Yesterday Natasha and I were sprawled on our couch immediately after work - already in pajamas - when the infamous promoter text messages began to beep in. One after the other. Like clockwork. We ignored one after the other, absent-mindedly deleting them as they came. But one prompted me to read it out loud: "Hey katie! Tonight jermaine dupri bday party @ tenjune + dinner at [restaurant eradicated to preserve the promoter's identity since I'm about to bash the mass text messaging strategy that he and other promoters enlist]."
I do not mind mass text messages from promoters. Sometimes they lead us to fabulous evenings. Sometimes they are fruitless promises of open bars and celebrity-infested affairs. But I absolutely despise when promoters send out mass text messages - which most of my friends receive at the same time because we all know most of the same promoters - and then resend it with "Hey katie!" at the beginning to make it seem like a personal, private invitation.
Promoters, I know you sent the same bait out to reel in dozens of beautiful women. I do not need to feel like I have an exclusive invitation to a nightclub to motivate me to respond. Honestly, I don't want to go to something to which only I - with my personalized text message invitation - was invited. I can drink alone at home and usually in my underwear with a bag of chips, a pint of ice cream, a spoon and a greasy napkin; I don't want to go somewhere that no one else was invited because it was so exclusive that you only invited me.
I find "exclusiveness" to be the most incredible, contradictory cliché. Many want to go to the most "exclusive" places, but we're only happy when the most "exclusive" places are packed to the brim. Perhaps "exclusivity" implies a night of multiple celebrity sightings. I am certainly guilty of the star struck-ism. I won't deny that I have seen Sarah Jessica Parker walk into the GRACE building on 42nd Street with TMZ cameras in tow (at 2:11pm on September 23, 2008) and stopped dead in my tracks to gawk, text my girlfriends and send an update to Twitter (which I recently joined despite my personal affirmation to avoid signing up for yet another online social networking site).
But bobbing my head in a nightclub full of celebrities, like Natasha and I did last night at Tenjune, is not always everything that it is cracked up to be. While we had an above-average good time drinking and dancing with each other, nights like that can sometimes leave me feeling pretty dull when I wake up the next morning. Even when reviewing the photo I took with Coco and Ice-T on my digital camera - which I finally had the courage to do after a few standard Vodka Sodas at our promoter's table - and others I shamelessly took of Irv Gotti and Busta Rhymes, who were all at tables immediately adjacent ours, I ultimately realize that I always have the most fun when I'm out with my girlfriends in a sea of no-name faces. The photos felt lame. I studied them for a moment and wondered why so many of us ask to take photos with people who have no idea who we are.
It was not as if we were unwillingly being fed to sharks.
But there is a conventional emptiness that often follows parties like those when you reflect on the type of night you had - yet duly realize your role: that no one in attendance cared whether you were there or not. You gained entrance through a promoter who was hired to market you as a glorified seat filler to take up the empty space between celebrities.
Sometimes you really just want to go where people know, people are all the same. You want to go where everybody knows your name.
A Year Ago Today: To Aspiring Transplants
Two Years Ago Today: Six Degrees of NYC