Saturday, October 25

Showgirls and Boys

25th October
Mme Bontette and her friends are all in their late fifties and older. The women have hair and nails done weekly and are slightly competitive about grandchildren. I have so far completely failed to correctly judge the dress code/formal tone of events I’ve attended with these people.

Mme B had suggested that I dress up - and said that she would be wearing leather trousers. Keen to match her Marianne Faithful, I went all out on my version of Girlfriend-of-a-Rolling-Stone look. The car was late to pick me up, so I continued to add decorations to my person while I waited.

When the car did arrive I saw a lot of denim being worn. At the venue we piled out of the cars, I towered above my companions in my shiny, spiky shoes. Mme B was not leather-clad and I guess was just hoping I’d wear clothes without mud or food on. But I have learned that older French people do wear strange and flamboyant outfits, often with vivid hair colourings, my outfit was not out of place at our venue and my friends were delighted with my efforts.

We were celebrating the end of Michelle's messy divorce, her son Yves had choreographed the night’s entertainment, a burlesque event – with lots of boys. Yves, wearing a very flouncy white shirt, joined our table. As he greeted us Mme B, worried that I wasn’t keeping up, whispered in a voice that would carry above the other noise,
He’s a homosexual you know

The show was hilarious, Near nude girls pirouetted with feathers while male dancers in a series of hastily velcroed-on outfits (they were bell boys, they were sailors…) danced and flirted with each other. We applauded like mad things during the finale as the boys descended to the stage on ropes, gyrating slowly and dressed as flames while the sound system pumped out Crazy Arthur Brown’s Fire.

I'm off to pick up The Director from the airport when I've finished putting the antiseptic dressings on my feet.

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