So this was the first Oscar night in our new town. I was ambivalent at first — do I even know enough women to invite? How far do I go? No one really knows me yet. I decided to just have a viewing. Simple. Lots of wine and champagne, a few appetizers. No betting pool, no spontaneous real-time dance numbers, just meet and greet. I sent out the Evite, and voila! I had 17 people RSVP. Score! I can do this. Fast-forward to yesterday, Oscar day. Usually when I’m putting together a cocktail party I’m skipping, I’m humming, I’m all about the fun energy. This day was different. I was lackluster. I had no sparkle. And then, I figured out why. I needed something extra for this party. It didn’t feel like ME. The only way to get to know new moms is to throw myself — no, hurl myself at them, balls out. So I decided in the frozen seafood section, to be…The Swan. I dashed back to the house, found a black tutu. That I actually own. Shocking, I know. I found my 6-year old daughter Emily’s Barbie make-up. And my friend Shauna dropped her daughter’s tiara off on the porch.
Once every last candle was lit, I slowly, methodically, got ready, like an old Oscar dame about to give her last performance. Hair pulled back. White foundation. Insanely black eye make-up, check. And the tiara. Now, the Black Swan experiment was about to begin.
I mean, how many friends does one really need? When you move to a new city at 41, you just want to connect with a few people who ‘get’ you, who you can hang out with, judgment free. So maybe being the Black Swan will act as a true litmus test.
The looks at the front door told the story. Three horrified (big scared eyes, shuffled past me to the kitchen), a handful smiled through gritted teeth (“Hi! Uh…I didn’t get the memo…heh heh”), 4 were just flatline, and approximately four genuinely seemed into it. Four! I call that a success story. I’ll take it. Natalie Portman, do you think you could get nominated for a Grease re-make next year? That would be awesome.