Saturday, September 17, 2005

If you're havin' girl problems, I feel bad for you, son.
I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.
Hit me.

Last night, we went to a party. It was a barbecue at a very wealthy lady's house. The place was at the end of a cul-de-sac, and the East Gallatin river ran through the backyard.

We couldn't help ourselves, and we asked for a tour. We bopped through guest house, in which India told the hostess she would like to live. There was a separate entrance to the space above the guest house, which is a designated music room for her 12 year old son. Drum kit, wraparound couch, big screen. I told the hostess I would happily live there.

The main house was sort of like an episode of MTV Cribs, except this lady had good taste, which is missing from many of the houses on that show. Nice outside patio area, with a big hottub and built-in grill. The living room had 30 foot cathedral ceilings, fireplaces, integrated video-sound; there was a top-notch gym; the kitchen was everything you would expect- the huge viking frig, wine storage, monstrous gas range, and a couple appliances whose purpose I could not ascertain; the master bedroom had a massage table & one of those Kohler showroom bathrooms; the 12 year old had everything he could ever want; and my favorite room was the wood-paneled den/library/office... it looked like it should have a batphone.

I honestly do not think I have been in a house that nice since I lived in LA... I am sure it is worth millions, with an "s" on the end. I am sure I gaped like the country rube that I am, and it was probably gauche to ask for a tour, but fuck it, I have an obligation to my readers.

The people at the party were all pretty normal, and we engaged in lengthy conversations with some of them. We stayed longer than we had planned; initially, we were only going to stay an hour. I ended up in conversations with various people about interesting places, skiing, Minneapolis, fishing, hiking, life and career choices (India and I were decidedly "underemployed" compared to this group), golf-hatred, cooking and children.

As you might expect, though, all of the fabulosity doesn't appear to fill some of the voids in one's life. The hostess (who is dating a friend, hence the invite) was absolutely, inappropriately sloshed...

If you know me, I am sure you are raising your eyebrows and thinking, "Uh, pot? Yeah, kettle here. You're black." I am sure some of you will read the following and think, "what a fucking hypocrite." Understand that I am coming from a place of absolute, cringing, full-bore empathy, having been absolutely, inappropriately sloshed on dozens of occasions.

All I had was a fancy ginger ale. Everyone else had wine, but only a glass or two. To my expert eyes, nobody else was even buzzed. (The purpose of the barbecue was sort of a business get-together for my friend, who, as I mentioned, is dating the hostess. Had it been a Par-Tay barbecue, I would not have given a second thought to her condition, and certainly wouldn't be writing about it. In fact, I would have been inappropriately, absolutely sober for such an occasion.) Our hostess, however, was slurring; her eyes were sort of pointing in slightly different directions; and, she wasn't making a whole lot of sense.

Again, this wouldn't even be noteworthy, but for a few things:

(1) She is really likable, friendly, and has kind of taken a shine to India, offering to help her get her business rolling in Bozeman, etc. It may have been humorous or entertaining, in a schadenfreude kind of way, if we didn't like her. She is dating my friend; this is a small town; I am sure we will be seeing her again.

(2) As I said, it was a business get-together for my friend, not a boozy, male-bonding event, like, say, an invitational golf tournament in honor of the hugest quarterback/wide receiver/kick returner/accountant the state of Indiana has ever produced. (Hi Antuan.) I felt a little embarrassed for my friend, as two levels of bosses were there, including his uber-boss, who flew in from Denver just for the occasion.

(3) The party was small; only twelve people were there. Therefore, as we all gathered around the kitchen island, her drunkeness stood out like a rank fart in an elevator, particularly when she was gushing to my friend's associates about the merits of a piano teacher whom her son shares with one of their kids. "She'sh aweshome, jusht aweshome." I found myself quietly hoping she would just be quiet, as I was embarrassed for her, but no... it ventured into painful territory, replete with gesticulations, slurring, and semi-crazed, unfocused eyes. The conversation should have been over in three minutes, but it went on for ten more minutes that seemed like ten hours.

I swear I could hear my friend sending out telepathic mind waves, "Oh Christ, that's my boss. Stop talking stop talking stoptalking pleasestoptalking pleasepleaseplease."

Shortly after that conversation, in fact, the party cleared out like a trailer park during a tornado.