It was last minute on a Friday night when my husband and I, itching to put on our dancing shoes, decided to try out a dinner/dance event at an area hotel.
I knew we were in trouble when the eager young hostess greeted us and shouted, “whatever you can see, you can eat!” I don’t even know what that means. But my weirdo/borderline creepy alert sensor kicked into high gear immediately. My husband and I glanced at each other, eyebrows raised, and tiptoed around the corner and into the “dinner/dance” area of the very small hotel.
Let’s just say the scene was far from the fantasy in my head. So far removed, in fact, that I was as disappointed as a desperate-to-be-wed girlfriend on the receiving end of a small velvet box that contained a Pandora charm rather than a diamond sparkler.
My Vision: White linen tablecloths and candles (tealights at the very least for goodness sake).
Reality Check: Flowery vinyl tablecloths, paper napkins and centerpiece bowls filled with candy conversation hearts.
My Vision: Romantic lighting, glossy furniture and chandeliers reminiscent of a swanky speakeasy.
Reality Check: Rickety tables, uncomfortable metal folding chairs and a knickknack-filled room reminiscent of grandma’s covered sun-room. With a big messy kitchen clearly visible.
My Vision: Ok, I wasn’t expecting a sit down dinner with white-glove service, but come on, I was expecting at least a carving station, a fresh green salad and a glass of red wine.
Realty Check: Kitchen counters piled with random plates of food (Ah, now I understand the “if you see it you can eat it” bit). Limp shrimp cocktail. Blocks of cheese. Baby carrots. Gray meatballs in broth. What appeared to be boiled chicken. Oh, and an oddly sweet warm white wine on offer.
My Vision: Sweeping dance floor, big band music, couples doing renditions of the Waltz, Rumba and Foxtrot on the gleaming hardwood floor.
Reality Check: Old wooden floor marred with an accident-waiting-to-happen raised electrical socket, 3-piece twangy band of sorts, the rare couple doing a stand and sway.
Clearly my romantic notions that conjured up visions of New York City’s The Rainbow Room far exceeded the reality that was the Peralynna Inn in Columbia. I do give them credit for trying, but whatever the event was, it was NOT a dinner/dance. I suppose they did attempt to feed people, but it was nearly impossible to dance to a band that didn’t play dance music. And my husband and I will dance to ANYTHING. We have danced to bad karaoke. We have danced on the horribly uncomfortable Chattahoochee at an outdoor pool party. We have whipped out a Foxtrot in between tables at a restaurant. We have danced when there IS NO DANCING. So when I say the music did not inspire anyone to “get jiggy with it,” I am not kidding.
We would have left immediately after eyeballing the scene, but we were expecting friends. Thankfully, they were great sports about the whole event and the evening was worthwhile as we had the opportunity to catch up with them. Clearly, however, we’ll be getting our dinner and dance kicks elsewhere.