Friday, September 3, 2010

"Livin' Movida Loca" by Guest Blogger Amy Abroad

“Jalouse?” I heard Tina ask the bouncer.

I shifted in my new boots, the boots I bought in a fog of ecstasy when I realized they zipped up over my calves.

“Jalouse?” she asked again.

The bouncer said something else.

“Straight down this way?” Tina pointed. “Jalouse. Jalouse. Jalouse.” She said it over and over, like a mantra.

Thank God for Tina, I thought. She can talk to anybody. She’ll figure out what we should do. After all, it was Heather’s 40th birthday, and we’d traveled all the way from Amsterdam to London to celebrate. And here we were, all five of us, ready to par-TAY.

“Jalouse,” she said when she came up to us a moment later. “Like jealous? I don’t know.” She shrugged.

Jalouse was another nightclub, a short walk away. The club we were standing outside of was called Movida. According to one review I read online later, it’s the “most significant and exquisite club venue” in London and “has played host to the world’s rich and famous.”

We didn’t know what to do. Stand in line and hope the bouncer thinks one of us is sufficiently attractive to let through the velvet rope? Or give Jalouse a try?

I took a long look at the line of 30 people waiting to get into Movida.

I say 30 people in the broadest possible sense. Because 12-year-olds aren’t people… not yet.

I knew that those kids had to be at least 21 in order to see and be seen at Movida, but I couldn’t get my head around it. They couldn’t be 21! Not those gangly toddler girls that look like they’ve been drawn where they stand by Edward Gorey.

“Slips of things,” my grandmother might have called them.

They wore tiny hip-hugging sheath skirts and huge strappy sandals that looked like they’d sunk their feet into cement blocks instead of shoes. Their pupils peeped jadedly out from ovals of smeary black eye liner, and their bare legs went up, up, up to their shoulders.

These girls were jaded, I tell you. Jaded—at the age of 12.

Why our concierge had thought to put us on the “guest list” at Movida I can’t fathom. And little did I know at the time, but being on the “guest list” doesn’t mean the bouncer checks your name off on his little clipboard, winks at you, and watches your ass as you sashay in. No. It apparently means that you may, if you so desire, stand in line behind 30 prepubescent stick figures and pray that the bouncer takes pity on you and your friends, who have 14 children among you.

My first thought: Doesn’t he know who I am? I’m the jet-setting, worldly-wise expatriate housewife and lady of leisure who just dropped $365 at the Bobbi Brown counter at Harrod’s. Without a sting of buyer’s remorse! I mean, come on! I’m not some wanna be; I’ve arrived!

My second thought: Oh, God, when did I get so old? And so un-pretty? I mean, Brown fraternity brothers used to pick my picture out of the pig book and invite me to their parties. But, then again, that was 1989. And here I was, three children and too many chocolate chip cookies later, and the standard of beauty was little girls who look like little boys who like to wear little skirts.

The competition outside Movida was prodigious.

So we headed toward Jalouse and thought philosophically about ageism and the prejudice of the pretty people and how there are cliques that still don’t want you as a member—even now, more than 20 years after you wore that mortarboard.

But when we got to Jalouse, we discovered that the Gorey girls had followed us there, too. Apparently, London was infested.

There would be no drinking apple martinis and rocking out to Dexy’s Midnight Runners tonight. We hopped a cab. Back to our hotel. Back to our PJs and ponytail holders. Back to “Troy.” And while Eric Bana and Brad Pitt didn’t make us feel any better, they didn’t make us feel any worse, either.

Written by my friend and fellow blogger Amy Abroad


  1. The multi-talented and wickedly funny Amy Aborad was with me on a recent girls weekend to London. I've never laughed so hard. The adventure above was one of many that we had this weekend. Looking forward to next Spring when we take on Paris!

  2. Oh I ENJOYED this sooooooooooooooooooooo so much. I smiled at the truth of it all.........and din't cry for hips which can't swing anymore. IOh, the joys of being a mum! And Joanne........good on you!