Last Night: The London Review of Books Party

THE FABLED LRB IS 30 Last evening, Marisa Meltzer and Doree Shafrir went to the 30th anniversary celebration of the London Review of Books.

Marisa: Where do we even begin?

Doree: I think it needs to be said that somewhere there is a party planner who might be losing his/her job.

Marisa: Oh really? I was going to start with the collective loss of our Patrick McMullan v-cards, but go on.

Doree: Well. They scheduled it on the night of the National Magazine Awards, which meant that every big deal editor in town wasn’t going to come-as well as most of the media reporters.

Marisa: There was also an US Weekly event! So the cast of Jersey Shore was also prob busy.

Doree: Yes! Well and more to the point for their audience, there was also a Granta event.

Marisa: Actually I feel like that was a theme: insouciance.

Doree: Except that they then held the party in like the biggest party space downtown, with the exception perhaps of Cipriani Wall Street. It felt huge and empty.

Marisa: I love that you know that.

Doree: Even though there were probably 200 people there. They should have had it at, like, Housing Works.

Marisa: On the plus side, it was really easy to score an hors d’oeuvre and a champagne refill.

Doree: That is true. It was not hard at all to get to the bar.

Marisa: Thessaly and I were bodying those croquettes.

Doree: Oh, the serrano ham ones. Yeah one of the servers was trying to get you guys to take extras. There were TOO MANY hors d’oeuvres!

Marisa: I thought those prawns were awkwardly large. Like, you could not flirt and eat those.

Doree: They were.

Marisa: But then… with whom does one flirt at the LRB party? I mean, real talk.

Doree: There was that guy who just wanted to talk about the Jenny Diski essay on having crabs.

Marisa: I guess that’s where the media reporters and ASME people could have come in handy?

Doree: Yes.

Marisa: You mean “pubic lice.” I had to be all, “is that the same thing as crabs?” Since there were not media reporters there, I had to ask the hard questions

Doree: Let’s peruse that essay.

Marisa: That guy was also wearing a mint green corduroy blazer, which was kind of a hot look for an LRB party.

Doree: “The pubic lice multiplied to a plethora and became imaginatively licensed to inhabit my entire body.”

Marisa: How did they come about? Thrift store underwear? I went through a scandalous phase in high school where I bought thrift store lingerie all the time and my mother always told me I was going to get crabs. I never did, FYI.

Doree: No, she got them from a slutty boyfriend. But. Spoiler alert?

Marisa: I’m ready.

Doree: It turns out she actually has “delusory parasitosis.” Meaning: most of the time she thought she had lice she was actually just crazy.

Marisa: That’s a THING?

Doree: Yup. It sounds intense and horrible.

Marisa: Like hysterical blindness? She had hysterical crabs?

Doree: “People can be deluded about all manner of things, but the belief that insects have invaded the body and cannot be seen or effectively dealt with suggests a particular horror of something other – a living, deliberate other – far too close to our known selves.”

Marisa: If I had hysterical crabs, I would totally write an essay about it, too. But my essay would prob be in somewhere way more lowbrow than the LRB. I mean, let’s be honest. So kudos to her.

Doree: TMZ?

Doree: If we’re sticking with the three letter acronyms.

Marisa: Are there any other three letter acronym publications? That might be my only choice.

Doree: Just TV stations. NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. ETC!

Marisa: GMA. I would do a first-person piece for GMA.

Doree: SNL.

Marisa: LOL.

Doree: OK so ANYWAY. I also had a conversation with someone from the New Yorker who had also received an email that morning asking if she wanted to bring any additional guests. She added 4 people to the list.

Marisa: Emo! A friend told me this morning that he had rsvp’d but had just gotten back into town and decided not to go. That isn’t very revelatory. But perhaps indicative.
Like, no one was all, “must-attend.”

Doree: I think it was poorly scheduled. If it had been on Monday night it would have been packed. Though they wouldn’t have been able to get any of their editors over here, so it would’ve been a wash.

Marisa: Oh right, the volcano. I keep forgetting about the volcano.

Doree: Yeah.

Marisa: What did we think of the fashion? People looked pretty…publishing. I think I had on the sluttiest tights, so that’s a win.

Doree: Those tights are a revelation.

Marisa: Paris!

Doree: Land of revelatory tights.

Marisa: Come with me to Paris and we can buy slutty tights. We can pitch an essay about the experience to the LRB!

Doree: That’s a great idea.

Marisa: But it will end up running somewhere more lowbrow.

Doree: So going along with my theory that it was empty but not really (party planning 101: always get a space that’s slightly too small), there were actually some interesting people there!

Marisa: I am fascinated by the beautiful woman in the sari. She is probably really important and I’ve spent too much time thinking about Courtney Love to know who she is: Nermeen Shaikh: “Nermeen Shaikh studied politics at Cambridge University in England and Queen’s University in Canada. She has worked at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad and the International Institute for Environment and Development in London. She is on the editorial board of the journal Development (based in Rome) and has recently published The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power (Columbia UP, 2007). She lives in New York City.”

Doree: Academic.

Marisa: So here’s my question. Are we kind of losers for having gone to the party when there were maybe more important parties, or was it then cool to go to this party? PS I am in junior high, obvs.

Doree: I had fun. Which party would you have wanted to go to? The national magazine awards are a snooze.

Marisa: I can’t even be bothered to think about the Granta party. Like, I’m bored before i even think about it.

Doree: I was told that the Granta party was even more sparsely attended. More sparsely?

Marisa: Sure.

Doree: Even less well attended? More sparsely or less well. Neither of those sounds good.

Marisa: Sparslier?

Doree: Sure. I think there was a party overdose last night. There must be a German word for that.

Marisa: It’s spring in New York, there’s a lot going on. I’m sorry that sounded really Candace Bushnell for a sec.

Doree: Whose April newsletter I received yesterday. She has made a “Carrie Diaries” mix! Of music that Carrie would have listened to on her walkman. German word: uberfestenmassig.

Marisa: That’s the same newsletter that made us decide that I should have one and really ostentatiously drop names in all caps. ‘I was at the LRB party the other night with DOREE SHAFRIR, a writer who is also one of my best friends and was wearing RACHEL COMEY boots.”

Doree: I pretended that wasn’t happening. You may have noticed.

Marisa: There was some blind-item worthy gossip but maybe we should keep it to ourselves. Maybe it will make people want to invite us to their parties.

Doree: I think there are a couple things we can discuss. Like: WHICH ubiquitous publishing partygoer was absent last night because of a terrible case of shingles?

Marisa: What are shingles? I realize I don’t really know.

Doree: They’re like adult chicken pox. It’s not an STD, if that was your concern.

Marisa: I get it confused with rickets. I don’t know what rickets are, either! Is that the disease you get from not enough sunlight?

Doree: Maybe? And scurvy you get from not eating enough vegetables.

Marisa: Right, pirates and stuff.

Doree: Ahoy.