I knew the evening was doomed the moment my friend extended a dinner invitation to our drug dealer. He did it without thinking. Between the cocaine and his permanent erection he had absolutely zero blood flowing to his brain, so he didn’t recognize how bad an idea it was until much later.
Of course, our drug dealer immediately accepted. There was no way he was passing up an opportunity to rub elbows on the Chateau terrace. In addition to delivering high quality party favors directly to the hotel suite, he had musical aspirations and was a bit of a social climber.
He was also the type to never show up without at least two women on his arm. This night was no exception, although to call them women would only be correct insofar as it identified their gender. These were girls, not women. In fact, they were prostitutes. More specifically, they were ratchet ass hoes. (I would never slut-shame a woman for being a sex worker, but I’ll style-shame a bitch all night long for being a tacky, gum-smacking hoodrat.)
The table for six had become a table for nine, and I’m still amazed they were able to accommodate us. Our original party included an award winning documentary filmmaker and his wife, my friend who is the head of production at a major company, his friend who is the head of security for a major celebrity, my BFF, and me. At the last minute, we added our drug dealer and two hookers.
I ended up seated next to one of them at dinner, and let me tell you, aside from her confusion about the silverware, bringing a street-walker to a fancy restaurant is nothing like the movie Pretty Woman.
At first, I thought she was a sweet kid, but after she gulped down a few glasses of Bordeaux (accented heavily by the Passionberry Twist gum still in her mouth), all hopes for an adult conversation went out the window. She talked loudly about nonsense, she gawked at celebrities, and she ordered the most expensive piece of meat off the menu for no other reason than she could.
What was supposed to be a pleasant dinner filled with sparkling repartee quickly became an exercise in biting my tongue. My BFF and I spent most of the evening communicating our mortification through sideways glances.
Still, there were several priceless moments. When the other girl reminded our drug dealer that she had to be on stage later that night, the documentary filmmaker assumed she was in a play. I’ve never seen a bushier pair of eyebrows raise higher than when she told him the name of the strip club instead of the name of a theater.
The documentary guy obviously wasn’t used to this kind of mixed company, and true to form, he started asking the hookers a series of personal interview questions that would have made Errol Morris proud. The moment that defined the evening happened when the girl next to me revealed that her earliest lesbian experience had been at age fifteen, and it had been with the middle-aged mother of her boyfriend at the time.
Every other conversation at the table immediately stopped, and all eyes went to her. Without missing a beat, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “What? It’s not like she did anything wrong. I was into it.”
I saw the documentary guy’s finger go up, and I knew in my heart he was about to explain to her the statutory nuances involved in that kind of situation, but before he could say another word, his wife kicked him in the shin so hard underneath the table that we all felt it.
By that point, it had dawned on my friend the sheer enormity of the mistake he had made, and as is customary when one no longer gives a fuck, he decided to remedy the situation by drinking heavily. The rest of us followed his lead.
By the end of the dinner, the celebrities were the ones staring at us, and that’s not a good thing. Thankfully, the staff never once batted an eye. (Those dudes have seen far worse than our little wine-soaked shit show.)
I hit my limit when the hooker sitting next to me asked for a to-go box for the rest of her steak. A fucking to-go box. At the fucking Chateau. Every fiber in my being wanted to scream, “This isn’t Applebee’s, bitch!”
I didn’t, though. It wasn’t my party. I too was just a guest. Instead, I looked over to my BFF who already knew exactly what I wanted to say.
Oof. When I think about it now, it still makes me shake my head. Then again, a doggie bag may very well have been the most perfect way to end that meal.