This is a non-fiction piece I will be handing into class today. I had to write about an immersion experience in 800 words. I probably have loads of grammatical errors ... a weakness of mine. Sigh! Debbie
Chocolate was everywhere. The Bernard Callebaut type of chocolate, white, silver-wrapped, nutty chocolate, custardy balls of pastry dipped in chocolate, and chocolate cakes cloaked in chocolate. Everything sweet seemed to be dripping with chocolate. There were also some savoury snacks: cheese, crackers, cold meats, the odd hot wing at the end of the evening. Champagne with bits of chocolate at the bottom of the glass was served by smartly dressed waiters, and you could also grab a glass of pink bubbles at a central table.
My friend, Beth, kindly treated me to the Chicks and Chocolate function held on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at the Port Theatre in downtown Nanaimo, British Columbia. The event was to raise funds in support of the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. It started at 6.00 p.m., but we arrived a little late, so we missed the chocolate and champagne fountain and being greeted by the Timbermen B and VI Raiders players. I was not keen on going. I am not a girly type of woman and neither is Beth. But she got the tickets for free, and there was chocolate to be had, so we decided to go.
As we entered the foyer, we found ourselves amidst a sea of women of every size and age, some dressed casually, and others seemed to have just come from work. The Red Hat Society ladies were flamboyantly spreading their rosy joy through the crowd, chatting and joking. They stood out with their red and purple hats, some with ribbons and bows, and others with feathers and shiny metals of silver and gold. Shades of crimson, white, coral pink and yellow roses were placed in large containers throughout the space, knitting the scene together. We resolutely waded into the perfumed, chatty, feminine ocean of sights and sounds and smells.
There were wares and services intended to attract female customers at various tables. I vaguely remember jewelry, cosmetics, a health and wellness clinic, botox information, and there was a Mystic Room, where one could get a peek at your future. We got a guest pass at the Nanaimo Athletic Club table, which I intend to use after eating all that chocolate. There were also classes throughout the night teaching ladies how to build an outdoor Christmas bell, how to make cheesecake, accessorizing outfits with scarves and other accessories, salsa lessons, and so on.
I was getting somewhat bored until we came across the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue, Chocolate Cabaret, which was held inside the auditorium. It was a cheeky, fun program of burlesque dancers. Yes, the clothes came off, and bums were seen and boobs were jiggled and swung with their little tassels. There was even a feather fan dance, much lauded by burlesque enthusiasts. Beth couldn't sit through the whole program. She felt uncomfortable at all that flesh on stage, so she left. But I was quite fascinated, especially by one of the dancer's gorgeous, sparkly shoes. It was hilarious, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it and hooted and clapped when the clothes came off (which I thought was strange since we were all women in the room). Perhaps the applause was for the dancers' bravery for unclothing themselves in front of a crowd of females. How sexy could a dancer get? The dances were cute with their fifties theme. The performances were professional and well choreographed, so undressing was somewhat unnecessary, I felt. But, that is part of burlesque, therefore, part of the act. I imagined men would find the experience quite different.
I met up with Beth again. Then we found the Vancouver Island University Spa Institute, Esthetics and Nail Services, from the Parksville campus. They had set up three tables with three students attending each one. We were lucky that two chairs had vacated just as we came into the passage where they were positioned. I had a hand and arm massage, and Beth opted to have her nails painted. The massage was delightful. I felt as if every muscle melted. And each arthritic knuckle was put in place, and all stress seemed to flow from my finger tips. It was totally relaxing.
We left early and missed a few events, such as the baritone singer, a couple of health seminars, the bachelor auction (Jason Cook, the baritone singer, was one of the bachelors), and more burlesque, including a class showing you how to dance in that style. But we did not leave before having some chocolate wrapped cheesecake. It was delicious, as was the whole evening.