How to Feel a Life

There is something about this video that I find extremely, well, heart warming.  The girl in front, awkwardly dancing in a too-long dress that is obviously unaltered vintage.  The lone keyboard on stage churning out pre-made synth beats.  The pairs of spindly legs and the light that catches cheekbones when it’s not creating shadows.  How the performance comes out like a tide – nearly literally – and then sucks itself back in again.  And then it’s over.  Ah, but such is life.

The following is a performance from the band Telepathe at the PS1 in the MoMA.


Reason Enough to Stay Indoors

My friend was kind enough to spend an hour and a half with me on a drive to Whittier this afternoon, so when she wanted to go out that evening I was begrudgingly agreeable.  This is perhaps what the Bible means by that whole “eye for an eye” theory.  The result was a trip to a new nightclub, replete with topless girls and boobie tassels – Hollywood does stripper cabaret.  This was the subsequent punishment. These were the events of this evening.

1.  Shake my hand, you germaphobe billionaire. My friend introduces me to someone I’ve met years earlier and have since only seen in magazines next to movie stars and articles about political contributions.  When I stick my big mitt towards him he does a little wave close to his torso, like, “Oh, hey.  Hello, there.”  I mistakenly think this is an addition to the impending handshake that follows – a prologue, if you will – and keep my hand extended.  However, when I notice the way he warily snakes his hand into mine it is obvious he could have gone without the extreme physical contact.

2.  Is that a warm tropical breeze blowing through here or is that your mouth, sir? As I stand waiting for my friend to get her first drink, an older man to my left who has been eye-stalking me since I arrived inside leans over and blows on my neck.  Of course, I don’t see him go in for the kill; I am facing forward when the wind assault goes down.  After sensing an odd, humid puff on my neck, I turn to hear him say, “It’s hot in here” as he backs up.  Huh?  Did you just do me a favor?  Your tropical breeze, booze-ridden breath is hardly what I would call refreshing.  And oh yeah, stay the hell away from me.

3.  The DJ vs My Will to Live.  I wanted to party, I really did.  But the DJ in question is hell bent on playing nearly half of his Jay Z catalogue of tunes, which, if done properly and spaced out over the course of one week would be just fine.  There’s plenty of good music out there.  No need to abuse Hova.  And I would ordinarily criticize the people standing motionless on what is supposed to be a dance floor for not moving more than their elbows when facilitating getting their booze down their throats, but the DJ isn’t really inspiring anything magnificent in terms of a group boogie down.

4.  The 35 Year Old Boy.  Some asshole standing on the patio, blowing unwanted smoke into my face tries to tell me he’s 35.  He’s baby faced and draws doodles on white shirts.  For the record, they are good – something similar to a Shell Silverstein book on acid.  “You’re 22.  23.  Max,” I say.  He chuckles as he drags on his cigarette, brandishing his American Spirits with heady claims that they’re organic.  I demand he hand me his ID just because I find him irritating.  Born in 1988.  Barely 21.  I know your type: the type that still thinks this type of shit show is actually fun.

5.  Your Pants Make Me Want to Play Golf.  This morning I picked up my new pair of 99 cent “Surprise” pants from the dry cleaners.  I call them “Surprise” pants because I bought them without trying them on.  I liked the little gold buttons and the blue and red plaid going on and figured I was willing to risk a dollar on the chance that a size 12 might fit.  Having newly introduced them to my closet, I thought it would be a good time to take them out for a spin.  Surprisingly, they fit, albeit not in a conventional sense.  When I arrive at the club packed with girls wearing knock-off Balmain, the stretch jersey holding on to the bottom of their ass cheeks for dear life, my pants raise some eyebrows and command some confused compliments.  “Are those MC Hammer pants?” someone asks.  Later on I hear, “Your pants make me want to go play golf.”  I apologize for having turned off the entire male population with my baggy mom pants, but if it saves me from the masses of pervy neck-blowers I am forever thankful and steadfast in my fashion sense.

6.  Champagne Wishes and Caviar Nightmares.  My friend and I are dancing on the dance floor to the 18th Jay Z song when a short greaser comes up to us.  “Hey, my friend over there can’t stop talking about you,” he says to me.  I look over at Greaser # 2 staring at me from his corner booth with his arms crossed.  Nice button up, I say to myself.  “He wants to buy you a bottle of champagne,” he continues.  If only I were so easily purchased.  That works for girls?  My friend saves me by saying I don’t drink, which is true.  Greaser #1 only hears “no” before he tells us we are whack and rolls his eyes.

I start grumbling around 12:51 when I envision a foggy and groggy morning after, caused by nothing worth losing sleep over.  I pull on my friend’s arm like a helpless eight-year-old.  Please, mommy.  Please, take me home.  I take her keys and drive because she’s had a couple beers.  I accelerate with jerks because I’m driving in six-inch heels.  In four minutes I am in the safety of my house, my hair reeking of cigarettes and my ears ringing the way it does when it’s dying in little deaths…kind of like how I feel when I go to clubs like this.


Another Reason Why I Hate Los Angeles

Of late, I have fallen off the social wagon in preference of getting enough sleep and avoiding further consumption of the Redbulls that have already probably taken their toll on my liver, kidneys, heart, etc.  On special occasions, I will peek my head out of my little hermit hole and make a special appearance, but those instances are rare.  Last night my friend threw a party for Samsung featuring a performance by Katy Perry, but this alone wasn’t enough to pull me out of my house and into a throng of partygoers.  I needed a particular push to get me over the edge.

That push came in two waves.  First, I’ve known Katy loosely for a few years, starting back when she was my best friend’s roommate and not “Katy Perry.”  The last time I saw her perform was in a bunny suit in front of a bunch of humorless A&R executives at some random venue on Canal Street in New York.  That was in 2007.  It would be nice to see her now that she’s a legitimate pop product circa 2009.  Secondly, my thirteen hour day yesterday ended with a trunk show in Beverly Hills.  I will explain why this motivated me into actually socializing during the late night hours.

The owner of this store that will go unnamed was a spunky, 85-year-old woman of some Eastern European descent.  When I first arrived to the job she was getting her makeup done and she made some thick-accented crack about me sitting in her lap in three minutes.  It took my brain multiple moments to actually process what she had said, being as I hadn’t expected her to be funny, coupled with the process lag time involved in trying to find the English within her Polish/Russian/Ukrainian accent.  My linguistic skills were working overtime.

She had been in this Beverly Hills location for over forty some odd years.  I asked her if she had ever remodeled and I think she said no, but the store looked distinctively 80s quasi-glam.  Maybe she was just way ahead of her time back in the 60s, who knows.  Myself and two other girls wandered around the store while people were served sushi h’orderves and white wine.  The crowd was kind, and they were kind for one reason: most of them were my grandparent’s age.  Impressing little old ladies is easy.  No matter what, they treat you like you are family.  Old people are the most liberal with compliments, most likely because they’ve given up harboring any jealousies towards the new guard of the living.

So I twirled and demurred and made ridiculous comments about how “lovely the collection” was, or how much I adored navy and black together.  This is why I respect people in retail: the amount of bullshit you need to spin in order to convince someone to buy your product, whether or not that bullshit actually works – it doesn’t matter, you still have to try.

Once my feeble conversations had burned out, I stood along the side watching the crowd a la wallflower style.  The wiry gray hairs, the deep-set grooves in everyone’s faces, the unnaturally taunt skin of people who didn’t want deep grooves.  One day, I would be here.  Drinking wine and eating crappy sushi, watching young models have bad conversations with older men who still think “they’ve got it.”  And after this event ended at 9 PM, they would all go home and fall quickly to sleep, exhausted from all of the talking, the socializing, the standing up.

At this point, I decide I’m only 25, my back and feet only hurt after an hour of standing, and I’m still relevant enough to get invited to these Katy Parry/ Samsung type things.  I leave the job, go home, put on the tightest pair of black pants I can find, and head out the door.

Cars line up for blocks waiting to valet their cars.  We find a meter.  There’s a press line but that’s for the famous and almost-famous and we bypass the carpet entirely.  I doubt most of them actually miss their anonymity.  Inside the crowd is predominately male and predominately of the button-down, collared shirt variety.  I can’t tell if their “suits” or what, but our group feels like the least common demonimator.

The drinks are free and girls with giant breasts pass around trays of grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken skewers.  There’s an ice cream bar “bar” where you can dip your ice cream on a stick in vanilla or chocolate and then dredge it through any number of toppings.  The place is littered with Samsung phone paraphernalia; the point of the party actually being to market their phones and not just serve as a high end soup kitchen to hipsters and taste makers.

A few drinks later and Katy Perry’s band takes the stage in black and white suits, followed soon after by Katy herself, wearing a sparkling ruby-red mini-dress by Brian Lichtenberg.  She jumps right in, singing “Hot and Cold” a few feet above a bar still serving drinks.  She hops around while simultaneously attempting to not flash the crowd.  It is a most dangerous angle for dresses.

Now, you’d think that part of the draw of this party was actually getting to see a live performance of Katy, but looking around the room you wouldn’t be able to tell if these people were enthused about anything, anything at all.  Nothing is good enough for people in Los Angeles.  Free booze, free food, and free music are not enough to keep any of us appeased.  Katy dances and sweats, and everyone surrounding me stands, staring blankly forward as if to say, “You’re here to entertain me.  Now, dance monkey, dance.”

It’s not that Katy isn’t putting on a good show; this is how all concerts of this variety turn out in Los Angeles.  A talented artist (maybe not your favorite) takes the stage, puts what I would imagine to be a damn lot of energy and work into a show, only to be received by an audience that behaves as though they’ve just undergone some serious anesthesia: eyes barely open, drink in hand, essentially not of the living.

I’m not talking about shows where dedicated fans pay good money to see their favorite artist – though sometimes even this isn’t enough to rouse enthusiasm from the lackluster LA folk.  I’m talking about corporation subsidized, promotional events disguised as “fun.”  Don’t get me wrong; these events would be fun if the people who actually got invited to these red carpet type things would have fun.  I’ve been to quite a few shows like this.  I’ve seen The Shins play in the living room of a mansion to an audience of thirty people, while the remaining two-hundred-and-eight stood outside refilling on free vodka.  Weezer played earlier this year to a group of people who were too dim to understand that when he did a cover of a Lady Gaga song, he was mocking us and the entire event.  When he croaked out “My Poker Face” with his monotone voice and his dead pan stare, for the first time the entire show, everyone emoted mild enthusiasm, which was precisely his point.

The only way to survive these events is to make sure you follow a couple of rules.  One of them is to drink heavily.  That way the d-bags all become a blur as benign as the badly painted walls.  The second is to make sure to dance violently whenever the opportunity arises.  This is a sure fire way to con yourself into thinking you’re at a place with liberated humans: move so much that it appears everyone else is moving with you.  Once static, you’re as dead as the rest of them.

Mid-way through “Waking up in Vegas”, red and silver confetti explodes over the motionless crowd, raining in a Mardi Gras kaleidoscope.  This is the high point of audience participation: thirteen people pull out their iPhones and take a snapshot.  This way they can go home and post something on Facebook to make friends in high school jealous and brag about how much fun they had last night.  Documentation has superseded actual existence.

We leave as “I Kissed a Girl” is being belted out.  I imagine that the crowd continues on their too-cool-for-school antics and I’m not missing anything, no offense to Katy.  I think about how just three hours earlier, I was discussing beadwork with an eighty year old man with an undetected fleck of blood on his glasses and feeling badly on how near the end of his road he probably is.  Now I’m leaving a group of able-bodied twenty-somethings, blowing their lives being apathetic cool kids, charging forward and away from the opportunity to dance and move and live.  What a waste indeed.


The Death of (Me while Wearing) Platform Shoes

I don’t own any platforms myself.  As I am nearly 6 feet tall, I find the extra three inches of wood/plastic/resin excessive and a sure fire way to terrify people.  Once, when walking down the streets of New York, a man who was most likely drunk screamed at me, “Damn, girl!  You big!  You part of the WNBA or something?”  I was wearing flats.

I am currently waiting to get my hair and makeup done after a solid hour of rehearsing for Versace.  Within that hour, I fell two times.  Ate shit.  Fell forward completely.  Red knees.  The works.  I am sitting on the floor because this clumsiness has now translated into outright nervousness that I am going to break something, including myself.  I just nearly knocked my iced coffee clean off the table.

Over the last few seasons these platforms have inched up exponentially.  Today being the pinnacle of my experience with shoes that could only be designed by men who only ever wear loafers and boat shoes.

In my time, I have walked in some pretty terrifying shoes.  There were the Prada slingbacks with stiff cotton booties whose aesthetic was quite peasant chic and could easily be appreciated from afar whilst not having to wear them.  In pictures, they were lovely.  The reality for the wearer, in this case me, was a lot of internal dialogue along the lines of “F$#k”, “S^#t” and “I hope I don’t f&%$#g eat s$#t.”  That show was held in a marble church with four dangerous stairs that threatened a life as a paraplegic.

The closest I have ever come to really face planting in show involved a pair of hot pink Alexander McQueen pumps.  They were in the style of Jessica Rabbit, meaning that their construction works only in cartoons with fake feet; your feet are crammed in as vertically as possible without actually being called ballet point shoes.  Which, believe it or not, I’ve actually seen someone walk down a runway in.

The aforementioned McQueen pumps were used in a charity show for Barney’s; if I were to publicly humiliate myself it was going to be pro-bono and if I were to break a leg, I didn’t have a union.  The show was held in an outdoor corridor with charming cobblestone avenues.  For the record, cobblestone and stilettos are a disastrous combination.  While walking the football-length makeshift runway, my thighs began to quiver on the last leg of my journey.  The quiver traveled down to my ankles, which began to knock towards each other furiously.  My arms went out in attempts to balance and in preparation for falling over completely.  The former effort won out and I breathed a sigh of relief until the entire wobbly leg process happened all over again three steps later.

Today’s been a really special day, though.  My last pair look like Hot Topic gothic shoes on acid.  Plastic silver studs strap around my feet and below me are 4 inches of rounded platform.  When viewed from the side, you notice that the top part of the shoe is actually separated from the bottom of the shoe.  I am essentially wearing two shoes stacked on top of each other.  The dress that I am wearing in the show is a giant, billowing see-through gown that I envision catching on the decorate shoe spikes that no one will even see and send me tumbling into the audience onto a plate of roasted hen and mashed potatoes.  During the rehearsal I am wearing my jeans and a blazer and I still eat shit.  This is a bad sign.

The first time is right before I exit the stage, leading finale – a responsibility I’d rather do without.  I’d like to be in the back, so that if I fall, I’m not holding anyone up.  I’m walking…walking…walking…and then I’m not anymore.  That’s the funny thing about falling.  Your brain is still too busy putting together the intricate mechanics of walking that you don’t even realized you’ve fallen until you’re on the ground.  It’s a bit like one of those wind up toys that ends up on its side and continues rotating its mechanical legs until the juice runs out.  I craw through the exit door on my knees, embarrassed and with a newly broken shoe on my foot.

Our producer thinks we should do the rehearsal again.  I am nervous because my legs are already shaking and horrified because my brain can’t control them at this point.  On the second round leading finale, just as I’ve turned the second corner, down I go again.  This time I am really horrified and completely frustrated.  I jump off the elevated runway and sit on the ground, tearing off these gigantic shoes with a mind of their own – plotting my demise with each step I take.  Should we kill her…now?  …Now?  …. Go! And I’m down again.

The representative from Versace is lovely and understanding and when she sees the broken strap she says that we need to change the shoes.  I feel badly because the new pair does not go with the gown.  I’m doubly afraid that I am now past the point of no return and no shoe will ensure a safe, fall-less trip down the runway.  At this moment my body is so used to not making it around without falling over that I believe the sense memory has been engrained into my body to an irreversible point.

After rehearsal I go into hair and makeup, where I wait for the three hours for the real show to start.  My hands sweat and I feel like vomiting.  This is what happens when you lose all faith in yourself: absolute terror.

Hours later and I am backstage, dressed in some tiny silk linen dress that won’t stop puckering at the hem.  I still feel like throwing up or even running – giving up entirely might be better than toppling over into an audience finishing their lunch and raising money for Lupus.  But the music starts and I am, regrettably, still here.

First look.  No fall.  Second look.  No fall.  Third look.  I put on the new shoes that I have not given a real test run.  There is carpet tape gluing my heel to the shoe, which only means that if I fall over the shoes will stay on my feet.  I wobble out onto the runway, looking like what I imagine to be a deer in the headlights attempting to not look like a deer in the headlights – stoic, eyes bulging, taking tiny Geisha-like steps.

I round the corner, still upright.  I exit.  Phew.  I am immediately lined up to lead finale and this will be the real test.  My legs are fatigued from the nervous shaking of the last four hours and they’re begging me not to go out there.  But I am pushed from behind with a “Jenny.  Go.”  I’m back on the runway, leading a long-legged group of other girls trying not to fall in their shoes.  I’m walking.  I’m walking.  I’m in the home stretch.  I’m at the exit door.  I make it.  Alive.  Standing.  With no broken bones.

Just another stupid, entirely self-involved day at the office.


School Optional

I’d like to say that my brother was an upstanding citizen of the youth community as a teenager but I’d be lying.  He was a little shit, but he was also a boy.  The distinction between the two has always been a gray area for me.  A bit like Men are from Mars, Women are for Venus but adjusted for siblings and not hot dates.

Bill often did things that befuddled me and in high school the confusion ran at an all time high.  I would come home from school early as my inexplicably lax senior year schedule allowed and there Bill would be, sitting on the couch with thirteen other burly dudes just…hanging out.  I didn’t really understand why he didn’t want to be in school.

Me: Like, you don’t want to learn?

Bill: I dunno.

Me:  Like, you have more fun at home watching TV all day?

Bill:  I dunno.,

Me:  Do you want Mom to kill you?

I couldn’t really do anything about Bill’s blatant disregard for the public school system.  As I saw it, my school was the one that students would want to flee.  We had mandatory dress code, community service requirements, the occasional “celebratory” mind-numbing Mass service, drug dogs, and demand for participation in higher learning.  By comparison, Bill’s gigantic, nameless, faceless, structurally lenient school was a piece of cake.  Buck up, kid.  No one cares what kind of nail polish you’re wearing here.  Live it up.

Bill didn’t look at his school as an in-house, government-subsidized opportunity for growth.  Consequently, he felt no need to really be there.  As our mother instructed, I dropped him off in the morning and then continued on my way to my own little school of horrors.  Bill probably would have been stranded at school for the seven-hour window in which he was required by law to sit through, but our house was less than a mile away.  The temptation was too great to resist.

As soon as I dropped Bill off, he’d be hiking it back to our house.  If he was feeling generous, he’d stick it out at school for a couple hours, enough time to rally up some fellow degenerates and caravan by foot back home.

What really pissed me off was that Bill didn’t much care about getting caught by me, probably because, for whatever reason, I didn’t tell our mom.  I’d stumble in on his lame sausage fests, yell a bit, and the group would disperse.  Sometimes I would even drive them back to campus; five or six 200 pound basketball players crammed into the back of my old Mercedes, while I tried to not to bottom out my car as I drove over speed bumps.

There were a few “Bill Days” that I did not get to witness first hand, but only heard of later after a screaming match between him and my mother ensued.  There was the broken back door that Bill blamed on his friend Harold (actually, Bill broke it himself after ditching class and realizing that he didn’t have a house key).  There was the broken picture frame, which Harold actually broke when throwing an orange around the kitchen (this was Harold’s fault, for real).  There were the excessive calling card charges billed to my dad’s account (also blamed on Harold, also true).

Bill’s choices in clothing were also an enigma to be during this time.  Giant ENYCE sweaters, some FuBu, and definitely a pair of cherry red suede construction boots that looked like clown shoes that he never got the courage to wear in public.  Everything in his wardrobe at this time was extremely colorful: banana yellow, North Carolina blue, tangerine.  He was truly dedicated to this persona.

We lost long distance service on the house phone after Bill spent about $300 on a bill with a “girlfriend” who lived in South Central.  This was long before the days of teenage cell phone use.  The romance ended soon after that, as he had neither a car nor the means to contact this young lady after school hours.  The long distance service never returned.  To this day we can only dial out into the 818 area code.

Eventually Bill moved in with my dad to continue his antics on the Westside of Los Angeles.  At this point, any of his shenanigans I would not be a party to.  If he ditched, I never heard about it.  If he came home drunk, I didn’t know.  He soon enough grew out of his white-boy-does-hip-hop phase.  He started wearing neutrals and blacks.  Years later, he would actually take school seriously.  But no matter what phase he goes through, he’ll always be that little shit who stole quarters off the floor of my bedroom.

*  Names have been changed to protect the guilty.


Working Girls

pepe_le_pu (Rapist)

I park on the street because I don’t like to valet.  The remnants of sweaty palms on my steering wheel, the likelihood someone’s going to put a dent in the door, the mass amounts of embarrassing garbage I have lingering in all corners of the vehicle.  It’s an unpleasant experience for me, and for them.

I walk into the boutique – the designer’s name I will not mention, but think…Paris…white hair…tweed.  A security guard presses a button, ushering me into an elevator with another security guard.  He presses 3.  The walls are lined with cartoonish camellias layered over a dusty lime green.  It is a thoughtful and beautiful elevator, but I would expect nothing less from this brand.  Even the florescent lights in the kitchen are covered with a picture of a hyper blue sky and cherry blossoms.

The woman who is in charge of us briefs me, saying that today will be terribly easy and they only really need us for 45 minutes.  As I am scheduled to be here for just under 5 hours, this is impressive.  The event will be for their most “loyal” customers who will be treated to a very special private dinner.  Our role is to saunter through the small group in between the entre and dessert, dazzling them with jewelry worth more than the GDP of some small countries.

I sit in the kitchen under fake cherry blossoms and stare at a poster of the Eifel Tower in construction from 1888-1889.  It makes me think about the nature of work: how everything starts with an idea, then a solid base from which to build, and so on and so forth.  What I am doing to day is not work by any means.

I am ushered back downstairs to get my makeup done. When it’s done I go back to the kitchen and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  The other three girls eventually make their way into my holding cell and they wait along with me.  We talk about banal and yawn worthy things like dying our hair, what it means to be a “dishwater blonde”, how much root is too much root, the hair on Mo’Nique’s legs, and so on and so forth.  We are in too close quarters for me to curl up and read something decent, ignoring my social graces and everyone else, so I am forced to participate for an agonizing three some-odd hours.

Around 8:30 we are corralled into the alterations room where we are each handed a not so simple, four-digit, little black dresses.  As we will be modeling fine jewelry today, they wanted to downplay the clothing.  Security guards watch as a man clasps necklaces around our necks and puts rings on our fingers.  A pearl here, some black diamonds there.  Amanda is wearing 3.2 million worth of diamonds – a respectable house in the Hollywood Hills.  I have been blessed with approximately 1.5 million – a cozy remodeled Craftsman in the flats of West Hollywood.  The other two come in at under a million, but still look respectable.

We stand in the hallway until someone opens the door and releases us into the crowd like lethargic, over-medicated greyhounds.  And they’re off!  There are four tables, each of which is filled predominately with quiet white men and louder, grabbier women.  To be sure, most of them of very well behaved.  I bend gently, allowing them to marvel at my necklace of countless carats and movable diamond camellias.  I give them my hand to see my giant camellia ring. The light is forgiving and they don’t notice the pink polish chipping away on my fingernails.

After everyone has seen the goods, we are told to stand in the hallway and wait for Amanda, at which point we are allowed to leave.  The glasses are tinkling beautifully and the chatter is tony and light hearted and then all of a sudden, the evening goes terribly, terribly bizarre.

Whitney, Cat, and myself are just launching in to gossip about one of the men at the tables who had been overly aggressive and strangely flirtatious when that very same man steps in the narrow hallway and corners us.  We are alone with no security guard or employee to aid us; they are all watching the rich people glitter and laugh.

Initially, we all thought he was perhaps of the gay persuasion; he wore a brown sweater tied around his neck and sat in between two ladies whom he fawned over and who fawned over him in turn.  It became immediately clear in this hallway, however, that this man was not gay.  In fact, he was a vile, terrifying predator of women and we were unfortunately on the menu.

Now, to better give you an idea of what we were looking at, I can best describe it thusly: imagine Pepe le Pew had sex with an Egyptian bulldog, who then gave birth to…him.  His conversation was peppered with bedroom eyebrow raising, followed by “uh huhs” that sounded like a bad impersonation of the French.  This all came after disgusting and inappropriate innuendos, which will be described in detail momentarily.

Although his demeanor and swagger are suspicious right from the go-get, his conversation starts out in talking about the actual jewelry.  He talks about the Egyptian motifs they use, about the black and white of Cat’s outfit and how the original designer used to live in a monastery, how we should all be so enthused to be wearing a product of that same woman’s vision.  He talks about the kohl eyeliner she brought back and points out that that, too, is Egyptian.  He mentions how she was the first to wear pants.

He then uses this iconic woman of fashion as a platform from which to degrade the women having dinner down the hall.  “Cows,” he says, then goes on to say something about someone having never been to a museum.  At first I think he’s talking about me because he makes his leery glance my way, but that’s only him being disgusting, not overtly insulting.

The rest of the conversation is a snowstorm of WTF.  For example:

Pepe Le Nasty:  Something, something, big socks.  Grunt, uh huh.

Innocent Girls: Uhh…

Pepe Le Nasty:  It’s okay; we will have buckets of ice.  Grunt, uh huh.  Vintage, baby.  Grunt, uh huh.  Eye Raise.

Allow me to translate the interaction for you, as I was there and was better able to witness all of the grotesque body language that accompanied these coded comments of filth.  Big socks = big you know what.  Ice = what we’ll need when he’s done.  I’m sure his comment about a “magic carpet ride” applies to whatever sacred event he is proposing.

We can’t figure out if he’s on cocaine or not.  He is violently aggressive, relentless, and unstoppable.  There are few moments for us to even get a word in edgewise.  Most of the interaction is spent with us shooting each other looks and praying for someone to come save us before this man physically defiles us.

At some point I sneak around Bollywood Austin Powers and flag down a security guard.  In addition to the fear of being raped, I pondered whether this man was going to maybe rip our jewelry off and head down the stairs.  The latter being infinitely more preferable.  The security guard takes note, but the girls are still trapped there for another minute or so.

One of the store’s employees comes over and apologizes for “that” saying, “There’s always one at every party.”  He then deems the experience a valid reason to advocate abortion.  I laugh and grab his arms.  He half-heartedly apologizes for being offensive.  I imagine Whitney winces at the comment although I can’t see her.

We stand waiting for Amanda again and Cat says she feels like she’s been verbally raped.  Ain’t that the truth.





“I often feel like I am diving into a giant cupcake.  Pink chiffon.  Grosgrain ribbons.  Over my head.  Arms in holes.  Feet in shoes.  And I am the yellow cake that no one cares about.”