If you’ve never been to a swanky, super fabulous (code for very, very gay) neighborhood mixer in Palm Springs, you haven’t lived. Allow me to share the experience.
The first thing I noticed is the open (copiously flowing) bars at either end of the million dollar patio. (In my world, there are only jokes about not having an open bar. Actually, that’s my old world. In my world today, open bar refers to ballet, a ranch or cow roping.) The next thing I noticed was the parade of highly-stylized, fastidiously-groomed, very good-looking men in a bunch of matchy matchy outfits. Then there were the older straight women with scary dark, leathery skin from having spent 50 years beside a pool. You know, the kind of women who apparently find that kind of thing attractive and wear skimpy clothes in their seventies. Then I noticed the straight women who were on their way to scary dark, leathery skin but hadn’t yet rounded third, one of whom was drunk enough to ask if my “very, very gay” (as he refers to himself) business partner and I were “together.” I said yes because I like messing with drunk people. My business partner got as far away from her as he could.
There were quite a few inebriated guests (see copiously flowing bar) above. The hosts had hired live entertainment—a black soul singer whose sexual orientation my business partner and I debated a few times. The guy winked at me (more than once), but Brian said his comment “It looks like a magazine photo right here” was directed at himself and the two good-looking men flanking him on either side. I begged to differ since I was standing next to the three and asserted that he meant all four of us. I still maintain that the man was totally straight but knows who butters his bread, so to speak.
Palm Spring is chock full of gay men. I have not seen one—not one—child since I’ve been here. I have, however, seen more luxury cars than you can shake a stick at. Brian said he and his set are all on a car-buying kick where they try to outdo each other: Jaguars, Bentleys, Maseratis. I had noticed the spectacular Maserati parked out front of the mixer (which is saying something because I never notice cars). I was told that it belonged to the hosts and would normally have been parked in the garage…but…what’s the fun of having a Maserati if you can’t rub it in everyone’s face? (I’m saying that, not Brian, although I betcha that’s what he was thinking.)
The host gave an impromptu speech with a microphone (telling a somewhat tasteless joke of which I will spare you since it’s only Monday and you might need a stronger stomach for it). In the speech, he thanked everyone for coming to their “little” house because of course their big five million dollar house is in Encino, a spread on which was casually yet purposefully displayed in the open Architectural Digest near the caviar table.
So… after the host thanked us for coming to their “little” house, he talked about all the other parties they’d had there. I had heard already from someone in the crowd about their annual New Year’s Eve party where they have live lobster flown in from Maine. The host mentioned that a few times, the police had been called (those gays are so rowdy). The last time the police arrived, some party guests out front had asked, “Are you a real policeman or a stripper?”
Yes, folks, there are people for whom this is just a Saturday night.
Apropos of nothing, you would not believe how many former Mormons you run into at a swanky neighborhood party in Palm Springs. If you’re Mormon, your little Scooby Doo ears go up when a lesbian in her fifties mentions she was raised in Wyoming. I mean, come on, what else was there in Wyoming 50 years ago? Sure enough, when I asked her if she was raised Mormon, she pled guilty, said her great grandparents were part of the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies, which means nothing if you aren’t Mormon. But if you are Mormon, you just took a reverent minute.
A few random but significant observations:
- A woman (guest? part of the hired entertainment?) got up to sing a Doris Day song and the crowd went wild. Fun fact: Doris, who is still alive by the way, is 93 not 95. Her mother changed her birth certificate to 16 from 14 so Doris could skirt child labor laws (“as every good mother should do,” says Brian).
- Brian has a sterling silver dog collar that be bought at Tiffany’s—no joke—for a stray dog he found on his porch.
- The most stressful part of the weekend for Brian and his husband was the behavior of guests at their vacation rental (see photo of living room above for reminder of state of living in said rental.) A VIP here to perform at the Coachella Music Festival had one of his minions—the limo driver—get the orientation to the house’s A/C, lights and alarm system and…… at 2:30 in the morning, Brian and his husband received a text: Emergency! We can’t get in!
The limo driver, who was not actually staying at the house, had failed to orient anyone else to the security code. Sheesh. You just can’t find good limo drivers these days.
And that was just my first 12 hours in Palm Springs.