With events season in full swing, traffic around town is frenzied again. It's not just the parade of minivans pulling up nightly at five-star hotels to drop off their over-styled payloads. There's also the daily rush to pricey hairdressers each afternoon and last-minute fittings at dress shops - at least those that still cater to local socialites instead of cash-in-hand mainlanders.
For some of us making the rounds, the events are honestly like Bill Murray's movie, Groundhog Day. Actually, let me rephrase that. The endless glamorous cocktails, openings, balls and parties more resemble Hollywood's slew of summer blockbuster sequels: always the same, just different. Sometimes they're tacky, ostentatious, dumb and childish - and those are just an old tycoon's dates.
Particularly monotonous is saying to the same person for the eighth time, "Gorgeous to see you, darling. We must catch up soon!"
Likely, I'll end up sitting across from her again at tomorrow's private lunch to promote some face cream with powerful antioxidants extracted from monkey semen. If I seem cynical, it's because I have grinned my way through too many inane conversations repeating the word "fabulous" like it's my personal form of Tourette's.
Oddly, a Planet of the Apes facial isn't disagreeable to some socialites - but wearing the same outfit twice is. It makes no sense, but this is just etiquette, such as using the outside fork first. And trust me, it's hard work trying to remember which combinations of ensembles and accessories you've already worn every season.
As a general rule, if you're going to a fashion preview and you want to look like you belong, you'd better be wearing something from the new collection. With about three or four shows every week, that can get expensive, unless your banker husband is having a good hedge fund year.
You can hope to get clothes sponsored by the brands, but they'll only comp you if you're important or high-profile enough. And if you're high-profile and important, you're already wearing this season's designs. That's the tai-tai Catch 22. To be considered important (or at least self-important), you need to get your face into society columns. That means looking hot enough to get attention even at an obscure charity dinner for starving Uruguayan llama shepherd orphans. If class is not your strong suit, then be cheap and flash a nip slip.
Qualifying as one of the beautiful people is not easy. There's a thin line between society VIPs (moi) and those who are attention seekers, social climbers and freeloading moochers (everybody else).
If you do make it in, congrats - now you get to see the same boring people all the time. Well, occasionally there are new faces. It's the same people, just with new faces.