The annual Wine and Cuisine Society (WCS, for those in the know) Holiday Party is quite different from many HBS parties for a number of reasons: it isn’t as centred around one group as much as some (e.g. European Club parties, Rugby Club parties, those parties held at peoples’ homes where they just invite their friends etc): it is a much more varied group and, in my opinion, much better for it.
RCs mix with ECs, people don’t just hang around with their section, everyone is more than usually sociable with ‘Partners’ and people from McKinsey flirt with people from Bain. The common interest is in good quality alcohol, food and conversation, not necessarily in that order (although like all good parties it does degenerate into dancing, gossiping and hooking up in the end).
Another unifying factor is that the people who are regular attendees of WCS events tend to prioritise fine wines over such optional activities as studying, working out and getting a good nights sleep. Most WCS events begin at around 6 or 7pm: far too early to allow anyone to thoroughly work through their cases before, but clearly tasting seven different wines in two hours is also not conducive to doing much work afterwards. This self-selected group is therefore as dedicated to their parties as the rugby club is to Tommy Doyle’s and BU girls.
My evidence for this? For many other events, the absolutely terrible weather on the night of the WCS Holiday Party (about 12 inches of snow) would have caused at least some drop-off in attendance, but when you are dealing with a group of people as serious about their alcohol as this lot, all it means is that everyone breaks out the heavy winter coats to wear over their tuxes/ cocktail dresses and people are more than usually reluctant to leave.
Luckily, none of these hardcore party people were disappointed. At last year’s party 250 bottles of wine were consumed by 11.30pm between around 250 people. This year my sources declined to say how much more wine they had ordered, but there were 8 different wines, 274 people, and there was definitely wine left over. The accompanying food was an interesting mixture of dim sum, sushi and what I think were either samosas or empanadas: just as international as the crowd attending. Not to imply that Europeans and Latin Americans drink more than Americans but. OK, that is exactly what I am implying.
There were also plenty of pretty dresses with festive sea no sparkly snowflake earrings – the touch of kitsch was instead provided by tinsel-and-bauble snowmen laid out on all of the tables. I think that this was done by the staff at the Charles Hotel, but it may have been the WCS committee members who were hanging around when I arrived. They are a multi-talented bunch.
Which makes me even more surprised to hear that unlike my sacks of fan mail, the Presidents of the WCS mainly get complaint emails from members who didn’t get in to events. Please everyone, just fill in the polls earlier and maybe email them a ‘well done’ every so often. They don’t just do the job for the free alcohol, you know.
A few other party highlights:
– The Columbian getting people to fetch him wine and food while sitting in a comfortable chair pretending to be checking people’s names at the door.
– The precarious drunken dancing. Note to gentlemen: if you are dancing with a lady and you decide to either twirl or dip her, it is best to check that you are sober enough to catch her first. Also, be aware that some parts of dresses, particularly the skimpy cocktail variety, are not built to be used as handles. Just so you know.
– A usually very stylish EC wearing an ill-advised Burberry tie, despite having taken Consumer Marketing last semester and having me explain to him why this is Very Wrong. Still, he was kind enough to make sure I got home OK at the end of the night, so he’s forgiven.
– The typical Bain group that congregates toward the end of many social events, asking ourselves loudly why it is always the same people who stay out late, and secretly congratulating ourselves on being more fun than the BCG people.
– DJ Alan Gubbins spinning some appropriately festive tunes and spending as much time on the dance floor as behind the decks. Apparently there was some gossip about him, but luckily I’m not one to spread rumors.
– Director of this years’ HBS Show introducing himself to as many of the cute girls from last years cast as he could find. I should be being nice because he’s my boss but really, he was being quite obvious. *Shameless plug* Auditions are next week. I’m Assistant Director. It will be fun. Try out. *Shameless plug*.
– Photos getting fuzzier as the evening progressed: they were all taken by my favorite Israeli photographer who managed to be in a suspiciously large number of the pictures, usually with his arms around a pretty blonde girl. Perk of the job, I suppose.