May 3, 2012 § 31 Comments
I went to a seriously fuck off party a few nights ago.
It was fancy dress. I fucking hate fancy dress. Well, I had never actually been to a fancy dress party but I am deeply prejudiced and phobic about them all the same. It is my right. I am almost 48 and so allowed to be bolshie. For weeks after the invitation arrived, I had palpitations every time I thought of having to get into some BO-imbued costume from some dreary, down-at-heel hire shop, fork out a million quid and look like a prat. But the party itself was being given by very, very good old friends whom I adore, and whose friends are specially lovely, warm and cheerful and always give every appearance of being happy to see me. So I wanted to go very much. I’d just have to stop being such a wuss about embracing the fucking themed look.
In the event, I managed, the day before, to score a rather wonderful dress and wig (which made me itch as if infested with nits but looked fab) and found myself, arriving alone at the host’s imposing front door, very much getting into the spirit of the thing. I suppose my beef with fancy fucking dress has always been that it is invariably so tacky. But as I crossed the threshold into Versailles and found myself mingling amongst the assembled courtiers, I was transported by the splendour. The house had been so transformed that everyone just gasped and laughed with joy. The modern kitchen had been kitted out with ceiling to floor red velvet hangings dotted with various “portraits” and, every unit and pot and pan hidden, it was no longer a modern kitchen at all but an elegant inner sanctum in Louis xv1’s private apartments.
No one let the side down. Everyone – even the pre-party churlish moaners like me – was there in their powdered wigs and beauty spots and startling cleavages. (One of my friends even fished her car keys out of hers!). The fair few footmen were handsome and smiling and helpful and didn’t put a foot wrong. The hostess looked more beautiful than on her wedding day and said she had put me next to the most attractive man in the room – “Sorry, married, darling, but heaven”. He and I had a gratifyingly deep conversation about men and women and marriage etc over the coruscatingly delicious dinner. On my other side was an old (male) friend and we talked openly, honestly and cheerfully about life as a plankton (though I didn’t use that give-away word, natch). The old friend was suitably polite and told me he couldn’t understand why on earth I was having such difficulties, that he’d always thought I was gorgeous, but he managed to say this without giving rise in me to any threatening feeling that he had ideas about being unfaithful to his wife (also a friend). He pitched it perfectly – not remotely creepy but flatteringly sincere enough to make a plankton feel good for once, and for me want to hug him.
I had THE BEST time even though it was fancy dress (I had an unlikely conversion: maybe partly because it WAS fancy dress!) and though I liked many a guest there enormously, I didn’t fancy any one in particular. So it was I felt relaxed and happy. Alone, of course, but there were enough friends there that the solitary, hateful in-between times didn’t loom too miserably, if at all.
I stayed till 1.00am; didn’t even realise the time. Found a place to hide and change back into the 21st century metropolis, slipped down the stairs and out of the door unnoticed into the dark and the rain and drove home, miraculously not wanting for all the world to slit my wrists.
Surprise Twinkle, eat your poncy-arsed heart out!