Last night, I went to this party.
I had pretty high hopes. If you click on the thing that says "click here for flash evite," you will understand why.
I was psyched at the opportunity to go to a party where a smoky-eyed Chloe Sevigny would fly around in sexy poses, showing off her nipples through flimsy flesh-colored clothing.
That's fucking cool.
Plus, free champagne.
Plus, they were spreading rumors that Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn were going to be in attendance. AND John Cusac. In Chicago, we are serious about our celebrity sightings. (Did I mention I had visions in my head of a flying Chloe?)
Doors didn't open until 9, on a school night, so Fauxnica and I gathered up my Melrose boyfriends and started a nice base drunk -- we ate mexican food and drank Mexican drinks and somehow the waiter sensed that it was Fauxnica's birthday, so he and his colleagues brought over a sugary confection with a candle in it and seranaded her.
It wasn't her birthday, and no one said it was, so we're not sure where this came from but we clapped along and devoured the cake anyway. We took it as a good sign and ordered another round of drinks. Jason discussed the merits of his fabulous new shoes, we grilled Fauxnica on her past, and generally had a good time.
Then, we went and met Ellen at the bar.
Fauxnica? She's from Long Island. NORTH SHORE. (Her emphasis. What the fuck does my hoosier ass know about that?) She's East Coast snotty with a healthy dollop of I-lived-in-San-Francisco-bitches on the side. I sense that she generally smiles upon the Chicago experience as "Sweet." The way your retarded neighbor is sweet. Like, the metropolitan area is fully well-meaning and has its bright spots but can be completely mortifying at times.
Like this time.
Me? I think Chicago is fabulous. I've pontificated about this endlessly. It's urban and dense and layered, complex -- insert wine metaphor here. But I'm gonna have to agree, it can be completely mortifying at times.
We first waited outside some velvet ropes with about four other people while a tall woman alternated between studying her clipboard, ignoring people, and shooting condescending glares all around. A couple of girls in black dresses with too many highlights vogued with cell phones and yelled things like, "We're with the W! The W HOTEL!" There was a guy with crutches and his buddy in a football jersey. That's it. Four other people. And then this staff making a show of "crowd control."
We just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Fauxinca said, "Are we really here?" But Ellen was inside, and we had to go through with it.
Finally the Woman found Christine's name and turned around and notified a man in a Miami Vice outfit (Is that look coming back, BTW? WTF?). He came over, gazed at us for a bit, then finally opened up the rope to let us through.
The place was sprinkled with guys in suits (to which Fauxinca kept repeating, "WHAT'S WITH THE SUITS? WHY ALL THE SUITS! I DON'T UNDERSTAND!") and chicks with midriff tops and exposed thongs. (Exposed thongs? Ew.)
We missed the free toast, but I bought a couple of wildly overpriced drinks and we grabbed a table next to a bunch of chicks in overdone hairdos and cut-up tshirts that said "POLEKATZ" across their boobs -- with some glowy cat eyes on top. They were vamping and striking poses with slobbering dudes taking pictures with their cell phones. We watched this for awhile until Ellen grabbed one of the girls.
E: What's polekatz?
Polekat: It's a gentleman's club!
E: It's a strip bar?
P: No, it's not a strip bar! It's a strip club! Totally different!
E: Do they treat you well!
P: TOTALLY! You should come!
UPDATE: Ellen informs me that the actual exchange went thusly:
E: It's a strip club?
P: No, it's a strip PUB!
Apparently, a strip pub? It's a totally different thing. Like, maybe they serve Guiness and have pictures of dogs playing poker on the walls and such. I'm not sure exactly what the distinction is, but it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM A STRIP CLUB, okay? Thanks.
The Polekat gave us a handful of cards, complete with free admission. To the strip bar. I mean, to the strip club. Check it out for yourself. Total class. Fauxinca kept making me snort by pulling her thong out and putting it on top of her skirt and saying, "is this hott?"
Then Chloe came in. Fauxinca and Ellen spotted a camera and soon the crowd was pressing in to see the diva herself, Miss Sevigny. She swept over to the pre-designated photograph area and fulfilled her five-minute appearance obligation by standing with her hands on her hips looking. very. seriously. at the dudes taking her picture. Chloe looked way blonder than seemed possible. Her hair was stick straight and blonde and glowing, making my eyes squint.
Then she strutted off, presumably into the VIP room upstairs. The party quieted down again, and the music pulsed emptily at the handful of folks standing around and staring at the strippers.
Ellen said, "Fuck this, I'm getting upstairs."
She disappeared. Then she came back, reporting on her finds.
Apparently, she had gone up to the bouncer and said, "OMG! I HAVE TO TALK TO THE DJ! IS HE UP THERE?" and the guy let her by. Stellar security.
As it turns out, the party upstairs was hoppin'.
This is when we had one of our head-shaking moments at my poor city. Because? Really? The VIP area has ten times more people than the main party? So sad.
So Ellen gathered us up and we started walking up stairs.
At this point, Mr. Bouncer Man decided that he had better put his foot down, as he didn't want to ruin the EXCLUSIVITY OF THE VIP ROOM.
"No, you can't take all yer friends."
He stuck out his hand and literally blocked us from the stairs.
Ellen turned on her cute charm, giving him the aw-shucks-what-do-you-mean tone and flashing her dimples at him in an attempt to hypnotize him. But her bold, cheerful approach with undertones of subtle sexual content was not intoxicating him.
So Fauxinca stepped up. Did I mention she's a New Yorker? She turned on her cold indignation with notes of I-will-get-your-ass-fired and said, "Does it help that we're with the company that puts this event on?"
Mr. Bouncer Man: You're with the press? Let's see your credentials.
Fauxinca: We're not MEDIA (read this in a tone that would definitely cause shrinkage). We're with the COMPANY that EMPLOYS you.
Mr. Bouncer Man takes a moment to contemplate this. You can clearly read the internal conflict -- do I maintain my self-importance and risk my job, or do I just let them go up?
He let us go up. Of course. With the rest of the goddamn party. If you want to know what it was like, just observe the photographs here of women in too much makeup and not enough brains. Leering about and trying to hard and, yet, somehow? Completly devoid of cool or hip. But completely immune to their own lameness. So goddamn depressing.
We watched a woman who should never have been wearing a tube top, ever, ever, ever, not to mention a WHITE tube top -- roll about on a couch in between to men (IN SUITS! WHY THE SUITS?) and we dismissed the whole thing as clearly not worth our time.
I could just hear poor Ms. Sevigny now, calling her publicist and saying -- don't ever send me to this soulless godforesaken city again.
And that makes me so disappointed. Because, for real? My city is awesome.
That was one shitty party.