I used to be Fabulous.
(capital F- fabulous, thanks.)
I used to be THAT Chick.
THAT Chick With Those TALL CHICKS over there on the other side of the rope.
Maybe that’s only considered Fabulous By Association but it worked.
I was THAT Chick with those TALL CHICKS so do let us in
As a matter of fact when I was THAT Chick Here With Those TALL CHICKS (TChwtTC)
I didn’t wait on line for shit.
And on the rare occasions it did happen my companions would stand right up in Mr.Bouncer and Miss Guestlist’s face. They would be looking so surly, so put-upon so… tall the (probably not very long in the first place) waiting time was drastically reduced.
“you too, shorty.”
And the fabulousness didn’t stop once inside.
Asides from the free entry business- being Fabulous garnered you prime real estate seating in the VIP. That means the lighting is flattering and everybody can see you but you can’t really see everybody else.
That means there are free drinks by the champagne bucketload – provided by somebody’s boyfriend in finance.
On some (rare) occasions the girls in finance would finance a bottle for themselves but that was probably just to prove a point.
(This was before the ‘ECONOMIC CRISIS IN ALLCAPS’, of course).
That means it’s a private party hosted by an agency or magazine or some photog’ or music industry type.
That means someone next to you has been in a commercial.
That means someone owns a Bentley.
That means someone’s been to a party with Diddy. With an invite.
And beside the table service bottles there’s the:
‘New Guy Trying Too Hard to Get in Good with the In Crowd’ drink
‘Not-Even-Close to Being VIP Dude You Met In Line for the Bathroom Who Saw You Walk Out of the VIP and Thinks You Can Get HIM In (or at least thinks he can score coke from you)’ drink
and then theres always
‘Trisexual Model Trying to Seduce You With Alcohol’ drink.
I loved being Fabulous in the club.
I loved the VIP. I love the drinking. I love the extra space on the dancefloor.
But as much as I loved it I have to be honest– I was bad at it.
For starters, I’m only 5’5.
So sometimes –despite looking the part of THAT CHICK at all times– in order to get in I’d still have to have a TALL CHICK nearby to vouch for me.
Next, my ‘Bored’ look usually just looks ‘Mean’. Mean looks don’t get you free drinks in the club.
(sidebar: I don’t condone typical freeloading, golddigging bitchery—but in my first foray into Fabness I was fresh out of college and flat broke and interning for free. I’m not gonna look a giftdrink in the mouth.) Anyway, a mean face won’t help get your thirst quenched. Unless Mr. Drinksponsor is also a masochist and ever looking for excuse to use the classic openers:
‘Smile. It can’t be that bad honey’
or ‘Why you looking so mean?’
To which I would typically respond with “because I am mean.”
Yeah. No drinks there.
Leading to the third reason I sucked at the fab-life:
I suck at small talk.
Mean face aside, anything past ‘Hey, hows it going?’ and I’m toast. DOA DNR (Dead On Arrival. Do Not Resuscitate.) I’m rendered completely at a loss for words and left staring down at my Fabulous shoes on the Fabulous “IT” club linoleum. And you won’t be
sitting at the cheerleader’s table in the VIP for long unless you can prove your worth. Those TC’s are ever wary of fresh female meat.
If you can’t rope new (rich) guys into the circle you’re just one more mouth trying to drink from the free bottle. And that’s not gonna help you keep your seat.
Another reason I’m not fabulous like that anymore is because I ‘m label conscious enough.
(sidenote:that was only an issue when I was Uptown Fab or WestSide Fab. And don’t get me STARTED on being properly sartorially Downtown, Eastisde or Hipster Fab. That’s a different rant for a different day.)
I’ll never forget the time a TC dug in my purse for the label because she was convinced it wasn’t a real Chloe bag. She was shocked/appalled/disgusted/amused that I had taken its lock off and called another TC over to inspect:
TC1:Can you believe she took the padlock off of her Chloebag? TC2:Whats the point of having a Chloe bag with no padlock?
Me: Because the zipper was actually working rather nicely on its own?
This girl knows the score.
They ultimately decided my “IT”bag was the real deal. I ultimately decided I’m not cool enough for that shit. I’m not as broke as I was as an intern (i.e. not completely). But a far cry from the point where my spending money would even merit giving a fuck about “IT” bags. My mom gave both me and my sister a REAL Louis Vuitton as a ‘Welcome to Womanhood’ present. (not to be confused with the ‘Welcome to Menstruation’ present which consisted of a giant box of pads and a ‘don’t come home preggers’ lecture. Was that TMI?) Meantime I hardly use the (gorgeous classic and fabulous) bag because its so de rigueur for a FabTC that it doesn’t even feel fab to me. When I carry it I feel like I’m trying to claim membership to a group I’m not involved with and particularly dislike.
(And who honestly wouldn’t claim me anyway.)
Sigh. I’ve not even really mentioned the GUYS in the Fab scene…
I saw enough vertical stripes in ’05 to last a lifetime. All dumb muscle wrapped in fence post. This weekend I ran into one of the TCs that I used to hang out in the vicinity of.
We were both primping in the mirror of this “IT” bar bathroom
(I should have known better than to venture higher than 42nd!)
After my gut reaction of deer-in-headlights ‘to greet or not to greet’ deliberation I took the highroad and said hello. We air kiss (seriously). Shared some small talk that was (surprisingly) not-completely awkward. She did say that the scarf on my head was ‘supercute’ but she wasn’t ‘artsy’ enough to rock it.
(Was that a dig? Awkwardly worded compliment?)
Sigh.I happened upon fabulosity by accident; but entered into normalcy (artsy-ness? sideeye.) on purpose. I don’t miss trying to decode things that people say. My feet don’t miss always having to wear 6inch heels (now I do it bc I like it). I don’t miss always being on my toes literally and figuratively. Flipside: my wallet does miss free drinks and my ego misses not crossing my fingers at the velvet rope.
All in all, I’m (mostly) glad I retired from Fab.
Or I rather, glad I quit my internship at Fab because the openings for fulltime with tenure were too few and far between. As I’m running around in my new post-Fab life I can’t help but… what? Stare wistfully? Gape and drool? Die inside slowly remembering what could have been? Uhm, I can’t help but glance over as I pass the new “IT” places. The lines are wrapping around the block, the bass is thumping through the concrete and glittery girls are tottering on too-tall shoes ingnoring the velvet rope protocol. I think to myself
“Damn! What is going on in THERE?” And have to laugh at myself when I remember that I, in fact, know whats going on in there.
I used to be what was going on in there.
I have to shake it off and keep it moving downtown– where I’ve enough moxie to get in solo.
All 5’5 of me.