She's maneuvering the world of high fashion using instinct, experience and a WILD and ROWDY past!
The Judge never signed the codicil to his will. Ouch. And he put Belle’s ring on his AmEx card so the frumpy old daughters are demanding that she return it. Double ouch. My girl is going out of this thing the same way she came into it. With nothing. And there’s no consolation prize. I feel awful for her. Of course I do. But my family is intact and I’ve got my bestie back. I’m really not bawling THAT hard about it. Cheers!
By the time their wedding day arrives, I’m completely over Belle and the Judge. She’s changing, growing more aloof and detached with every conversation. And I know he’s behind it. He’s the cause. While his frumpy old daughters grumble in a corner, Belle is radiant, sizing up her diamond next to Desi’s rock and feeling, finally, like the high society snob she’s always wanted to be. Wish I could be happy for her. But I’m so not.
A week later Desi, Lourdis and I are at The Peninsula Hotel waiting for Belle. She’s never missed our Thursday evening cocktails. Not once in five years. I finally call her. She’s at home and full of apologies but there’s something we should know. The Judge doesn’t approve of her going out alone at night so, she won’t be joining us on Thursday evenings. Ever again. Why…he is a dusty old snake! Just like Courtney said. And he’s threatening MY family now.
It’s barely daybreak when Belle phones. Just so happens, I’m awake. (wink wink) She’s fishing around, anxious to hear what I thought of her intended last night. I tell her the truth. The Judge is interesting, worldly, a true gentleman. And he’s packing swag. Major swag. Bottom line, if she’s happy with her decision then I’m happy, too. And Belle’s way beyond happy this morning. She’s ecstatic! Courtney has called her already to apologize for showing out at dinner. “I don’t know what you said to him,” she says. “But it worked.”
Yeah. I thought it might.
Well, Courtney has certainly shut our little party down. Belle is in tears. But honestly. What did she expect?? I find Knucklehead slumped at the bar like a sack of dirty laundry and force myself to put an arm around him. I speak very slowly. “Tell me. Is Princeton making you stupid or what? You know that your mom has no pension. No savings. And that dusty old snake? He looks like a shiny new penny to me. Open your eyes, boy. Or do YOU intend to foot her bills? When she can’t?”
The Judge exudes the kind of laid back confidence that comes with age. And he’s clearly smitten with Belle. We’re having a lovely time over cocktails and foie gras when Courtney arrives. Being a shit to his mother is like second nature to him so, when Belle introduces the Judge and breaks the news, Courtney refuses to even shake the man’s hand. “If you marry this dusty old snake I will never forgive you!” he sneers at Belle before spinning on his heel and storming off.
GETTING MARRIED?? I’m dying to get the down and dirty on this! After a few moments of chitchat, I insist that Belle accompany me to the ladies room. “We met at the strip club two weeks ago,” she says. “He adores me and I’m fond enough of him. He’s 82 years old, okay? Adding a codicil to his Will as we speak.” Suddenly the third stall door opens. It’s Melania T. She looks at us and frowns. Really? Really?? Girl, bye.
Belle has invited me to DANIEL for dinner. She must have some news. DANIEL doesn’t fall inside her price range usually. When I arrive—guess what? She’s not alone. He’s tall. A Sam Elliott-type. Old and cowboy-elegant with an earring and genuine cookie-duster mustache. He stands up slow and takes both of my hands in his as Belle introduces us. “This is Judge Reginald T. MacMurray,” she says. “Congratulate us, girlfriend. We’re getting married!”
DESI, BELLE, LOURDIS and I are holding court at our Thursday night watering hole, the Salon De Ning rooftop bar at the Peninsula Hotel. Andre’s here. Word on the street is he’s shooting a pilot for tv called AMERICAN ICON. A mix of AMERICA’S TOP MODEL and AMERICAN IDOL, it’s going to showcase people with talent who also look like models. Or people who look like models, but have no talent. He keeps glancing over at us. At me. I wonder what’s on his mind?