The Silver Fox enters Chez Waldorf with a gift, freaking Eleanor the heck out. She rushes over to him, like a hostess, and then demands to know what the fuck he's doing these, which is somewhat less hostessy. "Well, I was hoping to see you again. I thought it great good fortune that Roman tracked me down at the skating rink and extended an invitation." You did, did you? "Great good fortune," you thought it? I'm in. Come on, Eleanor. She shakily invites him to enjoy the party, and sprints off in the opposite direction. And the stars in his eyes... What if there were something more romantic than the hash Rufus has made of Lily's brain? You're soaking in it.
Eleanor gets very Blair around the facial area as she tracks down Roman and demands to know what the fuck he was thinking, inviting strange men to her home. Um, what he was thinking was, "Eleanor's so great, except for the intense emotional abuse of her daughter -- what if she had sex with a hot straight dude, and thus discovered how great sex could be, and then left us the fuck alone to have a life without her and her psycho daughter constantly trying to destroy us?" But what he says is, to be fair, more diplomatic and way cooler: "Jack came? Go talk to him. Bring vodka." Which honestly is the correct and short answer to a very long, sad question: "You have before you two men: one wants to bone you and the other does not. Get over yourself." But E's not having it, whispering, "You practically picked him up off the street!" Roman shakes his lovely head. "And but then I googled him, and his name is Jack Roth [not Cyrus Rose, so no Aaron yet], a prominent hedge fund guy with offices in London and Barcelona." Which, points for trying, except hedge fund jokes are over, and also were only ever funny in the under-35 set. "And he finds you very attractive." Which, she's gorgeous, which is why surrounding yourself with gay dudes, who are constantly pairing up, is a bad idea, especially in the fashion world. "Well, that's no excuse, and I am doing just fine without your romantic help." Roman asks the very pertinent (and impertinent) question, "Are you?" Which...is mean and fucked up, but also material to the case before her.
"Eleanor, we've been friends for a long time." She kind of laughs, but not in a way where it's not true. "Since before Marc Jacobs went into rehab." And you know, I really, really like the whole relationship between Eleanor and her husband and Roman, and I like how they expect us to follow along, how she was married to a gay dude and dealt with it, and was friends with this supermodel and knew it was going to screw things up, but dealt with it, and then her husband ran off with her friend, and she dealt with it, and all of these things have happened in the last year, but she dealt with them. I like that. I like how even though the absconding just happened in the last year, she was already well aware of the deals she was making. That's so real, and not just in the world of this show: that everybody's got burlesque and there's not a marriage in this world where you don't take the easy way out in order to make it work. That makes her staunch and, if not perfect, admirable at least. Nobody is in a place to judge somebody else's families, because everybody's got a thing we avoid in conversation. Honestly, I think it characterizes why I'm so mad about this show: it's easy to say, "Rich people, meh. You don't have to worry about it, because rich people suck and their lives are secretly horrible behind the mask." Because that's true. But the show takes the next step, which is that behind every mask is an actual life, so you're dumb for just getting off on the fact that their lives are weird and sucky, or for thinking that people deserve misery for having more money than you do. You can take it at that level, and enjoy it, but the real truth is that behind the money and the mask, these people are still people, and dealing with shit that makes the money unimportant. My dear friend Karen was talking a while back about how of course I love this show, because it chops off most of Maszlow's hierarchy and says, "And then what?"