February 07, 2014
GSTAAD—A heavy snowfall diverted some forty-odd private jets from landing in Saanen airport, thus the one percent of the one percent that came to Gstaad for a grand wedding last weekend used conventional travel methods. Actually, it was more of the one hundredth of one percent that lefties complain about, 650 of them arriving for Tatiana Santo Domingo’s marriage to Andrea Casiraghi, son of Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Our host was Vera Santo Domingo, mother of the bride and widow of Julio-Mario, among the richest families of South America and a Colombian dynasty. It was obviously a young crowd—a hell of a lot younger than myself, anyway. I put some of them up in my chalet, which proved rather handy later at night when I had trouble finding my way home and negotiating any stairs whatsoever. Both Friday and Saturday nights ended late, after 6AM, yet most guests attended the goodbye brunch on Sunday. This included yours truly on a couple hours of sleep and, according to the mother of my children, dressed impeccably while in bed in my dinner jacket but having taken off my dancing shoes. My left hand had bled quite a lot all over the sheets, but otherwise there were no injuries whatsoever except for the Karamazovean hangover.
Ah, how fresh and good-looking the young are after a party that lasted more than eight hours of full-time dancing, boozing, and other more destructive inhales. Two of my guests were young Christian of Hanover and his truly beautiful girlfriend Alessandra, and on Sunday morning, with as little sleep as me, they looked radiant and were rushing off to Madrid with George Scott, son of Pugs President-for-Life Nick Scott. I don’t begrudge my age—what the hell, I’ve had a hell of a ride—but I am jealous of those who look so fresh in the morning after two nights of getting hammered. One thing that struck me was how polite Christian and Alessandra were, thanking everyone and bringing us gifts for using a bed less than five hours in three days and two nights.
Which brings me to ex-Soviet Union slobs who use the Alps and other places where I happen to hang out. In their visas there should be an obligatory declaration by the slobs themselves that they know two English expressions—“please” and “thank you”—and that they will use them at every opportunity, even as they pay the hookers who solicit their business. It won’t help, but it will make me feel better. As Dorothy Parker said when asked to define horticulture, you can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think. The Palace Hotel in Gstaad has probably the best staff I have ever encountered since I started my brilliant career 55 years ago. I am very friendly with them and have never in 55 years had a cross word with anyone who works there. Many of them admitted to me that they have never heard the two magic expressions from the Russkis or the Gulf camel drivers. Depending on such barbarians for one’s livelihood must be a grim business indeed. But back to the party.