Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy sweet 16! ... Where's Beyonce?

Glorimer Ovalle of Bogota is hiding upstairs at the Venetian, nervously awaiting her cue. After weeks of practicing ballroom-dance routines with her attendants, months of planning the dresses, the hair, the shoes, the look, and years of dreaming about this sweet day, it has at last arrived. Heaven forbid her 200 guests -- some from as far away as the Dominican Republic -- should prematurely catch a glimpse of her Hollywood-star fabulousness. Eventually, Glorimer slips away, while her "court" -- a party of 20, not counting her parents, Maria and Carlos Ovalle -- gathers in the lobby of the palatial Garfield catering hall.

"Is this a wedding?" a man asks as he passes the procession, just before they enter the grand ballroom. "Attention, ladies and gentlemen," the emcee begins. Finally, it's time to cue the dimmer switch, smoke machine and spotlight: Men with cameras scramble like paparazzi to catch the moment, as Glorimer -- on an upstairs balcony, in sparkling tiara and hot-pink custom gown -- descends the "Princess stairway," to oohs and aahs.

Yes, turning 16 sure can be a super sweet affair these days. Once upon a time, this milestone celebration -- which symbolizes the passage from childhood to womanhood, as does the Latina equivalent for 15-year-olds known as the Quinceanera -- may have involved having a few friends over and getting a solid-gold charm from Mom and Dad.



No comments: