Introducing Lord Ainsley Ffelppes-Manners, Viscount ThriplingdonMiss Daisy gave me the cutest gift for my birthday, a sort of do-it-yourself memoir kit entitled My Fabulous Life; Musings on a Marvelous Me (Worick, Jennifer & Kerry Tessare: Chronicle Books, 2001). Like those pre-printed baby-books that one buys at Hallmark and dutifully fills out as one's first baby progresses through life (and which is usually abandoned at the onset of Baby's First Tooth... nobody has time for scrapbooks when there's a teething baby in the house), this cunning little volume comes equipped with all sorts of little "categories," with leading statements followed by several blank lines for me to fill in with my own information.
And as I peruse said cunning little volume, I discover that I am simply not fabulous enough, in myself, to fill out even one of these entries! Even in the fulness of my Marlénèness, CZs glittering madly and double-fox stole draped carelessly over one shoulder, I cannot come up with one good answer. I mean, the book starts off with a few pages entitled "The Quiz" (or, I should say *The Quiz* because everything in this book is punctuated with stars and suchlike), and it poses a number of questions that will give you an idea of just how fabulous you are. The first statement is, "My Typical Friends Are: A) SMART & FAMOUS * Nobel laureates, Oscar winners, best-selling authors; B) ULTRA GLAM * Pop stars, couture designers, celebrity nightclub owners with rap sheets; C) FILTHY RICH * hotshot producers, major league athletes, Australian media moguls; or D) HIGH-FALUTIN' * Kennedys, Argentinean polo players, diplomats."
Now what the hell am I supposed to say to that? I know loads of smart people, but not any famous people; I know a number of glamorous people, but find Ultraglam to be just a little tiring. In my social circles, great wealth is owning your own home in a neighborhood where gunshots do not ring out every night. And I wouldn't bother to know anyone who could be described as "High-Falutin'"... what an awful word! There was no category for "None of the Above."
The quiz (excuse me, *The Quiz*) goes on and on in this vein, posing quite reasonable questions and then providing multiple-choice answers that I would be embarrassed to admit to, even if one of them got anywhere near the truth of my life. Then we get into the fill-in-the-blank reminiscences, where I am invited to expound on such topics as "The Swankiest Soirée I Ever Threw," "The Greatest Compliment I've Ever Received About My Sexual Prowess," "The Primary Reason I Am Often Mistaken For A Deity," and "Pesky Royals Who Won't Leave Me Be." There isn't even one entry where I can tell the story about how I threw up on that cute Czech boy when he shoved his cock too far down my throat, or the time I fell drunkenly off the stage because I'd slipped on an ice-cube from my own cocktail.
And so, since I would love to fill out this lovely memoir (I mean, who wouldn't love to have an answer to "Coveted party invitations that I declined due to my whirlwind social calendar"?) I am going to invent another New Me: Lord Ainsley Ffelppes-Manners, the twelfth Viscount Thriplingdon. His lordship will have to fill out the blanks of the cunning little volume himself, and the rest of us Mannerses will just sit here and giggle at him.
In the coming weeks (or months, or however long it takes me to tire of this conceit), we will be perusing the pages of My Fabulous Life; Musings on a Marvelous Me as provided by our dear young English cousin Lord Ainsley. We will learn all about his jet-set travels and romances, his homes of Ffelpford Castle in Buckinghamshire and Thriplingdon House in St. James Square, some history of the Viscountcy of Thriplingdon, and any other bits and pieces of trivia his lordship chooses to bestow upon us. Here is the first installment of pages:
*MY FABULOUS LIFE*
Musings on a Marvelous MeThis book is the exclusive property of:
12 Viscount Thriplingdon
Ffelpford Castle, Great Fickling, Bucks
Thriplingdon House, St. James Square, SW1
*The Quiz*1. My Typical Friends Are:
A) SMART & FAMOUS * Nobel laureates, Oscar winners, best-selling authors.
B) ULTRA GLAM * Pop stars, couture designers, celebrity nightclub owners with rap sheets.
C) FILTHY RICH * hotshot producers, major league athletes, Australian media moguls.
D) HIGH-FALUTIN' * Kennedys, Argentinean polo players, diplomats.
2. My Typical Marriage Proposal Involves:
A) Fireworks, skywriting, eloquent begging on bended knee.
B) A whirlwind courtship, a romantic getaway, and a rock the size of Texas.
C) Surprise side note in a State of the Union Address.
D) Abdication of the throne.
3. My Typical Soirée:
A) WHARTON-ESQUE * Engraved invitations, white gloves, double-entendres in the parlor.
B) GATSBY-ESQUE * Japanese lanterns, endless martinis, alfresco dining under the stars.
C) 54-ESQUE * Disco balls, go-go-dancers, a velvet rope to keep out the riffraff.
D) FAIRYTALE-ESQUE * A brilliant entrance, a wave of the “magic wand,” and then days of hot pursuit.
4. My Typical Friday Night Date:
A) Champagne and oysters at a cozy French bistro; the conversation sparkles!
B) Champagne and oysters on a cozy French tycoon; the chemistry sparkles!
C) My date comes to see my sold-out show; my song-stylings sparkle!
D) Whisked away on the Concorde; the City of Light sparkles!
5. My Typical Job Offer:
A) Celebrity party-planner in the Hamptons.
B) Olympic athlete, carrying the torch for my country.
C) Personal fashion muse to Donatella Versace.
D) Crowned sovereign.
6. My Typical Saturday With The Family:
A) Rolling in our money in the den.
B) Dodging paparazzi on the ski slopes.
C) Tugging at formalwear at another movie premier.
D) Flying to Camp David on Air Force One.
7. My Typical Getaway:
A) Spreeing hard in the Big Apple.
B) Whirlwind trip to the Galapagos Islands.
C) Trapeze training with Cirque de Soleil.
D) The Grand Tour of Europe, à la E.M. Forster.
8. My Typical Style:
A) Classic elegance of Audrey Hebpurn or Cary Grant.
B) Ghetto-trendy flash of Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy.
C) Downtown chic of Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck.
D) High maintenance, well-groomed look of Elizabeth Hurley or Rupert Everett.
9. My Typical Birthday Gift:
A) Blue-chip stock.
B) Chartered plane to a remote yet luxurious mountain retreat.
C) Next year's model of a sporty BMW.
D) Keys to Cartier!
10. My Typical Personal Appearance Request:
A) Entertaining the troops at a USO Show.
B) Impressing the jury at a hot rapper's court appearance.
C) Breaking the champagne against the bow of a rich sheik's yacht.
D) Vanity Fair cover story, with photos by Herb Ritts.
A=1 point, B=2 points, C=3 points, and D=4 points.
Me in "costume" ~ there wasn't really much to it ~ for my notorious Leather & Lace Ball, Winter 2001
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