That Unique & Undercutting Manner

Women have a gift. They’re all born with it naturally. It’s just a matter of whether or not they choose to use it. Some allow it to come out when they’ve been “loosened” by alcohol. Others simply feel no abashment whatsoever in displaying their cuntery at all hours and for all occasions. It was often for this reason that Nicola Fellman, a 34-year-old with a pear shape and an A-line haircut that generally didn’t go over very well on blind dates, did not get along with the female gender. Not that she got along that well with the male gender, either. But they were more prone to get over things as a result of a congenital sort of sociopathy that made them fail to acknowledge that they had been slighted in the first place.

Nicola was one of those women that stayed and stayed in New York until suddenly she woke up one day and realized how anachronistic she was in a city she once thought she “ran.” It was possibly for this reason that she began to start hating other women more than usual. And in these hippie-dippy, female solidarity times, a sentiment like this was particularly controversial. It was Nicola’s fault though, really. Had she made herself a shut-in like most other sensible thirty-something New Yorkers who now know better than to seek comfort in their fellow man, she might not have found herself in the frame of mind that would lead her to make a very grave life decision one Friday evening at an acquaintance’s “casual” dinner party.

First of all, dinner parties are never casual, no matter how much the host in question insists they are. He or she always expects, if not at least a little flash of jewelry, at least a little flash of some expensive ass shit from some bourgeois establishment like Agata & Valentina. But if you’re naive enough to believe your host is sincere in telling you it’s all très décontractée, be prepared for the occasional stare of death all night long as you dip into their wine and hors d’oeuvre supply. You also won’t be half as likely to be introduced to any of the available men there (of which most will be gay anyway) as a result of the unperceived affront you caused your host. Accordingly, you might find yourself relegated to a corner or alone on a couch with a glass of wine you’re trying desperately to parse out into sips at a rate of four per hour so that you won’t be seen too frequently by the bar cart.

At least, this was how it used to be in the prime of Nicola’s dinner party-going days. But apparently, Blake, a 29-year-old she knew from one of her old graphic design jobs, seemed to be actively making a fool of her when he laughed as he opened the door at the sight of her in a ghetto-gold necklace, a black bodycon dress, black stilettos and a black blazer.

“What’s funny?” Nicola demanded.

Blake motioned for her to come inside. “You’ll see.”

Upon entering, she could instantly apprehend what he was talking about as she did a quick once-over of the room to see most of its attendees in the sort of jeans and tee look plucked from a 90s Calvin Klein ad. When would the 80s catch on again? she wondered. She had failed to instill herself with the preordained fear that everyone at this party would be younger and more attractive than she. Worst of all, thin and blonde–the talisman that had besot her with physical inadequacy ever since high school. Thin, blonde girls really don’t know anything about life. And bully for them. You needn’t pity them for being so unaware of their general good fortune, and the way in which every door both literal and figurative tends to open for them–they have no idea how much easier it is for their kind. But they do feel that being judged solely based upon their beauty is highly unjust–which just goes to show they couldn’t last a day in a plain woman’s shoes.

In any event, there were quite a few waif archetypes at this little soirée, giggling here and doing a line off the table there. Nicola hadn’t the foggiest notion she would be made to spend most of her night pretending to secret away on the fire escape for a cigarette when, in actuality, she was just scrolling through Instagram like the epitome of the antisocial lunkhead she was embodying for the night. The only person who made it all worthwhile was, surprisingly, a dashing sort with curly brown hair, a stubbly beard and the type of fashion sense that toed the perfect line between unisex and masculine. His name was Lyndon, as in Barry, and he immediately knew the reference of which she spoke. Nicola had a tendency to get wet over the simple gesture of a man actually knowing what pop culture allusion she made to him. If he didn’t, it was even less likely to last.

As the two continued discussing the highs and lows of Stanley Kubrick’s career (the only low Lyndon could grasp at was his producer credit on A.I.: Artificial Intelligence), they were interrupted by one of the cokehead blondes from inside–naturally, her name was Gracelynn–who clearly had designs on Lyndon as she “accidentally” pushed Nicola to the side to insert herself at the center of the perch, where she proceeded to light a Gauloise like the pretentious motherfucker she was. And yeah, Nicola loved a Gauloise like any sophisticate should, but she had the modesty to only smoke them in France, for fuck’s sake.

“Can I touch your jacket?” Gracelynn said after a few more bumps from her cross necklace (she had only seconds before declared Kathryn Merteuil to be her personal hero).

Bristling, knowing in her heart that some form of demeanment was about to come next, Nicola slowly nodded her head and said, “Sure.”

Gracelynn tittered. “I thought it was leather.”

“No, no. It’s just pleather,” Nicola said in that self-shaming way that’s supposed to indicate that you’re in on the joke too when, really, your face is burning from the shame of it all. “It’s from Necessary Clothing, what do you expect?” Nicola added, trying her best to self-deprecate so that Gracelynn couldn’t further debase her in front of Lyndon.

“Hahaha, I love how they call it Necessary Clothing. It’s like they’re being totally ironic and they don’t even know it, which of course makes it more ironic.” She offered her coke to Lyndon, who snorted it nonchalantly, as though it was the same sort of rote action as dipping a chip in some guacamole.

Nicola wanted nothing more than to jump off the fire escape at that moment. Here she had been the most well-dressed at the party and now this little bitchface had the gall to somehow call into question her sartorial choices. It truly all went back to the innate snideness women have inside of them, just waiting to burst forth at any moment whenever their vanity is threatened.

The next day, Nicola went to a surgeon to ascertain the costs of a gender reassignment. In Almodóvarian style, she would seduce Gracelynn at the next party. After all, if she was going to be petty, she wasn’t going to half ass it.

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