My Bourgeois Birthday

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Written by Chantelle Petersen

After weeks of walking through elitist neighbourhoods, secretly wondering what their lives are like..trying to squeeze through their Jags and Maseratis on my way to school..watching their maids touch up the paint on their doors with the finest of paintbrushes, I finally tapped into a small taste of their social lives, on (the best day possible) my birthday.

My Dad was here to visit after doing a small European tour sprung off by a business trip to Germany, which conveniently fell close to my favourite day of the year. While showing he and his girlfriend around the city, she (perhaps half-jokingly) suggested I accompany them to Paris for the weekend. I, as any sane-minded individual would, jumped all over this almost sincere suggestion. The only thing that made me think twice about it was that they’d be leaving early Saturday morning – the day of my birthday – so I wouldn’t be able to celebrate with my friends. I was debating: a crazy night out with friends in London or a quiet evening with parents in Paris? If only all choices had such pleasing alternatives.

While I was watching my Dad take pictures of Buckingham Palace, my phone rang. Apparently my friend Asad, a dj, had a gig tonight at some club opening and was wondering if my friend Nicole and I would go. Problem solved! I’d celebrate my birthday that night with them and be on a flight to Paris the next morning.
Skip three hours ahead and Nicole and I are in the basement of an immaculate Kensington hotel, watching our friend put his hand on a fingerprint scanner to grant him access to the club. We’re there early because he needs to set up and already we feel a little out of out league. There’s hardly anyone there, but as soon as the first woman walks in, we realize that ONE of her shoes must cost more than our entire, carefully-planned-to-fit-in outfits.

After people-watching for quite a while as the place livened up and as we tried to hide the nursing of our 20-dollar drinks (once converted) I began to feel more at ease. It turns out that all the woman draped in Louis and diamonds were just as self-conscious, if not more so. I watched them grotesquely display their dance moves for their suitors while staring in huge framed mirrors that decorated the bar so that they’d be on top of things should an eyelash move out of place – how stressful! Still, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to shame their rhythm with my own until one Danni Minogue egged Nicole and I onto get off our seats.

Yes, hold the press! Kylie’s less successful sis was there with boyfriend Jacques Villeneuve (I guess that paparazzo wasn’t for me) who looked like he should be drinking out of a paper bag, not a martini glass. He looked ridiculously shabby with a troubled-artist’s mop, Harry Potter glasses and a thick open dress shirt down to his knees. Not a flattering look for anyone, especially when you’re about eye level with everyone’s collar bone.

The management of course, drenched the two with attention and coaxed them onto the dance floor with Ricky Matin-esque rump tremors which I was keen to imitate. My mockery must have been a success because I was soon sent a glass of champagne from an Italian business man who I shared a few dances with until the clock struck two and it was time to move on.

Asad took us next to Pangea, one of the most exclusive clubs in London, however our celebrity spotting had come to an end. When we walked in (without cover or carding), we were introduced to some friends occupying the tables (about 500 pounds reserve each) littered with bottles of vodka and juice jugs. You mix your own drinks when you’re a high-roller. As soon as they found out it was my birthday, a gentleman with a bottle of Absolut it one hand and Grey Goose in another (each about 150-200 pounds each) told me to take my pick. I apprehensively took the Grey Goose and when he raised his Absolut to his mouth, I followed suit. Needless to say, it gets a little blurry from there. I loved the music, loved all the free drinks and loved that strangers were too cool to bother me!

At about five we took a cab back home, by half past I was in bed and an hour later I was walking to the closest tube station to meet the parents at the train to Paris. The rest of the day was spent eating great food and walking around the city to ease off my drunkenness.

Best birthday ever! Bourgeois style!

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  1. Posted by: Joel on Oct 11, 2005 @ 9:18pm

    Why would you share this inane story with us?
    So what if you met a B-list actor and a F1 driver who can no longer finish races?

  2. Posted by: Krista on Oct 11, 2005 @ 10:18pm

    Fun to read! thanks for an entertaining study break.

  3. Posted by: on Oct 12, 2005 @ 5:44pm

    Hey Jealous Joel what did you do for your birthday?....

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