Channeling his inner Joan Crawford, our columnist is the meanest girl at the prom.
Mean girls might make you cry, but they also make the party. This is especially true of the prom, where the difference between a glorified bar mitzvah and an occasion to remember is a good, vindictive bitch—the kind to know (and announce) a cheap Ross gown when she sees it.
So when I learned that the Dumpsta Players’ annual Prom Trash event would focus on “mean girls,” I was as excited as Joan Rivers during a botox bender. A real man’s man, I didn’t want to go in drag, but I did welcome a good excuse to be bitchy. After contemplating which famous shrew I should summon for the party, I decided to go with one close to my dysfunctional heart—Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest . With a wire hanger in hand, I headed out for some mean-spirited fun.
I arrived in the vicinity of Bob and Barbara’s, wrestling with uncertainty. Was I truly ready to be mean? I walked up and down the street a few times before entering, silently practicing my snark on an innocent passer-by. A few minutes later, I realized people took me for a male prostitute rather than a mean girl. With nobody willing to meet my rate, I left the corner for the bar.
Admission was advertised to be $1.99. “I bet that’s 99 cents more than you paid for your wig,” I thought as a drag queen walked by. Yes, my snark was at just the right temperature.
I resolved to hand over $2 and demand a penny back, like a frugal mean girl. To my disappointment, the door man thwarted by scheme, asking for my ID but not my money. I punished him with an icy, Erica Kane glare.
On one side of Bob and Barbara’s, regular hipster patrons drank at the bar and looked across the room with amusement at the spectacle on the dance floor. On the other side, it looked as if a bunch of dancing drug addicts raided Party City and Goodwill. I needed a drink to make sense of it all.
I asked the bartender for a Long Island Iced Tea, hoping it would provide me with the most buzz for my buck. I watched in disgust as she poured a miniscule amount of liquor into the glass and loaded it with soda and orange juice. My fears were confirmed when I tasted it; it was weaker than Whitney Houston’s coke-ravaged vocal chords. I was tempted to channel one of my favorite mean girls, Naomi Campbell, by whipping out my cell phone and hurling it at the bartender’s face as I curse her in a British accent. Instead I refrained and went over to join the prom.
On the dance floor, streamers, balloons and a disco ball overlooked tacky tuxedos and hideous gowns. One guy paired a bright blue jacket with a puke-green ruffled tuxedo shirt and a red velvet tie. A woman wore a kimono and flip-flops. Nobody matched, but everybody was dancing.
My feet weary from pre-prom pacing, I scanned the room for a seat. I saw a woman get up and leave her purse—a dreadful, patent leather thing—on her folding chair to save it, giving me the perfect opportunity to be a bitch. I took the purse and threw it underneath the seat; afterall, something so ugly should never be in plain sight. With a good view of the action, I became a fly on the PBR poster-covered wall.
A mash-up of Lil’ Mama and Bruce Springsteen came on, and the dancing was as awkward as the musical pairing. The tragic gyrating climaxed when the DJ played “It's Time for the Perculator.” I found myself becoming Nigel Lythgoe, the mean girl from So You Think You Can Dance? . “Are you people doing the Perculator or having an exorcism?” I wondered.
Looking around the room, it dawned on me that while everybody here looked trashy, nobody was particularly mean. In fact, they seemed full of joy, leaving me as the only bitch with a wire hanger in attendance. Oh well. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade—then poison it with nail polish remover and serve it to everybody.
Amid all the prom trash, one girl’s gown, black, sequined and slightly irregular, caught my eye. I just knew she got it at Ross. I approached her to chastise her—but I reconsidered once I saw how much fun she was having, without a care that her dress was defective and her lipstuck smudged. Now that I was in her face, she waited for me to say something. “You look great,” I told her. “You should have been the prom queen.”
I guess my inner mean girl has a heart.
But just when my Luther Vandross séance started to kick off, my phone tumbled down onto the urinal cake. “Does the three-second rule apply to this situation?” I wondered, aghast.
That’s why I believe, if you want to find a real ride-or-die lover, dishonesty is the best policy—at least in the beginning.
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