So this is crazy. How often does my name get to be on Esquire.com’s home page? Answer: Not often. And somehow I got to write about romance, which is pretty much the thing I am least qualified to write about (other than cap and trade and taxidermy). An excerpt:
So who are the victors on Valentine’s Day? The purveyors of Red Lobster, shitty chocolate, oversize teddy bears holding normal-size teddy bears holding tiny little teddy bears, middlebrow jewelry, and Tawny Kitaaen-inspired lingerie. (Which, incidentally, makes most of us feel like cats wearing costumes. Or surgical cones. I’m sure not every woman has run around in a backwards, drug-addled circle in an attempt to escape a frightening undergarment, but it’s not unheard of.) If women had no input on what constitutes an appropriate Valentine’s Day present, the output would resemble a Spencer’s Gifts collection co-curated by Anton Le Vay and David Lee Roth.
Somehow, what was penned as a bitter jeremiad was massaged into advice. God help anyone who follows it!
For reasons that are neither interesting nor important, I attended Betty White’s 89th birthday last night. It was held at Le Cirque, which surprised me, as I didn’t know it still existed.
There was a lot of food and, unlike the open bar events I’ve grown accustomed to attending, I didn’t have to elbow anyone out of the way just to get a tepid glass of “Champagne” that’s actually just a sparkling brut (what? I shouldn’t know the difference just because I’m some self-styled lumpenprole?). Nope, last night it was Champagne all the way, chilled and easy to get to, presumably because everyone in the room was from Hollywood and, as such, in recovery.
When we arrived, we found a table in the middle of the room and looked around in search of famous people. The only person I saw was Frank Whaley, who was standing over by the “risotto station.” (Disappointed that it wasn’t a “risotto fountain,” because that would be even more appallingly awesome than this.) One of my companions squealed in delight and said, “Swing Kids is my favorite movie!”
“You should go tell him that,” I said. “He looks a bit lonely.”
We drank some more, looked around some more, ate miniature crabcakes and some “sliders” that were a little too large to be rightfully considered finger food.
“Where are all the celebrities at?” the Whaley fan companion wondered. “I’m not even seeing any D-listers.”
You know that saying in poker about how if you don’t see the mark at the table, you’re the mark? I had a sudden realization.
“Man, we’re the fucking D-list. This whole room is D-list. Not even D-list! Z-list! There’s gotta be some other, better, VIP room that we’re not allowed in.”
But what can you do? And it’s true, we were Z-list. But we did get cake pretty soon after that. A little while later, Ana Gasteyer walked by. And so did that comedian with the hat and glasses thing. (Apparently Jack McBrayer was there, too?) His trucker cap was bedazzled in Braille. “I wonder what that says,” my other companion said, not really all that curious.
“Probably it says WHAT ARE YOU, BLIND? I’ll go over and ask. He’s not talking to anyone or anything, just eating something from the grilled vegetable station.”
So I went over and was like, “Sorry to bother you while you’re eating, but what does your hat say?”
And he was nice about it — “It says [something about strength or power; unsurprisingly I was not paying attention].”
And then they brought him two pieces of cake. “They hooked me up! This is good cake,” he said, eating it with the gusto of someone who really likes cake.
“It is really good, but the fondant frosting is a bit overwhelming.”
“Which is that?”
“The stuff that’s in a right angle on your plate.”
“Huh, what’s it made out of?”
“Sugar. And tile caulk.”
“Yeah, bad stuff.” He was humoring me at this point. “So what do you do?”
“Nothing related to any of this.”
“Hey, do you know if there’s like a VIP room somewhere?”
“Nah dude, this is it.”
“I was just wondering.”
“I’m gonna go get a drink.”
“Try the risotto station while you’re over there.”
As you can see, there were a number of other celebrities there. We didn’t see any of them. But my companions got hugs from Betty White. So that was nice. Also, Wendy Malick looks really good.
If you’ll recall, yesterday’s weather was fairly yucky. I would’ve preferred to show up to the party in hip waders, but instead I wore a subdued and black and gray ensemble that lacked sophistication but made up for it by its absence of grease stains. I changed out of my Doc Martens into a fancy pair of heels, though honestly, what does it really matter if you’re on the Z-list?
Speaking of fancy shoes, femininity, and other things that elude me, Lauren and I had a conversation about her Roger Vivier Pilgrim pumps, made famous by Belle de Jour and Ava Gardner. “I love them. They’re classic,” she told me. “Even though they’re so delicate, they’re still perfect for this time of year.”
“Yeah, because they’re small and you can carry them in your purse and put them on once you get to where you’re going.”
“No, I meant that they’re perfect in that you can get a man to carry you over the ice puddles.”
I did not watch Sarah Palin’s Alaska last night. I spent most of the day laid up experiencing what might, in another context, be considered “cleansing.”* I attribute it to Indian takeout at 11pm the night before (and possibly the bloody marys earlier in the day — horseradish: nature’s Drano). I *did* catch Walking Dead, which is still gory enough to be enjoyable but getting a little silly, plot-wise. Grimes and his raggle-taggle gang head back into Atlanta to rescue a bag of guns as well as the racist and totally unhinged Merle** at the behest of his racist and totally unhinged brother, Daryl.*** (Because, naturally, that’s what rednecks are named, hurr!)
Speaking of lazy film tropes, I can forgive the melange of regionally incorrect Southern accents. But what was the deal with the fortress protected by the members of Suicidal Tendencies? It was like the costume designer bought a bunch of Vato Loco Halloween costumes, and the truth is that the gang life of Atlanta is considerably more nuanced than a Gang of Hats. And no, before you ask, I am incapable of willful suspension of disbelief.
Oh, and then, back at the camp [SPOILER ALERT!] everybody dies.**** The end!
*But not if you saw the toilet bowl. ::rimshot::
**Played by Michael Rooker, whose first speaking role was in Streets of Fire, which just goes to show that EVERYTHING can be traced back to that movie. EVERYTHING. (Side note: I love him and all but his tweets are pretty goddamned stupid.)
***Played by that guy in that god-awful movie Boondock Saints, which is probably best known as Every Racist American’s Favorite Film. Oh, and also, Willem Dafoe was in it, which only serves to bolster my Streets of Fire theory, above.
****Nah, not really.
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