Style Diary: August 12, 1996

The moment to buy something passed. We left Bergdorf’s empty-handed and walked up Madison Avenue to La Goulue. “Writing about you isn’t exactly the height of objective journalism on my part,” I said. Candace shrugged. The boîte was filled with married ladies with expensive painted hair, and we settled at a table at the back.

I don’t think there’s a war between men and women,” she said, talking about the sexes, ordering beef carpaccio from a handsome French waiter. “If you think it’s a war, then you’ve already lost.”

When asked, Candace said that she doesn’t write in the nude and has been writing for most of her adult life. Her first published piece, for Night in the last days of Studio 54, was titled, “How to Act in a Disco.” The last line advised: “If someone dies, ignore them”

Candace was born and raised in Glastonbury, Conn., one of three daughters whose mother and father are still happily married. She recalled white-gloved shopping trips to Hartford, her first pair of hot pants at age 12, and her first trip to New York. She met a significantly older Manhattan executive during her undergraduate days at Rice University in Houston. He invited her to visit him in New York during a summer weekend, and she came by bus from Glastonbury.

“He was pretty sophisticated and it made him nuts that he had to meet me at the bus station,” she recalled, sipping a cola with lime. “I was wearing a straw hat; he seemed to have lost some hair since I last saw him. ‘What’s wrong with your hair?’ I blurted when I got off the bus. ‘What’s wrong with your hat?’ he aske
d. He was really upset.”

The gentleman put her up in a room at the Roosevelt Hotel that his company paid for. They had dinner but nothing happened. Then he left her alone. “It was great. I was in New York. You can’t sleep your first night in New York because it’s so loud. So I just walked around and around. That was the weekend the helicopter fell off the Pan Am building.”

Candace has been fascinated by the whirligigs of local emotions ever since. Marriage? “I’m not interested,” she promised. “You’ve got to keep your individuality in New York, and I’m never lonely. I might be sad, but I’m not lonely.”