Last weekend, I went to the lounge at the Ritz-Carlton to listen to one of my favorite local bands, Hudson and the HooDoo Cats.
And by the way, you can buy CD's from his website and you won't be sorry. (holds out hand for Hudson to slip her a $20.00 for the plug, wink wink)
Anyway, Hudson always pulls in a fun crowd; all ages, races, social strata and style. If you like to people-watch, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. AND, the music is topnotch as well.
Earlier in the evening, I had dinner with my family at a greasy-spoon favorite of my mother's that was also the scene of what can only be described as a trailer-park wedding reception. Mullets, sweatshirts, t-shirts and sparkly blue eyeshadow were prominent. As were cartons of Marlboros and Parliaments.
The lounge at the Ritz was at the other end of the spectrum. Marble fireplace, mahogony appointments, class. class. class. Most of the crowd consists of the polished and pampered; diamonds and Rolexes everywhere; Manolo Blahniks; and a generous smattering of those of us in our finest from TJ Max.
As with the greasy spoon, a bridal party showed up at the Ritz as well. Maybe they liked Hudson's music more than the music at the reception. The bride was stunning, and so was her gown.....until you got to the skirt. From the waistline down, all hell broke loose. It was gathered and bunched up in a helter-skelter kind of fashion and had pastel-colored bows randomly appliqued throughout the bunching. When shopping for wedding dresses with my daughter a couple of years ago, I learned a rule of thumb with wedding dresses: The uglier the dress, the more expensive it is. The cost of this one must have cost more than the entire trailer park of the previous wedding party.
The bridesmaids all wore short black dresses, but not matching styles. That's the thing now days -- having your bridesmaids choose a style that suits them best, rather than have a troop of young things crammed into one style that only suits one of them. But that doesn't ensure they will all chose something that works.
Case in point was the ditzy blonde chick in the slut dress. Apparently, it was supposed to have a handkerchief hem. Something like this as far as the skirt goes:
The bodice of this dress was tight and had spaghetti straps.
On this girl, the long part of the hem was on the sides and the short part was in front and back. And short. And she was wearing a thong. And did I say she was wearing a short dress? Everyone else in her group looked very elegant.... but she just looked trashy. However, she had a lot of guys asking her to dance. And pick up things they had "accidentally" dropped.
Then there was the Parade of Ugly Hats; Men's Division. Recently, I was visiting my parents at the Retirement Center. The conversation among some of their friends was that men no longer remove their hats when in a building. The men in the lounge at the Ritz really should have removed them, and then should have thrown them into the fireplace and burned them. Velvet fedoras? A dirty, greasy leather cowboy hat. Some sort of urban cowboy hat coupled with a really bad blazer. The pattern on the blazer was like an old TV test pattern on LSD. I'm sure the plethora of fedoras that night was in homage to Hudson and his fedora-wearing band; but come on. A little goes a long way in the fedora department.
The tackiest topper was worn by the oldest guy in the place. But age didn't keep him from cruising the chicks. He had inky, greasy, skanky black hair. And squinty, beady little eyes. And orange skin from spending too much time in the tanning booth. I've seen him before with his brother, another geriatric cruiser. ick ick ick ick ick ick. The rule of thumb there is, "Don't Make Eye Contact."
There is a clutch of transvestites who are Hudson groupies. That night, two were prominently in attendance. The redhead was decked out in a green sequin gown with cutouts on the sides. The brunette was wearing a black strapless gown that teetered on sophisticated, but didn't quite make it. I don't know why. Maybe it was her too-broad shoulders that threw off the look. They danced together most of the night, and danced well. But during one spin, Red's dress came undone in the back. "Shoulders" grabbed things together and escorted Red back to their table where she re-attached the hooks in the back.
And guess what!? As I was searching the internet for pictures of the lounge at the Ritz, I found a website of the trannies! Lisa and Sharon at the Ritz.
Then there was the sweet old couple. They had to have been in their 80's No bigger than wedding cake toppers. They sat at a table by the dance floor and were all decked out in their finery. She was wearing an ivory-colored silk sheath; he was in a nicely tailored suit. Every so often, they would get up and dance about 10 steps, and then sit down. You could tell dancing was something they had done a lot together and didn't want to give up. But after 10 steps, they had to take a nap before giving it another spin.
All in all, another great night and a great show at the Ritz.