Actually, I don’t know if you’ll get in wearing that.
This isn’t a no shoes, no shirt, no service kind of situation. This is a club in the Meatpacking District, a neighborhood notorious amongst New Yorkers (and notoriously confusing amongst tourists as meat, as in dead animal, is no longer packed there) for being excessively trendy. Waiting-on-line-to enter-a-club-for-half-an-hour kind of trendy. Tight-mini-skirt-and-4-inch-heels-will-increase-my-chance-of-getting-past-the-velvet-ropes kind of trendy. I’m not exactly sure what my personal kind of trendy is, but it’s not this.
I’m in a cab on route to Kiss and Fly in the Meatpacking. It’s long past midnight and I am “bedecked” in a denim skirt, beat-up Vans, and a flannel-looking checkered shirt. I’m appropriately attired for a grunge show or maybe mid-day wandering in Williamsburg. For where I’m going and what I’m doing I am so in appropriately dressed that I may be turned away, denied entry and told my grungy-casual self is tainting the “cool” “hip” “hot” vibe. I’m not sure I can handle the embarrassment of this kind of public shunning. Would my self esteem survive? Would tears start streaming down my face as the big burly security guard stands firmly and ominously in front of the entrance? I am clearly not someone who frequent clubs and my outfit suggests I’m either clueless (as if) or unprepared for such a night. How’d I get myself into this mess? It happens to be the two year anniversary of my move to New York, no small thing in my world, an event worthy of celebration of the go-big-or-go-home sort.
The night started early with a huge private, invite-only party. Commemorating NY and my two years! Ha ha ha as if. Maybe for our 10 year. No, this is a party where I am on the clock. You may have read about my awesome job where I get paid handsomely to give people free drinks. Well, I’m at it again. Tonight it’s free drinks, free food, free DJ, a completely free party to anyone who happened to RSVP on a website (thus the “invite only”). All free because the spirit I’m promoting desperately wants people to not just think it’s cool, but to just know it exists. This party is the culmination of months of bar samplings and other smaller events.
I arrive early because they have hired people to do our make-up and hair, and a stylist to outfit us. I’m working the event with one of my roommates and we’ve been speculating for weeks what our outfits will look like. We’re thinking (hoping) black cocktail dresses that maybe they’ll let us keep. I’m next in line for make-up, the stylist is steaming the wrinkles out of various articles of clothing and asks for help holding up the pieces. The piece is a bright red pair of pants genie style, with wavy pieces ballooning from the sides and gold beads affixed at the end. (I wonder if that description gets your mental image anywhere close to reality.) I am told this ensemble is for dancers. Phew, I think, those pants would be hard to “pull off” (but easy to pull off, they have an elastic waist). Then she pulls out a pair of the same pants but white rather than red. These are what you guys’ll be wearing! Aw shit. That and a little wrap around crop-top shirt is my outfit. Just what I need, another reason to kick myself for not doing crunches on a regular basis.
I adopt the attitude of “Fuck it, I don’t care” which serves me pretty well. It helps that they’ve made my hair all shiny and straight and given my face the illusion of being blemish free. The cocktail I’m serving people is pineapple, basil, coconut, sugarcane, orange liquor, and the promotional spirit. Fancy, no? It’s the beginning of the night and they’re topping each drink with a basil leave filled with shaved coconut, the garnish of course increasing the fancy factor. Fortunately I’m allowed to sample one myself, for the pure purpose of educating guests (very professional and all). It’s quite good, especially when I down the garnish at the end- I may have been the only one to do such a thing all night.
Everything comes together at the last moment, it seems that is generally the way these things go, and guests begin to arrive. For the first hour or so, it’s great. Handing out cocktails, informing people what’s in it, some casual banter, all smiles all around. My word of advice to you if you ever attend such a free event: get there on the early side. You may think it’s not fashionable, but trust me. An hour in, the place is swarming- lines for everything- dishes piling up. My boss frantically tells me to bus tables. Have you ever bused tables in a belly baring top? I’d describe such an experience as paradoxical. I’m getting paid $50/hr to do the lowest rung on the ladder job. Kinda awesome. Kinda sucko as it is not what I signed up for.
By the end of the party I’m cranky. My arms are sore (not only have I not been doing crunches, I haven’t been doing push ups either) from carrying trays. I’m still clearing tables at the end of my shift time so when I stumble across a full bottle of the promoted liquor, I don’t hesitate to slide it in my purse. Hey, I’m not a trained busser, how am I supposed to know you aren’t supposed to pilfer the booze? All the bus boys I know do it.
The place isn’t clean, we’ve been off the clock for not an insignificant amount of time, and I decide I’m leaving. My roommate is more hesitant- she’s staying in the city for the summer and wants to get more gigs- but it takes little prodding from me to convince her to skidaddle.
So far this entry has had next to nothing to do with its introduction. That’s not about to change. Until next entry- to follow shortly!