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Did I really just say that?! Read on for stories, sagas, and tips for surviving the city...

Let’s All Dance the Whore-ah!

By J-What · February 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

After a drink or two last Saturday night, I was tipsy and trying my best to eavesdrop on the Chelsea-boy-banter at the table beside me. So, I hardly took notice or offense when my friend “D” looked at both me and his gorgeous, glowing, (and pregnant) wife, and exclaimed: “girls are whores!” In fact, I couldn’t help but agree with this stolen Slick Rick lyric on some level. No, I’m not shrinking under the weight of centuries-old misogyny. I’m just calling a duck, “a duck”, or a whore, “a whore” when I come across one.

Let me explain how the conversation segued from the agony of Exersaucer assembly to smut—or more specifically, slut. A mix of Sancerre and scotch unlocked my husband’s vault around ten pm. He revealed that that very morning, he’d been accosted in the elevator by a walk-of-shame skank, who innocently asked for his number in an attempt to “get to know her new neighbors.” Caught off guard, and still in a haze of sleeping pills, a 6:15 spin class, and a harried pit-stop at Dean and Deluca, he unwittingly provided this pick-up artiste with the digits to his new iPhone 4s. Then he thought, shit. Within the hour, Noelle (sounds like a stripper’s name to me) was texting away, telling my husband he seemed “cool,” and wondering whether or not he had a “wife.” Realizing immediately that he would never be “cool” enough to get away with any sort of side action, (and as I suspect, realizing that she wasn’t nearly as hot as I am in my thirty-something prime), he confessed to having a ball and a chain and a baby and a dog. Suffice it to say, the texting never escalated to sexting, and will probably just materialize into awesome awkwardness one day in the laundry room. But what if my dearly beloved wasn’t tethered to anchors of traditionalism (and a fabulous better-half)? Would Miss Christmas have freshened up a bit and asked him to check out apartment 20A all before the stroke of noon?

Perhaps I’m being too hasty in hanging the poor girl by the thread of her thong. After all, my twenties weren’t exactly spent in book clubs, knitting circles, and tragic piano bars on the Upper West Side. I, too, have my share of whore-lore. There was the time I accidentally asked out a married man, and proceeded to tell him what a “fun date” he was missing out on. Oops. Then there was my old stomping ground—the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop pre-Schraeger renovation—where I informed a complete stranger that he was clearly on a terrible first date, and that he should take me out instead. Wow. I definitely had a lobster dinner with one guy, and breakfast with another in a twenty-four hour time span. And come to think of it, I once stuck a note on my neighbor’s door, asking for a tour of his sprawling studio. Yikes. 2003 was quite a year.

Do you know what all of this means? That if there are J-Whats and Noelles out there, there have got to be millions more. Has anyone seen The Bachelor lately? Cut-throat Courtney invited bumbling Ben for a skinny-dip after knowing him for what—a week? Unless he suffered from shrinkage, they totally smooshed. And why? Because men can’t seem to resist women who set their sights on something and chase it with the tenacity of a Kardashian momager. If they look half-way decent in good lighting, and are willing to take their clothes off, it’s pretty much a boner-trumps-brains situation.

So, how do we prevent perfectly good boyfriends and husbands from falling prey to these so-called “whores?”Become them. Or, Honey Badger. She just takes what she wants. Even if you’re tired from proofing your PHD dissertation, or just pushed out your third kid (a behemoth 10-pounder), or need to catch up on four weeks’ worth of Hoarders, go after your man. Mascara on, granny-panties off, chest high, lights low, hair down, martini up, butt in, retainer out. Because if you don’t, someone else will. And for the record, my doting, devoted, darling husband has already forgotten whatsername.

Shit Girls Say on The Upper East Side

By J-What · January 24, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Many of you might have been wondering what happened to J-What?! and her witty writings for the past year, while others might have spent more time questioning why and how The Voice is still on television. Either way, I’m back from what I’d like to call my “maternity leave,” and Xtina really needs to lose her baby weight five years after the fact. So, now that I’m sleeping through the night again (thank you, Klonopin) and can button my jeans, I’m ready to get my blog on. Don’t get too excited, though. I have to reenter the world of sardonic snappishness and sarcasm slowly. Which is why I’m making my comeback with a parody of the parody Shit Girls Say: not the most creative thing in the world, but if you read it aloud in a slightly nasal, slightly valley-girl, painfully penetrating voice, you might just let out a guffaw or three. It’s good to be back…and there will be more to come. I love how dirty that just sounded btw.

Pressing Questions:

Can I have a spicy tuna handroll, with very, very little rice? 

Is it cold out?

Are those earrings real?

What did you get as a push present?

Where did you go on your babymoon?

Do you want to do Lenny’s?

Are you doing the Hamptons this summer?

Do you think she’s pregnant?

Can I still wear open-toed shoes?

Where do you think you’ll end up?

Are they south of the highway?

Do you think he’ll get a big bonus?

What color should I get on my toes?

How much did you tip your doormen?

Are you obsessed with 16 Handles?

Not to be annoying, but can we stay uptown for brunch?

Can I have a sip? Are you sick?

Do you have Purell?

Do you have gum?

Are they getting divorced?

Where’d you get your Moncler?

Wait, you still have sex?

Wait, your blow-out only cost $20?

So is it bad that my baby isn’t talking?

Wait, is it bad that I ate two slices of pizza?

Is it weird he only took me for drinks?

Is it weird he took me to Mediterraneo for dinner?

So is this your starter apartment?

How are they affording to stay in the city?

How much do you think he makes?

Should we do Forty Carrots or Fred’s?

How much do you tip the manicurist?

Are kale chips fried?

Are you into green juice?

What’s the difference between the chicken salad and the tarragon chicken salad?

Does the tuna have a lot of mayo in it?

Are you going to upgrade your ring?

Do you think it’s bad if I spend $1200 on boots?

Did you love Parrot Cay?

Did you fly first class? Did you use miles?

Does my tan look stupid?

Did she have work done?

Can I have an iced-decaf skim latte?

Are you on the waitlist for Free to Be?

Did you get an application to the Y?

Did you watch the Bachelor last night?

Minor complaints:

This cab is so stop and go, I’m nauseous.

Oh my god, that yogurt made me nauseous.

My stomach hurts.

I’m so parched.

I have a migraine.

My nanny’s mother died—whatever.

I actually wanted the dressing on the side.

I said carob chips, and these are chocolate.

Fuck, I just ruined my manicure.

Oh my god, my husband won’t stop calling me.

My husband is so annoying right now.

My sitter just quit, I’m like, dying.

My husband does nothing.

Oh my god, my mother-in-law is so annoying right now.

I feel gross.

That massage sucked.

Bold Declarations:

Taking a cab to spin class still costs less than a trainer, so whatever…

This year, we might just do a nice vacay instead of the Hamptons.

I’d only do Bridge or East.

Her husband so cheats on her.

He’s just the best baby.

He’s been sleeping through the night since six weeks.

I would only live West of Third.

I have to have a washer/dryer in my actual apartment.

I’m so moving out of the city before the preschool process—I just refuse to do it.

He’s not divorced yet, but whatever…

Whatever, I got it during friends and family at Bloomingdale’s.

I hate Long Island.

I think we’ll end up in Westchester.

We’ll probably start trying again when Jagger turns two.

Primola got a B—I’m so not eating there.

I’m so over Atlantic Grill.

I’m so not into Miami.

I’m so over Chris Harrison.

I totally need a driver.

Keen Observations:

Not to be a snob, but their building is so ghetto.

Their parents totally bought that apartment for them.

She totally has a trust fund.

Ew, pigeons are like, everywhere.

His hairline’s majorly receding.


Her ass got huge.

Your apartment is soooo cute.

The city is just so expensive.

The weather in Florida is so iffy.

The city sucks in the summer.

She’s cute, but too skinny.

Her body is good, but her face is gross.

Not to be rude, but her kid is so annoying.

Not to be a bitch, but her husband is so not good-looking.

Not to be whatever, but she is so whatever.

Some of the shit girls say on the Upper East Side might be mind-boggling, or better yet—mindless—but is it any worse than the shit girls say down on Stanton?

“Oh my god, your haircut’s amazing—how did they get it so asymmetrical?”

Maybe they’re more cerebral, and look more like socialists than socialites, but let’s face it—would any self-respecting man, who’s at the very least, “great on paper,” take a bespectacled- beatnik-barista-bookstore-owner over Billy Joel’s blue-collar fantasy circa 1983? So own the shit you say, girls of the Upper East Side, and on occasion, do yourselves a favor, and let him lead the convo.

On The Move?

By J-What · February 16, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

All anyone talks about lately is getting “priced out” of the city—as if Scarsdale, Greenwich, and Roslyn are bargain substitutes. One could easily become more highly levered than Trump in the nineties by jumping on the bridge and tunnel bandwagon. Once you start grooming your lawn and your child at Stars of Tomorrow, the wallet never shuts. My parents were smart—they told me early on that I had no star quality and should just succumb to the life of a blogger with fewer than thirty followers.

As much as I, too, cringe at the flickering taxi meter that has become my urban existence, it’s less about getting priced out and more about my feeling increasingly out of place. Even the good old Upper East is starting to feel vaguely alien. Shake things up, you suggest? Move to another zip code and (gasp!) school district, you dare say? Not so easy. Every ‘hood has its reasons for being both noteworthy and so not-worth-it, and I fear that settling down in a city-style shoebox will be more like settling. Let’s take a look at the evidence as it so unabashedly presents itself to the keen observer.

Tribeca: While Duane Park Patisserie is hands down the best bakery in the entire city, if you don’t have at least two sticks in the bank to buy, fugghettaboutit! Never sure what will kill you first—your mortgage, your Super Soul membership, or your weekly dinners at Locanda Verde—you can only dream that David Bouley will buy you out of your building and save you from foreclosure. And as cute as my husband may be, he simply can’t pull off skinny jeans and a fedora.

West Village: Who do you think you are? SJP? It’s likely you won’t have an assistant extraordinaire who is going to fix your Manolos after you hobble down the cobblestoned streets that once seemed so charming. You will not have a lawyer to challenge the squatting rights of bedbugs in your adorable studio with exposed brick. There isn’t an Escalade waiting out front to shuttle you from West 10th to West 4th without getting lost. Give up already.

East Village: I don’t have tattoos or weird piercings. I don’t like cats nor would I walk one on a leash. It would never work out.

Union Square: I always wanted a Wendy’s next door! Isn’t Union Square essentially Times Square with a Trader Joe’s and a smellier subway station? This patch of urban hell is good for a Forever 21 fix when you’re in between diets and refuse to invest in new JBrands, but beyond that it’s just a cluster of chain stores with a rat problem. At least if you purchase a Babolat racquet at Paragon, you might have a better shot at smacking those rodents down a la Djokovic.

Chelsea: I just don’t have time to spend four straight (or gay) hours at the gym—sorry!

Gramercy Park: Why does everyone forget the “park” part? You do NOT live in Gramercy if you overlook Rolf’s on 22nd and 3rd. You do NOT live in Gramercy if you reside next door to Blue Smoke. You do NOT live in Gramercy if everyone around you says they are “so over Murray Hill and love living at the Manhattan Promenade in the heart of Gramercy.” Unless you have a key to the park, you live in a non-descript, unidentifiable area of Manhattan that fell into namelessness for a reason.

Murray Hill: If you were born in the eighties, it’s about time you started moving out of this post-college, ten-block dorm-replacement. If you were born in the seventies and you still live in a white brick Murray Hill monstrosity, either lie about your age or pretend you’re a cardiology resident at NYU. No reason to live here beyond your J-Dating years unless you are just that addicted to guys named Matt who wear Adidas pants or girls named Lindsey who have chemically straightened hair.

Midtown West: The Time Warner Center provides a certain purpose, but if I wanted to live near a mall, I would move to New Jersey where I wouldn't have to pay sales tax or see tourists taking pictures of The Gap. 

Upper East Side: Can I really envision myself kvelling alongside other carb-orexic moms all because my two year-old memorized the Shabbat song? At twenty grand a year, my preschool prodigy had better be belting out Verdi opera…or at least Bieber.

Upper West Side: How come everyone bustling down Broadway looks like they were just let loose from a leftist pep rally where shampoo, clean clothing, and Venus Gillettes were strictly off-limits? Easy access to the park is cool and I certainly can’t complain about Juice Generation’s scrumptious smoothies, but can we trust living among a population who swears by Crocs regardless of decade or snow buildup?

Brooklyn?! I have a soft-spot for the borough of my childhood, and yet the thought of returning makes me want to hurl into every hipster’s soy latte. The anti-Manhattan attitude is so 2009 and breast-feeding ‘til your tot is three is too European for my American ta-tas. Plus, it’s still a subway ride away to the nearest Whole Foods. Utter (and udder) barbarism!

So what to do, where to go? There’s no magic eight ball advising on this one. Perhaps we are purposely destined to always feel slightly beyond our means, mildly irritable, inexplicably uncomfortable. After all—isn’t this the cocktail that makes us New Yorkers and in turn, oh-so fabulous? Screw the suburbs! For now I’m remotely happy being miserable and cramped and entrenched in filth and maybe that’s all any of us can ask for. And if you can’t beat those Upper East Side moms…just get better tutors!

The Grass is Always Greener...

By J-What · January 27, 2011 · 0 Comments ·


While all of my BFFs are married, knocked up, or parents to twins, the “marital noose” has not yet asphyxiated many of my husband’s cohorts (and such catches they are!). Are they secretly sobbing into their Starbucks when Saturday mornings shape up to be a lonely combo of stained sheets and silence? Or are they deftly avoiding the labor of love we call marriage? And oh what work it is!

I would be lying if I didn’t occasionally long for the days of my single self, when I subsisted on fro-yo and cocktails a la Gramercy Park Rooftop pre-renovation. Few things could rival the rush of getting ready, wriggling into my tightest jeans, and hobbling around in my highest heels, all with the intent of meeting that elusive “someone.” What was a bigger thrill—making eye contact with the hot-but-way-too-old-for-me-bartender at One Little West Twelfth Street, or throwing my number around to bankers, and lawyers, and models—oh my? Of course I can’t help but cringe at my hazy recollection of nightclub gyrations now that I’m older and only a couple paws short of being a cougar. But was being single as miserable as my twenty-something lamentations made it out to be? Let’s take a look, shall we?

When You’re Single, Your Fave Four Little Words Are: You look hot tonight.

When You’re Married, Say Nothing Unless It’s: I’m raising your allowance.

Taboo Topic Of Singletons: Alcohol-induced impotence.

Don’t Mention It When You’re Married: Swinging.

Biggest Relationship Woe When You’re Unattached: Not having time to shave your legs before a third date.

Biggest Marital Mishap: Your husband’s urine on the floor, rim, and seemingly everywhere but the bowl.

Staying Slim When You’re Single: Scooped out bagel for breakfast, cube of cheese for lunch, spicy tuna handroll (no rice) for dinner, and a cigarette digestif.

The Marital Menu: Soul Cycle for breakfast, skip lunch, Primola for dinner, and a Skinny Cow Flying Saucer for good measure.

Hamptons Single-Style: Hitchhike of shame back to the share house.

Hamptons Couple-Classic: Sneaking into Super Saturday because your spouse won’t spring for a ticket.

Single Splits: After 3 unanswered texts, you can be found getting a mani-pedi, stealing US Weekly from the salon, and curling up with Noodles 28 and The Rabbit. He can be found at Wildwood BBQ, watching college football, and discussing your BJ skills with twenty of his closest friends.

Le Divorce: After detecting infidelity via Facebook, you can be found draining your secret account at Citibank and heading to The Mark to land husband #2. He can be found calling his lawyer and deleting all evidence from his iPad.

Single Club Scene: In my day it was all about Float, Spa, and Submercer. Dropping the nebulous name “Noah” got me VIP access every time to dance on banquettes and drink for free.

Married Bar Hopping: As if I would go out on a Thursday night and miss Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen! Plus, I’m apparently too short to get into the Boom-Boom Room.

Making Up When You’re Single: Getting a BBM in the AM reading: Fine, I’ll introduce you to my friends.

Marriage On The Mend: Your husband puts his underwear in the hamper instead of on the floor two inches away as per usual. If he’s really on your shit list, he might even do laundry.

Singles’ Secret Fantasy: Meeting the parents and nabbing a six-carat heirloom in under a year.

Dreaming Big When You’re Married: Having a live-in maid.

Five Word Phrase You Never Want To Hear When You’re Single—Ever: I gave you an STD.

Five FML Words When You’re Married: I got my girlfriend pregnant.

Best And Worst Of Singledom:

Best: Wearing slutty clothes and getting away with it.

Worst: Exhaustion.

Best And Worst Of Married Life:

Best: Getting checked out by your husband’s friends.

Worst: Sharing the covers and sometimes, deodorant.

So where do we stand? Are we team marriage or does tying the knot resemble something unsightlier than Kelly Ripa’s bellybutton? Perhaps it’s time to accept that whatever your sitch (or your hitch), there are many paths to happiness. After all, you are never truly alone when you’re single (there are pets and 876-numbers to solve that problem). And even though you may have watched your better half chew dinner open-mouthed to the point of nausea, it’s nice to know there’s always someone to come home to once you’ve hooked onto a husband. Don’t forget that whether you’re single or a couple, burnt out or bored, a trench coat and stilettos can spice up any dynamic. That being said, my doting darling is set to walk through the door any minute—but get your mind out of the gutter—it’s impossible to blog in a patent leather corset…

Bring on the Boring

By J-What · January 14, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

What does it say about our culture that Rob Lowe’s career was destroyed not by a dalliance with a prepubescent fan but rather by an off-key duet with Disney’s Snow White? Why after all this time am I still Team Charlie Sheen? Is it deranged that David Duchovny’s sex-crazed, self-destructive alter ego on Californication is my idea of a dream date? How does John Bender suddenly become kissable by the end of The Breakfast Club? And let’s face it: we only pay attention to nice-guy Nate Archibald when he’s high and hanging out with Chuck’s cohort of hookers. After thousands in psychoanalysis and years of dissecting daddy issues, could it be, for better or worse, we still prefer bad boys to good ones?

 They’re cooler and harder to read than the guys who show up at our door with dinner and dry cleaning in hand. They’re “spontaneous” because they call us to come over at one in the morning. They don’t sit around on Saturdays wondering whether the snow will stick and they don’t order from the low-salt, low-cholesterol menu. When they tell us it’s over, we’re sure they’ll come crawling back because we are going to be the ones to break them down. But history has proven otherwise. After a few motorcycle rides and matching tattoos, we’ll be left heartbroken and alone, calling disconnected numbers to no avail. We’ll run into them with younger, hotter versions of ourselves only to be introduced by the wrong name. We’ll wonder for weeks how they could clear out our fridges and bank accounts without leaving so much as a note or a string cheese behind. And let’s face it: even Denise Richards couldn’t pry Charlie away from his prostitutes. Hello…did you see her in Wild Things?!

As Valentine’s Day approaches at a staggering speed, the lesson to be learned is that bad boys are thrilling in theory, but in the flesh might offer you headache, heartache, and HPV. And if we could tame them and deem them disease-free, would they still be quite so desirable? This year, let’s celebrate men who follow through with theatre tickets, snuggle on Sundays, and don’t make a living playing scratch-off games. They’ll bring us soup when we’re sick and assure us we’re sexier than a Bond girl. And if you’re sick of flowers and poetry and drugstore chocolate this season, you know what to do: just ask for a good, old spanking.


How Time Flies on The Upper East Side

By J-What · December 27, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Now that we’re through naming who’s naughty, nice, and just plain nasty, another annual letdown awaits. New Year’s Eve repeatedly promises the thrill and intrigue of swapping spit with a stranger, and yet usually falls flat with broken resolutions, a selection of short guys, and the threat of a cold sore. Could this year be the exception? At the stroke of twelve on Saturday, we will usher in not only a new year, but the start of an entirely different decade. And it makes me wonder, how did ten years already elapse from the turn of the millennium, a time defined by the Y2K scare and Britney Spears’ virginity? How could it be that I’m nearly eleven years older and only about two and a half years wiser? Instead of providing you with one of those predictable, overdone round-ups of 2010 or a “best-of, worst-of” list, I thought I would reflect on how far (or little) we’ve come since 2000.

Most Commonly Asked Question 2000:

How come this guy I met on JDate looks nothing like his profile picture?

Biggest Puzzler 2010:

How did I ever live in Murray Hill?

Best Chance of Brokering a Booty-Call 2000:

Tie: Tasti-D-Lite on 29th and Third; Sheep’s Meadow, mid-park, April-June.

The Place to Land Three Carats 2010:

Southampton Car Wash, 5 pm, Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Late-Nite Meal 2000:

Brick Oven Pizza 33.

Midnight Snack 2010:

Prenatal vitamins, three Metamucil, and an Ambien.

2000: If You’ve Been Set-Up with Every Straight Man in the City, You’ll Run into an Ex at:


2010: If the Only Guy You Haven’t Dated at this Point is Chaz Bono, Chances are You’ll Cross Paths with an Ex at:


What to Wear in 2000:

Anything from the backless and trashy bin at H & M or Pookie and Sebastian guaranteed fast-track entry into Eugene.

Signature Outfit 2010:

Moncler jacket, Ugg boots, leggings, and a pair of Oliver Peoples aviators. We can do Jane Fonda’s workout, fly a plane, and climb Everest simultaneously.

A Vacation Done Right 2000:

Away we went to Grandmother’s house: Century Village-Phase Four in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Highlights included tuna at 11, Macaroni Grill at 5, and a 50 cent movie at the clubhouse with a complimentary hearing device.

Going on Holiday 2010:

The recession has forced some of us to choose between the Hamptons and Hawaii. The rest of us opt for neither and sponge off our parents’ time shares in politically unstable countries.

Biggest Regret 2000:

Tie: Living at home for a year with a twin-sized bed; showering barefoot that one time at New York Sports Club.

If you had to do it over 2010:

You would have worked for Google instead of Goldman Sachs.

Yummiest Lip-Lock on New Year’s 2000:

Lost count. Ok fine—I might be able to arrive at a three-way tie.

Kiss-Kiss, Bang-Bang 2010:

Yeah right, like I made it to midnight.

Whether you cringed, chuckled, or choked thinking about the past, present, and possible future, keep in mind that things have a way of falling into place (though this does not justify going braless, Kelly Killoren Bensimon). Happy New Year, and even if you don’t stay up to watch the ball drop, make sure to drink irresponsibly. If you can’t remember it happening, it technically didn’t…

Man Up!

By J-What · December 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Irony is in the air. A 6-foot-10-inch Jew has managed to generate more Christmas spirit than the impending arrival of everyone’s favorite, velvet-donning fat man (could George Costanza be Santa?). Amar’e Stoudemire had Madison Square Garden rocking on Friday as the New York Knicks sizzled and then fizzled against the Miami Heat, and yet in spite of our Knickerbockers’ unanticipated loss, the team and its soon-to-be MVP have managed to bring sexy back to a city overrun by eyebrow tweezing, espresso sipping metrosexuals. For the first time in over a decade, the Knicks have a shot at the Finals, and men are beginning to behave like the unruly, testosterone-driven animals that they are—yelling, hollering, beating on their hairy, sweaty chests with their fists, and wolf-whistling at cheerleaders while swigging warm beer and unabashedly biting into burgers. It was nothing short of a turn-on being a fifth row observer to the wild, unbridled aggression of alpha-males, and it made me think that maybe men are at long last returning to their roots (as opposed to dyeing them). It would be a Christmas miracle.

It was around the millennium that a new brand of man made his debut, booking facials at Cornelia Day Spa and asking the calorie count at Corner Bistro. And women, titillated by the idea of having a straight male shopping partner with zero-percent body fat, blindly accepted the slicked back hair, the Gucci shoes, and the pocket square. Manscaping, including but not limited to chest waxing, teeth bleaching, and spray tanning, was considered a perfectly acceptable pastime for our male counterparts. Then, Chuck Bass came along and further validated the need for private masseuses and neckerchiefs. If femme was good enough for Blair Waldorf, why not us?

I, too, for a time was dazzled by slim-fitting shirts, designer underwear, and meticulous cuticles. But soon the novelty wore off—I mean, what guy or girl wants to date someone more high maintenance than Wendy Williams’ bikini line? I didn’t appreciate being passed over for hours of ab-work, nor should a man know how to navigate outlet malls better than I can. Whether I had to fight for a spot in the mirror or silence a sneaky suspicion that Maurizio was more than just “a fantastic custom tailor,” when I look back…it was all so wrong.

Metrosexuals—even the genuinely heterosexual ones—really only have room for one girl in their lives. Her name is usually Brian or Jordan or Dan. No one, not even supermodels, can compete with self-love. Believe me, one more chic haircut for Tom Brady and Gisele is so out the door. Perhaps a pretty boy can get by on his looks and cultivate enough coin to provide the house with the pool and private yoga studio. But like a modern-day Narcissus, he’ll eventually take one look at the water, fall in love with his reflection, and feign drowning to get the attention of Miguel, the pool boy. Lesson learned: If your boy wears Etro, he’s totally metro, and if you leave now, you can outrun him in his Prada sneakers. Dash into the arms of someone who doesn’t daub on cologne. Find a guy who digs into chicken parmesan with abandon. You’ll never again have to wonder who looks better naked, and you can finally take down the looking glass over your bed.

Where to hunt for your man’s man in the new year? Take a whiff and follow the trail—he’s at the Garden on game night. Good news: the season is barely half over…


The Good, The Bad, and The Hideous

By J-What · November 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

 We tap our feet, twirl our hair, and check our computer clocks in an OCD frenzy waiting for Friday at five to unfold. Yet winter weekends tend to amount to a mixed bag. Our tragically American two-day reprieve from office drudgery might allow us a break from overbearing bosses and overly-cheerful coworkers. But resetting your outgoing message and changing your status to “away,” do not necessarily alleviate the stress of the Saturday-Sunday sprint. We make to-do lists, drop off dry-cleaning, pick up holiday gifts for people who likely bank more coin than we do, and commit hours to Opentable in hope of scoring a last minute reservation at Café Cluny. Sure, we might treat ourselves to a mani-pedi now and then or realize our drinks have been comped simply because we’re cute. Nevertheless, the line between working and weekending has been blurred by more than just a mild predilection for Percocet, and I have to wonder--will we ever see the non-fluorescent light? Take the past 48 hours for example…


The Good:

I rarely have a nice thing to say about the Upper West Side, despite its desperate attempt to hold my interest with a boat basin and Lululemon store. Nice try. However, this East Side snob was pleasantly surprised when I craftily snagged a table at The Mermaid Inn outpost on Amsterdam. Not only was it refreshing to show up to dinner with unwashed hair and dirty jeans and be received as a glamazon by the maitre d’, but the fish tacos (grilled upon request) were sublime and the fritto misto sampler non-greasy. My parting gift was a Fortune Teller Miracle Fish—within seconds I went from Fickle, to Passionate, to False. With that kind of bargain-basement psychoanalysis, I didn’t think twice about the twelve dollar cab ride.

The Bad:

Nothing trumps the rush of a Ritalin-Red Bull cocktail quite like a good, old-fashioned cat fight. Who knew the fur would fly all because French couturier Lanvin decided to throw H & M a bone? The faux designer duds drove lines to form as early as three am on Saturday, and somehow I managed to get mixed up in a Bieber-style mob scene of feral fashionistas. Wrongly accused of cutting in line (I’m innocent—I swear!), my killer instinct came out and I went for the jugular like any fashion-conscious feline. Suddenly, I was less Miu Miu and more Meow-Meow. The stray kitty in unfortunate stirrup pants eventually retreated with her tail between her legs, leaping straight into the paws of her husband, who looked terrified (as opposed to turned on) by the girl-on-girl action. As for me? I retracted my claws, left without a scratch, and was so exhausted by ten, I had to sneak in a cat nap before lunch.

The Very Ugly:

Since H & M was sort of like S & M, I decided to seek out the comfort of a faithful, less perverse friend. Sometimes, just click-clacking my heels on Barney’s mosaic tiled floors can lull me into a place of solitude. But stepping off the escalator on the 7th floor (you didn’t actually think I could afford the 3rd, did you?) left me with a sinking feeling, like I’d just mistakenly eaten a full-fat Fage yogurt. Every frock resembled a rag, drably hanging off the rack in black, khaki, or grey. Had Rumer Willis suddenly become Barney’s best customer? I fled the scene, went through my drawers, and much to my dismay had to admit my own rags weren’t much better. The good news is that my social calendar in the cold months only requires a Moncler and menupages. I mostly emerge to walk my dog and to work, neither of which frown upon frumpy. Only this reminds me that the work week is on the horizon, reminding me that as imperfect as the weekend can be, there’s nothing uglier than a Monday.

Don’t forget to set your alarm…I usually allow time for three stabs at the snooze.


Just the Tip...

By J-What · November 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

For a long time, only two things have disturbed me more than Toddlers in Tiaras. 1: Being forced to walk around barefoot at Kidville parties, while one-year olds turn playrooms with padded walls into petri-dishes of boogers and athlete's foot. 2: Having to stand on 69th and Lex in the blazing 8 am heat and bite my acid tongue, while the geriatric set not-so-discreetly skips ahead of me in line to board the Hampton Jitney. Is this behavior befitting Ambassador Class? But recently, I have come to realize that nothing is more irksome than waiting out the grind until December 23rd, especially when you are overworked and underpaid. Even if we actually like what we do, the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas is enough to make us contemplate throwing in the towel and starting a blog in the hope of being discovered.

Many of you know that I am completing my first novel, The Dinner Party, and I thought as an early holiday treat, I would tease you with a taste of Lainie Silver, the book's razor-sharp protagonist who has recently slept with her best friend's husband. The following is just the tip of Lainie's corporate hell:

     Shiiiiiiiiiit! I was at my building but still waiting for the elevator at eight thirty-six. I didn’t mind being late to work in theory. Aside from hating myself at this particular point in time, I also happened to hate my job. But in practice, it was always more stressful to concoct a series of pre-prepared excuses to explain tardiness than to actually be on time. The reality of being in my office for the next nine hours was like a rain cloud hovering over my head. I was like a gloomy Peanuts character. Robert Frost once said, “the brain is a wonderful organ: it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” The insatiable itch of boredom had gotten under my skin lately, and was making me crazy. I had an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, but since I needed to pay my bills while I toiled away on my novel, I took a job as the Executive Assistant to a CEO of a hedge fund. On the interview, wearing my Oliver Peoples glasses and a demure smile, I came across pretty enough and smart enough and I-can-be-pushed-around- easily enough and was offered the job that very same day. Over the course of the past four years, my role at Talon had shifted from assisting Richard (aka Dick) with his business to managing his increasingly complicated personal life. I was now on a first name basis with his wife, nanny, dry cleaner, and travel agent. Plus, his “colleague” Amelia and I were practically old friends after our many phone conversations. She even got me gifts for the holidays. While I was nothing more than a glorified gofer, which horrified my high-achieving, academic parents, the reality remained that in a bull market I was getting paid six figures for specifying “wash, press, no starch.” Like eighty-percent of the other office dolts out there, it only seemed like a bum deal until payday. Dick was in rare form and my lateness didn’t help. Often I was the office pet. Today, I was the bad child.

     “Where the fuck were you?”

     Talon didn’t have a functional HR department to frown upon Dick’s liberal use of the words “fuck,” “shit,” “prick,” and my personal and most redundant favorite “fucking mother fucker asshole.” I thought it better not to respond and to let him resume his tirade.

     “I thought I made it clear on Friday that my charity event was to be closed to everyone outside of the firm, the investors, and the prime brokers. You sent the fucking invitations to Morgan Stanley. As of last Monday, Elaine, they no longer clear our trades. Now I have to feed and entertain people who weren’t worthy of my business for the past year.”

     “Actually, Dick, you had mentioned that we should invite them anyway for good measure.”

     “I was being fucking sarcastic! You think I want to see the faces of those shit for brains morons who couldn’t calculate profits and losses no matter how much I paid them?”

     I had to think fast. Dick’s face, already scorched from years of gallivanting under the Nantucket sun, was beginning to take on a shade of eggplant.

     “I understand it’s not an ideal situation, but keep in mind it’s a good cause and the more people who show, the more money you can raise. You’ll get all of the credit, and it will be tax deductible.”

     Dick considered this, and his face became significantly less aubergine.

     “Fine Elaine. Just make sure you get those ass clowns to bid at the silent auction. I picked up enough of the slack last year when I bought that trip to Tuscany for fifty grand. I’ll be out for the rest of the day. If you need me, call my cell. But I assume that you won’t need to disturb me for any other reason?” 

     “No Dick, everything will be just fine here. I think it’s going to be a slow day anyway since we’re nearing President’s Week.”

     “You should hope not—our slow days affect your bonus, Elaine.”

     Wincing from my run in with Dick, I made myself comfortable at my desk in anticipation of taking on my daily tasks: checking my voicemail, checking Dick’s voicemail, checking on Dick’s wife to see if she needed me to take care of lunch reservations or arrange a car for her daily shopping excursions, staring at the clock on my computer, watching minutes slowly morph into hours, counting the cracks in the plaster on the ceiling, shopping online for things I didn’t need, returning items bought online that I did need at the time, but later realized that I did not, scheduling a conference call for the traders, and finally, engaging in a conference call with Liz and Heather. Occasionally I tried working on my novel, but was always interrupted by a phone call or petty request. By noon, when these tasks were usually completed with a fair level of competence, I got really lonely.

     The traders sat at their trading desk at the far end of the office. They had formed a rowdy boys’ club with a membership entitling them to tell lewd jokes, readjust their penises, and worst of all, fart. I routinely wondered how these cretins could actually be married, with beautiful children adorning their desks in rows of photographs, while I remained single without even a pet or living plant life.

     On the other end, the analysts stuck together and spoke the language of ‘geek’ to one another, trying to determine in which direction certain stocks would go based on research and models and treacherous graphs. They had no time to discuss the latest Nick Hornby book or gallery opening. Finally, the lowest on the food chain were the administrative assistants—not to be confused with moi, the Executive Assistant extraordinaire. These women were placed in a back extension of the office, reflecting occupational segregation in the world of boutique finance. They were responsible for filing, faxing, Xeroxing, answering phones and taking messages “without attitude.” We only acknowledged one another when absolutely necessary, and in particular, I walked on eggshells around Josie, an over-gelled, and overly-scented woman who was sort of the mother hen of the other Admins. It was true that I didn’t share her taste in clothing or eau de toilette (indeed!), but that didn’t mean there couldn’t be some human decency between us—at the very least an exchange of hellos and goodbyes, perhaps even a shared giggle over Dick’s odd habits or outbursts. I wasn’t sure why she scowled and rolled her eyes every time I came within five feet of her desk, but I got the hint pretty quickly that I wasn’t like her and therefore, should not to speak to her. It was just as well—it wasn’t like I wanted to eat lunch with Josie and the Pussycats in the storage closet-turned-cafeteria.

     Every day a different lunch room smell latched itself on to the entire office. Mondays were usually fried chicken days, Tuesdays Chinese food, Wednesdays wings, Thursdays were a toss-up between pizza or french-fries, and Fridays were usually the most offensive, when everyone would take turns heating up stinky leftovers in the microwave. My arteries and waistline much preferred my daily salads and diet sodas. So at lunchtime I sat in my office, the one right next to Dick’s, closed my door, and maintained an unfocused gaze at the wall, eating solo and tinkering on the computer. To try and cheer myself up, I would triumphantly think, I have a Master’s degree! That I was “one smart cookie,” as my grandmother liked to say. Somehow though, the longer I spent roaming the virtual aisles of shopbop.com and choking on Josie’s scented trail, these facts never failed in making me all the more sad. 

     Today I wasn’t even hungry. I was in knots over what to do about Miya. I wanted to consult someone, but whom? Liz was a bad idea. She was on the cusp of getting married—surely she would not appreciate my woeful story of how Jake seduced me. Heather would probably cheer me on to tell Miya—she had always thought that Jake was “NFG.” But Heather was also a drinker who had a habit of talking to anyone who would listen. Confessing to her would be like sending out an e-mail blast to the entire city. My mother? But then she would know that I had sex. Even though I had lost my virginity ten years ago, I never discussed those things with her. I was always afraid of appearing defiled. As these thoughts swirled inside my head, my stomach cramped. I seized the key for the bathroom from the receptionist and dashed to the first stall. I heaved over the toilet splattered with some squatter’s urine, but nothing came out. I wanted Jake out of my system so badly, and he just wouldn’t leave. Parasite! Maggot! I splashed my face with water and stared into the mirror, taunting me from its position under the blinking fluorescent lights. I looked worse than I thought. I was greenish, like I had been drinking lake water, and my skin looked rough, still a bit creased from having mashed my face into a pillow the day before. My normally dirty blonde hair was mousy, meaning it was really dirty. I looked like a model on a Do You Suffer From Depression? pamphlet. Screw Dick, I thought. I need some fresh air.

Plastic Fantastic

By J-What · November 3, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

A cold shiver ran up my sports bra as I power-walked up Park, preferring its quiet expanse to the traffic, noise, and garbage pile-up that are so familiar to Park Avenue's ugly sister, Lexington. Perhaps it was the first abrasive gust of winter air that sent chills through my super-slimming Wunder Groove capris, but I think my discomfort had less to do with the forecast (50 degrees my ass, Weatherman) and more to do with the dead-eyed glare of prewar gargoyles looming large as far as 96th street. I'm not referring to the grotesque creatures carved of stone, who menacingly perch upon buildings as if to say “you’ll never pass the co-op board.” Rather, I’m speaking of the one-time human beings, whose pulled and plumped-up faces peek out from their mink muffs and fox stoles as if to say (in Cosmo Kramer’s words after one too many a cigar), “Look away! I’m hideous!” More traumatized than I’ve been since I began to weigh more than 105 pounds, I recoiled in disgust and grudgingly trudged to (eek!) Second Avenue.

When did plastic become fantastic? When did Botox, brow lifts, and breast enlargement become routine among women ages eighteen to eighty? When did having the lips of a trout, the forehead of a corpse, and the nose of a Jackson become a standard in beauty? Have we become so filled up with Juvederm and insecurity that looking like Joan Rivers has become preferable to looking...normal?


I admit I've contemplated needles and knives as solutions to the bump on my nose, the crows’ feet around my eyes, and the laugh lines that just aren't funny. But I haven't booked my consult with Dr. Hidalgo just yet. There's a saying about gray hairs--when you pluck out one, there's more to come--and I'm terrified the same could be true with succumbing to the scalpel. Rhinoplasty is not too far a leap from a tummy tuck, after all. Once you go under, can you really shake the spell of surgical "improvement?" Will we icksnay eye cream and eight glasses of water a day because a face lift can rejuvenate in one fell swoop? Will gym memberships prove pointless since time-saving Mommy Makeovers are so much more practical?


I don't know one man out there who is attracted to the drag queen that is now Heidi Montag. Well, there’s Spencer Pratt, of course, but his taste can't be trusted ever since he French kissed a crystal on television. Tori Spelling's cleavage is enough to make us stuff our bras for the rest of our lives if it means avoiding her tube top disaster. And finally, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are so plastic, their husbands are ready to haul them off to the nearest recyclable bin on Sunset. Isn’t that right, Kelsey Grammer? For every work of art to waltz out of the operating room (think: Demi Moore and Julia Louis-Dreyfus), there are fifty more who look like they just walked out of a wind tunnel.


The lesson to be learned is that Ken doesn't want an aging Barbie doll--he just wants Skipper. So how to stay young without slicing and dicing your way to the land of Lisa Rinna? Drink lots of water, take vacations and vitamins, and put down the masochistic magnifying mirrors. Our pores aren't really that big--I promise.


Why do people assume I'm in my twenties? No, they're not drunk--check out my 10-step regimen below for the dets!




As we age, hormones have a horrible way of turning our crown and glory into fried and frizzy. Fret no more! The Sultra Seductress line of styling essentials, from blow dryers to flat irons, have multiple settings to prevent dryness and damage. Buy at: www.sephora.com


Keep it long—short hair is the equivalent of wearing Mom jeans on your head! Shunsuke at Rossano Ferretti salon will keep your cut sharp and even.




Want skin as smooth as silk? Cle de Peau’s crème soyeuse is as divine as its name and won’t interfere with sweat or swim.


Don’t want to reveal your magic number? Make it up! Splurge on Giorgio Armani foundations and concealers , which even out your complexion and seamlessly hide imperfections—if you have any.


Want a youthful, girlish glow? Dab on some of Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Color Cheek Tint in baby pink—can’t get much younger than that! All of the above can be purchased at Barney’s—Madison Avenue’s Fountain of Youth.


Get tan without looking leathery. Anna is the best of the best when it comes to the art of the spray tan at Rita Hazan’s Fifth Avenue salon.


Body: Be brilliant and hydrate with Smartwater—the big bottles can double as hand weights.


On the note of pumping iron, pick up 2-3 pounders to fight upper arm flab which can be a dead give away of growing older.


In the city of 180 rainy days, stock up on Vitamin D to get the restorative powers of the sun in a bottle.


Use what your mama gave you and move those legs. Power-walk your way to a toned, taut tush without the intimidation of an AEROSPACE kick-boxing class.


You’ll be getting carded again in no time!




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