DR. SELMAN: Good to see you. What’s up?
DR. SELMAN: Last time you were here, Hilly was about to go to Rome.
HILLY: It was fun! It wasn’t anything like when we went to Rome, because George wasn’t there and I was with work people, and the first couple nights we were actually outside of the city on this golf course. It was kind of a dump. But it was fun. Then, well, there was a little squabble because I was supposed to come back to New York and go straight to East Hampton to meet George. What happened is, I sent him a text message—
GEORGE: No, first you drank a bottle of Château Haut-Brion and overslept and missed the train.
HILLY: That was the next day.
GEORGE: Oh, right!
HILLY: I left you a voice mail from Italy saying maybe you should go out to East Hampton on your own, because I might be really tired when I get back and I have all this luggage, so I’m probably going to want to go back to the apartment and I’d come out Saturday morning. I don’t know if you misinterpreted the message—
GEORGE: I didn’t get the message. But I got your text from the airport that said, “You go now,” and I think the agreement before had been that you would take the car service from the airport and I would meet you in East Hampton. Anyway, so I went out on the train and I got mad at you when I found out you were at the apartment. But then you stayed up late and you missed the train, and then it all worked out.
DR. SELMAN: Why mention this particular episode?
GEORGE: I just thought we had this agreement. It’s fine.
HILLY: And then last week, there were a couple days when I was really busy at work—my boss was in town from Italy, we had a big event—and George got really mad at me, because a couple of nights I came home and I was really tired and just wanted to go to sleep, and he would yell at me and launch into this whole tirade: “I can’t live like this!” So, Saturday we were in East Hampton. I come back to the city Sunday night, really late. He comes back on Monday. Monday night, at like 3 o’clock in the morning, he gets up and yells, “I can’t sleep like this! I can’t breathe!” So I said, “Well, George, do you want to sleep in the cubby instead?” So I went down to sleep in his room and he slept in the cubby. And he went right to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep in his room because it was messy. I had to clean it up, and I only got two hours of sleep. And the next night he was mad at me and yelling because I couldn’t stay up.
DR. SELMAN: When you say these things—“I can’t sleep like this! I can’t take it like this!”—what is “like this”? What do you mean by that?
GEORGE: There are a number of factors. We’re working out the apartment situation in the next few days. We’re getting an air conditioner in my room. There’s the big main room, and then there’s the little closet masquerading as a bedroom. That’s where she is now. The cubby is in the main room, up high by the ceiling. I can sleep there, because my cat hasn’t ever been up there. We’re going to take everything out, get everything dry-cleaned, throw out the bed, and so on. And I am going to sleep there from now on, because if I’m in there, I can shut the door and Hilly can do whatever she wants in the morning. I won’t hear her.
DR. SELMAN: I have a question: Why did you accommodate him like that? He basically threw you out of bed, and then you had to sleep in his bed, and you couldn’t sleep. Why not just say no?
HILLY: Because I love him.
GEORGE: I was threatening to go to Kent, Conn., for a few days, stay in a bed-and-breakfast. I was like, “I gotta get out of here, I can’t breathe!” The apartment is more like a storage space right now—so much stuff in there. It’s also just living with someone. What Hilly was away in Italy, I was really relaxed. I didn’t do anything for the first three days, just reading and e-mailing. Stayed in at night. Detoxed. Exercised.
DR. SELMAN: Detoxed?
GEORGE: Just not drinking and exercising, eating right. And then, on the fourth day, I realized that Hilly was away and this was my free period and I should be going out. So I went out. One night I left the apartment at 12:30 a.m., it was this friend of mine’s birthday, and I went over to her friend’s amazingly lavish apartment on East 57th Street. My friend was flying on wine and Percocets; I felt like I was at Huntington Hartford’s pad circa ’73. The hostess was really entertaining, hilarious, going around belting out “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Golllld-fin-ger!” And she was showing me pictures of her baby and her estranged husband and everything was going fine, having a normal time, and then her husband shows up. This guy is pure evil. He looked like James Spader in Pretty in Pink. He comes in and he’s very drunk and he looks around and says, “I’m gonna kick the ass of every fucking homosexual gay guy in here”—and I think that he was referring to me and his cousin. She called the cops to get him out of the apartment. And then he called the cops and said, “My wife has 14 homosexuals in the apartment.” I think he went to Buckley. I went to St. Bernard’s, which is more intellectual and civilized. At Buckley, they instill these Wall Street money-and-power values in their students. Guy’s a total scumbag. So his soon-to-be-ex-wife calls the police, and I think someone had also called a drug dealer—so a drug dealer’s coming over, and the cops are coming over. I’m like, “I gotta get out of here now.”
DR. SELMAN: So did you leave?
GEORGE: I left. Went straight to Siberia. Much more civilized. Two of the party guests followed me. They told me that two fleets from the local precinct showed up and the guy started hurling racial epithets at them. My point is, I wouldn’t have gotten into that situation had Hilly been at home. One night, I came home with two girls and a guy who were like 20 years old.
HILLY: You brought them back to the apartment? They smoked my Yves St. Laurent cigarettes.
GEORGE: Yeah, sorry.
HILLY: I hate that, the thought of these little vagrants with all of my stuff out.
GEORGE: You got one of these people a job. They’re friends of ours.
HILLY: I don’t want them or anyone in my house.
DR. SELMAN: So you’re not too happy about this?
HILLY: No! It’s embarrassing.
DR. SELMAN: This is the first time you’re hearing of this?
GEORGE: They were there for about 20 minutes. I don’t think they were very impressed. I put on the Spinal Tap special-edition DVD, then I tried Casablanca. They were basically out the door in 20 minutes.
DR. SELMAN: What are you thinking, Hilly?
HILLY: It just makes me mad that they were there.
DR. SELMAN: Hilly, you look very tense.
HILLY: Ha ha ha. I don’t know—I just don’t like that.
GEORGE: I was keeping my eye on them. They were fine! Preppy Upper East Side kids!
DR. SELMAN: Is there something missing?
HILLY: Well, two packs of cigarettes is all I’ve noticed. Which I don’t care about—
GEORGE: I think you’ve gone to Bungalow 8 and sat at their table and drunk their vodka.
HILLY: Of course, of course. But if I knew that people were going to be over—
DR. SELMAN: That’s an interesting concept. If one of you is away, should the other be able to bring strangers over?
HILLY: Do you know the full names of these people? Like, how well do you know them?
DR. SELMAN: Good question.
GEORGE: I think we’re in the realm of the absurd now.
DR. SELMAN: Why is that an absurd—
GEORGE: It’s not like they moved in for a few days.
DR. SELMAN: She asked if you knew their first and last names, and you didn’t answer. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
GEORGE: O.K., Alix, Alexa and Paul.
DR. SELMAN: You’re 50 percent there.
GEORGE: I don’t know their last names. Anyway, so now that we got that settled—
DR. SELMAN: I don’t know—is that settled, Hilly? It doesn’t sound to me like anything’s been settled.
GEORGE: How about a new rule? When you’re away, I can’t have anyone over. I can live with that. No one comes over—ever. It’s kind of nice when we have some guests.
HILLY: If people come over to my house, I’d like it to be in a nice state. I don’t want there to be dried puke on the floor and stacks of old newspapers and big dust bunnies and cat hair and pubes blowing around like tumbleweeds. And your used Breathe Right strips stuck to the walls—which, by the way, you can find everywhere in the building, even downstairs in the basement. And then he eats his Omega-3 fatty fish oils, they’re gel caps, and he sucks the fish oil out of them, then throws the gel caps all over the place.
GEORGE: O.K., come on now.
HILLY: These visitors you had over are maybe people I kind of know through work, so now they’re probably saying, “Oh God, that weird Hilly—talk about Grey Gardens!”
GEORGE: So you’re saying it reflects badly on you?
HILLY: Yes! At least give me an opportunity to clean up.
GEORGE: They were all 20 years old.
HILLY: I’m 32! If I were 20 and I were on their level, it would be one thing, but I feel like they’re going to look at me and be like, “She’s 32 and she lives in cat puke?”
DR. SELMAN: There is something I have to point out to you: You’re 32 and you live in cat puke. Ha!
GEORGE: I don’t think it’s that big a deal. But I won’t have people over from now on.
HILLY: It’s not that I don’t want to have people over. I just think that we should be more respectful of the space we live in.
GEORGE: The other day, I was looking around the apartment and it was unrecognizable—there were flowers and candles and girly stuff. I think what I do is, I want to hold onto something from the apartment’s bachelor-pad days.
HILLY: Then I had this kind of hormonal fit of rage one night last week. George went out, and I woke up and went to work. I was about to leave around 7:15 a.m. I called him because I couldn’t find my keys.
DR. SELMAN: He wasn’t back?
HILLY: He wasn’t back. I couldn’t find my keys; it was PMS or something. It was this wave of emotion and rage, and I just got so angry—and I started throwing things around because I was looking for my keys. There was a bowl of change, and I picked it up and I kind of like tossed it and knocked a couple other things off the table. Anyway, so then later on—
GEORGE: Wait, can we stop for a second?
HILLY: When I got home that night after a work event, he made me clean all that stuff up immediately.
GEORGE: Can I add one or two things? I got a voice mail from you at like 7 a.m. I was at a party at a friend’s place. You said, “Where are my keys? Oh, you’re probably with some slut!”
GEORGE: Not true. I mean, yeah, there may have been sluts around, but—
DR. SELMAN: Hilly, do you think you might have had some feelings about him being out all night?
HILLY: Welllll, yeah, because I just hate that feeling of waking up in the morning. I was sitting there thinking, “Well, what if he’s dead? What do I do?” In any other situation, I would be calling the authorities. I wish we could come up with some kind of rule—if you’re going to stay out past 4 o’clock in the morning, leave me a text message that you’re still alive.
GEORGE: So I got home and the place was completely trashed—
HILLY: This is—
GEORGE: Let me finish! Her explanation—I’d love to forward you the e-mails—“I’m sorry, Scoopie, I had PMS, Aunt Flow came to visit.” It was more like Keith Moon came to visit. It was trashed.
HILLY: Oh my God. It still looked cleaner than the apartment normally does.
GEORGE: The keys were in the couch. I found them 10 minutes after I got home.
DR. SELMAN: George was missing, right? George was not there. The keys were there.
GEORGE: Right, I should’ve sent you a text at 4 in the morning.
DR. SELMAN: Why not just come home?
GEORGE: Yeeeeah, well. The night began—
DR. SELMAN: She’s been gone for two weeks, she comes back, and then you’re out overnight?
GEORGE: I knew this was going to be a late night, and didn’t I get you flowers before I went out? Didn’t you say that the cat looked at you like you were a “crazy bitch”? I was worried that you’d hurt Baba when you’re throwing stuff around the room.
DR. SELMAN: How does the cat have an expression on its face?
GEORGE: She told me that.
DR. SELMAN: It must be a very imposing cat.
GEORGE: I’m sure Baba was terrified. Did you put her in the bathroom when you were hurling stuff?
DR. SELMAN: Is anything damaged?
HILLY: Absolutely not. There was a mix in this bowl—some coins, some matches, some old chewed pieces of Nicorette gum, some lint, some fuzz, some shreds of paper—and big stacks of magazines and papers from God knows when, and dirty socks and some underwear, you know, all this stuff around. Basically, what I did—because I was frustrated, because I couldn’t find my keys and there’s all this crap everywhere, so I just started going like that [HILLY makes a violent sweeping motion] to a couple places.
DR. SELMAN: How did you even notice, George?
HILLY: That’s what I was actually wondering.
GEORGE: O.K., um, so all right, enough about that. So last weekend, you came out to the Hamptons on Saturday, right? Remember anything?
HILLY: I think we sat by the pool. We watched movies.
DR. SELMAN: You know, we really haven’t resolved anything. There were two issues: what do we do about bringing people back to the apartment, and whether or not you should be out all night. You said that you thought he was with floozies?
HILLY: I didn’t know if you were dead or with whores somewhere—I think that’s what I said in my agitated state of mind. I guess those are the two scariest things that immediately come to mind when I wake up and he’s not there. God forbid he’s either dead or with some whores.
DR. SELMAN: Which would be worse?
HILLY: Him being dead.
[To be continued.]
George and Hilly published 07/31/06
George and Hilly published 07/24/06
George and Hilly published 07/17/06
George and Hilly published 06/26/06
George and Hilly published 06/19/06
George and Hilly published 05/29/06
George and Hilly published 05/15/06
George and Hilly published 05/08/06
George and Hilly published 05/01/06
George and Hilly published 04/17/06
George and Hilly published 04/03/06
George and Hilly published 03/20/06
George and Hilly published 02/6/06
George and Hilly published 01/23/06
George and Hilly published 01/16/06
George and Hilly published 12/26/05
George and Hilly published 11/14/05
George and Hilly published 11/07/05
George and Hilly published 10/24/05
George and Hilly published 10/17/05
George and Hilly published 10/10/05
George and Hilly published 10/03/05
George ’n’ Hilly, Back in Couples, Turn on the Doc published 09/26/05
But Should We Get Married? Part III published 08/29/05
But Should We Get Married? published 08/15/05
Should I Get Married? My Hilly Joining Me In Couples Session published 08/08/05