A friend of a friend’s fourteen year-old daughter asked if she could interview me. She needed a live model for a project I assumed was for school. Come to find out I wasn’t her first choice, just the only one who said yes.
I wasn’t particularly thrilled either, but anything for a kid.
I of course was expecting just that, but instead, got a mini Diane Sawyer. She even insisted on interviewing over tea.
She was so efficient and grown-up, I thought, could she be older, just a little hormonally understaffed? Despite her tight jeans, trim blazer and silver Jack Rogers gracing her tiny feet (like Jackie O wore she informed me), she still had adolescence written all over her. Imagine a flower that has not quite blossomed, but any minute will burst into a blooming blonde bombshell. It actually made me nervous hoping it wouldn’t happen at the table.
She had her aqua organizer (looked like Gucci) on her lap pulling out a little notebook and pencil, like a cub reporter from the 40s might use. I had visions of her watching old movies with Rosalind Russell and Kate Hepburn deciding, this is the way it’s done.
I wanted so much to take over but knew enough to stop myself, especially when she chose a very pricy tearoom. She even ordered rolls with Nutella, the rich kid’s version of Bosco.
Susannah, this is her gig not yours. You’re only a minor player so mind your own business.
Let’s hear it for 12 Step folks.
It went something like this…
Kid: “So how old were you when you decided to be a model?”
SB: I think I came outta the womb wearing Chanel to be quite honest.” No reaction. Oops, may we have a lack of humor here? Uh-oh…better change gears Susannah. “I wanted to be one as long as I can remember.”
jot jot jot.
Kid: What was your first big break?”
“Kid: “Who was Wilhelmina, another model?” How could she not know who Willie was conducting an interview like this… HMM.
jot jot jot
Kid: “How old was she when she became an agent?”
SB: “In her thirties.”
Kid: “Wow, she was old.” Jesus, if she thinks that’s old that must make me, well…older.”
SB: “It was just a choice she made and a good one because next to the Ford Model Agency, she became the second biggest.”
jot jot jot
Kid: “Are you still working for her?”
SB: “No, Willie died years ago, very young. I still miss her.”
Kid: “Of course she’s dead. She’d be what, about your age?” Okay, did somebody put her up to this? I looked around for Camille.
SB: “Why don’t we move onto something else.”
She suddenly sat very tall in her chair.
Kid: “Did you go out with lots of rock stars?” Not the something else I was thinking of, but this is the first time she showed any real interest, like hoping I’ll say I blew one of the Stones. I decided to be professional.”
SB: “Oh yes, hundreds.”
SB: ” Wouldn’t you like to know what it’s like being a model, for real?”
Kid: “I already know all that. You pose for Bazaar and Vogue, do the big shows in Paris…smoke, do drugs, hardly eat.” Omigod, who is she describing, Kate Moss before she got out on bond? Cartoon model?
SB: “Well, that’s not really true. Yes, if you’re lucky and work really hard you do get to work for Vogue and the big fashion houses, but not every girl has that happen, and not everyone does drugs…aren’t you going to write that down?”
Kid: “Did you ever work for Vogue?” What could I say, yes…but I didn’t tell her it was a mock Sound of Music piece where I played a nun. But the mere mention of Vogue bugged her eyes out like she was being strangled.
SB: “Tell me something Mindy (I’ll call her), are you thinking of becoming a model?”
This is when she took lipstick out of her Vuitton tote, applied it like a gun moll and said, “You’re damned straight I am. My parents made me to do this as punishment because I shaved my eyebrows hoping you’ll convince me it’s a bad idea.” I wondered what those two little immobile worms were on her forehead.
SB: “Well, have I?”
Kid: “Are you kidding? You went out with rock stars, worked for Vogue. No, I’m gonna be a model, maybe not like you. You are kinda old, but now it’s definite. I’m thinking of calling myself Lynx. You know, a one name-er like Gisele.”
I started fanning myself with a menu.
Kid: “More tea?”
SB: “Do they serve anything stronger, do you know…like scotch?”
Pictures of Wilhelmina courtesy of Google Images