December 13, 2006
Beauty and the Beat Reporter
I had the chance to interview Christie Brinkley on TV the other night and was both excited and a little nervous to meet my childhood icon who in her fifties is still one of the most beautiful creatures gracing the planet.
There's a good reason I'm a print journalist, or actually two — hair and makeup. I can turn an analogy on a dime but straight eyeliner eludes me, and the event where we would be filming her was formal, so I also had to pull together the perfect not too sexy but not too dowdy outfit to wear.
Hamptons chic is fairly casual so my supply of black stockings is not extensive. When not one but also my backup pair ran as I tried to put them on, I panicked. I remembered a nail polish trick to try to stop the run but thought the Jungle Red gob on my ankle might be even more distracting. I could have gone bare-legged but thought it a) too casual and b) the December pallor below the belt just didn't seem like a good idea.
I had one last resort — the tawdry pair of thigh high fishnet stockings from Fredericks of Hollywood which goes with my Naughty Santa costume. Fine, they would have to do.
I was about halfway through my standup intro outside the Ross School when I felt the right stocking starting to slip. ( They are only designed, after all, to stay on for three minutes.) Unsure of how my producer was framing me I didn't know if I should reach down to grab it before it appeared like my grandmother's support hose crumpled around her ankle. But right then Christie arrived and my producer snagged her for our sit-down interview.
I introduced myself and we chatted as we went down to our stage setup which provided the perfect excuse to grab my stocking and yank it up, hoping it looked like a ladylike instinct to hold onto my skirt walking down the stairs. Now the Ross School has a real Asian influence and at the bottom of the stairs is a wooden weave floor with just about enough space between slats to accommodate a stiletto heel. While Christie sort of breezed over it like walking on water, I struggled like a deer on the metal rods in driveways designed to keep them out. Christie was kind enough to point out that it wasn't my fault, normally everyone wore slippers in the building.
Great, if I could have worn slippers and a bathrobe I wouldn't be having my stocking dilemma either.
Christie asked me before we began if her makeup was okay. There is something about the cover girl for Cover Girl, one of the most successful models of all time asking me, miss, I have flecks of mascara on my eyelid and at least one tooth slightly glazed with Mauve Delight lip gloss, if she was presentable for local TV. "You look perfect to me," I said, but as she sized up my skills in this area she took out her powder compact.
"Isn't it a gift that our eyesight goes a bit over time so we don't notice everything," she said. That's my line, I thought (I was wearing glasses), but couldn't believe that Christie Brinkley felt the same way. I wanted to add that it was also God's plan that our eyes were on the front of our heads so we wouldn't have to look at our asses all day, but I couldn't bring myself to say "ass" to Christie Brinkley and certainly not with a camera present.
She turned out to be just as lovely as could be and answered questions about her own childhood and school experience and all her future projects. It was encouraging to hear that she had gone through an awkward stage of her own as a teen. Well, I thought, I'm just like her, except I'm going through it tonight.
I purposely didn't stand to say goodbye, and after she left, I breathed a sigh of relief, stood up and both fishnets came cascading to the floor. I gracefully took off my shoes and stockings and walked, confidently, barefoot, out of the Ross School.
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