W hen Juliet Feliz took her first look at the short, slim guy standing at the velour ropes, she nearly burst out laughing. Really, who did this guy think he was?
Juliet was standing outside of Milk, the newest, hottest, most exclusive club in Manhattan. She was waiting on line with Sharane Hardy and Mare Weeks, her roommates and only two friends so far in New York City. Both ladies were what Juliet considered "New York pretty" - they were curvy with plain faces and straight hair that hung just past their shoulders. Neither would be considered a beauty queen or, as every woman on the Internet liked to fancy herself, America's Next Top Anything, but both were pretty enough to attract the attention of enough men to make enough heads turn while walking down Broadway.
And that's what happened as they ascended from the depths of the subway onto the street in the city's Flatiron District. Exiting near the corner of Broadway and 23rd Street, Juliet and her roommates walked two blocks south, then two blocks west to arrive at Milk. Along the way, clusters of wannabe macks and playboys gave them appreciative nods and suggestive looks, and the ladies ignored them all. To let Sharane and Mare tell it, as cute as some of those dudes may have been, they were walking to their destination, just like the ladies.
"But it's New York City," Juliet said. "Everybody walks here."
"Not if you want to make an entrance," Sharane, the taller, curvier of Juliet's roommates, said. "Not if you want to stand out from the crowd. For a nigga to get my attention, he needs to pull up in a town car."
"Or at least a taxi," Mare said in a soft voice that perfectly matched her tiny frame.
And so because none of the wannabe macks and playboys were pulling up in town cars or taxis, none of them got any play from the ladies.
They'd reached the club at around 11:00PM in hopes of gaining entry during the one-hour window that all ladies were admitted free. There was also an open bar exclusively for ladies until 12:00AM, sponsored by some new vodka brand that had been heavily endorsed by one of the few rappers still consistently releasing platinum-selling albums.
Upon arrival, however, the ladies discovered that even then they'd reached their destination too late. Barricades and ropes had been set up at the club's entrance, and the line stretched the entire length of West 21st Street.
"You can't be serious!" Sharane said. She'd been counting on the doorman letting them skip if the line had been too long, but after studying the other women that were being made to wait, Juliet came to the conclusion that these other women were much prettier, much sexier, much more liable to be let in before the three of them. She also suspected Sharane was thinking the same thing. And so, accompanied by a great deal of huffing and puffing, Juliet and her roommates stood at the end of the queue.
Over the course of the next forty minutes, the ladies talked amongst themselves, poked fun at some of the people who'd come out tonight, sent text messages to less fortunate acquaintances via Blackberry or iPhone, tried to see through the darkened windows of passing luxury vehicles, and, most frequently, impatiently checked their watches to make sure they were getting in before 12:00AM.
"I didn't bring any money," Mare said. "So if we don't get in by midnight, what are we going to do?"
"I don't know what you're going to do," Sharane said, her face scrunched up in disdain. "Juliet and I will be inside having a good time. Why didn't you bring any money?"
"I didn't think I'd need to," Mare said. "No