Pills or Drinks

Dear Readers, January in New York means winter in full force. It also means Madison Avenue going into SALE mode—emptying the shelves of the winter selection to prepare for the coming of spring.

During the winter months, we all must find our own way of dealing with the bitter cold that is an everyday reality. Some of us fly to Miami whenever we can. Some deal with it by binge watching favorite shows or choosing a local watering hole. Some of us even have secret sexcapades which will forever remain tucked away. On Madison Avenue, where money is not an object and everything is a matter of want, the only real escape you can have is through pills or alcohol.

Do not hate the dealer, hate the game.

Drinking is an acceptable activity in moderation at social gatherings. However, if you show up for school drop-off hammered by 8:00 a.m., it is frowned upon. Pills. Well, let us not be naive. We all had our youthful years when we dabbled and experimented. For most, that’s exactly what we did: experimented and left it at that. But for some of us, that dabbling became a vital lifestyle.

Allow me now to formally introduce you to Dorothy Love.

Dorothy, by no fault of her own, is now seeing green Martians wherever she goes. She lives her life thinking she is invisible most of the time—a charming experience, I am sure. Dorothy was born and raised on Madison Avenue. She leaped through all the necessary hoops to grab her coveted spot in a higher social circle. She got married, had kids, attended all the lavish parties and charity luncheons and shopped at all the right stores. Unfortunately for Dorothy, her husband left her for the “old story:

” Man hires receptionist, man falls in love with receptionist, man leaves wife and kids and marries receptionist. (That is the fairy tale Disney should tell!)

Poor Dorothy has checked the undesired box of being divorced with kids while her husband moved on to a better life somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. But not all was bad for Dorothy; she was lucky enough to be born into money and inherited millions that will allow her to maintain her lavish lifestyle. But that was not enough to keep her happy. Existing on the Upper East Side with no man or desire to date again and her overwhelming boredom forced Dorothy to search for another solution—one that could not be purchased from the shelves of Saks Fifth Avenue. Instead, her solution was to be found at her local Duane Reade with the help of the right prescription from a witch doctor willing to sell his soul for a shiny new car—even if that meant taking a perfectly healthy, bored, capable mom and turning her into a zombie. Dorothy slowly became deranged, going from a vocal, outspoken, and active person to a slug leaving a trail of slime on the pavements of Madison Avenue. Her manner of conversation shifted into one where she believed people needed to be spoken to slowly and in a thematically inconsistent way. By that, I mean Dorothy would start a conversation about her dress and her next sentence would be about the fact that we put a man on the moon decades ago. She had lost her grasp on reality. Nonetheless, she is a sweet person.

How many people do you know who can stare at you for ten minutes straight without saying a word, then ask you, “What day is it?”

Life at home was no picnic as well, especially for Dorothy’s twenty-person staff attending to her twenty-bedroom home and catering to her every whim while her kids were at boarding school. The staff was having the time of their lives with this 24/7 live dramedy called Dorothy Love. She provided entertainment wherever she went. While she had no schedule and nothing to do, she always reminded people that her profession was psychiatry. One should not peek under that stone is all I have to say. Dorothy kept to herself and stayed away from the social circle for two reasons. For one, she was not invited. For another, she simply did not remember they existed anymore. She was so disconnected with the world and herself that she used to claim she had stopped smoking, all the while holding a lit cigarette in her hand. The one thing Dorothy never forgot is to always look tanned like she just came back from a long weekend at the French Riviera. She was so on-point getting her tan that she went every three days. It reached the point where the most famous tanning facility on the Upper East Side—which caters to A-listers and socialites alike—did not know what to do when she insisted on getting all those sessions. Luckily for Dorothy, she was not a bad person. The tanning salon people loved her, so they gave her the feeling she wanted. They put her under placebo lighting which did nothing to her yet gave her the feeling she was still getting tanned. All we want in life is to feel beautiful, and old habits do die hard. In Dorothy’s case, I believe she maintained her weekly beauty regime not because she wanted to look young and fresh, but because it was the leftovers of a life she once had. In those beauty spots she frequented, the people were always warm to her. Maybe it was because of her money. Maybe she even knew that and didn’t care. Maybe it was because they remembered her in her glam days and genuinely liked and cared for her.

Whatever the reason, being beautiful made her feel good, and that is something we all deserve.


Guy Who Knows