Monday, April 17, 2006

Hats lead to indecent proposals

It was a Parisien dance party. Glamour seemed to be de rigeur.

So I got all dolled up much like you see here---only of course considerably larger.

Yes, I had a hat. A pretty, eccentric hat. The kind of hat you'd see in a Wong Kar Wai movie. The kind of hat a chanteuse in Bladerunner might wear. Or a socialite in the movie Brazil. Or even, possibly, Garbo.

The kind of hat that comes down over one eye and has little feathers sticking up and bits of velvet studding the veiling--the kind of hat that is dangerous to wear in the 21st century.


Because glamour is now a mark of the hopelessly eccentric.

Think about it--glamour has become camp, glamour, without irony, will put you in situations you'd rather not.

For example, at a waltz in a homely little dance hall, peopled with gamer-types in dirndl skirts and high schol graduation era pumps, where men wore bowties and suspenders, and everyone polka-d--a hat like this can lead to--well, lots of things. In my case a dance partner who claimed to be a diplomat from Geneva and who ended the evening by offering me a foot massage (which is, as anyone who has ever seen Pulp Fiction knows, one step away from offering to put your tongue in the holy of holies). I don't let anyone who is not a trusted and proven beloved anywhere near my feet, because, as everyone knows, there's this one spot on the arch where, if you hit it correctly, you can, in fact, induce an orgasm. Sneaky little pressure point, that one. And there are those who exploit this spot, in the guise of a good-natured foot rub.

I doubt that this little 'diplomat' knew about the spot, but it was Berkeley, so odds are that he'd picked up a few sleazy tantric tricks to make up for his, er, deficiencies. There's nothing worse than a man you want nothing to do with trying to spring tantric secrets on you, like he's offering you posies or freshly minted hundred dollar bills. Especially when this happens on a dance floor, during an innocent waltz, when all you want to do is the box step.

And why, as an aside, do men think that an offer of massage, cunnilingus, or orgasms is something that women will jump on right off the bat? We aren't men, for one thing! And we aren't so easily bribed. If you want to bribe us, be a mensch and use money or goods like you would with anyone else. I mean, a diamond bracelet, sure, but an orgasm's kind of personal, for one thing, and for another, no matter how skilled you think you might be, there's simply no way a woman will believe you if you brag about it. That's a sure sign of a liar, a novice, or a sleaze. We won't take it like baksheesh--hear this now, gentlemen--no matter what kind of hat a woman is wearing, bribing her with your supposed ability to give pleasure or help her to release tension will just expose you for the pitiful, manipulative sham that you are. You'd do much better with chocolate.

And I had only come there to dance. I will dance with someone I would never in a million years go to bed with. Or even take off my shoes for.

When I politely declined, he then offered to massage my back instead, and when I declined that, he said that it was just that he "had a skill he really wanted to share with the world", and went into a long new-age exposition of why and how he was not making a pass at me at all. At which point I said that I was simply dying for a cigarette, and would he excuse me since I didn't want to expose his purity to the disgusting fumes of moral depravity? In Berkeley, or indeed all of California, mentioning that you smoke is generally the kiss of death. People flee as from a leper. But he was undeterred. Then it came to me.







And seeing my face unobscured by glamor, seeing the bared teeth, the steely eyes

he vanished, taking his massage oil and his diplomacy with him.

As for the hat, I'll save it for outings to the Castro.


Blogger Juan Bodley said...

Truthfully, me lady, I find hats on the right women to be appealing in a tasteful way. (You may find that hard to believe coming from me, but I do have a civilized side.) And "favors" are not necessary whilst wearing the hat.

12:07 PM  

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