Subourbon Mom

The Gentleman’s Club

The other night I had the dubious honor of being invited to a corporate reception/wine tasting class at an exclusive, men’s-only club Downtown. The day before the event, we received an email detailing suggested arrival times and dress code: coat and tie for the men, no dress code for the women.

Did this mean the members don’t care what the women wear? Doubt it.  Did it mean they weren’t going to touch that topic with a ten-foot-pole? Probably. Or, did it mean they secretly want the women in attendance to dress like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman in her high heels, mini-skirt and tank top?  Bingo—that’s my guess.  But, in the interests of keeping the peace, I threw on old faithful—the black cocktail dress and heels.

There is something about the smell of a men’s club (that being the only the men’s club I’ve been in) that reeks of exclusion.  The scents of old cigar smoke, office breath, and bourbon were in the walls, carpets and the few uncomfortable chairs provided in the lobby. Portraits of the Great White Fathers hung from the walls—of course, special preference was given to our Confederate leaders.

As I perused the volumes of “Harvard Classics,” prominently displayed in aging china cabinets, I had the almost uncontrollable urge to strip out of the dress, breathe onto the highly-polished bar counter and draw smiley faces in the condensation with my finger. Thankfully, they opened the buffet, so everyone was spared.

While we didn’t stay for the wine tasting class due to our kids’ sports commitments, for me the evening was an experience in observing a social era passing by. In an age of excessive bullying and rabid discussions over tolerance, exclusion should no longer be a privilege, but it was pretty cool to get a glimpse into that world.

Later that night, when I was trying to explain the event to Daughter #2, I was preparing to finish my story with a moral lesson on exclusion, racism and misogyny, when Daughter #2 broke in.

“Mom?’ she asked.

“Yes,” I said, waiting for my moment to launch into a teachable moment.

“Let me get this straight,” she said.  “They were teaching a class on how to be alcoholics?”



1 Comment so far
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One phrase comes to mind “out of the mouth of babes”!


Comment by Sue Ann aka ridge runner

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