Posted by Melissa Zheliba
04. Nov, 2014
I think maybe I am ill-equipped to advise people about why they should go to Oaks Day. Or I mean any Spring Carnival Race Day in general because to be very honest I could think of 100 things I would rather do than pay a substantial amount of money for permission to parade around in the outfit you had to sell an organ on the black market for. Spending the whole day standing around trying to avoid any movement whatsoever, so you don’t sweat, so your makeup doesn’t run, getting dehydrated drinking sub-par champagne at inflated prices denying yourself the things your heart desperately wants because you are drunk, but know you have to keep your shit together: to take your shoes off and go and lay down with a bucket of hot chips and gravy.
But you know what, you’re gonna do it anyway. And I get why. Melbourne tradition and whatever, it’s so glamorous, everyone else is going, maybe it’ll be different this year, you might see someone famous, so on and so forth. So in the interest of understanding you insane biddies, my fellow sisters, and also being a good sport I will lay down my grudges and attempt to work out what even.
What is the appeal of Oaks Day for chicks?
First of all, it’s probably the pick of the days in the Melbourne Cup Carnival because it’s ‘laaaaaadies day’. So you’re most likely surrounded by empathetic, like-minded women whose feet also hurt as opposed to underage messes and their white sunglass wearing boyfriends (Stakes Day), pretentious corporate gamblers (Derby Day), and people who are deeply troubled and consequently mistake themselves for celebrities (Melbourne Cup).
Then there is the whole thing of getting dressed up and going somewhere purely to stand around and be admired. This I do get. You’re not delusional or vapid in this, there’s Fashions on the Field and everything and that shit is legit. Also the display pic opportunities; to die for. What puzzles me is how many times you have to do it before you realise it never turns out as great as it does in your head. Inanimately looking soooooo gorgeous gets tedious and boring after a while and the freebies they give you in the show bag are rarely worth fusing some tulle-and-taffeta-extra-terrestrial-homing-device to your head and being ogled for 45 minutes and then losing for.
Also, I feel like a lot of the time most of the fascinators are a sick joke that you, the wearer, are the butt of. I can just imagine all the milliners (tip for young players: those are hat makers. See, I know my shit), getting together every year to watch Fashions on the Field and dying laughing because they managed to get people to think something that looks like you could maybe sail home on it is okay for your head/to wear in public.
So I guess that leaves two clear contenders for the win in the ‘Best Part of Oaks Day’ race: day drinking and the possibility of free money. Let’s forget about the masses of riled up louts you have rub up against to go stand in a twenty five minute line for the bar. We will also pretend like no men act condescending towards women gambling or treat them like you have to have a penis to have any idea what’s going on in the form guide. I’m going to call it and go with it being fine to hit the bevs at 9am as the winner. Only because cashing in is not a guaranteed part of the package, but the bartender is going to be obliging to you alllllll day.
So there it is. And it makes sense. No ones going to judge you for being trashed at ten thirty in the morning when you have something that needs a building permit on your head.
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