Thursday, November 9, 2006

I “Spy” a Billionaire

I love Ellen Barkin and that brash, soulful, sexy, more-than-a-little-tough thing she does on the big screen. “Sea of Love” convinced me to put away the altar girl robes for a spell and invest in a slinky black number and a passable set of highlights—Mr. Pacino, are you out there? Time for our close-up. But it was this October when she unceremoniously dumped $15 million of wedding baubles— and any lingering sentiments for ex-husband Ronald Perelman—on the Christie’s auction block that I became mildly obsessed with Ms. Barkin and her bravado. The “purging of the [Perelman] union” was one heck of a move. Brassy dame. [End scene.]
“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” Off the silver screen and somewhere on Lafayette Street, I fielded the aforementioned line from the ex Mr. Barkin—corporate raider, billionaire and blonde aficionado. Ronnie (this is my site, I’ll call him what I please) smelled vaguely of tea tree oil and menthol; his hat was the orange of a traffic cop’s vest and his line of vision met my décolletage straight on.
“Pardon? Oh, no, I don’t think that we’ve ever met.” Original, I know. Not to worry. I followed that line of vanilla with a request for one of those adorable mini bottles of “Moet.” We were standing at the bar of the “Spy” magazine book launch party, after all. A girl needs something to occupy her nervous fingers. But before I could wrangle my bottle of bubbly, a photographer came over to take our picture—me, Ronnie and my favorite sex columnist, Julia Allison. Such a happy–ridiculously mismatched– trio.
Within the next two minutes and with the aplomb of, well, Ronald Perelman, he informed me of his profession—“CEO and chairman of the board of ‘Revlon’”—and his religion, “I’m Jewish, you?”
My Lord, this was the most straightforward Manhattan bar pick-up transaction that I had ever experienced! Was this how the media elite operated? I had just sipped a drink next to Anna Wintour, spoken with Kurt Andersen, admired the coiffes of Graydon Carter and Harvey Weinstein… Clearly I was way out of my league.
Ronnie and I parted ways and I wondered what it would feel like to wrestle a fifteen carat diamond over the ring finger of my left hand. Pretty uncomfortable, huh?

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