“I’m kind of an outsider, like the third New York,” she said. “I wasn’t born on the Upper East Side or even New Jersey. My family doesn’t own God-knows-what or whatever. I have friends who are big old New York people, whatever. I’m from a small suburb of Seattle.”
I asked about her detractors in young society.
“It’s just funny to me,” she said. “People throw out the word ‘social climbing’—I know that’s been going around about me, probably, I’m sure. But have you heard that from people? You can be honest. It’s okay.”
“I’m not worried, because I know the people that have been saying things,” she continued. “I don’t even know what social climbing is. What is social climbing? They don’t know me! I know people are talking. What I’ve been told is, ‘Oh, you’re getting attention and you’ve come out of nowhere.’ I’m very sarcastic, and I think a lot of people don’t get that, and so I’ll just like say whatever, and I’ll make some sort of comment, the Asian rice paddy joke. I mean, someone’s spreading a rumor that I want to be the Asian Paris Hilton.”
I got the check and we headed over to the Rose Bar. She social-kissed the female door person and we were whisked inside. Ms. Wei said that the next day she was meeting with a producer about appearing in a reality TV show. I wondered if this was another example of things just happening to her, as opposed to ruthless calculation.
“I don’t know, some may argue that I’ve climbed my way up there!” she replied. “I contrived it, it was my master plan. I was like, ‘I’m going to move to New York and I want to be the Asian Lauren Conrad.’ You know, that’s my aspiration in life, George. Maybe my next step is a nose job,” she said, laughing. “You know, I’d love to be famous on some reality TV show.”
It was midnight and she had to meet some friends at the Belmont Lounge. Winding around Gramercy Park, she said lately she’s noticed some of the people who used to be her best friends, the ones who brought her into fashionable society a year ago, haven’t been quite as friendly. When she told an “old New York” guy about it, he gave her some pointers.
“He said, ‘You are way too nice for your own good, and you need to become meaner. Because they’re not your friends. Don’t be so nice. Just be a bitch.’”