December 07, 2002

Really Top Drawer

It began with a lunch time trip to Vintage by the Pound on Valencia at 16th. My fun co-worker friend and I wanted to see if we could find something new for an interior design industry party with a 1920's theme. We already had things we could wear, but it's always fun to freshen up the costume wardrobe. I found the perfect style dress in the worst possible color. It was layers of satin and lace in this pinkish, lavenderish, not found on the color wheel, ick. But I saw potential. I paid $6.96 for my new project, and we headed to Walgreen's for some black Rit dye. Once back at the office, I soaked the dress in the dye in our mop bucket, stirring occasionally. After a good one hour soak, I found that it hadn't turned black, but a beautiful plum with black lace. I gave it a good washing at the laundry across the street, and began thinking of accessories.

My fun co-worker friend fashioned himself my date, arriving with a squeaky clean side part and a fetching suit. We established our characters as "Clark" and "Sally", and headed out to the speakeasy. We arrived at the giant door, whispered the password, and were welcomed to a glass of champagne and a photographer who couldn't get enough of us. The ambiance was Grand to say the least. The building houses fine antiques to begin with, so add to it a shit load of money and holiday decor, and it made for a dream setting. The foyer held a fifteen foot Christmas tree with silver glitter feathers, white orchids, and silver and blue ornaments. The main room was kept warm and bright from an oversized fireplace. Flapper dancers did the Charleston on stilts so they could be seen from any angle, and a live band set the leisurely tone. The next room was the "casino" and we were welcome to gamble with play money that had the host's picture on it. I played a little roulette, while others tried their hand at blackjack and craps. The garden out side was where the fresh oysters and shrimp were kept, if you could make you way to the table. We nibbled on hors d'eovers of duck, beef, and lamb, and the bootlegger made sure my glass was always full.

My illusion was briefly suspended while waiting for the powder room. The woman in line behind me saw "Clark" wink at me from across the room, and asked if he was my man. It was obvious she had been frequented by the bubbly fairy as she was teetering while trying to stand still, and leaned in all too close as she spoke. I answered that we were friends. She asked if I wanted him to be my man. I explained that he already has a man. She asked if I was in love with him. I replied that I loved him as a friend, but had no romantic interest. She went on to ask if we were sleeping together. I insisted again that he was in a relationship with a man, to which she snapped "So what", "I'm married and I'm a lesbian". I couldn't pass up this sociological experience and the writing material. I asked her if she felt emotionally or physically for women and, as she caressed my forearm, she said that although it's typically physical, but there's one woman in her life that she may be falling for on a deeper level. Soon enough the powder room was available and I ended our improv therapy session with, "Well good luck with that"!

On our way out the singer of the band offered me three hundred dollars for my dress. If someone wants it that bad, they can't have it! As "Clark" put it, "You can't buy style"!

"Clark", "Sally" and "Constance"

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