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Until one my closest atypical Parisienne friends Alice asked me to a VIP night at Arc. Free dinner and drinks.
Then hopefully lots of crazy dancing. We arrived at 9.30pm expecting to be led up to restaurant only to be taken direct to the club. Wow an early kick off for once - usually clubs did not start heaving till way after midnight.
All good so far as we were tagged with a pretty pink wristband and handed free champers. But as we entered the club we were confronted with gaggles of girls all younger than us. And not a man in sight.
We exchanged looks and then our eyes fell on a playlist on the table. O M F G. It was GIRLS ONLY karaoke night and unbeknown to us we had signed up to 3 hours of hideous sing-a-long.
At midnight men would be allowed in. Hard Rock Cafe style platters were being handed out and my vision of sashimi or carpaccio vanished into the fluorescent pink air of the club.
An enthusiastic friend of Alice signed us up for a song and I sank into the corner of the sofa. I’m for 37 for God’s sake. I don’t DO karaoke.
Then the games began. A group of Vanessa Paradis look-a-likes screamed into microphones and I eyed up the exit. Then it was our turn. No effing way. 'Im so excited' by the Pointer Sisters.
Quite the opposite. More nauseous and irascible. But as I watched our team members struggle with English lyrics I thought - fuck it if you can't beat them join them so I grabbed the mike and we screeched the house down.
After that there was no stopping me. We were swaying to Stevie Wonder and re-enacting Grease. Girl power was everywhere. With men out of the equation bitchy sidelong glances turned into approving nods of camaraderie. But in a classic Cinderella popping of bubble way, at midnight men started to troop in with their libido and egos.
Frothing at the mouth they stalked the excitable prey in packs. The rules had changed. Pretty blondes sashayed up to sugar daddies and rock chick brunettes batted their eyelids at drooling businessmen.
One particularly good looking guy was strutting around like a cockerel as if he owned the place. He high fived bouncers and flirted with sexy waitresses. We all eyed him with wonder. I was intrigued and observed him for a while.
After a few minutes he had disappeared and was in the VVIP area - serving champagne. He had obviously just started work and his pseudo playboy cover was blown.
We tried to befriend him to secure a good table but he looked at us with disdain as we tried to convince him with promises of Champagne by the magnum - this VIP, he said, is not for sale.
We were kicked back into the mob. To raise the temperature and create a distraction Alice and I did our usual sexy dance routine together which won hands down against the gauche young things.
Then finally like the Prince and the glass slipper my beau arrived with his gorgeous smile, charm and Volvo - I was happy to have my own knight in shining armour.
My girlfriends were lost in the drunken sway of the crowd by this stage so we slipped into the cool September air. I looked at the girl crying by the door, at the make-up streaked face of another who was too drunk to stand up. And I thought how lucky I was to be late 30s and not a young thing anymore.
For every one pretty girl whisked off by a hot stallion there were ten on their way home to a solitary tub of ice cream a la Bridget Jones.
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