An elegant Jaclyn Smith lookalike in her late forties, she sits down with an air of poise and confidence. Her carefully coiffed French twist shows off her Tiffany diamond studs, and her cream- colored button down blouse with a crimson camisole underneath shows just enough cleavage to entice yet not enough to be crass. She is wearing a sleek black pencil skirt that ends just above the knee, showing off her fabulously toned calves that look more like they belong to a twenty-year-old than a middle-aged housewife. She crosses her legs, and I glimpse her Louboutin burgundy patent leather pumps that I’m sure cost seven or eight times more than my Nine West strappy sandals that need the heels replaced.
“So, Laura, where do you live?” I gesture toward the candy dish.
She chooses a truffle and nibbles. “My husband and I, well, I mean my ex-husband and I, have lived in Beverly Park for twenty years now. I absolutely love it up there.” She stops and looks at the partially eaten candy she’s still holding. “My god...this is fabulous.”
I respect the moment of chocolate bliss.
I’m picturing her gated community way up high in the Beverly Hills that has some of the most extravagant mansions in the Los Angeles area. Beverly Park is home to Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Magic Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, and, my fav, Rod Stewart and his little eighteen thousand square foot shanty, lavishly decorated with items he bid for at Sotheby’s. The place is truly elegant.
“Our home is up for sale now,” Laura continues, “and with the recession, we won’t be getting anywhere near what the property is worth. But at least I’ll get half once it sells. It’s heartbreaking though, I mean, it’s been my home for all of these years, the home where I raised my son. Of course, nobody really needs thirty thousand square feet....”
I almost choke on my ganache. My eyes must be as big as a couple of Minton bone china saucers. She could chip off a thirtieth of her house and never miss it, and that would be the size of the apartment Adolfo and I live in, probably the size of her shoe closet. I’m just about to ask what kind of man she is looking for, but I see the sparkle of tears in her thick eyelashes.
“My husband and I went on a two-week vacation a couple of months ago to South America. Tango lessons in Argentina, climbing up to Machu Pichu, in Peru. It was fantastic. We were getting along wonderfully, and I was so thrilled to be spending some quality time with Bernie since he was rarely home.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a plastic surgeon.”
Bernie...Bernard Neuman. Bells ring. I can think of several
celebrities that now wear his artistry for all the world to see. And I know what’s coming. A tear spills down her lovely cheek, and I hand her a tissue.
“Back at home, before our bags were even unpacked, he announced that he was in love with a twenty-five year old facialist named Brandy, and that he wanted a divorce.”
In love. Right.