Writing for a high- traffic web- based publication has many perks. For example, I'm actually pushing a stripper off my lap right now so I can get down to business and "work." I am often stopped in public (airport security, for example), I get all the NPR I can listen to streamed LIVE right to my desk (for free), and as sole proprietor, my boss (me) assigns me heaps of sleuthy investigations. My latest charge of undercover gumshoe work turned out to be a wild exercise in anguish and newly enhanced misanthropy. That's right, I joined a millionaire matchmaker service. Not the Millionaire Matchmaker, I would have never made the cut. My figure fluctuates between zoftig and Rubenesque.
Because life is essentially a series of humiliations spiced up by disappointment, one needs to pursue romantic companionship to add that other necessary element: despair. Since my type-- the homeless, Okies, hunchbacks-- have not been loving me lately (I recently had a guy bail on me because he "didn't know what day it was." This was almost as good as the last guy, who said, "I don't know where my body is in space.") So why the hell not turn to the affluent, the flush, the bourgeois, the robber barons, the carpet baggers, the MILLIONAIRES?! Show me the money, daddy!
Please let the following encounter read like an Edith Wharton morality drama that teaches what happens to shabby girls who play with the richies. Or like Gossip Girl. This is a didactic tale of Windsor knots and woe. Everything that follows is so central casting, not even I could write something so trite.
Ok, so I arrived to the restaurant, which was a pre- recession, Carrie Bradshaw monstrosity of ice sculptures, lycheetinis, house music, banquettes, and Buddhas. How uncouth in our piss poor economy! Shaming these ostentatious displays of opulence has been the sole subject of The New York Times' Style section for the past 12 months. So instead of the lithe models who frequented this establishment a decade ago, the clientele consisted mostly of eastern European tourists and Japanese businessmen, who probably queried my date in regard to my madame and day rate when I excused myself to the ladies' room. I saw my millionaire, who I recognized instantly by his dazzling sparkle shirt and thimble sized- cufflinks. Here's a direct transcription of our first meeting:
MM [millionaire man]: Did you drive here?
PZ: Are you kidding?! I haven't driven since 2001, much to the benefit of society at large. I took the subway.
MM: Oh, I don't take the subway. It's dirty and I'm afraid of getting mugged.
PZ [aside]: What the?!
So after we discussed his hovercraft and I informed him that Koch cleaned up the subways way back in the '80s, we ordered Kobe beef (serious) and moved on to the subject of travel.
PZ: India is top on my list, right after Tijuana.
MM: I had the chance to go to India for work, but luckily got out of it. I don't like seeing poverty or poor people.
[Amazing! It's Dickensian! The massaged calf arrived and I gobbled it up like an orphan, and then on to home decor]
MM: I have three plasma screens in my living room.
PZ: Oh you'll have to excuse me, I forgot where my body is in space.
You guys, seriously, I don't hate rich people nearly as much as MM hates poor people, but this guy (who is obvi tres nouveau) was talking like Marie Antoinette. And do you know what I say to you, millionaire matchmaker? Let them eat cake! The millionaires, that is! I'm going back to the methadone clinic to find me a man! Forgive me, baby daddies, if you thought you were forsaken. And I'm filing a complaint against my boss for making me endure such muckraking. Wait a second....