stephanie in wonderland

In ALL, NEW YORK, PHOTOGRAPHY by Stephanie Klein37 Comments

1985. It was the year of Back to The Future. George Michael hit the top of the billboard with “Careless Whisper.”  Michael Spinks beat Larry Holmes to become the first world Light Heavyweight champion to win a Heavyweight title.  Most importantly, it was the year the boy who was shamelessly hitting on me at Madam Tong’s was born. Shamelessly.   

“I’m ten years your senior little boy, and no this will not be a coo coo ca choo weekend for you.”  He so didn’t get the reference.
“Woah, so you’re like 29.  That’s serious.”  He said it as if he’d just begun to understand the concept of gravity.
I leaned toward my friends, lounging in the outdoor chaise beside me.  “Excuse me.  Do either of you have a razor blade on you?”  They cokced their heads unsure of where I was going.  “So I can drag it across my wrists.”  Woah?   That’s serious?  Damn.

I ran away, hoping 1985 would get the hint that I wanted no part of him.  Instead, he plagued my friends with questions.  “Please, help me.  You gotta.  How can I get her?”  If I were there, I’d have responded, “get her what?” 

This was only the beginning of my weekend.  Here’s the play by play:

I arrived on Thursday night, destination Southampton.  Our standby home in Sagaponick had been whored out to strangers who offered the owner more money for the weekend.  We were kicked to the South, and when we arrived in what would be our holiday refuge, Kim cried.  “I don’t even know what I’m so upset about, Cookie.  Maybe it’s the stress from fighting all day with that tortured soul of a man.” 

Earlier in the day, we didn’t even have a house at which to stay.  Kim spent the day on the phone finagling beds for us with several homeowners.  The Easthampton house was of the multi-million variety, except somehow, it was sans pool, “but a walk from the ocean.”  We’d have that house for ourselves except we’d need to abide by the rigid rules of the right-wing owner.  “No guests.  No parties.  No use of the upstairs shower.  No use of the front door.  Make sure the faucets are always tight.”  It was 3pm on Thursday.  He needed a certified check for $3000 and a $1000 security deposit, you know, incase we used the upstairs shower.  I wasn’t about to drive Kim to his office and circle midtown while she made nice nice with our Hamptons maker.  So, the six girls decided we’d opt for the Southampton “estate,” squeezing into the two available rooms, and sharing communal space with twelve men we’d never met before.  It could definitely be worse.

Kim and I were the first to arrive.  This is when the crying began.  “Stephaniiiiie, it stinks of smoke.”  It wasn’t just the smoke.  It was the diminutive pool and substantial playground.  The previous owners had young children, so the jungle gym extended beyond plastic cars, swings, and a fort.   It spilled into the actual rooms of the house. 

After a thorough tour, we decided to make a phone call to the owner, a 24 year old Long Island boy.  Kim’s voice was panicked.  “So, we’re in the right house, right?  The one with the Roy Roger bunk beds and the Alice in Wonderland bedroom?  Yeah there’s ah, ah playground and kiddy things, right?”  When she hung up the phone, we were at least relieved to learn we weren’t relegated to the bunk bed room.  Instead, we’d be shacked up all weekend in a room with flying images of Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan, and 7 snickering dwarves.  We needed alcohol in a hurry.

Kim and I kicked it at Bamboo where Thursday nights mean half-price Sakitinis and free sushi at the bar.  “The sakitini is equal parts vodka and saki.  It kills everything inside.”  Perhaps the sadness that comes with a tinkerbell room needed to be killed.  I’d have two. 

Friday morning was overcast, so we Fourbucks’t it then shopped like good little Hamptons girls.  Overcast days in the Hamptons entail wine tasting or shopping.  That’s all there is to it.  In lieu of wine, I purchased three more 45-year-old scarves for myself.  “How many scarves do you really need?”  This is my thing, okay.  Some people have OCD, need everything to be just so to feel at ease.  Scarves are my guilty need, my have to have.  I wear them in my hair, as belts, as bathing suit sarongs, with suits, and mostly as tops year round.  Silk scarves and jeans are necessary evils in my life.  The True Religion Woodstock jeans that I’d been eyeing on shopbop for some time called out to me at Intermix.  I tried them on despite their prohibitive cost.  Need won out. So two great white tank tops and a pair of to die for jeans later, I was broke.  (One tank top with built in shelf bra costs $55.  It’s actually absurd.  I bought two.) 

Back at the house, we decided to go for a run in the fog.  I circled a nearby school field by myself while the girls ran the streets of Southampton.  Baby bunnies, mushrooms climbing trees, and Trident gum wrappers in the wet grass.  I thought of campus cleanup days, of softball practice, of my childhood.  I circled goal posts, past worn in baseball diamonds, and I felt at peace.  My iPod was set to repeat on Avril Lavigne’s Complicated.  It fueled my anger, which made my run productive. It was like hate seex.  I returned to the house soaked and red.  The perfect time to shake hands with the twelve men I’d never met.

I really got to know the boys by our pool.  I expected one of our new beefy men to get stuck on the pool slide (clearly meant to be enjoyed by small children).  Instead, they had splashing fights using very large floating devices, which they shamelessly spoke of as if they were genitalia.  “Mine is having a hard time staying up, but it can still whip you. ”  What are you twelve?  They might as well have had light sabres. 

Friday night, we hit Stephen’s Talkhouse where I ran into some of MID’s friends and wanted to vomit.  So I left the scene of the crime and headed to JL with Amy and Jen, where we witnessed way too many forever-49-year-old urban cougars.  A soufflé of blonde hair, too much tan, too much breast.  Capri pants.  So many of the women just begged to be thrown into a Talbots.

Saturday we went to Michael Becker’s house (where I met and bonded with a few wonderful women).  Later that night, after cold low-pressure showers, some of my friends opted for an evening at Star Room followed by Cain.  I know I’ve mentioned it, oh, say 500 times or so.  If I have my druthers, I’m certainly not opting for a club in Manhattan.  What?  I’m suddenly going to go when I’m on vacation from all of that?  Please.  I would have none of it. 

Instead, I had dinner at JL Bistro in Sag Harbor, where I ate Jen’s fries as she fell in like with a British houseguest.  I devoured her fries while she fell in love; this is so my life.  We then hit Madam Tong’s (the former Bells East) where I was fervently pursued by a very young, very cute, boy.  Which brings us back to 1985.

The scandal comes in the next post… it’s too much to read as it is…

View the photos from the weekend. 

Comments

  1. Can't view the pix since I'm on a phone modem here in Phoenix. But I can just imagine the stories you will tell. Seriously, do you ever just pinch yourself and wonder just how lucky you are to be living the life you've got? You've certainly earned it. Broken record, but love will come. Until then, enjoy the hell outta your amazing life. {Unsolicited advice..I know, a no-no.}

  2. Ha! I love me some scandalous stories!
    *waiting in anticipation

  3. don't you feel the least bit vain posting such a huge photo of yourself (and many more)???

  4. Does it interfere with your ability to develop a relationship with someone that you may go on some dates with him and then post stories about hooking up with other men? Just curious.

  5. As I've confessed before, Stephanie, I think you're a babe; most of your friends are also very attractive (esp. Jen), but the girl in the peach colored top and jeans in dsc_0005 is possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Please tell me she's a psycho bitch, so I can get on with my life!

    In love,
    CM

  6. Whatever happened to that Islip Speedway where they used to have the demolition derbies? That was one of the only reasons to ever go out to eastern Long Island. Now the only reason to go there is for the Polish Polka Festival in Riverhead.

  7. No more Islip speedway. But there is the Riverhead Raceway (www.riverheadraceway.com) where they have the demo derbies.

  8. Just to be completely accurate, the pool toy was described as "flaccid" by the largest of the "beefy men" in the pool (I assume you use the term "men" loosely because from your perspective "boys" must be a more apt term). The question really is why is it a crime to act 12? As a 32-year old corporate lawyer, I am just glad I haven't had every ounce of life sucked out of me at this point. If pummeling Mr. Sitkiewicz with a 4 foot long piece of pink Styrofoam to claim bragging rights as "King of the Pool" makes me an adolescent again, then sign me up for the professional kitty-pool wrestling circuit. And are you and I really that different? You make yourself feel young by playing with your boy-toy; I just act like a boy. Tell your inner child to stop her pouting and come join us in the deep end.

  9. Luke baby, it was said in jest. All men act like boys from time to time. There's nothing wrong with it; it's charming actually. And, I very much enjoyed the limited company I did have with the boys in the house. But as for playing with a boy toy… that never happened… and believe me, he did nothing short of make me feel like I was on the short road to urban cougarville. Yipes.

  10. The "Urban Cougars" you speak of are not real New Yorkers. They merely fade into the background for the most part in my world. Although sometimes its fun to watch the surface-deep people do their thing. A silver Searle bag is "lowbrow" for these girls.

  11. Is Riverhead Raceway where they used to have a quarterhorse track? Remember that? About twenty years ago or so they tried to bring quarterhorse racing to eastern Long Island. It only lasted about three or four years. Which is too bad because it was a lot of fun. It was certainly a lot more entertaining than hanging around that bald, fat, bird-killing egomaniac Jerry Della Famina.

  12. Steph, you look great so please ignore statements of needing to lose 20 pounds.

    crystal- seems all you ever have to say here is some critical comment… jealous perhaps? Either way- get over yourself.

    (unless I misread your comment and it was actually saying that YOU need to lose 20 lbs. and if so, apologies)

  13. Crystal, get your shabby ass husband a haircut, his receding hairline is not fooling anyone.

  14. Is Riverhead Raceway where they used to have a quarterhorse track? Remember that? About twenty years ago or so they tried to bring quarterhorse racing to eastern Long Island. It only lasted about three or four years. Which is too bad because it was a lot of fun. It was certainly a lot more entertaining than hanging around that bald, fat, bird-killing egomaniac Jerry Della Famina.

  15. Steph, you look great so please ignore statements of needing to lose 20 pounds.

    crystal- seems all you ever have to say here is some critical comment… jealous perhaps? Either way- get over yourself.

    (unless I misread your comment and it was actually saying that YOU need to lose 20 lbs. and if so, apologies)

  16. Is Riverhead Raceway where they used to have a quarterhorse track? Remember that? About twenty years ago or so they tried to bring quarterhorse racing to eastern Long Island. It only lasted about three or four years. Which is too bad because it was a lot of fun. It was certainly a lot more entertaining than hanging around that bald, fat, bird-killing egomaniac Jerry Della Famina.

  17. Urban Cougars rule. I love the fact that the term has spread. I know the guys that originated the site.

    Please explain how you were kicked out of your normal house for a higher price? How is that legal???

  18. Upon further research, I misinterpreted what an Urban Cougar is. I retract my statement…now I dig it…totally.

  19. Don't know if they had a quarterhorse track in Riverhead. Riverhead Raceway, however, is a quarter-mile track that was built in 1949. Why are we the only racing rednecks among this group of fashionistas?

  20. Don't know if they had a quarterhorse track in Riverhead. Riverhead Raceway, however, is a quarter-mile track that was built in 1949.

    Why are we the only racing rednecks among this group of fashionistas?

  21. Wow- I suddenly feel a lot better about my weekend splurge. $80 magenta culottes. I know.

  22. Wow- I suddenly feel a lot better about my weekend splurge. $80 magenta culottes. I know.

  23. Gee, you really seem to like yourself. It takes 100 photos to show how much fun you had? Not sure if I'd have bought those tight $375 jeans without dropping twenty first, but okay, you did go for a run.

  24. to my hampton honeys: what a wonderful weekend…we so needed it!…all was parf-the weather; the beach; the bonding; the eating ($60 lobster, ahem stephanie…almost as much as those magenta culottes); the drinking (12 bottles of vino? why not?); the blasting of "i don't wanna be your friend" in the car; the sea of mikes and daves (our beefy housemates); the watching of "hitch" at least a dozen times; and yes…even the moist disney room! thank you lovsies for helping me forget the bad! and stephanie – thank you for documenting it so lovingly! who needs puerto rico anyway???

  25. I love people who spend $372 on a pair of jeans. I seriously do. It's not just you, it's each and every person who buys $300+ jeans; LOVE.

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