Mean Girls at the Magic Castle

Spinsters don’t always have dates.

In fact, spinsters rarely have dates. After a certain point, a date turns into a heavy sigh, augmented with a slash of lipstick.

It becomes not so much ‘OMG, I should get a wax’ but more ‘Oy vey, here we go again’.

I broke up with my ex five months ago, and haven’t been on one date since. A guy I know, one of those San Fran internet-types, asked me out a couple of weeks ago but didn’t follow through, and neither did the millionaire who emailed me on JDate (I’ve since terminated my membership which lasted all of two weeks – that’s another blog entirely).

I remember in my twenties and early thirties, fending off a slew of ‘possibles’. Now I can’t imagine who would ask me out, and conversely, I can’t imagine who I would say yes to.

Older men aren’t interested (this is Hollywood, even a foetus is pushing it), and I’ve had my fill of younger men who would rather commit to Twitter, amusing t-shirts and Comic-con than a relationship.

Consequently, I go to most events by myself. This isn’t easy anywhere in the world, and it’s especially challenging in Hollywood, where sexual allure, or rather proving it by surrounding yourself with youth and beauty, is more important than knowing how to tie your own shoelaces.

Which is why on Saturday night I had a mild panic attack driving along Franklin to the Magic Castle, as the guest of a British magician who is currently touring the States.

I timed my arrival so that my group of friends would arrive first, thus saving me having to do the required I’M NOT FEELING SELF-CONSCIOUS routine. You know, the one that shows everyone how VERY BUSY, VERY IMPORTANT and IN DEMAND you are are. The one where you study your Blackberry or iPhone until your eyes laser through the screen, and set fire to your Facebook app.

My old car chugged up the hill to the valet, just as I received a text saying ‘We’ll be there in ten minutes!’ at which point I nearly threw up but didn’t because I was wearing a new recession-busting frock (a $16 vintage dress that made me look like a curious hybrid of Mary Poppins and Dita Von Teese).

The valet waved me to a spot by the smoking area, and I stepped out of the car, bracing myself for ‘the gauntlet of fake’. I wasn’t disappointed. Twelve or so people, men and women, who were waiting to go inside turned to look at me.

Sorry, turned to JUDGE me.

I should be used to it by now. They want to see if you’re ‘somebody’. (Not in a PT Cruiser, you’re not.)

They want to see what you’re wearing, who you’re with, your jewelry, your hair, your skin or any signs of cosmetic surgery. Their eyes not so much dress you as inflict needle wounds into your skin.

A group of four women teetering on Louboutins, and wearing Kardashian-esque bandage dresses stared at me so hard, I thought they were going to lift me off the ground. This was the Magic Castle after all, so levitation is par for the course.

They did not.

The good news is that I didn’t trip, I didn’t dribble, and I didn’t have my skirt tucked into my pants.

I merely took a deep breath, held my head high, and walked past them like I was once again sloping past the cool gang in the school corridor.

As I got to the entrance, I looked up from my Blackberry (I’m very important don’t you know), and glanced behind me, expecting a ruler to be thrown at my head.

Instead one of the girls, with lips covered in enough gloss to coat the White House, smiled and mouthed ‘Hey’. I gold-fished a hello back. And exhaled. I’d made it.

My friends arrived and inside, I was instructed to say ‘Open Sesame’ to an owl sitting on a bookcase to open the secret door to the club.

We had wonderful evening drinking wine, watching close-up magic, illusions – one of the magicians levitated my friend’s wedding ring in front of my eyes – it was amazing. I even flirted with a bandana-wearing rock dude (amazing-er).

Later, a ghost played me a lively version of ‘The Entertainer’ on the piano. I haven’t laughed so much in a long, long time.

Hollywood is all smoke and mirrors, and while I may not be a magician I’ve always been able to create an illusion of confidence.

And in this town, that’s like pulling a rabbit out of the hat.


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