parties

Going Solo

Just because they put it on doesn't mean you have to move to it.

As we have discussed, it is important to be the only person of color in the room at any given time or event. Having more than one of us around can lead to all sorts of miscommunication, embarrassing run-ins and tempt either of you to discuss common race-related issues that might trigger a long latent desire to read some Nikki Giovanni.

But sometimes a room is crowded, dark or split-level. So how do you both determine if there are any of colors in the vicinity and relax enough to proudly show off the pictures from Inverness on your iPhone?

Instead of prowling from corner to corner paper bag testing everyone you come into contact with, just look for a few key things to see if you are safe.

  • 1. Other guests never seem to quite finish the sentences: “So…you’re here with…..” or “You must be here to see…….” or “You must know Carol from……..”
  • 2. You are at the Viper Room.
  • 3. The DJ suddenly changes the music from relatively ambient Slowdive and Neutral Milk Hotel and includes a random cameo like Baby Got Back. Then a dance circle forms around you. Don’t panic, after they see your first perfectly precise box step, they’ll get the idea.
  • 4. People ask you oddly practical questions out of the blue like “Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?” “What time does are you closing tonight?” and “Can I give you my coat?”
  • 5. You cannot quite find the words to describe your complete and utter sense of relaxation.

Where am I supposed to park this?

What was pitched as as a trip for tapas in Topanga turned to a treacherous trial of trying to squeeze my sedan in a safe spot  the side of a steep steep

*sigh* I guess I will just have to carry a valet around with me.

slope two blocks away from the party.

The view was amazing, the company was great and the food was fantastic, so much so that the three pounds I just lost returned with a vengeance.

Getting out of my car, however, required a firm understanding of physics, cleats and a leap of faith as I sprung from my 45 degree angled seat, braced for landing on the soft, gravely shoulder and scampered across the street so that I didn’t get squashed by cars flying around the blind curve.

And while I will rarely if ever turn down an invite for Spanish appetizers, I did wonder, what’s the etiquette when you live in a place where parking a car is next to impossible. The house had a small driveway–enough for the family’s car–but that was it. The neighborhood was situated in the middle of a mountain pass, so there were no businesses nearby with parking lots available to borrow. There was hardly any shoulder on the road and what shoulder there was was taken up by the sharp rise of a slope.

In LA, we have plenty of areas like this. There’s mountains like Topanga where you can slide off to your death without too much effort. Permit heavy areas like West Hollywood, where even with a guest pass, you sometimes need to bring an extra pair of shoes for the half mile hike you will inevitably take to your buddy’s pad, Hollywood proper where irresponsible city planning has led to parking fees hovering somewhere around $2/fifteen minutes, Downtown where the proximity of decent area to skid row is unsettling or Hancock Park and Silverlake type areas that are just so popular that even with a decent amount of street space. Though, I guess there’s always the 101 and 405 where lots of people find places to park.

What do you think? Should invites to places like this come with warnings/suggestions? A valet? Or maybe it’s just a clever way to invite solitude?

Are You Alone?


Always Control Your Perimeter

 

As we have discussed, it is important to be the only person of color in the room at any given time or event. Having more than one of us around can lead to all sorts of miscommunication, embarrassing run-ins and tempt either of you to discuss common race-related issues that might trigger a long latent desire to read some Nikki Giovanni.                                                                             

But sometimes a room is crowded, dark or split-level. So how do you both determine if there are any of colors in the vicinity and relax enough to proudly show off the pictures from Inverness on your iPhone?

Instead of prowling from corner to corner paper bag testing everyone you come into contact with, just look for a few key things to see if you are safe.  

  • 1. People never seem to quite finish the sentences: “So…you’re here with…..” or “You must be here to see…….” or “You must know Carol from……..”
  • 2. You are at the Viper Room.
  • 3. The DJ suddenly changes the music from relatively ambient Slowdive and Neutral Milk Machine and includes a random cameo like Baby Got Back. Then a dance circle forms around you. Don’t panic, after they see your first perfectly precise box step, they’ll get the idea.
  • 4. People ask you oddly practical questions out of the blue like “Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?” “What time does are you closing tonight?” and “Can I give you my coat?”
  • 5. You cannot quite find the words to describe your complete and utter sense of relaxation. 

If these elements are in place, enjoy your party! And be sure to try the tapenade.