Greetings fellow Explorers!!
Many of you might not know that I like to take my field research expeditions to various Day-Crawler watering-holes diverting in factors such as age range, economic status, trendiness, popularity, etc., and it just so happens that the other night I found myself back at the Oak Bar located within the opulent and historical Plaza Hotel (maybe I was inspired by watching a screening of the Arthur remake movie starring Russell Brand to make a fool of myself). Mere blocks away from such exceptionally trendy and dive-y watering-holes, the Oak Bar represents very old and stogy money dating back to the 1800’s industry boom, and that’s why I love it here! Know why?
This watering hole also almost represents me in every way: on the one hand, there is the old fashioned and proper decorum which I have learned to embody within my life…on the other hand I can sit back and mock the plethora of trustfund-babies, tourists, and stuck up old rich people to my heart’s delight! Funny enough, at a hotel bar, I am the “refresher,” meaning that in the sea of tourists/guests/etc., I am, of course, the odd one out…something different! A male, Gothy Ugly Betty, if you will! Being thwarted into the service industry as a child by my restaurateur family, I understand and can relate to the wait/bartending staff, and we all become fast friends with an Us vs. Them mentality.
The bar staff quickly recognizes me from when I unknowingly crashed a Tyler Perry film preview party there (you should have seen that night! OOF…talk about taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque!!! “Oh, pardon me Ms. Janet Jackson!”) and they scramble to find a discreet spot at the edges of the meager and crowded bar for me. Alas, the only spot available right smack in the dead center of the bar. I slowly, and quietly ease into the slot, not to disturb the natives, and my wine order is fulfilled.
Suddenly, I am aware that, once again, I find myself in the middle of a party and/or a function that was winding down I which everyone there knew everyone else there…that is…except for me. Yipes!!! I stand my ground. Interestingly enough, the younger males within this more “well-bred” type of Day-Crawlers are far too self-absorbed and exude a sort of hyper-confidence a defensive tactic, and choose to ignore me completely as I undoubtedly pose no real threat to them. The young females, or “Belles” as I like to call them, also exude an air of arrogance and confidence, but as they randomly start to flit around and about, I notice a hint of adventure, danger, and conventional rule breaking gleam in their eyes! This was serious…for you see, in this echelon of Day-Crawlers, and the power and freedom that wealth wields, the females have a deep desire to secretly embark on wild, naughty and forbidden escapades while outwardly appearing like a virginal and pristine princessess, especially in the eyes of her parental units.
The Belles are constantly on the hunt for the scandalous thrill. This includes, but is not limited to: drinking to excess, taking illegal stimulants and substances, dating dubious men outside of their social circle or age range, and random non-committal sexual encounters. And this at this particular watering-hole all of these elements were already in play! Being that the time was around midnight, and on a weeknight no less, most of the Belles were already a bit intoxicated and wobbly…all the while remaining poised in their evening gowns worth thousands of dollars. Then suddenly from behind my right shoulder I overhear one particular Belle boldly ask one of the young males if he had any marijuana, cocaine, or pills they can take in the hotel’s stairwell…at the PLAZA!!! I was aghast! To this I turn around and lean my back on the bar to survey the entire vista. Then I notice, at the far end of the room, one particular Belle (the only one dressed in black, might I add), flanked by her well-to-do parents – the patriarch is a stout elder male with a proud mane of silver hair and finely clad in a tuxedo; the matriarch was equally well clothed and jewelry encrusted, actually she resembled a prime specimen of…*GASP*… No…she was a prime specimen of “The Wealthy Cougar!”
At first the younger Belle of this clan would occasionally peer at me from the corner of her eyes…it seems that I was of particular interest for soon enough she had turned her torso ninety degrees South toward my direction as to hold a more precise and focused gaze. From time to time she would try to meet my eyes as I scanned the room, and it was apparent that I was being sized up as a potential, yet unapproved and negative attention generating mate for her. Well, in her defense, I was: A) at least 15 years older than her, B) dressed very unconventionally and thus, C) probably led a very tawdry lifestyle. These three factors are very attractive to the Belle’s stat-of-mind and goals…but it is also attractive to another animal at this particular watering-hole!
As I was still surveying the land, while seemingly and simultaneously playing peek-a-boo with the black clad Belle, I abruptly noticed her Wealthy Cougar of a mother to her right. My heart started to race, a lump in my throat formed, and a bead of sweat trickled from my brow, for the Cougar’s eyes were ablaze and deadlocked onto me! She somehow sensed her offspring’s interest or fanciful fascination of me and was staring me down for either one of two distinct possibilities: 1) She was protecting her cub (and possible family wealth) from the likes of me, and trying to scare me off; or 2) she wanted me for herself, thus placing herself in direct competition with her daughter! And even though this Wealthy Cougar is married (actually, her husband was falling asleep by this point), she was once a Belle herself some 30 years before…and those wild Belle yearnings still pulse through her veins! Add the angst and disappointment of aging in the mix, and you find yourself in front of a very volatile and dangerous creature who will cease at nothing until she gets what she wants…this you can take to the bank, my friends!
Silence…The Wealthy Cougar rises from her perch at the table in one effortless and graceful movement…her eyes tirelessly focused on me…the Belle is left behind, confused…the Cougar was on the prowl…nervously, I turn my back to face the bar once again…big mistake…In a flash I feel the Wealthy Cougar’s hot breath on the back of my neck…Goosebumps…my nails dig into the bar’s railing…the Cougar takes a step closer and brushes up against me as she ponies up to the bar to my left…I anxiously take a sip of my wine…ice jingles in my glass…she swings her left shoulder and in a swift movement she is facing me directly…purse on the bar…my mind racing for an exit strategy…fight or flight?...fight or flight?...she offers a slight moan and part her lips…
“My…you are a devilishly handsome one, aren’t you? Are you staying at the hotel?” She inquires seductively.
Then…it hit me! THE PURSE!!!
In the blink of an eye, my entire demeanor changes. I offer a huge gasp of surprise, place my outstreched nail-polished fingers on my chest, and in the biggest, most stereotypical gay voice (like I was channeling the Jack character from the Will & Grace sitcom) I could muster, I point to her purse and shout:
“O.M.G.!!! Your purse is FAB-U-LOUS!!! Is that Prada or Yves St. Laurent? No! Lemme guess…Gucci? Am I right? Oh you must tell! The suspense is KILLING ME!!!”
With a huge look of shock and disappointment she stated coldly that it was indeed a Prada purse and quickly moved back to join her clan. Finding my exit window, in character, I gingerly paid my bar tab and sauntered out of the watering-hole, again unscathed. The only real problem is going to have to explain myself the next time I set foot in there to the one gay bartender who once thought the I was gay when he tried to hit on me the first night I was there (another long story). It might have been a dirty tactic to play out, and I never intend to insult any of my dear gay friends…but desperate times called for desperate measures!
Until next time!!!