This holiday season I find myself in a Dickensian orphanage of my own making. I'm broke! Don't get me wrong, I still employ a staff of Bosnian refugees to tend to my needs(pillows FLUFFIER please!) and receive my regular caviar delivery. But now it's the Christmas and the Hannukah and everyone cries for their PRESENTS, waiting in line for their handout and to reap the bounty of Mommy Warbucks Zenaida... they're nostalgic for the opulent gifts of the go- go '90s I used to bestow upon friends and loved ones: Mediterranean cruises, gadgets from the Sky Mall catalog, jewels. But like Celine Dion says, those days are gone. So I've been brainstorming how to hush the incessant chatter of gimmegimmegimme from my staff and so- called "friends."
Here's what I've come up with:
1. Get a divorce.
Conventional wisdom/ Real Housewives decrees that marrying some tragic geriatric with one foot in the grave and a fat life insurance policy is the way to go. Not so. Then you have to live with him and wear the tacky showgirl ensembles he buys
for you to show you off to his business associates and you're totally embarrassed and like "How much longer til he dies?" This is too unseemly.
The other day I was having lunch with a writer friend of mine, and I was like "Girl, I know how much money you made on that teen novel you wrote, how are you living and dining out with me, your rich friend?" And she was like, "Girl I gotta divorce! I got paid! Go and get you one!" And I was like, "Oh, damn girl! Let me go get it!" Getting a divorce is so much better than being married, because you get paid and you're not married and embarrassing yourself and answering questions like "Do you change that guy's diapers?" No, thankyouverymuch, I have morals and dignity. Pop out a few kids and you're golden.
2. Crack sale
This is one my boyfriend (He is not imaginary! He is real!) has been pushing lately. He wanders around my apartment picking up Hermés scarves being like "How much is this worth? How much can you get for it on eBay?" I will be face down in the gutter before I ever hawk my scarves. They are literally the only thing of value I own, save that six- year- old Bosnian living in my closet. She's been growing and really getting in the way of my shoe rack. I won't part with the scarves, but I do have a sweet VCR in mint condition. Ten dollars? Ok three? I have a ginuwine polyblend futon cover with a few mysterious stains. Five dollars?
Ok, a nickel.
3. Cash my royalty check.
4. Get philanthropic.
According to Luc Sante's Low Life (I cannot recommend this book enough. Learn about the real gangs of New York including the Patsy Conroys, the Plug Uglies, and the Hookers) enterprising Bowery bums would start non- profit organizations for a cause near to their hearts: themselves. For example, in the late 1890s ne'er do well Chuck Connors founded the Chuck Connors Association for the sole purpose of hosting a ball and selling tickets "whose profits were transmitted directly to Chuck's pocket." The Paloma Zenaida Association accepts cash donations, as well as canned goods and in- kind donations of proseco and well, anything else. To cut back on costs, the Paloma Zenaida Association will be holding its annual winter gala at Scores where her mother and sister are employed. Please make checks payable to Paloma Zenaida.
At a recent promotional event at Bergdorf Goodman, I offered my services as a model. As a professional, I arrived early while fashion minions and PR girls were still setting up overpriced accessories and racks of clothes. The elevator doors opened, and I sashayed into the showroom and announced "The model is here. Where you need me? Who wants to see me walk? Do any of y'all wanna know how to model? Work! Work! Work!" I showed them a few runway pointers, like my signature move of clapping my hands twice and dropping my derriere to the ground when I reach the end of the runway. Tyra Banks has extended an invitation to guest judge America's Next Top Model Cycle #44 to teach the young ingenues. As I was in the middle of pushing display tables and store employees out of the way, some six foot tall woman with the body of an Asian boy blinked her glassy, vacant eyes and said meekly, "I'm the model. Do you know where I should go?" Home, bitch! This is MY show! Double- booked! I never!
6. Open the Paloma Zenaida Modeling Agency
This is a plan that's been marinating for a few years now, and considering my financial crisis and the relatively low overhead needed to open the business (human capital) I think the time is right. So many pretty young ladies in Manhattan, so few modeling agencies to manage and sculpt their talent. With moi as their matron, I will open a hybrid modeling agency/ orphanage in my apartment, where I can oversee my young charges, make sure they keep trim (my household tasks should provide a strenuous fitness regimen), and manage their finances (self- explanatory). I think a 90% cut for such expert advice and cultivation is only fair. The other 10% will cover rent in my orphanage.
Well, I feel better now that my stock is back up. Maybe Christmas won't be cancelled after all. God bless us, everyone!