No Place like Home

Hello, and welcome.  Are you the director?  Oh, the PA. Oh fine.  Olivia.  You can call me Terri.  I spell it with an ‘i’ –not that you could tell from hearing it, of course.

Oh, no — you don’t have to take your shoes off, but please be aware of our ecru wool carpet.  It shows dirt.  We paid extra for that.  Our decorator — you’ve probably heard of him — said, “Untreated wool carpets show real wealth. Everybody has them.” So yeah, those are them.

Please give your coat to Barnaby.   He’ll also charge your phone for you, if you’d like. And he’ll alphabetize your apps.  He loves that.

A drink?  In this cozy but unpretentious room — that is John Currin; you recognized it! — we serve only colorless drinks.  It’s just awful having to brush the suede pillows if they get even the tiniest stain.  Awful work.  And Barnaby has a million other tasks to do tomorrow, so if you don’t mind?  Vodka? Gin?  Water? Tonic?  Perrier? Simple syrup?  White Rum?  Anjejo Tequila?  If you want bourbon, scotch, red wine or Diet Coke, please head to the breakfast room, where my husband is managing his brackets.  Larry loves his Cosmopolitans and his diet sodas (“You drink girl drinks” our son Telemachus teases him), so he goes to his corner and I usually stay in my beautiful, pristine den. (By the way, the stager was fabulous. I’m going to ask our private banker at First & Last if we can actually buy these blue leather-bound books about the war.  World War. II. Or I.  Either. They both look good.)

Larry and I are totally hands-on parents. We interviewed tons of nannies before we hired Mrs. Blaine.  Her record was spotless, and she actually looks like my Aunt Doris. The kids are with her now, at the Lucian Freud exhibit.  My ten-year-old daughter, Poinsettia, just loves Freud.

And that’s why we needed a hands-on banker. (Did that come out right? Also, can I put down my hand with the book in it?  It’s getting heavy. I take it this thing can be edited. Even Telemachus makes movies on his phone. I can have Barnaby download them for you if you’d like to see them.)

Oh, can you ask the director if he wants me to say that another way? Okay, then, just let me try that again. The director is going to come by and say hello, isn’t he?  Claude? Oh, he’s a she?

OK, starting over:  Welcome. Would you like a seat?  Need to use the loo first?  Take a tour of the place?  I don’t know if I mentioned it, but we aimed for comfort first, elegance second.  I mean, we live here.  This is our home.  I’d say “This is our house,” but it’s in an apartment building; just so whoever is watching this will understand.   Of course you understood. You came up in an elevator.

Just like our private bankers understand us.  Mmm. They do.

I could pretend to water the orchid, if that’s better?

We high-net-worth customers need tending, like our orchids.

(I thought that was good.  Could you please ask Claude?  Too much? Okay I’ll put down the orchid and hold the book, no problem.)

The kids do homework here, but not right here — more over there.  Just — no, just past that doorway.  Yes, right.  You could call it a kitchen.  It’s part of what we call our “family suite.”  Very lived in.  I’m here practically all day.  It’s my mission control center.

 OK — I’ll try to get to the point.

When Larry and I started our shampoo company, we worked day and night, first in our parents’ kitchens, then in a warehouse, never quite believing we’d have such success. And you could say our first five years of Wow Your Hair Smells Like Hair paid for this exquisite home where you are visiting today. If we hadn’t had such wonderful bankers, this might not have happened.  And if we hadn’t been turned down first by the board at 882 Park, because, you know, they thought our plans for adding a suntan salon were “overly ambitious“ we’d never have found such a perfect place. I mean it is us!  That’s why we are so happy to talk about First & Last Trust Company.  They met us, they tried our products, and they believed in us.  And now, look at this spread!  Look at my art!  Yes, that’s a Cindy Sherman.  You are good!  

Look, I’m not even wearing my statement jewelry, because they said to look “quietly rich,” which makes no sense to me.  I mean what’s the point of that?  (But I went ahead and put my statement jewelry is in a safe-deposit box –three, to be honest–at First & Last Trust Company.)  I wanted potential customers to see me in my private study to be inspired.  I was going to pose in my luggage/storage-crafts room, but this one is more aspirational. That’s what the First & Last’s publicity department said.  

Anyway, the point is, if you are an ultra-high-net-worth individual like me and are ready to become kind of different from how you were in your old neighborhood, just like me, contact the private banking group at First & Last Trust Company, and maybe you can have a personal relationship with a banker — and his wife; they throw that in — who have box seats at the U.S. Open!

Now can I put down the book?

Lisa Birnbach started out in vaudeville.  Her most recent book is True Prep, published by Knopf.  She tweets at @LisaBirnbach. (Those rumors about the Palm Springs condo are mostly untrue.)