Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Fancy Contest

Last night I attended an art show that was invitation only. I don’t get art, I don’t pretend to understand it. However, when H is invited to these kinds of events I say yes for two reasons: 1) it is important for him to attend “business-social” events and as Wife, it is my job to stand there looking pretty and 2) maybe, just maybe, some of this culture will rub off on me. I can’t read books that require focus, I can’t stand movies with subtitles and I really get annoyed about 15 minutes after walking into the Tate Modern (what is “art” about a stuffed bird pinned to a wall?!). So I attend these events in the optimistic belief that one day I’ll suddenly understand what the fuss is about. Oh, and there’s free champagne. That definitely helps.

So last night’s event was a showing of Indian miniatures. Now, you must remember that I’m highly educated and most believe me to be of above-normal intelligence. But apparently I had an attack of The Stupids because I assumed that “Indian minatures” were little tiny statues of Buddha or something. Um, not so. Apparently they are small paintings or drawings. Already I’d learned something! Before I got there though, I was greeted at the door by a nice man taking coats. He checked the guest list and there I was, “and wife,” right next to H’s name. Nothing makes you feel like a valued member of society than seeing a long list of names and realizing you are the only one called, “and wife.” No matter, I tossed him my coat and went upstairs, the clinking of champagne glasses drawing me like a moth to a flame.

Realizing quickly that I was, in fact, going to be looking at tiny little paintings, I grabbed some champers and found H, who was deep into a business conversation. Not wanting to distract them by awkwardly clinging to his arm, I wandered the room for a bit, scenes of Hookahs reminding me of my university days. Finally the “business” part of the evening seemed to wind down and I found my way back to H, who was deep in conversation with a very nice man who has two sons, one of whom went to Cambridge, the other to Oxford. The fact that I learned this in the first 3 minutes of our conversation is telling, isn’t it?

The other men in the group were work colleagues of H’s, some of them Fancy and some of them Very Fancy. They were discussing whether any of them would be interested in purchasing the collection. It’s only £3.5 million and must be sold whole or not at all. What does one do with £3.5 million worth of tiny drawings? Where do you put it all? Can you eat it? Wear it? Burn it for warmth? I ended this ridiculous conversation by stating that it was too late. I’d already put it on my Amex. Airline miles, you know. And that we’d be clearing out the Gift Wrap room in our house because I can probably move the wraps and ribbons down the hall to the Arts & Crafts room and then I’d have a place for all my little pieces of art. They looked at me like they weren’t quite sure if I was serious. That’s the real reason I go to these things, isn’t it? I constantly have this uncontrollable urge to make fun of these over-stuffed peacocks and it’s soooo easy to do and oh so very fun. Oh, and did I mention that the boys who went to Fancy schools have become Very Fancy? One just won a Tony and the other is a “tycoon.” How very nice for them. Snort. 


  1. Mrs Fancy, you have made my day. I too, have uncontrollable urges to shout out inappropriate things when surrounded by silly tosspots with too much cash. I too, spent the weekend being smothered to death by a sick child. Reckon we should start a support group?

  2. Only a support group that involves copious booze!!!

  3. Only a support group that involves copious booze!!!