Life Imitates HBO

After missing her at Sundance and during an earlier L.A. trip, I finally had lunch with the producing partner of the popular New York actress SJP. As is the general rule of thumb, she’s just as pretty as her celebrity collaborator, though maybe not as thin—but then, who is?

As she picked the chicken and cheese from a salad and left a crusty roll untouched, I resisted the urge to reach over and eat it myself while offhandedly informing her that bread is back. The generally accepted rule is New York gets to tell us which hemline is in this season and we get to say what diet trend must be followed after Labor Day. I sipped an ice blended mocha drink that both sides have agreed bears no relation whatsoever to the bi-coastally forbidden chocolate milkshake.

I did a lot of yammering about my current assignment writing a picture for EN, another Manhattan celebrity, forgetting how much smaller New York is than L.A., and that they all refuse to leave the island except for a few months in the summer when they re-group on the same beach just down the road. When she looked at me knowingly and asked if “the boys” were treating me right, I was pretty sure we'd stepped out of an episode of Sex and The City back on her home turf and entered an episode of Entourage here on mine. Part of me wanted to confess that sometimes I feel like the only girl in their Malibu Colony tree house whose hand-scribbled sign made it perfectly clear I wasn’t allowed to begin with. Unless of course I were Mandy Moore , Mrs. Ari Gold or a high-priced hooker, in which case all bets are off.

Though I realized that you haven't arrived in Hollywood until life begins to imitate HBO, mine would most closely approximate Curb Your Enthusiasm, what with its requisite level of personal humiliation I can't seem to sidestep despite my recent successes. Fortunately, it also occurred to me that nowhere in the real world show business manual is an allowance made for unbridled true confessions, even among women. “The guys are great,” I told her. “I’ve never felt so inspired.”

All I had to do now was avoid hitting her with my car, as Larry David surely would, once we backed out of our adjacent parking spaces. As we crossed Beverly Boulevard on foot, a breeze threatened to blow open my black linen wrap-around dress, and I shared my relief at having worn pretty panties. All her good stuff was dirty, she said, so she had thankfully opted for jeans.

On any other day, in any other town, on any other network, we might have become fast friends. We’d have gone back to her suite at the Four Seasons, raided the mini-bar and found something smutty on Lifetime starring Nancy McKeon and David Hasselhoff. We'd have charged up obscene amounts of late night room service and asked the delivery guy and his buddy from the boiler room to stay for a couple of hands of Texas Hold 'Em. Instead we shook hands, got into our cars and drove off in opposite directions.