympathy invite. But, really, their reputation can better withstand a little typo than having a guy nicknamed “Cheetah Club Boyfriend” attend their flagship event in a rented tux. (Aw, he would’ve looked nice, too.)
So, when Oct. 20 rolls around, our group will be headed to the Ritz instead, where valets will no doubt greet us warmly (while parking the Seafoam Monster in Arcadia so it won’t devalue the property). With no rented tuxes or new dresses, I figure we can spend $50 apiece in honor of our UnGala exclusion. (Or, as CCB put it, “We can feel like we matter to society for at least 15 or 20 minutes until our $100 runs out.”)
But let this be a lesson to you all: Editors are important people. We read stuff, and, y’know, a lot of times, when it says $50 and it’s supposed to be $250? We can spot that—and if we work for you, we can correct it. If we don’t work for you? We’re going to be on that discount like snake on mice.