Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back to the Grind

I am finally back in New York City and I am aching for Paris...or more exactly, Count Bambi. I only had to wait a day before he called to tell me that he would be coming to New York in two weeks. His cousin, who works for L'Oreal, is coming to New York to shoot a commercial starring Jennifer Lopez and so he thought it would be a good opportunity to get over his fear of flying. Ummm....yes, you read that small, but significant detail correctly. Bambi is apparently terrified of planes and prefers to stay in Continental Europe. He has never been to the United States or anywhere else for the matter...unless it is easily accessible by train or car from Paris. Understandably, having a long distance relationship with someone who hates to travel could present a bit of a problem, but where there is a will, there is a way. To be honest, I have the time and means to do most (if not all) of the traveling for the right guy and luckily, Bambi fits in that category.

Am I getting desperate or have I totally and completely fallen for Bambi? Hmmm...I will say though that the fact that he is willing to get on his first airplane for me is flattering. Or rather, is he getting on his first plane for J. Lo? That is a tough call. J. Lo could probably inspire a crippled man to get out of a wheel chair and walk, but could I? Better not ask that question. The men of New York have killed any feelings I ever had of self worth and I finally have a bit of it back. No need to kill it again, while I am still on my European high of being wanted by a young Latin fox, a movie star, and a French count. You know what, J. Lo, bring it on!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

French Fairy Tale Romance

My last night in Paris was literally one of the best nights of my life. Dahlia joined me in my hotel room to provide moral support and to babysit little Edith Piaf (who of course, I brought with me!) We went over wardrobe, jewelery, and hair decisions as if we were two heads of State discussing the important governmental issues. No decision was unintentional or casual from deciding to forgo gloss over the lipstick (too sticky and not conducive to hours of kissing) to making sure that I had a secret stash of Visine in my purse so I could still look bright eyed at 5:00 a.m. should my night go that long. My hair was in a pony tail, so I could do the dramatic loosening up the hair thing later in the evening...and so my blonde locks wouldn't have to be burdened with any hair products to take away from its caress-ability once the time was right. There is nothing less sexy than a guy getting his fingers stuck in your overly-spritzed hair.

On my way out the door, I ran smack into one of France's biggest movie stars who I happen to know from way back when. Was that happening? Where were my eyewitnesses? Ugh... He was visiting his Mother (who lived two doors down from my hotel) on his baby blue Vespa. I forgot how gorgeous he was since he has never appears in any English language films - and fame outside of France, has completely eluded him thus far. He is the classic Latin dream boat....tousled messy hair, five o'clock shadow, expressive eyebrows and oozing sex appeal. Christ - why did I have to run into him on my last night in Paris when I don't have a minute to spare? He offered to take me to dinner (damn!) He also offered to give me a lift to the door step of the luckier man than him - as he put it. It would have been quite cool to have a huge movie star drop me off for my date with Bambi - but in reality, I knew that the chance that Bambi would actually see my drop-off would be slim and the Vespa would surely ruin the perfect ponytail. Besides, I was done playing games. I truly liked Bambi and as tempting as it was, I left as if it was God's way of asking if I was serious about him. So God, did you notice I turned down a ride from a gorgeous movie star to take a smelly cab ride to my date with Bambi? Please say you did - and that I will be rewarded for my efforts!

Bambi had picked a sultry, velvet swathed, restaurant off the Invalides where we had an intimate table by the window. He was quick and decisive with the wine list. He asked me a zillion questions about myself and was incredibly open and frank about his own personal life and deepest feelings on a range of important subjects. In addition, he oddly gave me a brief synopsis of his family's history over the past 500 years which I didn't really care about. Hmmm....what do you say to that? I mean, I am happy to hear about any of his "living relatives" that I might meet, but anyway. I will chalk that part down to "cultural differences."

He did say he was ready to settle down and that he really wanted to start a family. Who talks like this on a first date? But we have known each other for a long time, so maybe it isn't so strange? Bambi is currently finishing up his Masters Degree in Philosophy and wants to spend more time painting in his studio. He also has a book in the works. A perfect Renaissance man. He gently inquired if I would ever consider moving back to France and I exclaimed I absolutely would - in a New York minute, in fact.

After dinner, we walked through the city to the Pont des Arts....a wooden pedestrian bridge linking the Right and Left Banks - and that was where it happened. The kiss, under the stars....right next to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and boats filled with tourists cruising down the Seine. Under the stars, over the water, in between two gorgeous pieces of Parisian land. It was a kiss worth waiting for. He was a guy worth waiting for. I felt as if my heart was full and that happiness was all my body and mind knew at the moment. It was the type of kiss that sets off fireworks inside of yourself...even despite all the champagne!

The kiss broke a dam between us - as one would expect and we probably kissed about 10,000 times on the way back to his apartment and we made out until all wee hours of the night. When the sun came up, he offered for me to sleep in with him, but I declined and went back to my hotel. You can't go too far too soon with the guy you really want. I did want to go further with him and I did want to sleep there, but I resisted the urge. Lose the battle, win the war.

I woke up Dahlia when I got back to the hotel (who has a small Yorkie nestled in her hair on the pillow) and told her that I knew he was the one. She said she knew he was too and then Dahlia, my Yorkie, and I all fell asleep in a yellow hotel room in Paris.

Happy, happier, and happiest all in one bed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Prelude to a Kiss

The party was neither exciting nor a total snore...especially compared to the amount of time Dahlia and I had spent talking about it before it had even happened. What else were we going to do on our girl's night out but discuss wardrobe, strategy, and possible dreamy outcomes of the evening? Dahlia had an on-again, off-again romance with Bambi's friend, Count Party Pooper. God knows what she saw in him - however, with the new twist of us all being together again and Bambi and I being so close to running off in the sunset. The thought that she would become Countess Party Pooper and I'd be Countess Bambi and we'd have bi-lingual and incredibly chic children to raise in our respective castles was, at the very least....the most exciting idea we had come up with in a long time.

All of Bambi's friends were pretty similar to him....small, proud, and sporting navy blue jackets. They all had the signature "de" in between their first and last names indicating their aristocratic status and at least half were wearing gold rings bearing their family's coats of arms. I suppose back in the day, they would have used the ring to stamp a wax seal on an official document - but these days it is just to show you that 300 years ago that your family was probably working in the fields owned by their family or something close to that picture. Few still have possession of their castles and even fewer have the liquid assets to maintain a castle to this day without opening it up to the (gasp) public - including loads of American tourists in white sneakers and jeans. Count Bambi is one of the few who not only still owns a few fantastic castles, but he maintains them in spectacular style with nary a tourist or the French government to thank for it - thus it makes him the "cream of the artisto crop" for every social climbing French girl, gold digger, or some Henry James-ian type character who needs Bambi's wealth to save her own family castle. Luckily for him, I fall under none of the above categories.

The girls at the party (whom I viewed as my competition) were about as small as the men, without a stitch of make-up on, or a single manicured hand between them. They had imperfect noses that would have long ago been fixed by plastic surgeons should they have been raised in the States and tiny breasts that were not given a likely boost with the aid of a bra. I have to say - it has been a while since I have seen so many sets of nips that have gone incredibly unnoticed. My own ample cleavage seems remarkably out of place in this sea of what seems like pre-pubescent boobies. Where was the young Bardot of the crew? Luckily for me, nowhere!

Dahlia and I took our places at the stars of the evening - glowing brighter by the glare of angry French girls' beady stares. Count Bambi, Count Something de Someone, and Prince Pepe le Pieu bantered and danced the night away with us. Just like the old days. Just the way I hoped it would be. Well, except that Count Party Pooper was a no-show, as usual, but who cares about him? Dahlia could just as easily become Princess le Pieu....and have her arms kissed up and down by Pepe. Although, I think that Prince le Pieu is without castle at the moment? Details, details!

Bambi - who generally never dances...made an exception to dance "Le Rock" (a form of French swing dancing for the Upper Crust...generally to disco or 80s music) with me. He wrapped his twiggy little arm around my body so tightly that his fingers were often grazing the side of my boob - which, even if it wasn't accidental...was exceedingly sexy.

We ended the night with a smaller group - at Mathy's...a small lounge off of the Champs Elysees. We drank pink champagne with ice cubes in it called a piscine (swimming pool) and Bambi and I were giving each other "love eyes" all night. It was heaven. Madame Giggles was among our crew and she told me that Bambi had been waiting for months for the perfect form to trace for his "disco rug" and it was quite an honor that he had chosen me above so many others. Apparently, he is having a seamstress cut out my form and sew it onto some other fabrics to create a fun rug for the Winter to give a sense of humor to Bambi's prematurely mature apartment. She thought that his choosing to have my literal body in his apartment to look at and admire every day is quite a statement - and gave me a knowing glance with a nod. Who knew Bambi was this creative? And he didn't even say a word about it. Me - on a disco rug....what next? The possibilities seemed almost endless!

We had planned for my last night in Paris to get a group together from the old days for a small dinner party (in English!) at Bambi's palatial flat, but he pulled me aside when we were leaving Mathy's and asked if I wouldn't mind terribly if it was just a tête-à-tête because he desired more intimacy with me. I suppose being the gentleman he is, he couldn't bear to kiss me in public and required a more private prelude to accomplish what I had been hoping he would do for years. Oh yes, please...I honestly can't take it anymore. I want my kiss and I want it now!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


As Dahlia, the all-knowing one, predicted - Count Bambi called and called again! What a refreshing change to those cooler-than-thou New York City men who hardly know how to use a telephone. Bambi let me know he had a dinner party the other night, but could either try to get out of it or get me invited last minute. I insisted he stick with his original plans - trying to create added desire through tension - although in reality, I dislike dinner parties (particularly those where no one is speaking English.) Plus, I already had a girl's night planned with Dahlia. He didn't need to know the real reasons...and the thought that I was just gracious and not overly eager would definitely put me in a better position for the rest of the weekend. I was sure of it.....and so was the all-knowing one!

Bambi did invite Dahlia and I out to a party on Saturday night with some of his friends...and he invited me over to his apartment by myself earlier this afternoon to watch a film, since I was unable to join him later. Those French men are not thrown off easily, nor are they ashamed to relentlessly pursue, I am quite happy to report. I think they feel if you are not worth chasing heavily, then you are not worth it - period. They enjoy the chase. They are hunters - literally...and when they are not actively targeting deer, boar, or birds in the countryside - then they are hunting women in the city.

Count Bambi is a man of leisure - so why not watch a movie in the middle of the day? I had placed an order for a kiss with him over ten years ago and I was hoping to pick up my bisou on his couch, 1/4 of the way through a romantic film that we had no intention of finishing. I threw on my sexiest jeans and a ridiculously soft, low cut, grey t-shirt over lingerie that cost about the same as my hotel room did for the night. Not that I was expecting it to go that far, that quickly....but your most impressive bra and pantie set is a sure fire way to ensure it doesn't happen. The Murphy's Law of Love. Had I worn old granny panties with holes in them then it definitely would have gone there. So, thank you, La Perla for keeping my virtue intact this early in the game.

The Count answered the door in a tailored button down shirt and a blazer making me feel suddenly under-dressed or wondering if I had mis-interpreted the invitation. Behind him, I heard giggling French people in his salon and immediately realized this wasn't a solo invitation. I got a quick and efficient peck and an approving glance at my décolleté and I followed him down the marble hall to the salon which looked more like the lobby of a grand hotel than the living room of a 33-year old bachelor.

There was a couple sitting on the couch who shot me a bemused look and a tiger print fabric lying on the floor in front of them. I was quickly introduced to the shiny, pert, newlyweds before being instructed to lie on the floor, on the animal printed fabric, as if I had fallen down. I was not given an explanation as to why, nor did I ask for one. The moment I was down, Bambi straddled me and started tracing my form with a piece of chalk while the couple looked on. The chalk went down my nose, and along my throat, up my arms, and in between my legs. There wasn't one inch of my periphery that was untouched by Bambi and his stick of chalk. The end result was quite cool. Almost like one of those I-Pod commercials of the dancing silhouette people.

Shortly thereafter, the four of us took our flutes of champagne further down the marble hall to Bambi's screening room to watch "Swordfish" with Halle Berry and John Travolta. That was honestly the last film I had expected to see, but apparently it was the only one they had in version originale (otherwise known as an American film in English with French sub-titles.) Bambi and Monsieur and Madame Giggles sat perfectly still on the couch, all wearing clothing requiring dry cleaning, sipping champagne, chain smoking, and intently watching the film as if it was some riveting piece of cinematic brilliance. Meanwhile, I was on the floor propped up by pillows I took from a nearby chair, in my jeans, wishing my champagne would turn into a Coca-Cola because it felt so wrong at 4:00 on a Thursday afternoon to be drinking on an empty stomach. Was I in a twilight zone? Was this the real existence of the gainfully unemployed French population? Hmmm...

At the end of the film, Bambi turned the empty champagne bottle upside down in the bucket of melting ice. The afternoon was over. Doesn't he realize how sexy of an afternoon this could have been? Why did he invite that other couple? Was the chalk tracing foreplay for the party on Saturday night? Maybe I should have agreed to join him at the dinner party tonight instead.

Ugh - I feel totally off my game. I really like Bambi. What on earth does he think about me? I did feel as if they thought of me as some exotic creature who watches movies lying down. They did ask about five times if I wouldn't prefer joining them on the already small couch - leaving zero room for a modicum of personal space...which didn't seem to bother the French one bit. I honestly didn't feel there was room and I had hoped that Bambi would leave the couch to the lovebirds and pull a pillow up next to me on the floor, but we remained separated like a smoking and non-smoking section. Perhaps I should have tried to squeeze myself sideways on to the last remaining five inches of couch space? I know I am over-thinking this. I can't help it. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about someone. Was he really paying attention to Swordfish...or was he plotting his next move? There is a mere 48-hours left to make something happen.

He had better kiss me - and soon - or I might explode just like one of those cars, vans, and trucks did on the rather un-romantic film I was just made to watch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An American in Paris

Yesterday I arrived in my old stomping ground, Paris. I lived there for four years during my 20s and had the most amazing time ever. I lived in a top floor flat in the Marais with my roommate and partner in crime, Dahlia. We both worked as fashion industry interns getting paid almost nothing while being rewarded with every glamorous party invitation under the Parisian sun. Between borrowing clothes from work and begging our parents for extra spending money, we actually made do. When our internships were over, Dahlia (originally from San Francisco) took up a magazine job in London and I moved to New York to start my own company. However, last year Dahlia was transferred last year back to Paris and is now living on the Left Bank in the swish San Germain-des-Pres. I was so excited to be reunited with her again and look up all the boys from our past. What had happened to them? Had they married? Had they gone bald? Would they remember us? And more importantly, would they still adore us if they did?

Dahlia had organized for us to go to a White Party. We had to dress in all white and the food would be all white and so were the drinks....and yes, because it is France - the people were all white too. Thank God I was tan for once - because usually white is not my color and all of the boys would supposedly be in attendance.

The party was fun, the music was great, and we did see the boys, but it wasn't exactly as I had hoped. They all said "hi" like they had just seen us yesterday...not some ten odd years ago. Some were married and some were indeed bald - but most of them were largely just nonchalant. I suppose due to all the crazy nights we had together, I would have expected a little more excitement from them - but maybe when people are "party friends" it doesn't mean as much in the long run? Had they all moved on and Dahlia and I.....still single, still swilling cocktails, and dancing our 30-something hearts out a pathetic sight to them? Did we look like the aging party girls who didn't hear the music turn off a few years back? Ugh....I just wanted to shout at them that I had grown up. I own a multi-mullion dollar apartment in Manhattan and I run a successful business, but did it matter? Maybe not. By European standards, I was starting to look like an old maid.

There was one bright reunion in the evening, however. I had the most unbelievable crush on this French count with the largest blue eyes ever for the longest time. We used to call him "Bambi" behind his back because of those massive eyes and his slightly fragile stature. He is (and was) sweet, charming, and incredibly stylish. I adored him for almost the entire time I lived in Paris, but he had a girlfriend, so nothing ever happened. He broke up with her a few months before I left - but it still never happened. He is one of those guys who can be so disarming that you lose your game and your nerve - and hence - me, never one to be shy, could ever get up the guts to make a move on him.

Count Bambi did seem genuinely happy to see me though. He instantly wrote down my European cell number and he had a giddiness to him that I had never seen. Even Dahlia noticed it and she informed me that he had just broken up with his latest girlfriend. What brilliant timing. Bambi is the type that would fall under the "future potential" category and definitely not in the "holiday hook up" category. I adore him. Always have and I can't wait to see what happens.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wedding Bell Hell

Freya's wedding went off without a hitch. Theo was crying his tender little eyes out staring at his pure as driven snow bride. Bernard was beaming with pride at his eldest daughter and her glorious match. Pippa was the most charming maid-of-honor ever and my Mom's right hand for organizing everything (thank God she was there) and Manon the Menace was perfecting her scowl behind a champagne flute. I suppose I can't remember the last time Manon had a boyfriend, so maybe weddings are difficult for her? Yet I have zero sympathy. This is my fifth wedding in the past twelve months and I am six years older than she is. If anyone should be sulking in a corner it is me, but I was too busy flirting my butt off with a college student to be bothered.

Adonis was far more difficult to land than I had originally thought. Once I knew his age, I honestly thought I had it in the bag. How could I not outfox the fox? It was "Game On" from the moment I entered the 16th century church in my Gucci silk dress and Blahniks. I smiled at him, then ignored him, then pretended to be caught looking and did the quick away glance thing, and ignored him some more. I sucked in my stomach, my posture was perfect, and I have my hair flicking down to a science at this point. After the church, I ignored him again but made sure to walk in front of him to show my also "down to a science" swishy hip walk. I waited for him to start to feel nervous and insecure at the reception before I made my first official contact. He did not appear as relieved as I had hoped when I walked within feet of him. Striking distance for him to make his move. He was totally cool about it - and made zero attempts in my direction, except to laugh with the guy next to him about something. Perhaps I had made him wait too long or not long enough? My timing was obviously not "down to a science" at this point.

There was nothing to do, but abort the mission and relaunch myself again.....which I did a few hours later to much greater success. Thanks to the legion's of Theo's fraternity brothers in attendance, it was easy to bide my time waiting for Adonis to be forced to make a move. His move was juvenile - but what would I expect? He asked if I wanted to smoke a cigarette in the woods. What were we? Twelve? He then proceeded to explain (almost blushing) that his parents don't know he occasionally smokes and so he would like to smoke somewhere away from the tent where they wouldn't see. it. So off we go into the dark, creepy woods, with the band playing disco music in the background, and my $700 shoes sinking into the soft earth below at which point I just stopped him and called him out on it.

I told him that I knew he didn't smoke (nor do I for that matter) and if he wants to just kiss me, then just do it....and he did. was really amazing - yet I still couldn't fully concentrate on the fact that I had this obscenely hot co-ed all over me because my Blahniks were getting ruined. I then decided to drag him up to my Mom's house...which is supposedly off limits during the party, but I didn't care. Actually to be safe - we went into the attic because I thought my room would be a place where we could get discovered. Like any good college kid these days, he did have some pot on him and so we got our own party started in the attic on an old couch. Half a joint and just passing first base - we are interrupted by a steady stream of people charging up the narrow attic stairs.

Oh My was my Mom, Bernard, Adonis' parents, Dodie, and Manon. I guess Manon had told people that she saw us going into the woods and she gathered a "search party" to find us and they thought something bad had happened since they couldn't find us. Ummm....likely story, Manon. Anyhow, six people saw me in my bra and a shirtless Adonis (with six-pack abs, no less) and the half smoked joint. No one was laughing. My Mom was furious. Adonis' parents wanted to know who the drugs belonged to and of course, I took the fall. So, I was the bad one - preying on youngsters and plying them with drugs and alcohol. Me and Mary Kay LeTourneau!

Well, we know that wasn't the case - but still....I haven't felt like a teenager (in a bad way) since I was a freaking teenager. I was actually sent to my room - at 30-something! God knows what happened to Adonis. His Dad probably gave him a spanking and grounded him!

I could have sworn that was the only time the entire weekend that Manon seemed happy. At least I am off to Paris in 24 hours and I'd like to think this will all be forgotten, but like I said.....I definitely don't have the timing thing down to a science! Something to work on in the future for sure.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cradle Robbing in Belgium

My trip to Europe is divided in three parts. Art Basel in Switzerland, my sister's wedding in Belgium, and my long weekend in Paris. My Mom is married to Bernard, a successful Belgian businessman. They live on a beautiful estate outside Antwerp and they speak to each other in Flemish all the time (which is very much like Dutch) - even though my Mom is British. They have three daughters - Freya, Manon, and Pippa. Freya is the serious one who never jokes and could quite possibly still be a virgin on her wedding day to Theo (who is quite adorable.) Manon is the "middle child" - with lots of complexes, baby fat, and evil lurking within her and Pippa is the much celebrated darling of the family. She does everything perfectly - and yet we don't hate her for it - because she is, well, perfect.

Although I'm quite sure that Freya had been given an unlimited budget for her wedding, knowing her....she scrimped on everything because she is quite the frugal one. She is also very practical and hates frills. She has no hair appointment, no nail appointment, and no make up artist coming. We are also have to sit through a 15-hour day without a single meal served because she thought the cost of catering is outrageous and we could just have "snacks" according to her. Incidentally, alcohol will be in full supply as Theo has invited practically every living member of his fraternity house to attend. The only reason that I mention this (besides hoping for sympathy) is also because when you have four girls in a family and the first one gets sort of sets the stage for the other three. I am the oldest, so had we been living in Jane Austen Land - it would have been my turn first and it would have been spectacular...paving a wonderful road for the others to follow in. Yet - here I am having to watch Freya go first and also having to put protein bars in my purse so I can make it through the day without passing out simply because she insisted on becoming betrothed for pennies on the dollar, or centimes on the franc, or whatever. Cheaply. That is what I am trying to say.

Having met all of Freya, Manon, and Pippa's friends - I know for a fact that there would be no cute guys coming to the wedding. I was also not allowed to get my hair or nails done and upstage the bride-to-be, so I went to the rehearsal dinner more drab than fab. And lets just say now, that if I could have done the getting ready part over again, knowing what I know now - I would have.

To the right of me, at the rehearsal dinner (the one meal that was served in two days) was the most gorgeous man on the planet. Imagine, Antonio Banderas from Mambo Kings (when he was still young and cute - and unmarred by the likes of Melanie Griffths.) He was Theo's cousin from Venezuela. Theo's Aunt (whom I'd never met) married a Venezuelan man and they produced this Adonis, who was raised in Caracas. I had never known of his existence until that very second. He had piercing green eyes, floppy brown hair, and unbelievable bone structure. When I spoke, he stared at me with an intensity that made me keep forgetting what I was talking about halfway through each story. I thought I was going to melt into the chair if he gave me one more of his intense stares. Were all Latin Americans like this? He had no shame with the staring. It was sexy as Hell, to be perfectly honest.

Adonis was 6'4" with a perfect figure and a senior at some university somewhere (do we really care?) He was also 21. A mere, 14 or so years younger than myself. My second encounter with a lusty 21-year old in a week. What was going on and since when did I officially become a cougar? Well...I suppose I haven't become a cougar yet until something has happened - technically speaking. Adonis and I spoke during the entire three hour dinner to each other as we were probably the only two people (other than his the opposite end of the table) who didn't understand any of the speeches in Flemish.

Adonis' Mother, Freya, and Manon all shot me irritated glances throughout the dinner. Meanwhile, Adonis' Father, Pippa, my Aunt Dodie, and my Mom all gave amused, teasing, and approving looks.

Oh was it that obvious? Yes - I wanted a piece of the young, hot Venezuelan. So shoot me! Is this a potential boyfriend or future husband? Ummm....not the latter, but maybe that search is temporarily on hold while I am on vacation?

Andele, andele, arriba, arriba! I have one more day to make it happen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Art Basel Debacle

At the urging of my fabulous Aunt Dodie, I decided to go to Art Basel this year. It is the world largest modern art show with the top 3,000 dealers from all over the world coming to sell some of their most precious pieces to museums, celebrities, and the absurdly wealthy. Think of it as one-stop shopping for gazillionaires to pick up Picasso's, Miro's, and Warhol's all under one roof - some of which are never before seen by the public. Instead of having to trudge through the top galleries in Toyko, Milan, New York, and Paris - all the art collectors have to do to is just head to Basel, once a year and get it done in a period of about 48 hours. Aunt Dodie coaxed my Mother into taking me as it would be a great Mother/Daughter bonding trip (which she is always up for, of course!) complete with culture, shopping, and a lively international atmosphere that we would both enjoy. She insisted that Art Basel is to art junkies what Mecca is to Islamics - a pilgrimage that must be made once in one's lifetime...and many more times than that, if possible. I was later pulled aside, and like a drug dealer - Dodie coarsely whispered in my ear that the trip was more for me to meet the "right sort" of men than anything else. The cultured, wealthy, international, intelligent types - and to look fabulous and mostly of all, not to disappoint her.

Dodie set Mom and I up with VIP passes to everything, plus all the necessary party invitations. I looked chic, Mom had her check book out, and we literally stopped short of the entrance to the show with our mouths agape. Right out the front was a five-story high, bronze garden gnome holding a giant butt plug in his hand. Was that a sign of what was inside? was certainly a long way to travel to be welcomed by pornographic sculpture in the presence of my Mom.

Interestingly enough that gnome was telling.....the massive convention hall was packed with hordes of tiny gay men. After three hours of cruising the stalls, my mother had a hard time understanding my foul mood as I ate ice cream in the VIP Lounge on the balcony overlooking a circular garden. I really couldn't admit that she had been a pawn in my search for the ideal husband. I honestly think my Mom could care less if I did become the lady with the tipsy house full of cats. Wing-woman, she was not. What had Dodie been thinking? Where were those men she had previously described?

My fears were finally confirmed that this was all a big mistake when I saw Stephanie Seymour hanging out in Tony Shafrazi's stall...surrounded by none other than more women and more short, gay men. If she couldn't attract the straight men like moths to a flame - then I certainly couldn't. Game over - that much was clear.

I did end up meeting the cute son of a gallery owner (boy, how the standards had fallen within 24 hours) at the Kunthshalle - a huge restaurant with an upscale beer garden. To be honest, he was technically very good looking and had an adorable British accent- but he had Adolph Hitler's exact haircut (which I have never seen on anyone outside of Nazi documentaries) and he was a mere 21-years old. O.K., he also seemed slightly homosexual, he had a body like a reed, plus a strange ghoulish giggle, and he allowed my Mom to pay for drinks all night - but nevertheless, I was getting desperate to make this trip a success in one form or another. I was very close to bestowing the esteemed title of "holiday hook-up" upon him and then he did the unthinkable - he picked his nose. He just jammed his finger right up his tender little nostril. And then he did it again, and again, and again. He looked at us and did it. He did it while he was telling a story. He did it again after ordering another drink on my Mother's tab. He just couldn't keep his finger out of his nasal cavity to save his tender young life - and thus, his narrow window of having a make-out session with me quickly vanished right up there with whatever it was that was in his nose.

I glanced at my Mom and she was staring right at me, horrified. We had both been witnessing the same thing. Gay Baby Hitler could pick his nose for the national team. Consider me officially disgusted. And consider Art Basel a terrible place to meet men......unless you are looking for someone who plays for the other team, nose pickers, or men wanting to sell you something for $10,000,000. Count me out for Art Basel 2008 because it just won't be happening. Thank you, Switzerland!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Young and the Restless

I have been packing for my trip to Europe for the entire, soggy, overcast weekend. Getting out of town could not come at a better time. I honestly can't take one more rainy day. Between using 80s music as a packing motivator and having a full "America's Next Top Model" marathon playing on my muted flat-screen television for the past several last day in town was turning out to be rather ho-hum until I received a very unexpected call.

It was the street performer and he was wandering around in the rain. The band decided not to play due to weather and he wanted to come and hang out. Interesting. Of course - I said "yes" and told him that I fully intended to put him to work as my assistant packer. A thought crossed my mind that knowing I would be out of town - he might try to see if he could house-sit (especially once he saw my digs)...but I came up with a fake story in my mind to head that one off at the pass - should the subject even come up. I understand that a two-bedroom townhouse apartment in the Village with a terrace might have some appeal to a guy living in a flophouse in Harlem...but my plants don't need watering that badly and who knows what I'd come home to afterwards, if anything. A note probably saying something to the effect of "Thanks for the furniture, jewelery, and electronics - and have a great rest of your Summer, you overly trusting moron." So, no...not happening, dancing man.

We ended up ordering Lombardi's Pizza and drinking an entire bottle of 2004 Chateau Grimard Bordeaux....followed by a bottle of 2002 Chateau Rocher-Calon Saint-Emilion in my dining room. Pizza was probably not what the vinters expected these "Grand Vin's" to be paired with, but my was a lunch to remember. I put on my favorite Django Reinhardt CD and we proceeded to get very, very drunk. I think, in fact, one could call me offically wasted by 4:00 p.m.

The miserable rain turned romantic...once I was drinking, staring at the most gorgeous man ever, and jazz music was floating through the rooms - at admittedly indecent volumes. He taught me how to swing dance, we made out for hours...and once we were too tired (I mean, drunk) to dance or kiss any more - he pulled a tattered notebook out of his shabby little backpack and read me some poems he had been working on.

Little Edit Piaf - my yorkshire terrier avoided the shenanigans by falling asleep in my half packed, long forgotten suitcase.

I hit the fast forward button on the tape in my mind - prematurely - as I always do when I start to like someone lots and lots and started to tell the Street Performer how much I was going to miss him when I was away and I mused out loud that it was almost a shame this had all happened right before I left instead of when I got back because it would make being away not fun at all. Ummm...yes - I'd like to say that was the wine talking, but might not have been. He swept me off my feet - literally - in my living room.

He looked down at me cradled in his arms on the floor and smiled. He then proceeded to tell me that this girl he was crazy about in California was flying out to meet him in a few days and that he was so excited to see her. She was going to stay with him in Harlem and she would still be in New York when I got back.

Oh my God...that is all I can say. I literally took a cold shower, had a coffee, and threw a last couple of things in my suit case. I had the worst hangover from earlier and still feeling a bit tipsy. What a waste of good wine. He seemed shocked that I expected we would have anything other than a fling. He pointed out how different we were and said that the band calls me Miss Posh Pants. Did I really expect him - a Street Performer - and myself to ever have a relationship? Gulp - I guess I didn't, then I did....and well, now I don't have a choice because it is not happening.

I leave on the red eye tonight to Zurich. I hope the Street Performer trips on his shoelaces on his way home. He was the classic example of a fantasy that should stay in your mind - because the reality just isn't that great.

At least he didn't ask to house-sit my apartment with that girl...although he may as well have asked - just to finish me off completely before I left town.

Is something wrong with men - or is something wrong with me?

Something for Miss Posh Pants to ponder on the plane, I guess.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

London Calling

I think Mr. Snaggly Tooth Brit Man has been reading manuals on how to date. I am utterly confused as he hit every note in the song of taking a woman out perfectly. This is just not normal in New York. I mean, it never, ever happens.

First of all, he called the same day I gave him my number in the dog run to let me know it was a pleasure to meet me. He then called the next day - and asked me out with 48-hours notice. He booked a charming Italian restaurant filled with candles located conveniently near my apartment and he picked me up! I haven't been picked up before a date in over a year - honestly - it is very un-New York. He also paid the bill, walked me home, and called this morning to say what a nice time he had. He didn't try to ply me with alcohol or pretend to have to use the bathroom to get inside my apartment. He knew to order a dessert to share - even though it was really only for me and he didn't forget to tell me how nice I looked at the beginning of the night. He listened to every word I said and didn't even glance sideways at any of the hot women scattered around the room.

Other than his absolutely princely behavior - he still looked as gay as Carson Kressley to me and I am still having trouble getting beyond that crazy tooth of his. It is like a tiny porcelain finger pointing right at me throughout dinner. Mr. Otherwise Perfect did flinch at the bill and handed over a rather beaten up ATM card with a large red arrow on it to pay for dinner. He even bowed his head for a moment when his scuffed, little debit card was carried off. I do find debit cards a rather un-sexy form of payment. He seemed both relieved and dissapointed at the same time that the card was approved. I wonder why he can't have his Dad get him a gold or platinum card? At 32, this guy is way too old to be using a piece of plastic with a giant arrow imprinted on the top. Seriously. I know 18-year olds with more impressive peices of plastic to show for themselves.

I did ask - out of curiosity - what his father does for a living in London and I almost died laughing when he told me. A dentist....and yes, you read that correctly. Maybe if his son is the best example of his work, then poor old Dad is probably running around with nothing better in his wallet than a sad 'ole ATM card as well?

My God....I should stop laughing at dear snaggles though - because he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. A true sweetheart and despite my laughing probably a little too loud about his father being a dentist (yikes!) - he did call and I will definitely see him again.

A dentist - wow - I really did not see that one coming!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dancing with Myself

This morning I got the “Looking forward to tonight!” text from my street performer – nice – and I responded positively back…..this guy really doesn’t need games. He is probably dying that he got asked out enough already for me to further taunt him……...with a long pause before a reply (see how taunting that is?)

Yours truly was perfectly dressed in sexy casual…the “oh, this old thing?” type look hoping it would read as accidental although personally I find dressing down to be far more tedious than dressing up…..the fancier a place is, the fewer options I have in my closet – thus wardrobe decisions to go to the Oscars would be made in a millisecond and yet the choice for what to wear to the movie theater can take an hour….anyway….you get the picture.

I am ready at 6:00 p.m., then it is 7:00 p.m., finally 7:30 and watching “Access Hollywood” is just not taking my mind off the potential blow off that was happening. I called a girlfriend who was in the dog run with her Chihuahua to see if she could spot him from her perch and indeed she did. He was laughing with guys from the band, under a tree, while smoking a cigarillo. Bastard!

I called him from my other line while my spy was watching (to see if he looked at the phone ringing and ignored my call), but he picked up (good boy.) It was now 8:00 and I tried to sound nonchalant and said “So, what’s up for tonight…” in as much of a laid-back tone as I could possibly muster considering the cicumstances (even though I was actually boiling under the surface trying to maintain my composure) and he responded by saying the absolute unthinkable. He canceled on me.

He said he was too tired to go out, but we would do it another time. I told him that I am leaving for Europe in four days and he suggested getting together when I got back. I said “whatever” and hung up. Not cool – I know….on either of our sides. Spy….still on the other line hung out long enough to see him gather his things and wander out of the park alone – away from the direction of my apartment. She offered to tail him for as long as her Chihuahua could hold out, but he really wasn’t worth the effort.

An hour later – he called! He was sitting in Café Reggio by himself and wanted to know if I still wanted to have a date tonight before he headed home to Harlem. He felt bad and couldn’t go through with canceling. I picked my discarded, casually cute, outfit up off the floor and rushed out to do what…..I wasn’t sure? Either save my pride or crush it completely.

The date was awkward, we had a coffee with rum and watched homeless people and rambunctious NYU kids ramble past our sidewalk table. The bill came and my dancer started pulling crumpled dollar bills out of his pocket and straightened them on the table, one by one. The sight was too much to bear – and I paid the bill with very little resistance on his side. I couldn’t let our two drinks wipe out half of what he had made that day…and he did seem relieved. However, at that moment I felt an odd role reversal for the first time that I didn’t quite like. At least my trip to Europe was right around the corner…and even a five year old French boy would know better than to let a girl pay a bill! From what I remember, at least. Oh tell me the old country hasn’t changed!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Kibbles and Bits

Just as I was filling in the details on how I wanted my bohemian romance to play out in my mind - the street performer actually called. It could have all been so exciting - except for one thing..he called from a cell phone - actually worse, a cell phone with a "310" area code. I thought he was destitute...and from New Orleans? I guess the non-animated, non-canine version of "Lady and the Tramp" won't be happening....spaghetti kissing scene and all. It appears what I might have on my hands here is an out-of-work actor from L.A. doing a stint as a twinkle toed gypsy man for the himself a break from the usual ho-hum of his normal life of waiting tables and rushing to casting calls in a smelly, old Dodge Pinto that reeks of jockstraps. Ugh - his sex appeal is wearing off by the minute...yet - needless to say....he did ask me out after he finishes dancing in the park tomorrow and I, of course, replied "yes." Normally, I might have acted busy and had him work a little harder for it - but who are we kidding here? I am going out with a man whose monthly salary gets paid into a hat instead of into a bank account. At the very least, this should be interesting!

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of Washington Square Park is where my Yorkie, Edith Piaf's, social club is located - otherwise known as the dog run. We spend quite a bit of time there and one might think it could be a good place to meet men - however, this is both true and not true. It is definitely true if you are in the regular dog run...yet due to Ms. Piaf's small stature, we are confined to an eternity in the small dog run - a place for chihuahuas, malteses, dachshunds and the like to run amok with creatures 25-pounds and under. Our run is a perfect square where all the dog parents sit on benches around the periphery watching, cooing, breaking up little tussles, and admiring each other's latest canine accessories from tiny cashmere sweaters to dog bags with crocodile trim. As you can imagine from the description - the average small dog owner is a woman (young or old), a gay man, or some woman's dutiful husband. The idea of actually picking someone up there is a joke akin to that of cruising for men at a baby shower - it just isn't happening!

Today - however...something different happened. It occurred almost like a was all so fast that I didn't realize that it had taken place until it was over. I got asked out. In the small dog run.....and not by a women, a gay man, or some other woman's husband! An actual straight, single God - if word got out that this happened - I could be a legend, but I will back up and fill you in on how the unthinkable happened.

So there I am...looking reasonably cute - because I had just intentionally walked past my not-so-private dancer and needing to keep his interest piqued - my skirt was admittedly shorter than usual. I did my wave, smile, dropped a dollar in the hat and sat my wickedly under dressed self down on a bench to do my 30-minute, mother-daughter time, with Edith at her club. Minutes later - in strolls what appears to be yet another West Village gay fashion victim in jeans that were almost painted on, a pink shirt, a white sweater tied around his neck, copious amount of hair gel slicking back his brown hair, and loafers. He sat next to me because I am a bit of a fag hag and I felt he probably sensed it.

We inevitably start talking...he wanted to know if I minded that he smoked. Truthfully, I don't quite appreciate it when people smoke next to me while I am trapped in the run - except for one thing....he sounded exactly like Hugh Grant. Uh-oh.....Hugh - my weak spot. Actually, I'd say "yes" to anything Hugh Grant asked, but this wasn't Hugh Grant, but get the picture. A devastatingly cute British accent - it does the trick, every time. So, smoke away, sailor!

Long story short...we ended up talking for an hour and a half (a record for me in Urine Town)...I mistook the fact that he is European for being gay (common mistake, I know)....and he was completely and utterly charming to boot. An MBA student at Columbia - here for another year, the small dog belongs to his ex-girlfriend (I know....I'm seeing the red flag too!), and he asked for my number and wants to take me and my short skirt out! issue though - I made him laugh and he revealed a complete set of classic "British teeth"......yes, the small, dark kind which have never seen braces, a retainer, or even a tooth brush. In fact, one of those pearly browns shot out of his mouth at such a horizontal angle that I could have hung my dog's leash off the end of it if he kept his mouth open long enough.

Maybe I just need to go to dark places with this one....where there is little chance that I can focus on his snaggle tooth and concentrate more on the fact that if I keep my eyes closed - that I am essentially out with Hugh Grant...Hugh Grant - without the looks, fame, or money - but if I have is certainly an imagination. Thankfully - that has served me well in this town where I can now feel that getting asked out by a man in skin tight jeans and grey teeth is a score.
Sound pathetic? Well, at least it is one step up from a street performer.....and if all goes well a trip to the dentist could always be arranged, right?

Trying to stay positive......two dates lined up for the week - so far, so good!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sidebar: Hello Dolly

One of my all time favorite pastimes – is not actually dating, but it is the act of getting ready for a date. Sometimes, the part of sprucing ones self up for a big night on the town can be WAY more fun than the night itself.

Indeed - I am that girl who pours over Allure looking for beauty tips; scours the pages of Lucky for the latest and greatest; and the one whose bathroom contains so many products that it is starting to look like an outpost of a high-end pharmacy.

There are currently four levels to my pre-date process – which depend on a few factors: who you are, how much I like you, and where we are going. The levels are as follows:

Level One (basic)…shaving legs, blow drying my own hair, light make up, and wearing whatever is toward the front of my closet

Level Two (above average)…shaving legs, blow drying my own hair, manicure and pedicure, make up; eye brow shaping, and wearing the newest thing I already own

Level Three (prom night)…shaving legs, straightening or curling my hair, manicure and pedicure,make up, eye brow shaping, tan, and buying a new outfit

Level Four (closing the deal)….all of the above, plus a blow out, a bikini wax, and a new outfit expensive enough to have my credit card company call to make sure it wasn’t fraud before they’d approve the purchase on something positively drool worthy

Level One is for casual or daytime dates, lame invitations, and moments when work is too crazy for me to have time to do anything else. Level Two is what I almost always do for most every date. One would get me to Level Three for a black tie event, meeting the parents, big occasions, or an evening where I am just not getting the attention I deserve from my man so I am kicking it up a notch. Level Four is for if your name is Prince Albert, George Clooney, or Hugh Grant and we are going on a date. OK - there are other ways to get me to Level Four outside being one of the aforementioned men....but it certainly isn't a common occurrence.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ready to Join the Circus

I have been stalking a street performer lately. I know - it sounds crazy....but it is Summer in Manhattan, it is sizzling hot....and so is he! I came across him when I was walking my Yorkie, Edith Piaf - in Washington Square Park. Well, actually I noticed his gorgeous friend first who plays the accordion. Accordion man looks like James Dean with a perpetual scowl and eye contact is completely out of the question - except one time when Edith Piaf almost peed on his stool, but never mind about that.

I have been flirting for weeks with the Rebel without a Clue and getting literally nowhere despite the almost daily dollar bills I toss in the hat of the band he plays I moved on to number two - the swing dancer - in the interest of time and pride. A girl has got to know when to cut her losses in this town.

Lord of the Dance rules his corner of the park with a petite red head as his dance partner.....while the band plays a jumping New Orleans style jazz. I was about 28 dollars in when I scored his digits.....and a date. Let's hope he can find somewhere to take a shower before he takes me out. He lives in a flop house in Harlem; he arrived in NYC a month ago by train jumping from Louisiana; and he called me "ma'am"....divine!

Maybe I should have given him a quarter to ensure a phone call as you know this one doesn't have a cell phone? In any case - when Fred calls, consider Ginger ready!