Saturday, June 23, 2007

Name dropping? Me?

I drove up to Austin last night to celebrate the 80th birthday of Bettie Naylor. She's a great old friend and the mother of my sister's partner. I call her "my lover-in-law."
The party was cram packed with politicians, old friends, family and plenty of happy homos. Fabulous disco diva Hedda Layne was there and I swooned when she took my face in her two hands and air kissed me. She looks like the love child of Madonna and Lindsey Lohan.
Bettie, who co-founded the Human Rights Campaign, has more social juice than anyone I know.
The slide show of her life included shots of her posing with dozens of big shots, including Martina Navratolova, Phyllis Diller, Ann Richards and even those sons of bitches George and Laura Bush (we booed accordingly).
Leading the tributes on stage was the fabulous liberal Texas politician Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who praised Bettie to high heaven. He looks a bit like Abraham Lincoln and his heart is just as true.
Another highlight for me was getting to talk to an attorney who worked for the Los Angeles DA's office 10 years ago and participated in the prosecution of O.J. Simpson. As an amateur scholar of the trial, I swooned over him like a teenager gazing upon Paris Hilton. He was suitably chiflado.
Later, as I stood in the crowd schmoozing with friends, I spied across the room someone I dated last year, busily chatting up a naive 30-something bimbette who was hanging on her every word.
I said to my friends, "You know, I see someone I used to date but I can't be jealous because here I am, talking to a fucking movie star and his mother!"
The movie star in question was gorgeous young Daniel Ross who'll be featured in Ethan Hawke's new movie, "The Hottest State," coming out in August.
I've known Danny for about 10 years. His mama Marcy is the cousin of my sister's partner Sharron. She's an adorable Leslie Gore lookalike.
Hear me now and believe me later, her kid Danny will be a superstar before long.
When I spotted him last night, he was dutifully sitting at a table next to his mama. He smiled at me across the room and as I rushed over to give him a hug, I discovered his soft mop of hair smelled like botanical heaven.
A classic metrosexual who speaks fluent gayese, he told me it was some Aveda product.
The kid is a compact little hunk with modesty and charm that belies his youth. In fact, he spent the first five minutes of our conversation asking about me and my life.
He's got that one gift that will take him far in life...he seems truly interested in other people's stories.
Anyway, the party was a classic example of why I love Texas.
In the midst of red state insanity, the state that foisted George W. Bush on the world was the venue last night for the best in diversity and liberal philosophy.
With all the legislators in attendance, naturally two beefy Austin PD cops stood on guard on the patio. I walked up to them and said hello, trying to gauge their personalities in case later on some errant herbal smoke wafted past their noses in the evening breeze.
They were totally cool, said they knew Bettie and had the utmost admiration for her. I somehow doubted their claim, but the fact that they at least pretended to be cool with all the gayness and margarita induced debauchery at the party made me smile. Even their holstered 2-pound Glocks looked friendly.
One of the most touching moments of the evening was when I rounded up my siblings, Sharron and her brother, Hedda and her husband and a few adorable lawyer dykes and led them to a secluded grandstand of seating overlooking tranquil Lake Austin.
There in the peaceful sunset, we shared a paper wrapped herbal product known for its medicinal properties in many circles.
Eighties-era disco music serenaded us in the breeze, and as I looked around I saw a group of lovable, smart, tolerant, straight and gay middle-aged people who still understand the importance of innocent, victimless scofflawing.
While name dropping and rubbing shoulders with the rich and powerful can be exciting, what struck me the most was how ordinary it felt.
Just another night in Austin, celebrating all that's right about Texas.

6 comments:

Lulu Maude said...

Nice post!

lazydog said...

Sound like it was a great time!

Karenzipdrive said...

Thanks. It was a lovely night.
:)

FranIAm said...

That sounds fabulous and fun and wonderful.

Plus I am in love with Hedda Layne now.

This is a good way to start my day.

Thanks baby!

Dusty said...

Wow, sounds great..glad you had a great time :)

Kate S. said...

What a wonderful post. I almost felt like I was right there. (I can't even remember the last time I went to a party.)

This shows that we are made up of all people in this country, not just the rabid-right-wingers, as they would like to have us and the world believe.

We are all still here. Waiting.