The diary of a New York doll

The fearless Stephanie Klein writes a weblog about Manhattan's social scene that makes Sex and the City look passé. Outrageous, outspoken and always honest, her adventures take her from SoHo to the Hamptons - looking for love, with a cocktail in her hand...
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Facts all about me #1

1. I wet the bed until I was in 6th grade.

2. I ate dinner with Jack Nicholson. There were five of us. I don't recall if he actually ate, but he didn't talk.

3. Chris Noth (Mr Big from Sex and the City) asked me out on a date, while his friend (my date) was in the bathroom.

4. I don't like vibrators.

5. I've been known to dress up as "the other woman", complete with wig, contacts and fake name, all in the name of "keeping things exciting".

6. Julie Tesser accidentally broke my nose in the 4th grade. I never got it fixed.

7. I was married.

8. When I'm sick, I stay home and watch the entire Anne of Green Gables series.

9. I don't know where Wyoming or Montana are on the US map. Oklahoma, neither.

10. I once weighed 168.5lb. And wore size-16 pants, a men's size 36.

11. I still worry about my weight, but I somehow manage not to puke up my food after every meal, like most of Manhattan.

12. I lost my virginity when I was 15 to a boy named Eric Fink.

13. I won't date anyone who can fit into my jeans.

14. I have never shoplifted.

15. I am 14 Greek, 14 Puerto Rican, 14 Russian and 14 Austrian.

16. I was raised Jewish, had a bat mitzvah, went to Hebrew school, yet my mother is Greek Orthodox.

17. I am a distant cousin to the person who sings the theme song in the movie Mannequin ("Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" - Starship).

18. I know all the lines in the movie When Harry Met Sally.

19. Yes, my hair is naturally red, and no, you can't make me prove it.

20. The same day I had all four wisdom teeth pulled, I ate eggplant parmigiano. No swelling.

April 24

Dating clichés

My father's wife invited a lawyer to their home to negotiate her parents' wills. On the somber occasion, along with the cookies and coffee, maybe some huggy bear tea, she offered him Debbie. "She's single, and fabulous, and here's her most flattering, misleading photo. She's really older and fatter, and that lighting is a god-send." OK, that might have been her inner monologue. Debbie and lawyer actually met. Lawyer is smitten. Lawyer sends flowers... to my father's house. "Thank you for introducing me to such a fantastic woman." Now that, dear reader, is Klass.

I'm about to hit a sore note. I'm sure of it. If you're in a relationship with a woman, you're probably not doing enough. Let's face it. You're too damn complacent and comfortable. You stopped doing the half-stand bit when she excused herself from the table after she told you she loved you. You're a cliché now, pal. You don't send her flowers anymore. That's right, worse than a cliché, you're now a Barbra Streisand song. And believe me, SEND is the key word. And if you're courting a woman, lean in close, you should do just that. This whole aloof nonsense is just plain silly. Here's a tip. If a woman likes you, it doesn't matter when you call... she's diggin' you either way... um, unless you wait too long. Then it's don't waste my time you player, and yes, I do hate the player, not the game. Be original, 'cause we've all seen Swingers by now... And two e-mails and an IM do NOT equal a phone call. Just so ya know.

OK, that's all the inside info I can give you tonight... or else I'll have authorities after me. Cause you know we're a sisterhood, operating behind a big velvet curtain. It's not OZ; it's NYC baby. And you're here... at least for the moment. Oh and ladies, you're not off the hook either. See as good as sex is, a blowjob is courting. So grab a pillow and get on your knees. Well, only if the flowers are forthcoming...

July 4

Little Miss Independence

Forget sharing a room with three other women, or sharing a bathroom with nine other people... roughing it was a weekend in the Hamptons without a pedicure. "I don't know how you did it. I never ever could have made it through." Thursday evening Kimberly (the brown one) and I (the red Kim) circle the Hamptons for a restaurant with more than four other patrons. It's high school. Music is blaring, the windows slid open, and we drive 20 minutes out of our way to find a good restaurant. Dragon Room is a drag, so we settle upon 75 Main and seek out dessert at "Jet".

Jet East: Picture it. A spinning blue light overhead and hooch every which way, lots of it. Greased hair, too many rings, widows peak, hairspray, the only respectable boys are too short to date and haven't moved past the polo shirts. You're at "Jet" because you're trendy and on vay-K, too tired to add "East". Then you hear it: "Don't have to be rich to be my girl, don't have to be..." And we sing along and kiss the air evoking Julia Roberts feeling like our own little pretty women. But it's bullshit because I'm in the Hamptons, where streets are named after money. Let's face it, it's money, from the driveways flanked with hydrangeas to the Hermès orange Birkin and French tulips for her dinner party. You smell it, it smells rich. It's the Creed.

South Hampton is old money, East Hampton is new money, and West Hampton ignores money and surfs instead.

People drop names, saunter beyond velvet ropes and talk about the Sony party, the Hilton's new record label, Lizzy Grubman's new reality show filming at Cyril's, and you almost want to boot. But you don't because vomiting is cliché. Kim and I are just about ready to be booted from our "you don't have bottle service" table, when I rush to claim the last free "you are relegated to the back" table. Then I meet Pat Parnell and Shon Tomlin (Fuel TV dudes from LA), who hire me to photograph the premiere of Riding Giants the next day. I can't disclose the photographs yet (sorry). But here's what you would see: Christie Brinkley glowing with her angelic children and yummy husband. Gabrielle Reese not giving advice on how to recover from pregnancy because "I don't give advice". Some tan men whose faces look like mitts, with bleached hair, dimples, and Hawaiian shirts. Who cares what they're saying. And me with fucking ugly toes on the Blue Carpet. Oy.

Cyril's: I run into many people I shouldn't have, and I become gravely depressed. I run into Bianca Struel (the same species, mortified I've associated her with Fat Camp), and then Caroline Wiesser (Falcone). Caroline and I used to work together. Now she's married, with a delicious baby and a house in Roslyn. Just kill me now.

I'm crapass at dating. My energy goes into some guy instead of me. I'll go places I don't really feel like going because he'll be there. It's not me. I'll rearrange plans around a guy - and history gave me this lesson: he will be gone soon. In life, no matter what happens, I end up with me. So it's independence weekend. Well, Amen to that (snap, snap).

I walk into Cyril's anticipating the brain freeze from the BBC (Bailey's Banana Colada) and sink into my white chair. I should be happy. I'm flanked with beauty, the sky, the friendships, the tan women in their orange terry Juicy tube dresses and enormous... ahem, jewels, what were you thinking? I see a trendy beautiful woman with smart sunglasses sit on tan boys' laps and I'll admit it. I can taste the jealousy; it tastes like steamers.

I never look at it as a waste of time, but when I slam into people my age, married with their babies, their gardens, their make-your-own-taco nights, well I want that. I feel myself leaning over, trying to stab them with my fork prongs. I want to ingest their lives. But I demonstrate control and remind myself I'm not willing to settle for Jell-O. I prefer my crème brûlée, all blowtorch difficult and shit. I wish he'd get his act together and pursue me already. I'm a strong believer that the man must pursue the woman. I miss being pursued. I want a man, not afraid of putting it on the line, letting me and everyone know he's crazy about me. But it can't be West Coast; it has to be sincere. It can't be I love yous in a week before you know my middle name. It can't be "you're amazing", "Are you mine?" before I even know you. You need to learn how someone handles anger, stress, and disappointing people. It can't be "sweetheart" before you know what kind of drunk they are, how they handle deadlines, or phone messages, or their mother, or you when you've gone and chicked out in the middle of the night.

So, about the sex, I know what you're thinking... and trust me, you're wrong. I'm telling you, it was a sex-free weekend. Period. As for independence, I'm still looking up, anticipating some fireworks. Even if I'm the one who has to conjure her own noise and light for now. I'm wicked good at that.

July 15

A&F vanity

I couldn't bring myself to do silk or sparkles. Come to think of it, I might just have skipped the Creed, and I never skip. Today was cotton. You know, except for the panties, cause I don't think I own any of those anymore. I'd never buy stock in Hanes.

I would buy stock in Matt; god bless him for taking me to The Gansevoort Hotel (besides the photography in all the rooms and halls, I designed their site, too). It's the Abercrombie & Fitch Vanity Fair Party, and the celebs are out, from Ivanka to Sissy Spacek. Oh, and ya know, all the Abercrombie boys. Raaaarw.

My eve begins with a sneak peak preview of possibly the worst chick flick I've ever seen, Little Black Book, with my movie partner in crime, Monique. But I don't mind that the movie is for shit because the company and conclusions are amazing.

After the movie, I cruise into the hotel and hop on to the roof, where I meet and see many redheads. This is very strange. It's like seeing a black person at a Dido concert. If redheads had a theme song, it would be by AC/DC, and pole-dancing would be involved. Of course everyone is beautiful, the kind of beauty that makes you want to touch things and hold in your stomach. I talk to everyone, and surprisingly all these gorgeous faces had genuine smiles. I'm sure they spent a long time making themselves look like they didn't, using products with "Plump" and "Bed" in their names. You couldn't see the vanity, and surprisingly, you didn't hear it either. These were the pros.

Then it was bedtime. I meet Andrew, Luke, Sebastian, Mark, Sean, and a few others I can't remember any more, outside. Still, I attempt the cab hail, and while outside these absolutely breathtaking men approach and invite me to join them at PM, or Lotus, or wherever. Here's the thing, in the past, that would have done it for me. I would have squealed to my friends the next morning. But I'm growing into myself now, and there's more to life than pretty faces. I've learned that PM means bedtime and Linus, not beautiful boys and a nightclub. Call me crazy; call me a redhead.

OK, I know, enough Stephanie, just show us the goods.

July 20

Chill out

I need to come clean. I have a Poland Spring water-cooler in my bedroom. I adore Manhattan's water; it is tops. But when it comes out cloudy in my glass, I can't drink it. I know they're air bubbles, but all I can think is amebas. So I purchased cooler service. I was cooler... until this morning.

"Please, to excuse, m'am. I need pick up cooler." It is 7am, and my doorman has let up a foreign green man. OK, he's Pakistani and dressed in a green Poland Spring uniform right down to the green socks. Can you imagine socks being part of your uniform?

"Pick up the cooler, not the empties?" I am asleep, standing, in shorts and hardly a tank top, yawning into this man's bearded face. Linus is barking and growling. He thinks the green man is his frog and wants to start with his socks. This is my morning.

"Yes, m'am, the cooler."

"The cooler?"

"Please, the form. You cancel, no?"

"I no cancel." Did I just say that?

"You pay me now." OK, let's be clear, these Poland Spring people bring me way too much water. Each empty bottle is worth $25. Once you use the water and return it, they deduct the $25 deposit from the total amount you owe. So I continue to pay bills for these enormous bottles to line the entrance of my apartment for months. * * And they don't remove the $25 from the record until they receive empty bottles. I can't drink it fast enough, so they never pick up empties. I mean, they might as well charge me for interpretive art, but to remove my cooler due to lack of payment is just so starving-artist treatment.

"Sir, I will call. I will pay. No take cooler. Take full bottles of water, and write it down. Can I have a receipt?" I don't mean to sound like a bitch. The man is only doing his job, but I'm still sleeping, my mouth feels like it just licked a bunny, and I'm trying hard to prevent being sued once Linus really does bite this green man. This is my morning: a verbal argument in Englistani over water rights. And you say I'm not into politics. I'm going back to bed now. Or, maybe I'll shower; using the two brand new five-gallon bottles the man insisted he drop off. Oy.

July 21

19 days of nonsense

Don't start thinking I follow sports; I don't, not even the NY Knicks, and I love the Knicks (though I do believe basketball is the one sport where you can really appreciate the talent of the athletes). I heard it on Live with Regis and Kelly this morning. "Nineteen consecutive days of football air this fall." I'll be lining up the Tivo with Dr Phil episodes to combat the insanity.

"Women don't like football because they don't understand it," my father mutters into his paper. He is wrong. You're all dead wrong. In high school, they forced us to play powder-puff football. There might have been Velcro belts with flags dangling to substitute for the tackling. Oh shut up. The point is, we learnt the rules. We know The Kickoff isn't a rejection technique, that Fielding the Punt and Letting the Ball Go aren't sexual positions, and a Snapped Ball isn't nearly as painful as it sounds. I understand the basic rules well enough. What I don't understand is why anyone would watch this shit. It's clumping. You're sitting around, sipping your beers watching the clumps.

I used to have season tickets to the New York Giants. I hated going to games, mostly because the food at Giants Stadium is for shit. I mean even the junk food tastes off. Give me some dogs, mustard, and a baseball cap and I'm pretty happy, but football in Jersey? Just kill me now.

July 23

Facts of life

"I learnt a lot," people say as they reflect on a hurtful past. What should we say? I was curled in fetal position for so long on the bathroom floor, that when I did actually sleep, I dreamt in bathroom tiles? You don't want to hear that. You want to learn what we learnt. When we're in pain, we learn and we g-r-o-w.

I'm enormous. Really fucking huge.

I never asked, "Why me?", because I believe we all suffer in this lifetime.

It was glorious being pregnant and married. Learning he was out without his band of gold, telling lies in my mouth, and completely disrespecting our vows and my heart was not so glam. When I had an abortion, he didn't offer. He didn't show. He was a boy who couldn't step up to be a man. And I loved him, but I walked.

People ask me why I married him. Jewish, wealthy, funny, charming, good-looking, very well-educated, and a great dresser... and he wanted me? I mean, if I met that now, my friends would squeal and smile, gripping handfuls of my shirt as they pull me closer for the juicy details. But if I learnt anything, it's just not about all that. It's really really not. See, that's where my self-esteem was. I felt special that someone I greatly esteemed actually wanted me, Moose. Mister scholar athlete of the year, every year, wanted me. Ironically, it made me feel respected. People noticed me now. I worried I'd go back to ugly without him.

He fell victim to it, too. That need to feel important, and thinking it will come from external sources instead of from within. He wanted the spotlight. Bungalow 8 and Page Six. Honestly, I loved him. I really really did. And you know, he did love me, too. He really did. But the boy broke my heart to pieces with his recklessness. I mean just wiped the floor with me. It's one thing to fall out of love, but quite another to come home every day trying to get me pregnant while he knew he was cheating. That's a lack of character, conscience, and soul. It's vapid.

I wonder if he regrets it. Something tells me he doesn't for a second. I think that's even worse; it's such an empty life. It's remarkably horrible. So you learn, all in all, you take the good; you take the bad.

July 24

Suzara's soirée

"I don't think I can motivate. It's raining and my stomach is distended." I am still in my bathrobe and should be ready to leave in 10 minutes for Suzara's birthday soirée at Tiki Room.

"Just throw on jeans and tie a sweater around your waist, chica. I'm coming over." Jen and I rally. She gets drenched finding us a cab while I wait beneath my apartment awning. I hate what I'm wearing.

At Tiki Room, I'm greeted with beautiful faces and warm smiles. I'm such a lucky woman to know and be surrounded by such amazing women. Each one, their own little Tiki light, lighting up the room, to toast and celebrate our sweet sweet Jen Suzara's 28th birthday. Todd groans at the camera. "Oh, Jesus, I don't want to be on that website." Todd is not the first boy to whine this (Ahem, Neil). What's up with the paranoia, boys? Jeez.

I can always count on Mishy and Aura to pose and laugh with me. And my Upper West Side girls to leave with me. Samantha, Jen and I decide we're hungry. How in god's name am I hungry? Big Nicks. Onion rings. French fries. Burger. Pizza. Ice cream. I'm so not kidding. All in all, totally worth the rally. Not sure how I'm going to do it again on Saturday night for Jen Choi's Bachelorette Bash... lots of chicklet pics to come in the next few days of the weekend of Jens.

Facts all about me #2

1. I had an abortion.

2. I wear a 34C.

3. I had the opportunity to cheat on my SATs. I didn't.

4. I have tweezed my entire pubic area because I was bored.

5. I find Angelina Jolie very sexy. My friend Rachel from college went to high school with her and said she was very weird, dressed in Goth stuff.

6. I love getting lots of earwax on a Q-Tip.

7. I don't understand how any woman can be seen in stockings and sneakers, even if it is a commute. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

8. Meryl Streep came up to me in a museum and told me she liked my hair.

9. I love warm laundry.

10. I have never tried a cigarette or done any drugs, including marijuana.

11. Once I let a guy watch me pee because he thought it was hot.

12. When I get my hair straightened, I attract a whole different set of men who want to get in my pants because I look so hot. I like that, but at the same time I hate it.

13. I have slept with multiple people in the same day.

14. Despite it all, I love Martha Stewart.

15. People are always shocked when I tell them Oprah is my role model. She is. Really.

16. Enough with Audrey Hepburn.

17. Almost all of my friends and ex-lovers describe me as a cross between Elaine Benes and Sarah Jessica Parker (especially in the movie Miami Rhapsody). I can see the Elaine bit, but I feel more Diane Keaton.

18. I really love my job and the people I work with. Really. They rock.

19. I am attracted to men that make me go crazy - and I hate being crazy.

20. If I was a boy, my parents would have named me Rory.