La Liz at 85

“Things didn’t get informal until, I’d say, the end of the ’60s. Everybody began protesting everything and dressing like rag-pickers,

“Things didn’t get informal until, I’d say, the end of the ’60s. Everybody began protesting everything and dressing like rag-pickers, dressing as badly as they can. But that’s just young people. I mean, I think the upper classes still—they preserve a little decorum. But I don’t know that there are really fabulous places to go and dance and drink and have fun anymore. Well, I mean, I’m sure there are—if I would go downtown, I’d see a whole different thing. But I sort of quit, I guess, after the Donald Trump years. When was that, the ‘80s?”

Ms. Smith famously broke the news of Donald and Ivana’s 1990 divorce, much to Mr. Trump’s chagrin. (The two made up long ago.) “I like Donald,” said Ms. Smith. “I admire him. You know, he’s really a pretty nice guy. He’s sort of culturally deprived. He wants to go home and get in bed and eat a hamburger and watch sports. He’s not a social climber. He couldn’t care less. He thinks he is everything that he needs to be.”

Today, though, it’s likely the news of Mr. Trump’s divorce would have landed on the Internet first. “The news is so instant, and particularly for me, now that the Post has cut me down to three days a week, I can never get a scoop anymore. I’ve had to start writing philosophically about entertainment, and try to bring a more mature point of view to whatever is going on,” said Ms. Smith. “Because if I had any news, if I filed it, somebody would give it to the Internet. Frankly, I don’t think most of it is worth keeping up with.”

The Observer averred that one could, in fact, drive oneself crazy trying to.

“Well, I don’t know who the hell all these people are,” said Ms. Smith. “There’s so many of them! You know, I used to write about entertainment from the ‘40s on, when there were really big stars. They were stars and they stayed stars, and they were really fascinating, whether you told the truth about them or you didn’t.”

Now, in addition to the columns she writes for the Post, Ms. Smith has been contributing to Wowowow — posts like “PRINCESS DIANA! Remember Her?” and “Texas Cowgirl and ‘Tenderfoot’ Memories,” about her college roommate Nita Mae Boyd. There was also the “Age, Sex and the Sometimes Single Girl” conversation that Ms. Smith participated in, which took place on her 85th birthday on Feb. 2. Ms. Evans asked her whether she’d had sex since turning 80, and her response was: “What an impertinent question. No, I haven’t had a lot, Joni, because you’ve got the only guy I want. No. Actually, I have had a little bit. I can’t deny it. I have had a little bit of sex … with people who don’t know how old I am.”

“Well, my point was yes, but let’s not make a big deal about it,” Ms. Smith told The Observer. Natural Blonde made waves because Ms. Smith had admitted to affairs with women, including longtime partner Iris Love, though it’s also filled with tales of being hit on and dating and marrying men. “And then some Web site comes along and says, ‘Liz Smith will sleep with anybody,’” she said. “And I thought this was funny, and great, but I was thinking, wow, how times have changed! Not very long ago you would never have printed that about somebody unless you had something on them. Because they would have sued you for it.

“Of course, I thought it was funny,” she continued. “I don’t care if they want to write that. If they think an 85-year-old woman will sleep with anybody, well, then great! But on the other hand, I’m not dead yet, so who knows. Somebody said, ‘Would you ever marry again?’ I said, ‘Instantly!’ I think about it every day! I said, if you know any men who want an 85-year-old woman, send them my way.”

Ms. Smith called the waitress over for an order of sopapillas, the Mexican fried-pastry dessert. “Be sure to bring me some powdered sugar, will you? How about another drink? Hey, sweetheart? Could we have one more on the rocks?”

That was The Observer’s drink. “You’re not having one?” we asked.

“I’ll have some of yours. How’s that?”

La Liz at 85