Friday, June 1, 2007

Opening Night x 2

My friend Tara invited me and another friend of hers to the opening of a floral exhibit at a pretty ritzy flower shop here in Polanco. Bear in mind that she was “invited” through a flyer handed to her at a Newcomers Club meeting, and asked her friend Tracy and me to tag along. So we hardly expected the scene we came upon last night when we arrived.

There was a large crowd standing around outside, women dressed as if they were either about to appear on the red carpet for a movie premier, or in a Shakira video. Servers circulated trays of wine and champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and chocolate covered strawberries. Every so often a car would pull up and let out a few glammed up people who would grab a drink and push their way into the too-small shop. Tara, Tracy and I were content to just stand outside drinking and chatting about our kids, until the woman who “invited” Tara spotted us and literally dragged us into the shop, where we were able to get close-up and lighted views of not only the floral arrangements, but of the plastic women who had bypassed us outside. Now I am all for plastic surgery – my motto is that if it makes you feel good, go for it – but looking at some of these women made me wonder what they looked like before if this was considered an improvement. (Ouch, I know, but seriously, I have never before seen so much and such obvious plastic surgery in such a small physical space – and I’ve been to LA a number of times.)

After about thirty minutes we were able to escape relatively unscathed – although, I was forced to answer for the 100th time that I was really from India (apparently when someone asks where I am from, “the United States” is not a sufficient answer based on my skin color and features), we had to feign interest in the mundane floral arrangements of a designer who failed to appear, and were forced to take home a tacky parting gift. But no lasting damage was done.

As I am walking home from what could be considered among the weirder experiences of my life, I came upon a scene similar to what I experienced outside the flower shop. I heard loud music, and saw chauffer driven cars pulling up to the sidewalk, letting out people who looked like they were attending a club opening. As I got closer to the music, I again saw trays of champagne and hors d’oeuvres being passed around, and then saw that this “party” was for the opening of Gloria Jean’s Coffee! Only in Mexico City could the opening of a coffee shop that does marginal business in the Bridgewater Mall be considered a glamorous party.

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