I’m the kind of person who often walks into a room and has everybody whisper “Who’s that girl?”
Unfortunately, it’s never said in the hushed and awe-filled tones of someone in the presence of True Beauty. It’s said in the same kind of way that someone might say “What did I just step in?” or even “Is that a pubic hair in my soup??”
I’m pretty sure I made such an entrance when I recently went to a swanky Sydney wine bar, wearing jeans and a smock top that mades me look like a hunchbank who’s six months pregnant.
I was going to see my fabulous friend GT sing and, indeed, had rung her beforehand to check the dress code.
“It’s very casual. Jeans are fine,” she assured me.
It wasn’t until I arrived there that I realised the statement “Jeans are fine” applied only to people as fabulous as GT who can wear anything anywhere and, in fact, never wear jeans because they’ve got far better things to wear.
There was some small part of me that wanted to shout out “Anyone care for spot of scrapbooking?” or (better still) “The Bells! THE BELLS!”as I walked across the room. Luckily, I was meeting my friend Dr L and my stepmother JJ – both of whom have known me for over two decades and know that I’m way cooler than I look. Okay, so a little cooler.
Anyway, the gig was great. GT has a velvety voice like an angel who’s wooing the devil, or at least talking him into giving her a really long foot rub.
But the “Who’s that girl?” moments continued. During one break between sets, Dr L and I heard our names being spoken. We looked up to see GT and a pretty blonde woman looking over at us. They waved to us and we waved back.
GT walked over to us a few minutes later.
“That’s [Karen], Mr F’s friend,” she said.
“Oh! Karen!” I exclaimed, knowingly.
“Ah yes! Karen...” Dr L echoed.
GT went back to the stage and began singing. After a few bars, Dr L whispered out the side of her mouth.
“Just checking… Do we know who Karen is?”
“Fuck, no,” I whispered back, my smile still fixed on my face.
After a few more songs, Karen got up to leave. She waved to us cheerfully. We waved back with equal enthusiasm.
“Bye, Karen!” Dr L said, brightly.
“God go with you, Karen!” I said, which made me giggle to myself for at least half an hour because I was a jeans-clad pregnant hunchback in a swanky Sydney bar and I had to find something to laugh about that wasn’t myself.
Anyway, as fate would have it, during the next break I found myself chatting to GT’s guitarist, a very talented man that I had met a number of times over the past 15 years.
After a while, he extended his hand to introduce himself.
“Uh, we’ve actually met a few times before,” I told him. “I’m [NDM].”
“Oh! [NDM]!” he exclaimed, clearly remembering the name but struggling to put it to the mumsy Quasimodo figure before him. “Uh…”
“It’s okay!” I told him. “I’ve had three children and have gone completely to seed!”
He looked back at me blankly and blinked. I took this as my cue to continue.
“You, however, look exactly the same!” I enthused. “That’s worked out well for you!”
And I smiled my brightest smile, knowing full well he’d be thinking “Who is this girl?” even though I had ostensibly just answered that question for him.
What can I say? I clearly have a gift. But who that gift is for is anyone’s guess.