Manhattan Wedlock! Never-Married Women, Toxic Bachelors

The M&M’s

“Here’s the deal,” Jerry said. “There’s a window of opportunity for women to get married in New York. Somewhere between the ages of 26 and 35. Or maybe 36.” We both agreed that if a woman’s been married once, she can always get married again; there’s something about knowing how to close the deal.

“But all of a sudden, when women get to be 37 or 38, there’s all this…stuff,” he said. “Baggage. They’ve been around too long. Their history works against them. If I were single and I found out that a woman went out with Mort Zuckerman or Morty (Letterman co-executive producer Robert Morton)—the M&M’s—forget it. Who wants to be 20th on that line? And then if they pull any of those other stunts, like children out of wedlock or rehab stays—that’s a problem.”

Jerry told a story: Last summer, he was at a small dinner in the Hamptons. The guests were in TV and movies. He and his wife were trying to fix up a 40-year-old former model with a guy who just got divorced. The two were talking, and suddenly something came up about Mort Zuckerman, and then Chuck Pfeifer and suddenly Jerry and his wife were watching the guy turn off. “There’s a list of toxic bachelors in New York,” said Jerry, “and they’re deadly.”

Later in the day, I relay the story to Anna, who’s 36 and who has a habit of disagreeing with everything men say. All guys want to sleep with her, and she’s constantly chewing them out for being shallow. She’s dated the M&M’s and she knows Jerry. When I told her the story, she screamed. “Jerry is just jealous. He’d like to be like those guys, except he doesn’t have the money or the power to pull it off. Scratch the surface and every guy in New York wants to be Mort Zuckerman.”

George, 37, an investment banker, is another guy who sees the toxic bachelors as a problem. “These guys—the plastic surgeon, that Times editor, the crazy guy who owns those fertility clinics—they all take out the same pool of women and it never goes anywhere,” he said. “Yeah, if I met a woman who had gone out with all those guys, I wouldn’t like it.