I have never really understood why name-dropping is so frowned upon. If you happen to make a connection with a famous person, no matter how glancing it may be, why keep it to yourself? Why hide your Brangelina under a bushel? It seems downright selfish. Sharing the experience, enthusiastically and vivaciously, is the neighborly thing to do. Being all coy about it—“Yes, Snooki from Jersey Shore is now a personal friend, but I just really want to protect her privacy”—seems infinitely more suspect than transparently and openly dropping the name.
With that in mind, here goes:
FRIDAY, JAN. 8
So there I was, chatting backstage with Madeleine Albright. I was hosting the Gem Awards, a jewelry thing, at Gotham Hall, and former secretary of state Maddy was the star honoree. Before leaving home that night, I had generated Madame Albright’s Jersey Shore nickname. Yes, thanks to unlikelywords.com, we can all now discover our noms de Jersey Shore, à la Snooki and The Situation of MTV fame. This time-wasting idiocy has become my new hobby. Examples: Mine is “The Condition”; Madeleine Albright’s is “The Incident” and Tina Brown’s—she was Ms. Albright’s presenter—is “Hot-Spot.”
I am not often in the orbit of such diplomatic royalty. It made me a little nervous—so nervous, in fact, that while rehearsing my spiel backstage, I developed an alarming tick. Every time I said the words “Madeline Albright,” it kept coming out “Gloria Allred.” The terrifying prospect of conflating Madame Albright’s illustrious name with that of the carrion-chasing lawyer lady was so alarming to me that I became quite sweaty.
In the end, my twitchings were all for naught. The echo at Gotham Hall rendered my words all but incomprehensible to most of the audience. One attendee—style expert Robert Verdi, name-drop, name-drop—told me later that it sounded as if I were speaking Hungarian. Mercifully, the technical problems were resolved by the time La Albright took the stage. Her speech—she talked about how her bejeweled pins became part of her diplomatic arsenal—was endearingly un-pompous and extremely cheeky, as in “Kim Jong Il and I were the same height, but I was wearing heels and—oh wait!—so was he.” When I got home I Googled Kim Jong Il’s Jersey Shore nickname: It is “Juice-Box.”
MONDAY, JAN. 11
So there I was chatting with the most important fashion designer in the world … Alber Elbaz! (Jersey Shore nickname: “The Deltoid.”) The master talent behind the house of Lanvin was in town to hondle his pre-fall collection to the likes of Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey (“The Pooker”), Project Runway’s Nina Garcia (“The Tight End”) and various retailers, including me and the Barneys gals.
During his défilé, Alber stood proudly next to each model and held forth on the design of each extraordinary garment and its underlying inspiration: “In Paris, there is a mysterious leopard lady who walks the streets in a leopard trench coat and dress and foulard. Toujours leopard! She was my inspiration. Et voilà! The leopard lady!” Would that the overproduced Bryant Park shows had half the savoir-faire and chic intimacy of Alber’s presentation. …
FRIDAY, JAN. 15
Joan Rivers and I were both guests on The Joy Behar Show. (Their Jersey Shore nicknames are “The Tan-Trum” and “J-Pow,” respectively). This may sound like the grovelings of an inveterate name-dropper, but I have to say that Joan is, from her Blahniks to her tight face, a totally right-on sister. She is warm and empathetic, utterly hilarious and clearly into the leather scene. She was wearing a Versace-goes-punk, gold-studded biker jacket, super-sassily teamed with hoops and baubles from her HSN jewelry collection.
Joan’s punk-rock S&M mood found full expression once the comic legend got in front of the cameras: When J-Pow Behar cast aspersions on Camilla Parker Bowles, The Tan-Trum, a longtime pal of Prince Charles, leapt to her defense, claiming that “Camilla is fabulous and sexy and Princess Diana smelled of vomit.”
The late Diana’s Jersey Shore name, no disrespect intended: P-Pow.
Drop your name into the Jersey Shore nickname generator: http://www.unlikelywords.com/ 2009/12/08/jersey-shore-nickname-generator/.