Thursday, June 9

It's Showtime Folks!

Oh dear.
I hate this kind of general wave and ‘introduce-yourself-to-everyone’ gesture as you head into a group of complete strangers. That kind of behaviour normally bodes ill for parties and smacks of plastic glasses, tins of beer, the wrong kind of drugs and cold pizza and where you are normally going to find a large tattooed gentleman called ‘Spike’ or ‘Schizoid’* taking a shine to you.
You see it may be my age but, I like a spot of etiquette, I like people to be nice and well-behaved and to be introduced by a third party and with a bit of interesting background to them. Even if it’s just: ‘”This is Gordon and he’s an accountant. But he nearly bought the house next door to you…”
Now there you’ve got an automatic few minutes of conversation before you do the classic line of "Please excuse me there’s someone I simply must talk to…” and wander off.
But what do I know of this new modern society where youth runs happily riot in the street, the mobile phone is king and I don’t even understand the insults let alone the lingo……If this is the way to do it, then so be it….
*Deep breath*
( Think of it as an audition darling)
Er..... hello!
My name is Miss Mish and I am, I’m afraid, a Drama Queen, Fag-Hag and JAP.
Drama Queen because of early youth at drama school, my astounding ability to make a drama out of a crisis (with me in the starring role), my use of bon mots and anecdotes to sparkle and entertain and my proclivity, nay, constant quest, to Dress The Part .

Fag-Hag, because it turns out that a lot of my friends are gay, I go to gay clubs because I like talking and flirting to nice men without there being any er….. rudeness involved and also as a sort of pun on the fact that I do light up and chuff away using a cigarette holder in true 1940’s Bette Davis style.

And JAP……….Hmm. This may be a little difficult to explain. It’s an American term meaning Jewish American Princess and means the spoilt ‘Park Avenue Princesses’ who are completly and utterly spoilt by Mummy and Daddy. We prefer Jewish ANGLO Princess over here, and yes, I am spoiled by Husband and Parents. If Daddy can get it, fetch it, lift it, collect it and drive me then he’s happy and it’s an insult if you don’t let him. It also means a sort of style of dressing that is always elegant, always ‘to the nines’ but well………… a little over the top shall we say? Think gold satin shoes (with a heel) think printed silk frocks, think embellishment and hats and handbags, matching shoes, manicures, lipstick and makeup.

So there you have it. That’s my persona, the one always ‘dressed’ and made-up, with nice manners and an eye for the proper etiquette in these situations. But also one who loves entertaining and cooking and just having a few friends over for drinkies and nibbles. A socialite without the cash. A jet setter with Ryanair budget, and a shopper with a bloodhound nose for wholesalers, sales and last season’s markdowns. The good thing is that I’m fairly friendly, amusing, empathic, cultured, a good cook, intelligent and well read. The bad news is that I’m vain, snobbish, a bit of a gossip and am rather divorced from most of the real world. I’ll apologise in advance.

So I walk in here armed with an amazing amount of chutzpah for a forty-something woman who’s below 5ft 4 and hope that this world is gentle on me. My luggage contains a change of underwear for everyday, a full set of makeup, four day handbags, three evening handbags six day frocks with matching shoes, three jackets, a two pashmina, a jewellery box, two swimsuits, a red silk patterned kimono, three sets of evening type clothes, a pair of jeans, two satin nighties, a large pot of moisturiser, a large bottle of factor 25, three bottles of perfume, a pair of slippers, three books, writing paper, two martini glasses, a bottle of gin, a pack of Earl Grey teabags and a teapot.
And only three hats.
And today, as I enter these hallowed halls with the luggage train arriving, I am wearing this years first sleeveless summer frock. A sort of leopard skin print with a frilled flamenco hem. I’ve got a mock-croc handbag over one arm and flat leather Grecian sandals. And that’s as far down as we go. We’re not at home to Mr Prurient Interest.

I’m not entirely sure what you can expect from me in here either. You’ll probably get a certain amount of gossip, anecdotes and stories from me (which honestly will be All True) I’ll certainly be the one sleeping in the most and the one whom it takes the longest to unpack. I’ll take the longest to get dressed and the first to complain about the music. I’ll kiss everyone in that (probably very irritating) ‘Hello Darling', sort of way. I’ll probably be viewing Jonny B with suspicion because he comes from Norfolk (I have a morbid fear of it because my charming in-laws live there) and will be a bit confused by the straight men as the only ones I know are either actors, writers, luvvies etc and therefore a completely different species ……. I’ll be complaining if people don’t have manners, are rude, eat with the mouth open and do not clean the bathroom after using it.
Oh and my present to the winner? Well there’s a brand new spanking DVD ‘Of All That Jazz’. The autobiographical film by Bob Fosse concerning a hard- working, living and partying director with three projects on the go, a fractured personal life and ooooooohh is that a meeting with Death (played by Jessica Lange) around the corner? Boring in a way but one that sort of sums up my world. Minus the heart attack that is……..

Miss Mish
Photograph tomorrow.

*Or even at one memorable party, a man called ‘Parry’. Short for ‘Paranoid’ evidently – “cos that’s what it said on the hospital notes”


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