Band of Brunettes

October 6, 2006 at 6:19 am (Uncategorized)

I’ll tell you one thing that I enjoy about heading back to the eastern suburbs for a cameo appearance, and that’s the return of the brunette. It’s totally valid to be a brunette in the east. Blondes can even seem a little gauche, a little brazen, when you’re sitting in some dimly lit little hole in the wall like Vini in Surry Hills, which is where I had a loooong overdue dinner with two friends last night. They’re both brunettes. I’m a brunette. Just about every other person in this intimate 25 seater had dark tresses of one description or another. I felt an almost spiritual sense of belonging. There was one blonde there, and I contented myself after several glasses of wine with the idea that she looked flashy and out of place.

For some reason, everyone on the northern beaches is blonde. I get it, I get it, sun-bleached, Home and Away, surfer culture, yeah sure, but seriously, how did everyone end up blonde?? They’re all blonde, everyone, everywhere, constantly. I’m surrounded by blondes. I keep half expecting to be served with some kind of fine for disobeying local grooming standards by having the rank audacity to sport dark hair. “Yes, it’s shameful, I see that now, officer..”.

One night we were at the Manly Wharf Hotel, which is the only semi-decent pub here in a disappointing truth about the area (the pubs are utter crap), and even it’s no great shakes (although it has one of the best outdoor bars in Sydney, and has recently improved its dining area out of sight). Anyway, I went to the toilet, and when I emerged from the cubicle and was waiting to get to a sink to wash my hands and check the lipstick, I looked around the crush of female bodies and realised literally every other woman in there was blonde. Some of them – quite a lot, I’m sure – were “blonde” blonde, but the fact is they outnumbered me in that crowded bathroom by 20 to 1. Eventually, I got a sink, and, as I looked in the mirror, I thought I caught a glimpse, in the far right corner…Could it be…? Yes, yes, I think it is…It is! Another brunette! My heart surged with a sense of profound solidarity, and I heard myself shout out to my sister, my own kind, fist raised in defiance, “Oh thank GOD – another brunette!”

She glanced nervously around, her blonde friends tittered, and then she flicked a lock nonchalantly over one shoulder and said “Sorry, it’s fake.”

Last night at Vini, being surrounded by all those eastern suburbs brunettes felt like a warm embrace. It was good to be home.



  1. Sarah said,

    i hear you sister!
    viva vini…

  2. doctordi said,

    How good was Vini?? I loved it – but I didn’t like that little man who made us vacate our table. I could have twisted his ear quite easily. Anyway, where to next?!

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