Much like the poor, the charity ball has always been with us, but lately it’s turned into a freak. Something is rotten in the state of New York, and the name of it is the Met Gala. Once upon a time, the Metropolitan Museum’s gala ball was fun. Serious social-climbing multimillionaires competed openly for the best tables and for proximity to blue-blooded socialites such as C.Z. Guest and her ilk. Pat Buckley, wife of William F., ran the show with military precision, allotting the best seats to those who had paid a fortune for them, but also to those who were young and handsome and whose pockets were not as deep. I used to be a regular. Then something happened. Anna Wintour took over after Pat’s death and the party turned into a freak show that no self-respecting circus would allow on its premises.
Last week the uglies were out in force, and the newspapers and glossies revealed themselves to be fake-news purveyors by calling the show exclusive and impossible to get an invitation to. Do the people who write this crap take the rest of us for total idiots? The Met Gala is reserved for a few D-list celebrities, fashionistas and advertisers. Proper souls wouldn’t be caught dead on the premises, especially near the Kardashian table. The ugliness of some of the attendants assaulted one’s frontal cortex — and I only saw the photos; imagine the horror of witnessing it live. Clinging like a barnacle to the Met’s hull, Anna Wintour’s horror show diminishes a great American institution. It should be staged in Times Square, on the exact spot where the peepshows of old used to be. Actually, the whole shebang should have been charged with public lewdness. It was all drugs and thugs, but the worst of all was the extremely unsightly Lena Dunham.
But why am I writing about such ugly and pretentious people? Let’s move on to comedy and the French farce for a change of pace. Last Sunday was a great day for us oldies. Madame Macron will take care of us from now on. Yippee! Actually, if Pip had married Miss Havisham it would almost make more sense. Les mauvaises langues have it that Emmanuel Macron gets a stiffy every time he sees Angela Merkel, and that the German Hausfrau has given him a nude picture of herself. Mind you, I always loved older women — until I turned 25, that is. After that age, preferring older women becomes more puzzling.
Talking of age differences, Wendi Deng Murdoch, aged 48, trips the light fantastic with a 23-year-old male model by the name of Bertold Zahoran. Some people in her building, 834 Fifth Avenue, pretend to be shocked. Another cradle-snatcher, Carole Radziwill, I met a long time ago. She was married to Anthony Radziwill, who died at a young age from a horrid cancer. Carole has turned herself into a celebrity of sorts by appearing on a reality show, the electronic version of the dirty books we used to read as kids in the loo. Carole is 53 and is stepping out with a chef by the name of Adam, who is 23 years younger.
Do I think that Emmanuel Macron has started a trend for older women? The laws of attraction are mysterious and notoriously complex. Of course, gigolos have also tended to have a penchant for older ladies, but no, I don’t think that very old gals will become the fashion. Ironically, Danielle Darrieux, the wonderful French actress, was 100 last week. She was Porfirio Rubirosa’s second wife, during the German occupation, and Rubi always had a weakness for her. He married two women for love, and three for their money. All in all, and despite the fact that the three rich ones were the three richest in the world — Flor de Oro Trujillo, Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton — his total intake was only about $5 million. Plus a B-29 airplane that had seen better days, 80 bespoke suits and a few gold cigarette cases. Modern gigolos make much more than poor Ruby.
Everything causes offence these days, except being a gigolo, of course. Take the case of Ilie Nastase, of whom I am no fan because he was so slippery on court. So he asked what colour the biracial baby of Serena Williams will be? So what? Screams of racism followed.
A TV commentator, Doug Adler, was fired for calling Venus Williams a ‘gorilla’ during the Australian Open. Except that he said nothing of the kind. He called her tactic of sneaking up to the net ‘the guerilla effect’. He was made to apologise, then fired. An innocent man lost his job for something he never said, yet the world — and the Williamses — stayed mum. They need to be taught some fairness by the younger men they may eventually end up with.