I was invited to a party last week, from a cousin of mine, who I will call "Gemini", who lives in Manhattan with her boyfriend on the upper west side. My cousin is one of the more unique individuals I know in my life, with brains (bachelors from NYU, masters from Harvard in developmental psychology, and she's working on getting her PhD currently), a flock of friends and admirers and a liberal spirit that knows no bounds. She basically lives in a world that most "average" people (read: me) are aware of, but aren't a part of. She rubs elbows with a varied spectrum of people, from millionaire businessmen, hipsters, actors, bartenders, artists, etc.
Gemini is living in a world where it's normal for her or her girlfriends to get flown on a private jet to a villa on an island in the Caribbean for a weekend getaway. It's normal for her to get VIP access to any club, bar or restaurant in the city, because she can make a phone call, ask one of her many friends and it's a done deal. She, herself, isn't of tremendous wealth or power, she simply knows a lot of people that do have access to both, and they are more than willing to give it to her.
Now before any "Client Number 9" jokes begin, I can say that Gemini worked as a bartender for years (doing bottle service) and met a lot of these people through the nightclubs. You would be amazed - AMAZED - at one simple fact in life (if you don't know it already):
Guys like pretty girls.
There it is. The secret is out now, oh boy!
Gemini is my cousin, but I have gotten enough people who come up to me who met her and say, "Hey, she's hot!" - so as much as she will always be the 12 year old who used to play tag with me and the other cousins at my Nanny and Pop-Pop's home, i'm aware how people think of her. Which also ruffles my feathers a bit because I have a tendancy to go into "protect" mode with my girl friends. More on that later.
Gemini worked in the bar/nightclub industry and met a ton of guys with money or "connections" (like DJs, promoters, etc) and they hook her up because they like her and probably want to get into her pants. Heck, my ex-girlfriend Lisa told me once how she was pals with a promoter in the city, who would invite her out all the time to parties because the promoter wants hot girls at their parties. Simple concept, if you think about it. Suffice to say, Gemini lives a very interesting lifestyle.
I get an email from her about her 30th birthday party. She decides to hold it at the Hotel QT on 45th street, saying it was a "pool party". There was a "swim up" bar, 3 1/2 foot deep heated pool and DJ all ready for us at 8pm last week.
I didn't know what to expect, but knew from previous stories that it would just be a random night. and I also know that she has a lot of cute girl friends. Aside from the horny 35-60 year old hedge fund millionaires that my cousin normally attracts, everyone else at this party were from all walks of life, but most have one thing in common - they party. A lot.
People who party a lot have one of three key things:
3. Access to great drugs.
If someone has money - well, they are either some trust fund kid or have a great job that allows them to go to work at 11am after sleeping off a hangover.
If someone has time - maybe they have a job with odd hours, like from noon to 8pm. They could be rich or poor, but they just have the time to go out to bars, clubs and restaurants all the time with their friends, sleep a few hours and repeat each night.
I'm slightly kidding about the 3rd point, but you must admit that there's lots of people out there can party each night because of what they are snorting. I have enough addictions, and enjoy sleep, so I stay away from that stuff and as far as I know, so does my cousin (she has always been honest with me). But i'm sure she has friends who love the Bolivian Marching Powder.
Ok, so the scene is set for you. We have a bar in Hotel QT, which was designed with a quasi-Spartan-trendy philosophy. Everything is done with a cool attention to detail, but with the cheapst marterials available. Like in the bar itself, is stainless steel and formica, the "glassware" are all plastic - even the martini glasses (which makes sense if people are drinking in a pool - broken glass would be a lawsuit waiting to happen). The bar is not very large, with some basic tables and stools. On the other side of the bar was the pool, with a plastic partition seperating each side, and a "swim up" window where someone from the pool can order drinks from the bartenders.
When I arrived, I saw my cousin, who was decked out like she normally dresses. She was flanked by two guys who looked like they owned their own companies, each wearing extremely expensive suits, watches and shoes.
My philosophy for that night was I was going to dress the way I felt comfortable - in jeans, sneakers and a polo shirt. I hate dressing up, and I love dressing in a J. Crew preppy "cool casual" look. That's me.
I kind of felt out of place, but chat up my cousin and her friends, making sure that I follow the same rules I learned when I was eight years old, taught by my father:
1. Eye contact.
2. A firm handshake.
3. Introducing yourself and asking and remembering their names.
This simple ability allows a person to transcend any standing in life. You could be a dockworker or a millionaire, and making your presence known to someone from a first meeting is critical. You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.
I cannot tell you how often I meet someone and get the limp fish handshake. Or they shake my hand and don't look at me when saying "Hello". That's a major faux-pas to me and says a lot, to me, about someone. Shake my hand. Look at me. Introduce yourself.
Of course the businessmen knew this and they and I chatted amiciably, and they bought me my first round, where I ordered a glass of single malt scotch (meh, I only ordered a Macallan 12 year old, even if the 18 year old was on the shelf).
More people arrived, and more introductions were made. I made sure to chat with people for about 10-15 minutes and move on to a new group of people. Gemini was kind of excited that I was there, and every introduction began with "This is Sean, my cousin!"
I thought it was funny, and everyone I met were very pleasant to me.
Now for the hedonism....
Like I wrote, it was a pool party.
We drank a bit at the bar, and around 10pm, most everyone (except the rich businessmen) changed into swim suits and bikinis and jumped into the 16x16 3.5 foot deep pool.
I chatted up some more of her friends in the pool, one of them was a very adorable 29 year old girl with dark hair, dark eyes, glasses (she looks great in these glasses) and a gorgeous body. She was with a platonic guy friend of hers who was also fun and charming, so I made sure to chat up both of them, and I had the both of them rolling with laughter after 3 minutes. My 'A' game was on that night because one of the key things about me is that if I feel comfortable in a situation, I relax and my fun, chatty self shines through.
Also we were in the pool, and I also felt more comfortable with my body. Growing up I was always a skinny kid. Going to the pool or the beach I was always a bit self conscious how skinny I was compared to other guys my age. Now that I have been working out for the last 3 years, I certainly don't think i'm huge, but I do look a lot more athletic with my shirt off than years before and it makes me feel comfortable when compared to years past.
The party is a mix of Gemini's friends and people staying at the hotel, maybe about 25 people in or around the pool, with about another 20 at the bar.
So while i'm chatting up the dark haired girl, I see on the corner of my eye a girl in a light blue bikini, and large C-cup breasts takes her top off.
And the party begins.
I chuckle and the dark hair girl spins around, sees this and she turns back to me, with a laugh. Everyone is noticing this but the reaction is much more subdued, like "Oh that's normal". I tell the dark haired girl that the bikini girl probably didn't get enough attention from Daddy as a girl, probably didn't get her "Pony" and is now an attention whore who loves doing things to get people to notice her. The dark haired girl laughs some more and we chat up.
After a good long minute of the bikini girl and her topless display, along with her pressing her breasts and rubbing her crotch, she puts her top back on. Then she proceeds to hit on a lot of girls at the pool, some were Gemini's friends and some were not, and i'm fairly sure she kissed all of them over the course of the night.
There was lots of grinding going on with the DJ in the pool and out of the pool. I wish I could say that I got busy with the dark haired girl, but it was kind of tough since she was with her platonic guy friend. Also she was in a different stratosphere from me. Her job? She managed 16 condos in St. Thomas that her family owns, and then works in the city with owners and their management companies to try and save the owners money. She was telling me about her vacation plans for the next three months and it involved Vegas, California, St. Thomas for a few weeks each. This is NOT someone who had a 9-5 job, but definitely someone who had family money and didn't work for a living like normal people did. So it was fun talking to her, but eventually platonic guy and her were chatting each other up and I felt like a 3rd wheel.
While those two got to talking to each other I noticed that there were about 10 new guys all in matching bathing suits in the pool. I knew that the Hotel QT sells bathing suits at the front kiosk for people who want to jump into the pool. I'm 99% sure that these guys were at the bar, saw the blue bikini girl put on her show and immediately bought themselves some new swim trunks to join us.
I watch as one of them slaps Gemini on the rear and laughs. Gemini says something to him, pointing her finger at him. She looked at me, shaking her head with a look of "You believe that guy?"
Blood. Pressure. Rising.
I was over there in an instant.
The dude looked like he was 22, about 5'11 with a scruffy beard and a thin body. I towered over him and I growled at him, "That was my cousin. It's her birthday tonight and that's disrespectful. If you disrespect her, you disrespect me."
He was apolgetic, and even with gang of his 22 year old friends (who looked like they all couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a fist full of 20's), he backed down. He slunk away from us and Gemini was happy to have someone put that creep in his place. I wasn't looking forward to getting rolled by ten 22 year olds, but I do stand up for my friends and family like that. One of these days i'm gonna get my ass kicked.
Aside from that, the night was a blast. The way I thought about it was something out of a 500 BC Roman party, with just drinking, sex and mischief. I soaked it all in (excuse the pun), and just enjoyed myself. I don't know if I could do it very often, I woke up with a wicked hangover which lasted all day, and the next night I was so tired and worn out that I went to bed early.
Just have to remember to accept the next party Gemini invites me to.