I got dressed up for homelessness

I got dressed up for homelessness

I don't do dress up well. I'm pretty much a jeans, t-shirt and Converse kind of guy. There may be a sweater or a long sleeve shirt, but I'm casual almost 24/7/365. I consider wearing khakis as dressing up. So when I was invited to a fancy black tie optional event, I was a little apprehensive.

People told me I needed to wear a suit. DUH! No problem, I have a suit. When I say I have a suit, that's what I mean. ONE! Here's the story of that suit.

When my daughter got married two years ago, I knew I needed a new suit. I went out and bought a nice one. I figured I'd get some use out of it. I have no idea why I thought that.

The day of the wedding was a nice day...nice and hot and humid. Temperature in the upper 90's. By the end of the evening, the suit and I were drenched with sweat. I should have taken it to the cleaners the next day but decided to wait until my next froo froo event. Who knew it was going to be almost two years.

The suit gets cleaned. I pick out a tie. Polish my dress shoes...no Converse tonight. I'm styling and ready to party...and yes I did tuck in my shirt.

Now about the event itself. It's the yearly fundraiser for Lincoln Park Community Shelter. Metamorphosis or as my invite said "Meta". Yanno...a take off on Lolla...get it? Now if you think that a guy who used to live at a shelter getting an invite for a huge fundraiser with all their major donors is a little surreal, you aren't the only one. But I like surreal.

The night starts with appetizers. Fancy apps not your Friday's apps. I get offered something on a leaf. Do you eat the leaf? Then it was time for dinner. Salmon, chicken, potatoes. I said to the woman sitting next to me, who is a friend and fellow former shelter-mate that we may need to get pizza afterwards. She agreed...we didn't but should have.

Dinner is over and now it gets interesting. It was time to make some cash. There was a raffle for four Hamilton tickets and some other goodies. Nice prize but raffle tickets were $100 each.

Time for the auction. Man, did it get interesting. Very interesting. One of the prizes were tickets for all four days of Lolla plus tickets to see James Taylor and Dead & Company at Wrigley. This wasn't exactly a Lolla type of crowd. I think the one person closest to being a Lolla person was ME...and I don't want to do four days of it. Nevertheless, someone bought it for a few thousand.

Then it got very very VERY interesting. The final prize was tickets to four Cubs games. Great seats in the front row right behind home plate. The bidding was very intense. Then the auctioneer got an idea. He brought down the bidding to $250 and the last person to make a bid got the tickets. It went back and forth between two people for about ten minutes. The runner-up was a woman who spent about $5K and walked away with nothing but a tax write off. I'm pretty sure every charity in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin started calling her the next day to invite her to their fundraisers.

The dinero raising part of the evening is over and it's time for drinking and dancing. Oh yeah...something else I really don't do is dancing. Why...because it tends to look like this:

But yanno....I've got on my good suit so I might as well go for it!

Now I know I've just spent six hundred words making fun of the night...and me...but it really was fun and everyone seemed to have a good time. Plus I got to wear the suit a second time which cuts the cost per wear in half. Good deal! And most importantly, more than $100,000 was raised which will provide beds, food, and services for a lot of homeless people in the next year.

So hopefully these 600 plus words didn't piss anyone off and I'll get another invitation next year...hint, hint. I might even bid on some Lolla tickets and I need an excuse to clean and wear that suit again.


Not all stories about homelessness have to be dark and depressing. I hope this was one of them. It is part of the Faces of Homelessness series. Here's another one about how you can go home again.

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    Howard Moore

    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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