Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) took some grief from the Washington press on Monday for missing Friday night's Meridian Ball, where his wife, Gail Huff, was a gala co-chair.

The popular senator (pictured here with Huff and their two daughters) has yet to make a big debut on the Washington social scene since he arrived in the nation's capital last February, and a few partygoers were disappointed not to see him dancing the night away on Friday.

For the record, Brown was in Boston on Friday night. But there's more to this story. 

The real Meridian VIP party was held on Thursday night, and according to guests, Brown was right there in the thick of it.

Meridian hosted approximately 100 people for dinner Thursday in the diplomatic reception rooms at the State Department to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Meridian International Center. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave remarks at the dinner.

In addition to Brown, dinner attendees included Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Mike McCaul (R-Texas), James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.), as well as their spouses.

During the Thursday night dinner, Meridian honored former Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley with the 2010 Meridian Public Diplomacy Award.

This article was updated at 5:39 p.m.