My best friend moved to Los Angeles when she was 19 to live with her older, former-Penthouse-Pet-of-the-Month sister in her Beverly Hills mansion. Do you have any idea how glamorous that sounds to a teenager from Michigan? I was so thrilled for her and couldn’t wait to visit. When I was 22, I flew to LA for a week and decided I needed to get the heck out of Michigan ASAP. Three months later I packed up my Honda Civic, emptied my bank account of $1,200, and drove across the country. I rented the living room from a very quiet DJ guy for $350 a month until I was able to get an actual apartment.
I ended up moving into my best friend’s boyfriend’s building in Hollywood, where I shared a studio apartment with a girl who was even more socially awkward than me. I was stoked to be living downstairs from my best friend’s dude. It made sleeping on an air mattress and working 50 hours a week at a camera rental shop while taking 4 classes a week tolerable. Aside from almost moving back home multiple times because my car got stolen and I hated my job, LA was great!
My best friend had always told me about the Playboy Mansion parties she went to with her sister. She would show me pictures of her and Snoop and I was so envious. My friend’s sister pulled some strings and got me on the invite list for the main parties each year — Mardi Gras, 4th of July, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hef’s Birthday, Halloween, and New Year’s Eve. I had to send in a photo of myself in a bikini to make sure I was “hot” enough to get in since I wasn’t famous. I passed the test.
The Mardi Gras party was the first one I went to. I put on the skimpiest outfit I could find, got a spray tan, and went to my friend’s house to slather on the makeup.
We would drive to a parking garage in Century City where we had to check in and have our photos taken. Then we’d hop on a bus for a 15-minute ride to the mansion in Bel Air. Only the fancy people got to drive their cars to the party (and by fancy I mean Scott Baio).
Inside was exactly what you’d imagine: a sea of flesh and boobs. Some of the girls were totally naked but had body paint “covering” their lady parts. There was a dance floor and stage for the musical guests. I saw Three 6 Mafia once and Too $hort twice. Kendra (one of Hugh Hefner’s former flames) was a huge rap fan, so I’m assuming booking the rappers was her idea.
What Playboy party wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of celebrities meandering around? Throughout the two years I was attending parties, I would consistently see Corey Feldman, David Hasselhoff, Bill Maher, and, of course, Pauly Shore. One time I was talking with some girls and Ron Jeremy walked up. One of the girls asked him to sign her boob. He then looked at me and reached over with his marker to sign mine (or lack of). He got the cursive “R” out before I jumped back, spit on my hand, and tried to wash it off before it was permanent.
I was sitting at a table eating shrimp by myself and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) and his model wife sat down across from me. The previous week I heard an interview with them on Opie & Anthony and told them I was a fan of the show and had listened to their interview. They whole time they were talking to me, all I could think was, “Pork chops and applesauce…”
I also met Aaron Paul — a.k.a., “Jesse” from “Breaking Bad — because I recognized him from a 2002 MTV movie called “Wasted,” about high school kids and drugs. I may have made out with him in a bathroom. I used to DO Hollywood, guys. Also, this party was in 2006. If I could go back in time to 22-year-old me, I would tell myself to put on some damn clothes.
Of course there was the infamous grotto. I called it the HPV steam dungeon because god knows what kind of viruses or bacteria moved into the crevasses and took over.
I don’t know about you, but I hate pool parties. I really, truly, seriously hate pool parties. Why would I want to put on makeup and a cute outfit only to risk smearing my mascara and messing up my hair when some jerk thinks it’s cute to splash water on me? Also, I hate being in a bikini around guys who I know will stare at me like I’m their personal boner generator.
I still had fun at these parties because they were so over-the-top ridiculous and douchey. Also: free alcohol.
After the party, there would usually be an after party. One was at the house of the guy who supposedly was the CEO of Rockstar energy drinks. There were little refrigerators full of Rockstar, so I’m assuming it was true but who knows. All I remember is meeting Too $hort and seeing Paris Hilton dance on a pool table.
There were day parties at the mansion, too. I only went to 1 because seeing sleazy celebrities in daylight is somehow way worse than seeing them at night.
The last party I got an invite to was a Halloween party. Remember how I said we had our photos taken at the check-in table? Well, the photographer was a little off-put by my costume, and I don’t blame him. The photos were used to see who they would invite to the next party. If you weren’t hot enough they wouldn’t send you an invite. Oh, Hollywood.
They were probably expecting me to dress as a “slutty something” instead of a bloody zombie with a fetus. Whoops? Also, I wore Uggs that night because I hate wearing heels. I basically gave up and knew I probably wouldn’t be getting an invite back. I was right. No more invites. At least I went out like a champ.
If someone invited to me one of those parties today, there’s no way in hell I would go. I even cringe when I have to drive by Hollywood Blvd. I can’t believe I used to go to these parties.
At least I got to meet Corey Feldman, right?