New York, London, Paris… San Carlos?!

The SBPA Fashion Show is one of the most popular events of the season in San Carlos.  Its cutting edge fashions are not the main reason, of course.  It is much more a party celebrating friendships, as tables are filled with long time acquaintances from pickleball and golf outings, gym classes, and other non-profit groups like Castaway Kids, Rotary, and Club Deportivo.

The doors opened at 11:00, and if you did not lose your purse prior to the start of the show or spend all your money on raffle tickets, there was an open bar ready to serve.  Woman mingled while looking over the items donated to the raffle:  massage and beauty packages, pet care baskets, nature prints, restaurant gift certificates, and jewelry.  In case the drinks at the bar did not give it away, the raffle items did.  This was a ladies’ day.

Well, ladies and puppies.  The fashion show always features a litter of puppies who are desperately in need of a home.  They are placed strategically near the entrance to the banquet hall.  I had a hard time moving past them to get to my seat.  Which was exactly the point, I am sure.  This year’s group came from a small, fishing village to the west of San Carlos.  They were shorthaired, skinny mutts.  I found my soulmate within seconds and began text bombing my husband immediately.

The show had a western theme, and we were entertained by Country Western dance numbers from a very talented group of ladies.  The wine was beginning to do its magic, and the SBPA Board President had a difficult time competing as she outlined the success of the non-profit over the course of the last year.  Since its inception, SBPA San Carlos has performed nearly 30,000 sterilization surgeries at its permanent and mobile clinic locations.  The group also provides wellness checks and vaccines.  In addition, many of its dedicated members foster cats and dogs in emergency situations and help place them in loving homes.

Rescued dogs were the first to strut their stuff on the runway.  This has always been one of my favorite parts of the show for the simple fact that the dogs prance around the stage to the song “Who Let the Dogs Out”.  Even without wine, I pumped my fist high in the air and “barked” the refrain “Who, who, who who?”.  My own mother pretended not to know me.

Local stores provided the fashions for the human models.  Fashion is kind of an understatement.  San Carlos is a beach town after all.  Models mostly wore swimsuit coverups or souvenir t-shirts.  We do have a couple of thrift stores that generate funds for local charity groups that participate each year.   I am convinced they hold their best stuff back for the fashion show.  Not that I would necessarily wear what was being modeled (I am a pretty much “rotate the same five outfits” kind of gal), but I had to admit some of it looked pretty good!  And I did look through the racks at Rescate just a little closer when I stopped by on Saturday.

By this time, the crowd was in a frenzy!  Women were up and out of their chairs dancing and singing. Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” was playing on repeat.  All I could hear was “Hell yeah” coming at me from every side of the room.  I had exhausted myself during the dog song, so I just watched with my mouth hanging open, filled with some kind of emotion.  (I laughed and cried- -but in a good way- – while listening to the song again this afternoon.)

thumbnail-5Everyone finally calmed down enough for the raffle drawing.  I did not win.  At least I do not think I did.  It was still pretty loud.  I was also unable to convince my husband that we needed an adorable puppy at this time.  I made sure to get lots of puppy snuggles and leave my e-mail address just in case.  It was a little difficult to smile on my way out.  Not because I did not win a raffle prize.  Because I really wanted that sweet puppy.

Maybe next year I will model a new fashion…  “Someone who loves me went to the SBPA Fashion Show, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”.

(Part 2/3)

Author: acstrine

Amy is a former elementary school teacher, currently living "Over the Border" with her husband. She loves reading, traveling, and learning through new experiences. While she would be incredibly flattered if you choose to share her articles, she asks that her name is kindly included as the author.  

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