Joan Crawford Cover/Gianni Ferrari
By Amy Phillips Penn


VINTAGE GOSSIP is alive and well in the elegant hands of Amy Phillips Penn, former society columnist for the New York Post.  Every Thursday, Amy pens her posts with that same touch of class, making the legends and lore of a bygone era as relevant today as they were when Jackie O was queen of New York.

“As June walked toward me from the darkness of the garden into the light of the door, I saw for the first time the most beautiful woman on earth. Her beauty drowned me…
By the end of the evening I had extricated myself from her power. The enormous ego, false, weak, posturing. She lacks the courage of her personality, which is sensual, heavy with experience. Her role alone preoccupies her. She invents drama in which she always stars. I am sure she creates genuine dramas, genuine chaos and whirlpools of feelings, but I feel that her share in it is a pose. That night, in spite of my response to her, she sought to be whatever she felt I wanted her to be. She is an actress every moment.”
— Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

Have you met the Drama Queen? The self-scripted, exquisitely crafted, egotistically self-important woman who creates high drama, from the latte she sips to the romances she manipulates onto Page Six.

Most of us have met her in one form or another: a schoolmate who reeks of Animal House sorority potential, the new girl in school, the not-quite beauty — but close enough — who flirts with any “taken” man. And there’s the scavenger, who swoops deftly into your universe and manipulates the truth into what works for her. Hold onto the air that you breathe; the DQ (not to be confused with Dairy Queen) will inhale and pollute as much of the universe as she can. Duct tape your entrances and open wide your exits, the Drama Queen is en route.

While Harry emphatically tells Sally that men and women can’t be just friends, I relish my platonic male friendships. I love having a man in my life that is a great companion, an available escort, and gives a pre-reality show take on masculine advice. We hope that these relationships can be forever ones, but that implies that when we add a mate to the formula, we’ll have a new BFF in the making; so much for assumptions.

When my closest male friend met his first wife, she terrorized everyone around her; he saw her as an angel. She told his friends that she thought he was gay, and then informed him that his friends had made that claim. She spread unthinkable rumors about his ex-girlfriends, who ran in the other direction faster than a yellow banged-up Ferrari.

Their courtship involved an elephantine trunk load of cocaine, throwing pots and pans out of her East Side apartment window…a melodrama on opium of biblical proportions. After a few miniseries of their own making, they married. The bride boasted that she had mooned the minister.

What next? Their marriage lasted close to a decade, one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe.

News flash: When marrying a Drama Queen, think prenup…then lawyer it up.

He proceeded to marry wife number two, whom his friends immediately dubbed with the B or C word depending on their breeding or lack of B.S. tolerance.

We all want what someone else has…or do we really?

What’s a Drama Queen without an audience and entourage to torture, entertain, and partake in our very own reality show, commercials not included? The Drama Queen devours — whether its elements of a life that are not hers, a man that “belongs” to someone else, a wardrobe, a family heritage, a “look” — anything or anyone that momentarily satiates her ravenous appetite in the blink of perfectly executed mascara-ed eyelash.

Roxanne was a famous actress who was as well-known for her great beauty, her multiple marriages that vied for a high-five in the Guinness Book of World Records, and her many press-worthy incidents, including accidentally shooting herself. What did she do with the fortune that movies had made for her? Who knows; she often borrowed change to pay her Con Ed bill.

Roxanne made a frequent entrance at Le Club. She often came unescorted, and made a Hollywood entrance, dressed to perfection, and often veiled. Then she’d swoop in on someone’s date.

Those who pursued her advances and dated her deemed her crazy, but crazy in a “famous actress makes for a way better saga” way, and not crazy as in “the girl next door crazy.”

The Drama Queen accumulates a coterie of unauthorized authors who will fill in her script without even signing on. She dots the I’s and crosses the T’s, along with anyone who gets in her way. No matter how much collateral damage she incurs, is what matters how she views herself? Ask an expert.

 

“I am just too much.” — Joan Crawford

 


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