I don’t have one picture from last night’s event but there were 2 wonderful photographers who captured everything and then some. I was running around the room with my co-hostess, Nicole, and didn't snap one shot.
I’ll write more after I send out my thank yous to all the amazing people who made the event possible... and when I can get past describing everything and everyone as “the greatest ever.” LOL!
But while I’m here…
Special thanks to:
Nicole Senior – my partner in crime & partying, who among a million other logistical things, made the room look fabulous. I’m the dreamer of our pair. I’ll have these big fabulous ideas and Niki reels me from orbit with an “um, D…” to tell me what’s actually possible and plausible, but still gives me enough room to go slightly over the top. Last night’s dinner was supposed to be a simple gathering for around 20 people. We ended up with around 50 women, 30 guys, and 2 photographers, a liquor sponsor and gift bags. Thanks for letting me O.D., Nik.
Arlene Pitterson – the invites said Demi & Niki, but Arlene was the third hostess of the night. Not only did she know everyone in the room, she was in the trenches of planning with me & Nik. It started out with me just asking Arlene questions about lining up sponsors and morphed into her handling everything on that end for an event she wasn’t even sure she would attend. (She lives in the Midwest.) We were on the phone multiple times, daily for a month, planning, and her talking me down off the ledge and back into the room. (I have perfectionist tendencies. The smallest thing can send me out the window.) She managed to make it out. I was so, so happy to have her there. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for everything, babe!
Shannon Washington (honoree)—We’ve been friends for a long, long time. I still have the picture from ’97 when we met and I went with her and some friends to my first rave. She introduced me to Dave Matthews’Crash album (still one of my faves) in her college dorm room (HU!!! Ever notice how you can’t give a shout out to a list of Black people without that school coming up? LOL!) She was one of last night’s honorees, which meant she should have been sitting pretty and just shown up fabulous and accepted her accolades. But no, sitting still just isn’t Shannon. She lined up the night’s liquor sponsor, prettified and tweaked the one-sheet that pulled in the others in, and did the invitations. Thank you for always being in motion and never sitting back to chill (unless it’s in Brazil or one of the many countless, fabulous places you're always running off to.)
Nicole Marzan (honoree)-- Nicole works in PR and just started her own firm with her bestie, Lindi. I called Nicole to ask her to be an honoree at the event, she said yes, and before she even got off the phone to let it all soak in, she started planning her own celebration. “Who’s doing press? Who’s the photographer? What’s in the gift bags? Who’s sponsoring?” She thinks as big as I do. Actually, maybe bigger. She answered her own questions, lining up all that and then some. Thank you, Niki Marz!
Baileys (Please Get Together Responsibly)/ Chantal DeSoto – Baileys was my Dream Sponsor from the gate when Niki and I put together our Wish List for the event. Chantal jumped at the opportunity and came through at every turn with gift, bags, tees, CDs... Stuff we didn't even think to ask for. She wanted the evnt to be as fabulous as we did. The drinks were WONDERFUL!!!!! Thank you, Chantal.
TROJAN condoms-- My theory for the night was we’re inviting all these women to a great night to celebrate their success. Baileys is providing spirits to keep everyone joyful during the event. And what better way for a girl to end her evening than with some good Vitamin D?! In case that was the plan for any of the grown ladies’ in attendance, I wanted to maximize the experience… with Trojan’s vibrating rings and condoms (guaranteed good time.) I announced that Trojan donated condoms to the gift bags and people broke out in applause like I’d just yelled Barack Obama won the general election. I hope many, many people had a safe and pleasurable evening!!!
Lola & Tom (Lola owners)- I love these people just for being who they are. They are gracious and humble and generous. I don’t know how long they’ve been married because I’ve never asked, but they still look at each other like the other half has set the sun in the sky. It’s something to aspire to. Last night and leading up to this event, they accommodated us in a multitude of ways. I won’t give all the background because the behind the scenes should stay just there, but they opened their beautifully amazing restaurant to us and bent in every direction possible to make sure everything ran smoothly and our event was a success. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I think Lola's wil become my new home restaurant. (Everyone should have a restaurant that feels like home away from home, where the bartenders and owners know your name.)
Gardy V. Guerrier— Bless this man for he rearranged travel plans to “work the door.” He ended up doing so much more, directing the photographers to capture our sponsors, producing photos (and an impromptu photoshoot), talking me down off the ledge in the weeks leading up to the event and so much more than I’ll list here. Thanks, G. I got you on the limo (inside joke). I was all prepared to thank him by buying dinner or taking him to brunch this weekend, but when I offered last night, he was like, “um, no. I need to thank you.” (Allowing a single Black man to get in a room full of gorgeous women seems to be priceless!)
Mack Peion & Stephen Knight (photographers)-- I haven’t even seen all the pictures but I know they are dope. These guys were everywhere and all over and in everyone’s face just like good photographers are supposed to be. Thank you, guys!!
Khalilah Raheem—she was supposed to just show up and have a good time. She ended up stuffing gift bags and countless other much-needed things to keep the event running smoothly. Thank you for letting me put you to work.
Brandi Greene- ie, the third leg of The Tripod. I don’t know if she thought she wouldn’t have to work, but um… no. LOL! Thanks, BB!
The Servers – They went above and beyond. They stuffed gift bags, did table settings and ran around all night like chickens with missing heads (how country am I?) and got it all done in a timely fashion. I love these people. If you need a reason to go to Lola’s beyond the food, the drinks, the décor, the convenient location, or anything else, go for the service. Good service can be hard to find in this city. Great service, like what we had last night, is next to impossible. Go make a reservation already!!!
Igor the Bartender- I have no clue what was in the caramel apple martini other than Baileys, but GOOD LORD that was good. GOOD LORD!
The Men—I tried to ban them from the event insisting it was a ladies only night. I didn’t want them distracting the women and trying to holla’ while we were supposed to be honoring our accomplishments and doing our Sisterhood thing. The men basically told me that was nonsense and that they were coming. Period. (Gotta love alpha males.) Realizing that there was no way I could stop men from getting to a room full of fabulous women in heels (shout out to Niki Marz's shoes. You'll see why when I post all the pictures) I extended an invite for them to arrive at 9:30.
These guys… LOL haven’t been to anything on time in their lives, but they showed up at exactly 9:30!!! A bunch of 'em came in suits and ties and hard bottom shoes, no less. (Um, and yes, ya’ll did look good. I ended up making eyes at an unlikely gentleman at the bar and had to remind myself men were not my focus for the evening. More on that another day.)
I think I may officially invite them next year. I know I couldn’t exist properly or sanely in this city without my guys (shout out to GVG, Rich, Moore, Jarrell, [my favorite letter of the alphabet :-)], and the most recent addition, Mack.) They, and many, many guys like them, support the ladies in countless ways and are a large part of the reason for their success (no woman is an island). Knowing all that, I tried to move a few who had snuck into the main room before it was time for them. One looked at me dead in my face and was like, “I’m family. I’m not moving.” And he is. So I gave up and just accepted him being there. (cue the Serenity Prayer now] LOL!
I’m not promising anything, but I’m thinking about letting ya’ll come on time next year.
Thanks to everyone who came out. I hope you had as much fun as I did.