The other day, I was given the opportunity to meet and chat with Jill Zarin. While there was an actual lunch taking place for her as part of the event, I didn’t actually eat lunch with her.
This was one of my “New York” moments that still has me scratching my head. When I arrived at the 21 Club, I knew immediately that this was a pretty big to-do (Fun Fact: Nearly every single President has been to 21 since FDR. Every single President except George W. Bush-draw your own conclusions). I had never heard of the restaurant itself, but it is really fascinating and is one of those places that you really must check out at some point (Fun Fact #2: Scenes from “Wall Street” and “Sex and the City” were filmed there, and has an “invisible” wine cellar built during the prohibition era).
So here I was at this ridiculously cool restaurant, clad in a white dress and shabby gladiators, waiting to meet Jill Zarin with my “media” credentials. This event, called the Divalysscious Mom’s Mother’s Day Luncheon was put on in support of Jill’s new book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love. Aside from the other women actually attending the luncheon and getting pampered with makeovers, it was just me and a new friend of mine who is a blogger for Yahoo, along with 5 photographers and Inside Edition. Talk about surreal.
I opted out of an interview and photo ops with Jill… perhaps because I wasn’t prepared to do EITHER, and I’m still getting my feet wet with this whole celebrity/media business. I spent most of my time talking with her father, who is really incredibly sweet(he introduced me to Jill as a “mommy blogger” and when my face turned beet red, her eyes definitely rolled), sister and contributor Lisa Wexler, and her sister in law- also named Jill. Jill herself was nice to me (and everyone around us), and perhaps it was my nervousness that caught the eye roll. They were all lovely.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know Jill, I don’t know her family but I DO watch The Real Housewives of New York City. I know what I see on the show and I can tell you this: Both Jill and her mother, Gloria look and act EXACTLY the same way as they do on the show. I was standing there searching for cameras thinking “Holy crap THIS MUST BE TV.” Jill seems overly distracted and focused on something else in her head. Her mother wouldn’t let any of the photographs or interviews until her husband rolled in SO nonchalantly with his glass of red wine. Kelly Bensimon was on the invitation and supposed to be in attendance. She was not, and that created a bit of an issue, of course. Between smiles for the flashes, Jill could be heard hissing through her teeth “WHERE IS KELLY. KELLY IS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or hide behind one of the massive curtains.
Honestly, I am looking forward to reading the book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother. They stress that you do not have to be Jewish to appreciate what is written about. “Most of what we share in this book is the universal truth about the importance of tradition, the art of motivation, the sanctity of family, the essence of friendship”. All of which I can appreciate, especially having grown up with a Greek mother
Aside from all of the dramatics and goofiness, those three women clearly share a deep bond and evidently put it into print with their new book. I’ll let you know what I think when I finish.