Suburbs have always been a dangerous place. I should know. I was born and raised there. All that peanut butter on Wonder Bread. All those in-ground swimming pools. All that gin. I was lucky to escape with my life.
That’s why I reacted to a recent birthday party invitation with more than a shudder of suspicion. The invite was to a party in a posh suburb. The party would be hosted and attended by a chic set of straight people, with a few minor celebrities.
Normally, this is the type of invitation I would trash immediately. I do not do well among the hot-n-tot, and if there is a celebrity within spitting distance, I will, in fact, spit on them. For the same reason that I always spill red wine on white carpet and employ the vilest curse words just as a young child walks into the room. Because I’m an idiot.
In addition, this party was well in the hinterlands, a place where the pets wear pricier coats than me. It would be a two-hour drive from home, so I’d have to get a hotel room.
But, in spite of all this, I decided to go. Why? One word my friends: karaoke. The hosts were renting a professional outfit to bring a karaoke operation to their palatial estate. Apparently, when people in the wealthy suburbs get weary of bossing around their maids and sleeping with their nannies, they like to sing karaoke. The birthday girl and her friends go to a local pub several nights a week to escape their demanding children and sing their fool hearts out.
Now, my friends, I’m the worst singer in the world. But I love to sing! I sing constantly, and it really annoys people. I am constantly being shushed. The lovely thing about karaoke is that it’s so egalitarian. Rich, poor, tone-deaf: everyone gets equal opportunity at the mic.
Okay, I’m halfway through this column, and I haven’t even gotten to the main point yet. So, I’d better cut to the chase: When you are the only lesbian at a straight party in the suburbs, everyone in attendance is going to try to makeout with you. This is because you are a new, shiny object that none of them has managed to acquire and they want to get you before their neighbor does.
This is especially the case if there is a frozen drink machine in the house (bar-grade) that is being emptied at an alarming rate.
My battle plan for the evening was to arrive late, graze heavily on appetizers (the hostess, a former model, announced to her super-thin friends that they were welcome to sample the catering, but she would judge them if they did), gulp down a few glasses of wine, sing a couple songs, and get the hell out.
But as soon as I walked in the door, I knew that I was trapped. Literally. Any time I got near a wall, I was pinned against it and a tongue was shoved down my throat.
One of the celebrities sidled up to me and whispered that he had always wanted a beautiful lesbian. “Me, too!” I exclaimed, quickly scanning the crowd to see if one had walked into the room.
“I know you suburbanites love your malls, “ I said as a husband, and then his wife, manhandled my breasts, “but I didn’t think it meant this type of maul.”
And, while I finally managed to escape with my life, I left my dignity on the kitchen floor, sticky with drippings from the frozen margarita machine. But I get to sing “Muskrat Love,” and that made it all worth it.