Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Attitudes and Platitudes

When a man walks into a date, and informs you, upon you asking what he did that day, that "Neiman's is having its pre-sale," you know it's going to be a doozy. Such was the case last week, when my good friend and I had a sort of double-blind outing with a set-up I'd been talking to and one of his friends who was in town visiting.

Making small-talk when they first arrived, I asked what they had done that day.

"I did some SERIOUS damage at Bal Harbour; at Tod's and Neiman's," my date said. Uh oh. Not a great first impression.

My friend, God love her, and whom I am forever grateful to for accompanying me and turning a potential disaster into a fun night out, looks at date deadpan and says, "What's Tod's?"

Critical shopper that I am, I a.) KNOW that Neiman's is having its Goddamned presale and b.) DON'T want to be informed of this fact from a supposedly hetero, single, Jewish man. It went slowly downhill from there wrt to the set-up. But the friend was much more down to earth and cool, so we all managed to have a good time. And the restaurant was fab; for those of you South Floridians reading, it's def. worth checking out. It's a total scene, NY style, and Bruce Weber even sauntered in clad in his identifiable bandana. Prime 112

People ask me why I am jaded when it comes to dating, and it is merely for reasons like this. I just hate the whole time-wasting element of it all. You talk for weeks or months or whatever the case may be, esp. if the two of you don't live near each other, then you meet in person and there is nothing. However, given that I'd seen this guy's pics in the society pages several times, I did have an inkling that there would be no attraction.

Anywho, the NYC girls and I had a lovely, low-key time in Miami, due to the fact that the hip-hoppers took over the beach last weekend, so it was not the normal scene over there. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but just not our scene. In fact, after sitting in about 30 minutes of traffic, witnessing this,

amongst other things, we got out of the cab in front of the Shore Club, in front of a cavalcade of cops.

Spying us, four decked out white Jewish chicks, one of the cops said, "You girls look lost. Are you sure you want to be here?"

What can I say? The PC movement has been slow to reach the South.

One more note: Hands-down the best restaurant I've eaten at down here, truly delicious. Run there. Now. Ortanique

Thursday, May 25, 2006

My NYC girls arrive tomorrow for the weekend, so I'm sure I'll have some more entertaining stories come Tuesday. Apparently it's a huge hip-hop weekend down here, so it should be exciting, to say the least. My car will remain in the garage all weekend, as I'm very strict about drinking and driving and I plan on partying it up NYC style for old time's sake. After the cat incident, which occurred when I was completely sober, sister's a little scared to hit the road again. Have double-blind date tonight, so must go home and primp. Dressing is a whole different ball game down here girls, jeans, it seems are not appropriate for every occassion as they are in New York. Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On a serious note, this is almost too scary for words. Iran is trying to pass a law that would require non-Muslims, including, of course Jews, but also Christians, to wear colored ribbons! For the Jews, it's yellow, for the Christians, red. ... Sound familiar? Iran's "National Uniform Law"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Killer Karma

I can now add a new title to my prestigious resume: murderess. Yes, I surely have some bad karma coming my way. I'm driving down the Venetian Causeway Thursday night on my way to meet my friends. I'm going 30 mph max, factually ensured, since I had just seen a cop and was uber-observant of the speed limit. It's turning from dusk to night, and the road is sort of a narrow, residential street. All of the sudden, and, in slow-mo, as most life-altering events seem to be, this intrepid cat-who-looked-like-a-raccoon-and-shall-henceforth-be-referred-to-as-raccoon-to-assuage-my-Jewish-guilt, darts out in front my car. It sort of froze in the glare of my headlights, and before either one of us had the time to react, I hit the poor little fucker. Yes, I slammed on my brakes, but it was not enough. I suspect that even if I was only going 10 mph, 2 tons of German steel would have still caused the feline's demise. The impact natch produced a most sickening noise. I know it was a cat, even though my friends tried to convince me it was a wild animal of some sort, but it had a strange striped tail like that of a raccoon. It didn't have a collar, so I am hoping it was a stray and not a family's pet, but do cats ever have collars? The neighborhoods on the Venetian causeway are VERY tony, so I cannot imagine these people having wild outdoor cats.

Now as you all know I am an animal lover, and the pure irony of this whole situation is that EXACTLY 24 hours before I commited man/animalslaughter, I was volunteering at the freaking Humane Society. Could it possibly get anymore absurd? I mean, come on! The fact that I actually did volunteer at the HS the night before is the only reason I'm not having some sort of karmic meltdown, though I still do feel awful about the accident and have been having cat/raccoon nightmares all weekend. I do truly apologize to whomever owned/cared for this cat, so I'm lobbing this feeble apology out into the karmic/cosmic void.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Low Society

One of my guiltiest pleasures is observing what is shamefully referred to as "high society." From the earliest age, I've devoured the society pages and followed the boldfaced names. Perhaps it was the influence of my grandmother, who was a diva of unparalleled proportions. Or perhaps it was simply the fact that I've always been imbued with an affinity for life's finer pleasures. Or perhaps it's just that I like "pretty things" in the words of Rufus Wainwright. I take society at face-value: Sure, it's shallow, pretentious, ridiculous and exclusionary. But, again, paying homage to Wainwright, "Oh, what a world." It's just great fun sometimes.

Now, I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but it bears being said that society has not always been so friendly to Jews. Of course, as American Jews moved out of the lower strata of society and into the upper echelons in terms of sheer wealth, society, surprise, surprise, embraced members of the tribe a little more. But it was always a wink, wink, nod, nod kind of thing. In New York society, Jews have earned and hold their rightful place, sure. Many of New York's most prominent society fixtures are members of the tribe (MOTs). However, journey down to Palm Beach, and you'll notice fewer Golds, Bergs and Steins on the guestlists. So be it. The Jews who are members of Palm Beach society, tend to fall into the nouveau category, and how vulgar is that? There are a few Jewish old money--but not true "old" money, Jewish old money, which still means recent immigration--types that are the creme de la creme of international society such as the Lauders. But these families are few and far between.

OK, so my point with all this is that I've been observing this world for some time now, from Florida to California--well, Hollywood really throws society a curve ball, but that's beside the point--to New York, the center of all things. And I attended my share of society functions in New York, which, are in and of themselves, perhaps the most comical, fascinating and bizarre petri dishes of human interaction and behavior in the world. Because in New York society, if you're not a DuPont, Phipps, Taft, Guest or Getty, you're simply nobody, dah-ling. Sad, but true. So you just laugh at it all. In true NY-Palm Beach society, either your ancestors came over on the Mayflower or you're nouveau riche, period. And then it's like, so the fuck what? Your family could give as much money, or probably more, because as we all know society type WASPS are often very stingy wrt charities, to charity than a social register type, but if you're last name isn't one of the old ones, you're nobody. That's just the way it works, and frankly, it's just absurd.

Because, in the end, who the hell cares what your last name is and where your ancestors came from? Are you a generous person? Do you pay it forward? Do you share the wealth? Do you try to leave a positive legacy on this earth? Do you contribute something worthwhile to "society?" If yes, then, as far as I'm concerned, you're right up there with the Phippses, DuPonts, etc. The Jews, see, we do it better. We don't care who the hell your great-great-great grandaddy was. We actually don't care whether you went to Andover or Choate or Harvard or Yale. We don't care if your diamonds came from Graff. (We do care if your diamonds are real, but, preferably, they should come from 47th Street.) What we do care about is whether you are a generous giver. We care about what charities you donate to and how much money you give back in proportion to your wealth. Whether you're new money or old money, if you're writing the checks to the charities, come on in.

This is a rather longwinded way of me saying that I went to my first "society" event in Miami last night, and what a breath of fresh air it was compared to my experiences at New York society events. The people were genuinely friendly, the music was phat, the mood was casual, people were wearing everything from Hermes to American Apparel, and you know what? A fabulous time was had by all. I was genuinely shocked at how open, friendly and warm everyone was. How welcoming and interested and receptive people were.
"Would you like to join our committee?"
"What do you mean? You don't need a DNA sample and a genealogy tree? Well, then, why, yes, I would be delighted to be more involved in the arts."

Oh, and can I just describe the setting for you? OK. There is this island here called Fisher.
According to it's web site, "Originally built in the 1920's by William and Rosamund Vanderbilt as their splendid winter estate, Fisher Island has enjoyed a long, storied history of entertaining the luminaries of its time." Blah, blah, blah. The long and the short of it is that this is where Oprah and the Olsen twins have pads. You must take a boat to and fro, there is a heliport, the biggest yachts docked outside of Monte Carlo, and more security than the Pentagon. From the time you drive onto the car ferry to your approach at the person's front door, you are escorted by security guards. This apartment was utterly fab, owned by a single guy around my age, with a terrace that everyone I chatted with characterized by excaliming, "this is bigger than my whole apartment." The terrace--I have a thing for terraces--was at least 1,000 sq ft, with gorgeous views of the ocean and the golf course.

But the best part was the people, who were all, every last one of them, completely without attitude and pretense. They just cared about the arts, having fun and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Really, who could ask for anything else? But this island, although extraordinarily pristine, would have its drawbacks in terms of living. Like, for instance, can you imagine getting shitfaced in South Beach and then having to sit on a slow-moving, vertigo-inducing boat flanked by serious security guards in order to stumble into your home? Or how about this, as one of the guys I was with observed, regarding our host:

"What the hell does he do if he hooks up with a girl? Calls her a taxi and sends her off on a two hour long walk of shame back to the mainland? Or makes her walk to the ferry? That would have to be the worst walk of shame ever...can you imagine him saying, 'Hey, baby, want to take the ferry back to my place? You'll get home in like two days.' Do they even have cabs on this island?"

Probably not, but I'm guessing that one of the golf-cart-driving security guards would gladly escort you back to the ferry if you asked them nicely. En Espanol.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

uh oh

So yesterday I experienced my first true thunderstorm since moving here. For those of you unfamiliar with the myriad machinations of Florida weather, a primer. Beginning in the summer and continuing into the early fall, the skies open up and release torrential downpours every day at about 4 p.m. Yesterday however, the onslaught began at about 3 p.m. and did not stop all night. Fine. It's just rain. But, driving in the rain, oh what a tangled web. And, to set the scene, I'd woken up at 5 a.m., have a raging cold, and still have not fully orientated myself with my new car. Sure, I knew how to turn on the wipers, but did I know that they have some sort of censor and adjust their own speed? Nooooo, why the hell would I know that. Technology can be really scary sometimes.

I get home, after an hour long drive—it is usually 30 mins exactly—and look out onto my balcony. The furniture is literally swaying, and the floor is soaking wet. I dart outside and remove the cushions from the sette and the armchair and bring them inside, getting whipped by the water while only out there for two secs. It pours for the duration of the night. I sleep restlessly to begin with, then, suddenly, I am jolted wide awake by what sounds like bombs going off all around me at 5 a.m. In that twilight phase, between sleeping and waking up, I thought I was still living in California and it was earthquake time. The thunder was jarring, so tremendous I could've sworn it was shaking the apartment. I did fall back asleep, but after some palpitations. My first thought was, "God, I'm glad Wally is not here, he would be having a major panic attack." My second was, "Holy shit, how the HELL am I going to get through hurricane season????????"

I do miss Wally terribly, and tomorrow is my first volunteer session at the Humane Society, so I'm sure being around all those other dogs will only make me miss him more. Who wants to take (make? I'm not a gambler) the over-under on whether I'll last a year without him? Pics of the apt and Wally and me in happier times.

Monday, May 15, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


Ummm, I changed my posting thingamajig, and now all my comments have evaporated. I'm too over it to try to get them back, and what's the point anyway, but this new commenting apparatus seems to have actually posted an entry on my behalf. OK. Fab. Spent a sedate weekend with the family and the dog in northern Fla. Though I am loathe to admit it, Wally actually seems happier, or, shall I say, less neurotic/anxious/psychotic, while living with the folks. I guess that with two sprightly bitches to play with, he's considerably more relaxed and just generally more upbeat. He was less clingy, calmer and seemed less despondent when I made my exit. Ahhh, the good ol' days--when Wally was a crazed bat out of hell and mommy was a neurotic, rodent-phobic freak. Where does the time go?

Seriously though, it's nice to return home to a place without the, albeit perhaps slightly irrational, fear that critters will have invaded in one's absence. And the folks' home is now just a short flight away. I hopped on the 7 a.m. flight this morning and drove straight to work from the airport. Of course, I woke at 5 a.m., and, the last time I glimpsed those numbers on a clock I hadn't yet gone to bed, but I made it in one piece. And the Fort Lauderdale aiport has valet. Sweet.

Speaking of dogs, mental health, etc., In the Styles section of the NYT this weekend, there was a really funny piece. It seems that if I were still a Manhattanite and the Wally issue arose in a non-pet-friendly building, I could hire a lawyer and get him into the building by saying he was a "emotional support dog." Those of you who know me, know that I would surely not hesitate to do that. Anywho, the funniest part of this story is that the DOT apparently cannot discriminate against the mentally ill who insist, via doctor's letters, that their pets are "emotional support" pets. Sooooo, the airlines have their fair share of "emotional support" goats, monkeys, and the best--an "emotional support" duck whose owner dressed it in clothes! Can you imagine? Boarding a plane and seeing in the cabin a duck decked out to the nines? Yeah, sounds like that pet is doing A LOT to improve its owner's mental stability. The story is LOL funny though and worth a read:
Wagging the dog

Friday, May 12, 2006

Socialite Stories

I have to say that for the amount of "fake" bloggers/people/media creations out there, it's the bona fide people who are the most fascinating. Case in point, "socialite" Melissa C. Morris, nee Stanley,
Melissa C. Morris, who, recently married man about Manhattan "socialite" Chappy Morris. I've never related to the whole May-December thing, but, hey, whatever floats your yacht.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Slipping into Suburbia

Nothing too exciting to report on this end. I've become a housewife with no house and no husband. It seems most of the drama has faded; could it have been a New York thing? I've somehow slipped into a decidedly domestic routine down here, though I am sans significant other or even cuddly canine. And on that front, some bad news that I am only now digesting. Despite the fortuitous sighting of an old friend of dad's who resides in my Nazi-run building, it seems that smuggling Wally in is simply not an option. So I suppose I will have to make do with frequent visits to Jackassville and my upcoming volunteer sessions at the North Miami Beach Humane Society. I went there for an orientation session this weekend, and it's quite an impressive facility. Privately run, not a stench of urine or feces to be found. Of course I wanted to adopt each and every one of the barky boogers, but my condo restrictions prevented yet another impulse buy. Working, sleeping, eating--I think I am now like most other humans. Boring.

And I love it how I've gone from being intimidated by the whole driving thing, to being another crazy, bat out of hell on the road, blaring my horn at all the old grannies. I'd been driving around with a temporary plate, and since I got the car on eBay, yes, eBay people, the license plate that was mailed to me was without screws. Somehow I knew this would be a problem. I was perfectly content to let the metal plate rot in my trunk and cruise around with the paper one in my window—hey, the expiration date had rubbed off, so who would be the wiser? Surely a traffic cop would let me off. But uncle insisted I run to Pep Boys on my lunch hour to get the screws. It took, literally, an hour of me and this very kind Pep Boy's employee, opening up several packs of screws, making several trips out to the car, asking several people for screw specs for Mercedes, in order to find a measly two screws. When I returned to the office, I commented that it had actually taken me longer to find and secure license plate screws than it had to purchase the damned car. Oh, the joys of life in suburbia. Don't worry, once hurricane season begins I'm sure I'll have more exciting stories to regale you with.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A question: Do we think that if we could actually, legally and morally, buy husbands or wives of our own choosing, that the divorce rate would still be roughly 50%?

If you could buy your beau on eBay as easily as I did my car, would matters of the heart be easier or more straightforward? This train of thought is, of course, prompted by the below joke, not any other sort of malicious intentions.

And, in response to the peeps who will say that you can pretty much already do such a thing on JDate or, in my ideal spouse-buying world, material misrepresentation would not be an issue. There would be, like, fines and shit. I am clearly sleep deprived.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Recurring Theme

As the saying goes, those who can't do teach. Or write about it. Or whatever. My good friend sent me this forward with regards to my recent theme of's pretty dead on. check out her blog, too:

Always Double Back/SquirrelFishin

The Husband Store Is Now Open!

A store that sells new husbands has just opened in New York City, where women may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates .

You may visit the store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch: you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.

On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs.

The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids.

The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have
jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous and help with the housework.

"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads: Floor 5 - These men
have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework,
and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the
sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There
are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women
are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

A New Wives store opened across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money.

The third through sixth floors have never been visited....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I miss my dog. Waaaaah. Mommy is going to visit him for mother's day though, which will probably be excruciating for both of us. I would soooo try to sneak the little booger into living here—I'm having perverse fantasies of just buying a Vuitton dog carrier that looks like a handbag and toting him around in that, after the fucking "board officers" have vacated the premises daily—but getting caught would mean eviction and the thought of moving again is a huge deterrant. If anyone reading this who knows me thinks of someone who resides in my Nazi-like condo building, please share.

Anywho, people continue to solicit my relationship advice for reasons unbenownst to me—hellooooo, single, perpetually?— and while giving a friend said advice about her latest beau, we were discussing how the pace of most relationships/dating scenarios we've encountered lately seems to be completely skewed.
In my experience, it's either too much too soon, e.g. calling every day or several times a day, wanting to see you/smother you all the time, or not enough, e.g. not calling for extended periods of time then popping back up and thinking everything is kosher. I think I'd prefer the too much too soon approach b/c then at least you can write them off for being stalkers, whereas the never-callers tend to have a way of worming themselves back into your life just when you think they are done with you or you are done with them.

And, oh yeah, I'm now a state-certified/licensed mortgage broker—how the hell did that happen? I'll bet those of you out there who know me well could have NEVER predicted this path...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Listen, I am probably the last rightful person to be doling out relationship advice, since it seems that I am the embodiment of the toxic bachelorette, but ask and ye shall receive anony-commenters.
I think that if you surmise that you are in a dead-end relationship, then you have probably answered your own question. What are we talking about here—you want to marry or move in and he doesn't? I just don't know if I buy into the whole commitment-phobe thing; I think that when you meet the "right" person, that so-called phobia probably evaporates. So if you want something and he's not giving it to you, then I guess you are at some sort of dead end. For, if you are not getting what you want or need out of a relationship or even a friendship, then really what is the point? I don't believe in ultimatums, because, who the hell wants to force someone's hand into marriage or commitment, but if you feel it's shit or get off the pot time, and he's not shitting, well, then time's a wasting and perhaps you should explore your options. Then again, as I've said before, I'd rather be alone than be with the wrong person. But I am the exception and I think that most humans are ensconced in relationships that are probably less than what they dreamed of, each for varying reasons. But take this advice with several salt grains, as it's emanating from someone who has maybe one decent date every six months and is destined for spinsterhood.
And also keep in mind that the grass is always greener; singlehood really isn't as much fun as it may look from the vantage point of someone who feels that they are "missing something" by being in a relationship. Trust me, you're not missing anything—it's a jungle out here.

In other news . . . I joined the force of labor today and as a consequence am very tired. I am still enjoying Miami and the weather, but the wind on the key is absolutely out of control, my poor, sad, little plant is getting whiplash. Also, I looked up the sale price of the condo I am renting today in the real estate thingy and realized that the landlord is making a pretty penny of my rent. The value of this little place has doubled over the past ten or so years, so I can certainly see why so many people buy down here.
Though that is one area where I can claim to be commitment phobic—real estate. How can one commit to living in a place for longer than one year? THAT scares me, not relationships...