The Fine Line

June 7, 2008

I joined my friend Blair for a late brunch today, and I noticed she was definitely wearing her walk of shame outfit to brunch – her hair was slicked back, she was wearing a purple cocktail dress with a light pashmina thrown over the top, those gorgeous new Dior shoes, and her makeup didn’t exactly look fresh. She looked hot, but as any good friend would know, she was doing the walk of shame at brunch, with me.

She started telling me about the guy, some rich Italian man with lots of money, those guys at the club who pull out a money clip full of hundreds, gold jewelry, everything Armani or Boss or D & G, and continue to get bottle after bottle of booze in a reserved booth. Blair was there for some MAC party, and was quickly invited into the Italian’s booth where she drank a vintage Dom Perignon Rose until they closed the club.

All night Italian was telling Blair how gorgeous she was, his job had something to do with fashion, and he kept telling her he would take her back to Italy and dress her in the very latest – evidently there was a Cavalli maxi dress with her name on it back home.

Blair went back to the Italian’s penthouse suite at the Pantages hotel downtown, and she definitely enjoyed herself there. That is, until she work up. She turned over in the luxurious sheets to give her Italian a squeeze, but all she was left with was a piece of paper. The note indicated that he had to catch his flight back to Italy, there was a phone number and a date next week when he was coming back.

She was more than a little stunned – not by the one-night stand – but by the one-night stand who took off before she woke up. A knock on the door twenty minutes later signified that her breakfast had arrived, which the Italian had ordered before he left. And on the tray, next to a bowl of strawberries was an envelope addressed to ‘The Most Beautiful Woman’.

The envelope contained four thousand dollars.

Blair was dumbfounded. A man who couldn’t even remember her name (she didn’t remember his either) had left her enough cash to pay for almost three months rent. There was another note, a simple ‘Buy yourself something nice’.

This one night in Blair’s life reminded me of a SATC episode where Carrie hangs out with the fabulous European friend who hooks her up with another European hottie who also leaves her some cash the next morning. I don’t exactly remember what she did with the cash (I *think* she took it but I’m not sure), but I remember her freaking out over the aspect that this European hottie thought she was a prostitute.

And that also got me thinking.

Where do you draw the line between one-night stand and blatant prostitution?

Women always have the opportunity to get free drinks, free meals, and sometimes free clothing courtesy of a man they meet. Sometimes they know the man for a while, sometimes a day or two, but as women we usually feel that we’re worth it and, why shouldn’t a man spend some of his money on us?

We will resist at first – Oh no, that’s too much, I can get it myself – but men will try and try again and we will give in most of the time. I am all for that. I am no golddigger, I am also not a woman who has ever had a man buy her an extravagant bag for no reason or left her four thousand dollars by the bedside as a thank you for having sex with them. My bf has purchased me a couple of extravagant gifts in the five years we’ve been dating – a Michael Kors winter coat with fur trim, a Bebe fur coat, and, most recently, a John Galliano cocktail dress. But they were always for Christmas, or birthdays, or some sort of occassion – and we are dating, so obviously gifts are something to be expected of.

But when you’re not even dating the guy, and he bestows you with a large sum of cash, wouldn’t you be a little worried? I mean, the practical mom voice in me comes out and thinks – is he some kind of bad business guy who’s laundering money or something? Which really makes no sense and really doesn’t matter as she will probably never see him again.

Does he see her as a prostitute?

What man in his right mind does something like this?

Is it a power game? But who really has the power? The one giving or the one taking?

My thoughts were interrupted by Blair’s cell phone blasting the Kanye/Coldplay song.

Her conversation was short and sweet, something about new shoes, and she ended it with a perky ‘Ciao!’.

“That was Andre.” She told me. She looked guiltily up at me, and then she said something so quietly I almost didn’t hear her in the clatter of the bistro around us.

“I took the money.”

Blair went on to tell me how she sat there for almost an hour staring at the money. She thought of all the pros and cons. Pros being: new shoes, rent paid, new clothes, and maybe another rendevous with the Italian (whose name she learned after calling his cell and hearing his message when it went to voicemail). Cons being: prostitution, does he think she’s poor?, and what would happen to the money if she didn’t take it?.

She was throroughly confused. But then she thought, at the end of the day, what does it matter?

She had a one-night stand, and it wasn’t her first one, this is a man she will most likely not see again, but if there’s an opportunity she would like to, and who cares what he thought of her? She made herself believe that she almost found this money, and when an opportunity of four thousand dollars falls in your lap (or next to your strawberries), who wouldn’t take it?

Before she met up with me she stopped by Holt’s and bought herself the Dior Extreme Gladiators in the Pewter shade, and she wore them out of the store, to brunch, and told Andre about them on the phone.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping – and to my surprise, Blair bought me a pair of Manolo Blahniks I’ve been eyeing, the zebra-print D’Orsay pumps, which were not only on sale, but there was one left and in my size!

There may be a razor-thin line between one-night stands and prostitution, but it’s one that is a little blurry, one that is all about what you believe in yourself to be. And if you are an independent woman, who has sex with hot Italians who enjoy showering women with gifts, why not accept them?

And when someone offers to buy you a pair of beautiful shoes, who am I to say no to that?

I just thanked her and spent the rest of the day admiring my beautiful feet.

Do or Don’t?

May 31, 2008

I need you to decide on a few do’s and don’t’s – all courtesy of the new Sex & The City movie – which I saw last night and LOVED beyond belief.

1. Carrie’s Eiffel Tower Purse

Carrie wore this purse in one of the first scenes with Big, when looking at real estate, and there’s been such a fuss about this bag that I’m not sure if I like it or not anymore. When I first saw the paparazzi pix, I thought it was a little tacky, then I saw the movie, and I almost liked it. Then I found out the price. $3000 by Timmy Woods, covered in Swarowski crystals, or $300 for a cheaper painted version (still a tad too expensive for my liking).

I’ve now seen copycats of it for under $100, which are even worse and tackier, and I’m not sure if it’s a do or a don’t. I mean, if the whole point of the bag, which again retails for $3000, is to be a status symbol for those who can afford and those who cannot (for which the $300 version is available), that’s awful. Do or don’t?

2. The Bird in Carrie’s Hair

Carrie’s wedding dress is gorgeous – no doubt that this Vivienne Westwood creation is drop dead gorgeous, even if I’m not the biggest fan of the bust, but that’s not what I’m questioning here. I’m not even questioning the makeup, the harsh red lip hue wasn’t even what was bothering me. Can you guess what I’m getting at?

The bird. The bird on her head. I read the Vogue article about the movie and they were saying that when she was trying on the dress that crazy bird was in the room for whatever reason. And they just happened to see it and decided to put it on her head. My theory is that Kim Catrall mentioned to Patricia Field that the bird would look amazing and the rest is history (ooh, catty comment).

Do or don’t?

3. Pajamas as Outerwear  Sparkley Hat

Carrie IS in her pajamas. Watch the movie, and you’ll understand the context of the situation (I don’t want to give anything away!). But listen, it’s one thing to be in pajamas and throw on a fur coat to run outside in the cold – but the hat? I mean seriously, the sparkly, flapper style hat? It doesn’t even serve a purpose, it won’t keep you warm, it doesn’t match with the outfit at all (okay, I know she never matches and that’s the whole point of this whole fashion business, but come on!), so tell me – do or don’t?