With my normal workload, it was a big weekend, but then Verushka Darling and Claire de Lune decided to jet across the world (separately) the same weekend. In unison I got, “Darling can you cover me.” “AARRRHH well, um.”
I received another call from Ms de Lune. “Darling, can you do a birthday party for me? They are lovely, don’t worry.” I couldn’t take on any more, I felt the sinking feeling dragging me down. “It will be easy Maxi-poo,” Claire’s French accent oozed down the phone.
I was hosting Miss Pole Dance Australia the night before. I was concerned I wouldn’t get up to back up as Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe the next day. I heard myself say, “Only for you Claire.”
I stormed through the show at the Enmore Theatre, and before I had time to think about how tired I was, I was pouting in front of the mirror, preparing for the notorious Happy Birthday.
It was a 70th birthday party and the birthday boy was known to many as Roota.
On arrival, I was shuttled into the kitchen as a cake was set ablaze. Peeking into the room, it looked like a lunch my grandmother used to go to. A friend was at the microphone, recounting crazy tales. It was soon my turn. I Marilyn-ed out and gave my best Happy Birthday to a delighted Roota. Then it was all over and I stood at the back of the room listening to Roota’s speech.
I could have been looking into a crystal ball. I gazed around the room, and saw myself and my friends in these very same people.
Roota had stories for everyone, remembering Tom up the back being caught with a boy in the back of a ute, or Bill taking him to his first sex party, even remembering those they lost in the ‘80s. His speech went on for ages, but the crowd and I listened with bated breath, hanging on his every word.
He was told to address the fact that he wasn’t in a dress, which after watching the slides, might have been one of the very few times in his life. Soon a package was delivered and right at the microphone, Roota was transformed. Fabulous hat, wrap, gloves, earrings, bracelet, glasses and a huge smear of lipstick.
I was motioned over for a photograph. With a big kiss and a hug, Roota whispered, “I’m not as glamorous as you, beautiful.” I replied, “No, you’re more glamorous than I could ever be.”
I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience Roota and her friends, a truly amazing part of our community we sometimes forget.