The beginning of the social season finds me at home among many different crowds.
By Hannah Wallace
Oh my God, the coolest thing happened at the UnParty Friday night. As I was standing awkwardly near the door, trying to look chill while searching the crowd for Copy Editor Megan, a woman walked past me, did a double take and came back. “Excuse me, are you Hannah?” she asked. “I read your blog.”
Dude. That’s awesome.

In fact, it was Sarasota’s own Uncommon Blonde, and it was really Cheetah Club Boyfriend who first caught her eye (he’s such a star). U.B. is a PR powerhouse and a member of the UnGala committee, so she’s got a mind for remembering people and striking up conversations. Me? I wouldn’t say those are my strong suits, but Friday night—and the weekend in general—I think I did OK.

Frankly, I think last Thursday’s Charity Register party should be considered the true start of the social season, since it celebrates the publication of a brilliantly assembled calendar with all the big parties and whatnot (and look at that genius in the byline). I had an “Are you Hannah?” experience at that party, too, although in that case it was from appreciative non-profiteers instead of an eagle-eyed fellow blogger.

 Me, CCB and Copy Editor Megan ringing in the season at the Charity Register party at the Community Foundation of Sarasota. (I...don't know why CCB is making that face.)

The UnParty, of course, is the real social season kickoff. CCB and I had Copy Editor Megan to keep us from feeling entirely anti-social, but I also managed to say a quick hi to wedding wunderkind Nicole Kaney before diving face-first into the baked brie. And once again we ran into my old Indian Beach landlord, who got all buddy-buddy with CCB discussing fishing and lease violations before selling us a $20 raffle ticket for two spots at the UnGala. (If the society gods have any sense of humor at all, I’ll finally get into that party with a ticket that cost me all of $10.)

We try to recreate our Charity Register pose at the UnParty. (Seriously, more unfortunate blinking situations here--CCB's not drunk; we'd just arrived.) 

Yet another “Are you Hannah?” moment turned out to be Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Mattison’s marketing maven, a one-time Asolo-ite and the angel sent by the society gods to get me into that party in the first place. Jen continued to open social doors for me, introducing her sister and others into the conversation, and before I knew I was talking to all kinds of people.

Imagine that—talking! To strangers! Not that that makes me a social butterfly, but perhaps, y’know, social pupa?
No, wait, that sounds wrong. Never mind.

That there was two days of a lot of fancy. So Saturday it was grilled cheese for breakfast and then straight to the shore with CCB’s new fishing gear (a birthday present from yours truly, because we needed more toys). If you’ve never been, Anna Maria's City Pier is a must-see: 100 yards jutting straight out into the mouth of Tampa Bay, ending in a restaurant and bar/bait shop continually surrounded by fishermen of all ages and races.



We could hardly drop our lines in the water without pulling up snakefish—which helped us befriend an elderly man who was using our catch as bait for whatever the hell monster he was fishing for.




After we got bored with constantly catching things, we sat with the sun on our backs and watched the Rays game on TV, at a bar on the deck of that pier that rocks with the waves and forever reaches for the Skyway. Eventually driving back being chased by the sunset. That is how you do Saturday afternoon. (Followed promptly by wings at Hooters and the UFC fight at Winghouse. Because we are proud Bradentonians.)


Racing the sunset back to the mainland.