The hard part in getting ready wasn't even the clothing part of the costume. I haven't worn contacts in 4 years and while I could do the thicker one on the second try, it took me another 10 minutes to get the other one in. It'll take a bit to get used to wearing them again. At least it was a nicely humid evening which made wearing them easier. Then I put on makeup - another rarity since usually I don't even own any. I bought some for the occassion, so I was detailed in white and gold. I did a fairly basic Venetian carnival-type outfit, which felt like cheating since it's not part of my usual habit of making spectacular and complicated last minute outfits from scratch. Except for the golden mask which I bought yesterday, I already owned all the random but appropriate bits of clothing which went into this costume. (Indeed, upon later thought, I realized that the bits and pieces came from 5 different countries!)
The party was delightful. I only knew 2 people on arriving, but I had lovely talks with many people, especially a new acquaintance named Sara(h) who I will never recognize again since she wore a mask the entire time. To be fair, it was a truly gorgeous and beribboned mask. We have Ad Astra and Worldcon and Bakka and the LOTR exhibit and such in common. She's a writer (fantasy and/or sci fi, not sure), aspiring to be published, currently circulating some of her work. Bronwen, one of Alice's housemates (Alice being one of the two people I knew), went all be-vined, much more in keeping with what I would normally do. Alexandra (I know her too!) was dripping with cute toy snakes as Medusa. A woman named Leslie has a pretty blue dress and amazingly long black hair. And there were balloons! (There were lots of other nice people there too, including a Pirate named Paco and a Death named David. If Cyril had been dressed as a Sorceror I could keep up with the alliteration, but he was dressed as a witch. And there was a fluffy grey cat.)
The food had cooled by the time I made it there but was still tasty - especially the Roman Stuffed Dates (I don't think they were stuffed with real Romans).
I'm happy - I was allowed to run off with a balloon when I went home.