Whenever I see Bebe, which I do for lunch every few months, I am always relieved to find that she is still wearing a headband. For a while, there were a lot of women wearing them, in some misguided ode to Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl. They all bailed around the time Blake Lively’s cleavage became a major character. But Bebe’s band is no passing phase. For as long as I’ve known her it’s sat perched above her blond bangs like a laurel signifying her unshakable WASPiness.
She’s the nicest John Hughes villain you’d ever meet.
The last time we got together, as she stood to hug me, she left her iPhone on the table. I looked down at it. I wasn’t snooping. I just didn’t know that Lily Pulitzer made iPhone cases. And then, as I stared at the little pink shoes on a lime green background, I noticed something out of character.
“Bebe,” I asked her, “why are you searching ‘threesome’ in the App Store?” Though perhaps the better question would have been why the term results in a tool to help your golf game.
“Have you ever had one?” she whispered. “You know, a …”—and here she held up three fingers and mouthed the offending final syllable. It took me a minute to put this rebus together. Apparently it was too shocking to say, though not to do.
“Well, you know,” I replied, “the opportunity has never really presented itself!”
“Would you want to?”
Oh, God. The opportunity was presenting itself.
I’d be terrible at a threesome. I wouldn’t even know how to cuddle afterward. Would there even be cuddling afterward? Would there be breakfast?
“I … no. I don’t think so, but thanks! That’s really flattering.”
“No!” Bebe exclaimed, “no, no! I didn’t mean you!”
That was a relief. But why not me? I would have made pancakes in the morning.
“It’s just,” Bebe explained, “I promised John we could have one for his birthday. But I have no idea how you make one happen. Do you? Know how to?”
When was it exactly that women stopped giving men books and bow ties for their birthdays and started giving them breast implants and swinging sex? Probably sometime around 1963. And it had all led up to this—confused WASPy girls with pink-and-green phones desperately typing in various risque acts. Philip Larkin must be turning over in his grave.
“I thought there might be an app for it,” Bebe explained. “There’s that one for gay men. Where they can find each other. I thought there would be one like that.”
“You thought you’d find a bunch of bisexual girls at Bryant Park Grill?” I scanned the room full of rather bored, beautifully dressed women eating identical cobb salads. If the threesome-seeking app existed, Bryant Park Grill would be a really good spot to fire it up.
“I’m sure there’s a website that’s perfect for that,” I noted. “What about Craigslist? I think this is why Craigslist exists.”
Bebe began pecking away at her phone.
“Oh, it’s just furniture,” she said. She looked pleased to have found such a wholesome place, filled with vintage armoires. I grabbed the phone and began drilling down, feeling worldly.
“Tuesday Night Is Suckfest For Hung Trannies,” I read, as Bebe’s eyes widened in horror.
I no longer felt worldly.
“I am not a hung tranny,” she said.
A second later I found a pregnant woman who wanted to meet a couple who would drink her milk. Bebe lifted her perfectly manicured hand to her mouth and kept it there for a very long time.
“It’s just. I was hoping it would be someone who seemed nice. I want it to be with someone I’d like doing it with. Someone like Chloe Sevigny’s character in The Last Days of Disco, you know? That would be a good person to have a threesome with.”
“Do you think picking the most virtuous and virginal character in film might be a difficult starting point?” I asked (though I admired her for aiming high). “What if you went for someone like…” I paused to assess our mutual friends. “Becky!”
Becky spends a fair amount of time smoking peyote and having spiritual experiences. She seemed like someone who would know how take the reins on a threesome. She also has a tattoo that reads “I [heart] Sex” which seems like a good sign.
“Are you insane?” replied Bebe. “She’s terrifying. She tried to eat a live snake.”
“It wasn’t poisonous. It was more of a kissing thing. She tried to make out with a live snake, and that shows she’s up for new experiences! And she has a Chloe Sevigny–type physique.”
“She’s on drugs.”
“No,” she said firmly.
“You could…” and now I found myself whispering, “call an escort agency. They’d send someone, and she’d be very nice.” I knew this because I have seen The Girlfriend Experience as well as Pretty Woman.
Bebe adjusted her headband primly. I assumed she had a moral objection. “I don’t think so,” she said. “I just don’t feel like I should have to pay for it. Besides…” she hesitated, “Julia Roberts is really adorable.”
“That’s ideal then, right?”
“No,” Bebe replies, “because then John could fall in love with her and take her to an opera. Thank God John doesn’t like the opera.”
Bebe called me a few weeks later. It seems John had been having second thoughts and decided that what he’d really like for his birthday would be a new nine iron. Bebe seemed somewhat disappointed, but she had just the app to go with it.