About a year ago, I was going to this fancy schmancy hair care launch at…(Thought it best to change the name so let’s play a game! It sounds like…) The Wrivy. If you’re not a Sydney-sider, it’s kind of a hot place to go where lots of very important people stand around peacocking. Anyone I know does some serious eye-rolling when you merely mention those two words. Sure, it’s wanky, but there’s also something so deliciously ostentatious about it that you can’t help but get wrapped up in the wonder of it all. Hey, there’s a lot that moody lighting can hide. If you’ve ever been there during the day you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
It was a really cold night and I was wearing fuck-off heels and a big trench with a massive faux-fur scarf and a bold red lip. Underneath, I’d layered up on about three tops, but no one would know any better since I had no intention of taking my trench off. I’m not going to lie, from the outside, my whole ensemble reeked a Russian hooker vibe. (Which was exactly the look I was going for, mind you.)
The party was at the penthouse, but not really being one for details, I didn’t pay much attention to the invitation. (What’s that saying about the devil being in the detail?) All I knew was that it was at the penthouse, so I pressed the top floor and did that thing in the elevator, where you spin around and check that everything is okay. Lipstick on my teeth? Hair okay? Calculated how long I’d last in my wretched heels. At least they looked the part. You know the drill.
As soon as I got out of the elevator, there didn’t seem to be much going on.
Empty corridor. That’s odd, I thought to myself.
Before me, stood a big wooden door with an equally intimidating handle to match. I kind of fussed about at the front for a bit. Was I early? Did I get the day wrong? Do I knock? Ring the bell? (God, that sounds like such a first world problem.)
My thoughts were interrupted by a very suave-looking man in a big jacket exiting the elevator. He marched right up beside me and asked if I was here for the party. Taken aback by this handsome stranger I said something awkward and nodded my head while I calculated who was better looking? Him, or SilverFox? Priorities, People! Umm, perfect. That was an awkward start to the evening. Better ditch him, lest I have to relive that moment all night long, I thought.
Then—without warning—he got his fist and clenched it into an angry ball and hit the door. (Kind of how you might imagine Chris Brown hit Rihanna.) It was mildly disturbing to say the least. He must have picked up on my odd look, because he did that lop-sided kind of smile at me. And again, I melted like blubber and instantly forgot about Rihanna-gate.
I felt like I was in a movie. The door opened to a beautiful model-esque brunette holding a silver tray with flutes of champagne. This is my kind of party!, I thought. Except it was half empty. Weird. Door Basher takes off his coat and hurls it somewhere. I look around and there’s a bevy—nay—a harem of beautiful women. All brunette and stunning.
Time kind of stopped for a second, while I surveyed the room. Did they all call each other and decide to wear black? Did I miss the part that said you could only come if you could slip into a pocket-rocket-little-herve-leger-number? Damn, I really stand out here. Nubile Brunette stands behind me and asks to take off my trench. Okay, this is just about to get awkward.
I guzzle down my first glass of champagne, while Nubile Brunette—the leader of the pack—drills me while her brunette sisters gather round hanging on my every word. While I’m being politely interrogated, in my mind I’m freaking out, trying to piece together the puzzle: Who is this PR agency that would host such a bizarre event? And where was the bloody hair stuff? Am I being punked? Why are they all looking at me like that? I could tell Nubile Brunette was doing the same thing. She was thinking: Who is this random woman? Why won’t she take off her coat? Didn’t she read the invitation? Why does she look like a Russian Hooker?
By now I’m onto my third glass of champagne (not something I ever do at an event) and feeling a little tipsy. Desperate measures People! Door Basher reappears. I say something awkward like ‘Wow, I thought there would be more people. I didn’t expect such an intimate gathering’ followed by a nervous laugh. He shoots a look to Nubile Brunette who cocks her head to the side and says ‘ You’re not here for that hair care thing, down stairs are you?’
Simultaneously, I wanted to sink into the (very) plush carpet I was standing on, while punching the air with relief! There is a god! Another part of me wanted to rest my champagne on the bench and say ‘Phew, because you people were really starting to freak me out! What is this malarky? Are you re-enacting a scene from Eyes Wide Shut, or something? So you guys are totally swingers, huh? Don’t worry, I won’t be judgy. (Well, maybe a little bit.) I mean, if that’s what this is. And hey, you Door Basher! You might look all pretty on the outside, but I saw you handle that door, and you can’t fool me.’
Instead I did that really bad mock embarrassment dance (Except I was actually really embarrassed. Mortified, even. Lucky I’m brown, otherwise I would have turned 50 shades of red.) where you put your hands on your chest, and you say ‘Oh, silly me. I thought it was in the penthouse. Whoops-a-daisy!’ and then you proceed to slowly back out of the room.
Outside the door, that elevator couldn’t come fast enough. As soon as the lift doors opened on the level below, music filled the hallway. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thank god for that. Sweet relief. Finally, I was in the right bloody place. Finally! I still don’t know what exactly was going on in the penthouse. Never will. Just glad I lived to tell the tale. MC
Ever rudely interrupted a swingers party? Mistaken a lady for a a different kind of lady? Tell me your war story below. I won’t be judgy. (Well, maybe a little bit.)