As I write, it is a gorgeously dry 86 degrees in the sunny high desert in California. Having left Kansas City when it was a balmy 10, I must admit that this little flash of heat is a welcome respite from winter.

We, of course, have come here for a few days to see Sir's magnificent aunt, Boston Lil, and a fine time we're having.

There is an area of Palm Desert which rivals Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive, and it is full of shops and boutiques I wouldn't dream of entering as I would feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I just know I'd be thrown out of the joint.

We lunched at a delightful restaurant, delicately sipping our mimosas – as it just wouldn't have been at all seemly to slug down a beer or two – among the awfully well-heeled elite residents and snow-birds.

As we dined with our pinkies protruding at the appropriate degree, we were approached by a drop-dead gorgeous gal decked out in a very tight black sparkl-arkling outfit, a little OTT (over the top, don’t you know) for an al fresco lunch, but this is, after all, Palm Desert. She then proceeded to show off her outfit, and give us the latest gen. on the store from whence it came.

That rather opened the floodgates for the other four models, ranging in age from our first sweetie pie of about 24, all the way through to the I would say an 80-year-old, thin as a whip but obviously, shall we say, well preserved. All of them touting outfits not only I would never be able to cram myself into, but ones I would have to take out a second mortgage to afford.

We were to be treated to a fashion show up close and personal, whether we liked it or not. I was in the ‘not’ camp, and so after a couple more fly-bys, I, very tactfully I thought, uttered to the next botoxed hopeful:

“Sweetheart, I don’t mean to be rude, but unless you’re buying our lunch, we’re not terribly interested.” One down, four to go, I thought.

We were then approached by a woman who immediately brought to mind a drag queen show I’d seen a million years ago, where said DQ was doing a fabulous impersonation of Marlene Dietrich, and sang in the best bass baritone “that’s not my chin, its my kneecap.” Decked out in age-inappropriate white frills, her outfit was topped off with a rather bored looking chihuahua, nestled insouciantly in her arms and naturally fashionably decked out in a red vest and matching sombrero. Oh Lord give me a break.

She was touting her new store – please now put down your cup of tea lest you do a spit take – The Venus de Fido. Yes, doggy day-care and spa meets grown up spa (and I presume day care), with “dances, entertainment and events’ throughout the week. I’m not sure if the dance lessons were for pooch or person, or if the Wine Down Wednesdays were to cut the stress of dressing in a sombrero, or for the owner living with the torture of living the life of Riley, but suffice it to say –

Hasta la Vista, Baby, not my cup of tequila.


-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at