Those Were the Days
The most popular time to visit the Hamptons is the summer. Sophisticated New Yorkers migrate to the lovely villages of the Hamptons for summer parties, shopping, and lunching with real housewives. In the fall, families owning large estates enjoy the fall colors, quiet weekends, and filming their reality shows.
“The Real Housewives of New York” are in the Hamptons. Mario and Ramona Singer throw an annual Columbus Day Party to celebrate the day that an Italian, Christopher Columbus, sailed for Queen Isabella of Spain and discovered a New World.
Guests are asked to wear colors of the Italian flag: green, white or red. The wines served at the event are from Italy. Ramona’s own label of Pinot Grigio is being served for the first time. Traditional Italian games are played including bocce ball and one in which tables are tossed across the lawn. “The Real Housewives of New York City” and The Employer hope to film something worthy of Season Four at this event.
The tables have green, white and red plastic table cloths. There are paper cups, paper dishes and plastic silverware. There are tiny Italian flags stuck in bowls of pasta.
At Jill Zarin’s urging, Ramona uses a caterer from Hillside New Jersey, the infamous Giuseppe’s Pizzeria. The dough tastes like frozen and the pizza’s arrive with little fingerprints in the sauce but the owners of Giuseppe’s are struggling and are forced to live in an apartment above the pizzeria so Ramona agreed to lend them a little support.
Jill Zarin glances at the table and says, “I can’t believe Ramona’s choice of food. It’s so unhealthy.” Ramona has a table set up where she sells her face creams and non religious jewelry to her guests.
“I can’t believe that Ramona didn’t tell me in advance so I could have tables with my girdles and my books for sale.” Jill tells her husband but Bobby is not listening. “She should be giving the jewelry away, we’re friends not customers!” Jill says as Bobby sips his Pinot Grigio with a straw out of a red paper cup; he thinks Ramona’s wine is actually quite good.
The Countess is in love with a French man who owns vineyards. The Countess whispers to Jill, “I would never drink out of a paper cup.” She sends her French lover to the stretch limo that they leased for the evening to get crystal glasses out of the limo’s cup holders. When she finally samples Ramona’s wine, she wrinkles her nose. The Countess tells everyone at the party that her French lover’s wine is superior to Ramona’s Pinot Grigio.
Sonja Morgan is in attendance. She has no problem drinking from a paper cup as she often eats canned foods cooked in a toaster oven from paper plates over the sink in her very expensive, but sparsely decorated Manhattan townhouse. Sonja loved Ramona’s Pinot Grigio and sampled the other Italian wines during the long evening. Sonja was having a wonderful time.
The song, “Volare” by Dean Martin is playing as guests wander by a local DJ table. Ramona never hires a live band. Live bands don’t know the songs that Ramona loved when she was a young girl some years ago. Ramona is not sure how long ago it was as she can not remember. Jill has never heard this song before and she reminds everyone that she is much younger than Ramona. Jill’s husband Bobby loves this song, he remembers it fondly. Ramona and Mario are dancing in each others arms. They are enjoying “Turtle Time” and they usually do not listen to Jill Zarin’s complaints.
Alex McCord, Simon van Kempen and The New Girl, Cindy are sharing a pizza and enjoying their wine in green paper cups. Alex asks Cindy about her seven month old twin daughters and they share stories of not sleeping and diaper mishaps.
The cameramen have stopped filming. They enjoy the wine and the pasta dishes. They gather at a table and check their blackberry’s. They are bored and are planning to leave for Brooklyn soon.
Jill Zarin whispers to her husband Bobby, “I see the new girl is talking with Alex. I need to write this down so that I can remember to add it to my “severe injury lists” for Alex and Cindy.” Bobby is not listening to his wife, he is talking to a friend about real estate but Jill does not notice. Jill sips a diet Coke from a white paper cup and thinks about filming with Alex McCord for The Employer. She knows that this year has to be different. Her mind drifts to the designer fashion that she will wear to please her fans during filming at the reunion show forThe Employer. She smiles as she remembers how the fans loved her green 4 inch heels from Louboutin, the French shoe designer.
Ramona has had so much Pinot Grigio that she has forgotten that the Employer needs drama as she is sitting in a teak lawn chair almost falling asleep with a bottle in her hand. The Employer would have loved that on film, but the cameramen did not catch that special moment. The cameramen leave the dull party and head home to Brooklyn.
Many of the guests are leaving and they do not wake up the sleeping Ramona to say goodbye. A few of them fall into the swimming pool as they cross the dark lawn on their way to the street and their cars. The water is cold and it helps sober them up for the car ride home.
Sonja Morgan took an unexpected dip in the cold pool, climbing out of the pool she realizes her hair is completely ruined but it did sober her up enough to drive.
The next day, “The Real Housewives of New York City” are appearing at the open air Hamptons Bookfaire. They have make up artists hiding their dark circles and blotchy skin. Hair stylists arrive to blow out their hair. This is a huge event. Wealthy and famous people attend the event to be seen and mingle with authors who are wealthy and famous people.
Jill Zarin desperately wants to be considered an author so she instructed her publishers to enlarge her name on the cover of the book written by her sister with some input from her mother. She is the famous one after all.
The Countess told stories of her fabulous life in Europe and in New York City to a well known ghost writer. The Countess only has experience with the top members of Manhattan society so her observations on bad manners come from watching them eat and put on lipstick in restaurants at the table.
Kelly forgot to come to the Hamptons Bookfaire. Kelly has her name on a picture book called, “The Bikini Book” with photos of models in tiny bikinis. Men love her book. It is proudly displayed on coffee tables in bachelor pads throughout our nation.. Bobby Zarin keeps his copy of “The Bikini Book” in his mother’s basement with his Playboy collection of magazines. He visits his mother’s basement often.
Jill Zarin arrives early. Two young men follow Jill pushing carts with boxes of books. The books are placed in stacks next to the table assigned to her. The boxes are dusty as they are kept in the basement of Zarin Fabrics in China Town, Manhattan. Bobby watches the men arrange the books on the table as Jill begins her interviews with the press.
Jill’s dog Ginger is perched in Bobby’s arm and she snaps at people as they pass by. Jill notices that Alex and Simon are each carrying a box of their books to a table on the other side of the large tent and Jill becomes flustered. Jill has made negative comments to friends about their book and does not want a confrontation. Jill has commented online too, but that is a secret that this Jewish Mother wants to keep.
Simon notices Bobby and rushes over to greet him with a friendly handshake. Ginger snaps but misses Simon’s outstretched hand. Jill is not happy and wanders away from their table. Bobby does not care. He is sick of hearing about this book and just hopes to sell them all so he does not have to have men drag them back to Zarin Fabric’s basement.
The Countess stops by Jill’s table. The Countess’s French lover puts half a dozen of her book on manners on display for Jill to sell. It would not be good manners for a Countess to sell her own book. Besides her feet are killing her in these boots. The lovers leave before anyone can ask for a signature.
A reporter notices that Jill is under stress and befriends her asking questions about the book and begins to compliment her. The reporter asks about Susan Saunders and Amazongate. The reporter had seen the original posts from Susan Saunders who was extremely upset about the negative reviews of Jill Zarin’s book, “Secrets of a Jewish Mother.” The reporter asked Jill if there was any truth to the rumors online that she had asked Doree Shafrir, a journalist, to write a positive review of her book on Amazon. Jill began to share and before she realized what was happening, her yenta came out. Jill blurted out, “Everybody does it.” The reporter pushed, he sensed Jill was ready to talk, Jill Zarin added, “I haven’t commented on that.” Finally in frustration and trying to walk away, Jill confessed, “The reviews came from my account. That’s all I’m saying.” Upset and still reeling from what she’d just said, Jill told Bobby that she had to go back to their rented mansion immediately and left Bobby standing there with Ginger and hundreds of unsigned books.
As Jill speeds away in her Ferrari fleeing to their rented beachfront home, she realizes all is not lost. The reporter who had tricked her into admitting that the reviews on Amazon had come from her account was a small time nobody from a tiny Internet site. Even if he did report her admission of guilt, no one would read it. Jill convinces herself that he probably did not hear her anyway.
Back at the party the same reporter is talking to yet another cast member.
Alex saw Jill escaping and almost in tears. She felt sorry for Jill. Alex wanted to help Jill as they were fellow employees and they had to work together for five months of the year. Jill is “the center of a group of people” and without her, there would be no group of people. Alex needs to make a living in Brooklyn.
“The Real Housewives of New York City” are charitable. We see them going to fundraisers in costumes and designer clothes in our favorite Bravo show. Many of those designer fashions are loaned by design houses as they know the women of Bravo are photographed and filmed.
Last year, we saw the Countess de Lesseps organize a fundraiser for Henry Buhl’s Charity, “Association for Community Employment.” The event was called, “Cocktails and Couture.” The ladies brought designer gowns to Sonja’s home and the charity resold those gowns using the money to help people.
We also saw Alex McCord working for a consignment store in Manhattan that resold designer fashions. Alex explained that some people can not afford to give all of the designer fashions to charities.
All of “The Real Housewives of New York City” are charitable. They donate when they go to the many fundraisers in the social season. The specific source of a dollar that they donate is unimportant. Alex may resell her clothes, but she had no reason to feel defensive about that. Other stars send designer clothing to consignments shops and have had their names on Ebay next to their items.
We can all buy Jill Zarin’s used and new clothing with tags on Ebay. There is a company called Linda’s Stuff which Jill Zarin uses to help her sell her excess items from her closet to the public.
The Linda’s Stuff flier mentions Jill Zarin:
“Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York City” is offering Linda’s Stuff customers another exclusive shot to score first dib on the high end items in her closet. All of the proceeds from her sale go to Jill’s favorite charities.”
Ebay has policies on how they hope their customers on donations to charity.
Linda’s Stuff has excellent ratings on ebay as you can see in the link to the pair of slacks with a tag that has the name of Jill Zarin in the advertisement. The ratings are in the upper right hand corner of the online page. It is located in Horsham, PA. I loved some of the items that the store is selling!
Alex McCord introduced me to consignment shopping last year. Now, Jill Zarin helped me find a great company to use when I shop online for bargains.
Jill Zarin gave the sale a celebrity tweet!
When “The Real Housewives of New York City” are charitable, they deserve a shout out from the “I Love Jill Zarin” blog on the prairie from quincyil
Alex, don’t feel defensive about reselling your clothes. You donate to a great number of charities and it doesn’t matter where those dollars came from, you are charitable.
Thanks Quincy, here’s my two cents:
I join Quincy in her admiration for the Real Housewives of New York for their charitable donations. I’m a bit more skeptical than Quincy is, however, and I question a few things in her story. Why would Jill donate her items to a consignment shop in Pennsylvania when there must be dozens of them in New York City?
Why wouldn’t Jill just donate the clothes directly to a charity like Henry Buhl’s? Her good friend Luann works closely with this charity and we watched last year as Jill helped Luann collect fashions from Ramona’s closet.
Is it possible that Ramona was right and Jill doesn’t return some of these designer duds that she borrows? Maybe she’s sending them all the way to Pennsylvania so they’re not recognized in New York City? Quincy pointed out that Ebay has outlined their guidelines for charity auctions, why don’t the auctions for Jill’s clothing follow those guidelines? Linda’s consignment shop is not a charity and will most likely be taking some of the proceeds, why go that route when Jill could give 100% of the profits directly to charity if she wasn’t using a consignment shop in Pennsylvania? Finally why doesn’t Jill reveal which charities the proceeds will be sent to from these auctions?
It sounds like Jill will be receiving the proceeds in hand and then will donate the funds as she sees fit. That is wonderful except she is going through a whole lot of trouble shipping her clothes to Pennsylvania then collecting the money and finally forwarding it on to charity. It would be so much easier to send the clothing directly to a charity who would sell them and keep 100% of the profits.
These are just a few questions for Quincy’s ILJZ readers to ponder. Otherwise, way to go Jill Zarin!
Until Next Time…