Take a clinical look at 'the mistress'

09/07/2011 10:00 PM

ANN GERBER

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MISTRESSES HAVE BEEN AROUND, pleasing men and making trouble, since biblical days. Wasn’t Hagar, an Egyptian slave who went to bed with married Abraham in the Bible, a role model for many modern sisters?

IN A NEW, WELL-RESEARCHED BOOK, MISTRESSES, author Elizabeth Abbott, questions whether mistresses are glamorous, happy, alluring women, and finds most do not have a truly rewarding relationship.

ACTRESS MARILYN MONROE, A SUICIDE at 36 after a year-long affair with President John F. Kennedy comes to mind.

POSTER GIRL FOR SUCCESSFUL MISTRESSES is earthy Camilla Parker Bowles who ended up married to the Prince Charles she loved but gave up her reputation and suffered bad press and public humiliation before the current happy ending.

“I WOULD RATHER HAVE A SMALL PIECE OF A GREAT GUY than no one at all,” one mistress told me after her married lover of nine years died. She went to the funeral, unnoticed, and lamented that he never gave her anything of value except his mother’s modest pearl and diamond earrings. Would she do it again, if she had the chance? “Yes, the only truly lonely part was holidays when he was with his wife and kids and wouldn’t call me. Otherwise he was attentive and loving.”

INDULGING IN SHORT AFFAIRS with married men doesn’t qualify as mistress-work unless the man pays the rent, gives cash gifts, etc. over a period of time. Many divorcees, widows and single women look for this type of financial support on top of the dinners, vacations and other perks that might follow.

“BEING ALONE, MINUS A MAN, is tough. Couples don’t want you around as other married women worry about you stealing their husbands. I have tried to seduce guys at my office,” one divorcee confessed, “but they have their choice of younger, prettier girls and I’m left out. An older, married man would find me eager and giving.”

ONE MAN’S MISTRESS is another man’s wife, eventually, when the femme is great looking with a winning personality. In the long run, she’ll get her own man. One famous case is the manicurist who was the mistress of one of our richest tycoons. When his wife died, he married his mistress although younger, stunning girls tried to get his attention. He really loved her.

ANOTHER HIGH PROFILE WIFE was once the mistress of a wealthy lawyer. Who can forget his wife coming home from a trip abroad, earlier than expected, and throwing all the mistress’ black lace bras and panties, plus slinky gowns, out the window onto Lake Shore Drive? But this mistress, pretty and smart, soon landed her own husband and has been a faithful, respected mate for 23 years.

WHO WAS THE HANDSOME, SUPER RICH EXEC who had mistresses in New York, Chicago, Paris, London and L.A.? He was lavish in his gifts and maintained five homes for his paramours and they all knew they were not exclusive. He’s been dead for years but his legendary lifestyle hasn’t been topped. All a married man needs is tons of money along with the seven-year itch, and mistresses will flock.

BUT OF COURSE, THEY DO IT FOR LOVE.

Gossip, gossip, gossip

WHO IS THE SUCCESSFUL CAREER WOMAN who accepts plaudits for her amazing achievements, when in reality, it is her proud and rich papa who makes the companies survive and thrive?

WHO IS THE CHEATING MEDIC who got caught out of town when Irene hit, after telling his wife he was in their Wisconsin summer house?

BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES to a great gal — Sylvia Muller, wife of lawyer Kurt and a dedicated civic leader, mom, and true friend … ANOTHER SUPER FEMME celebrating is popular realtor Maggie Dempsey, an Elizabeth Taylor look-alike and one classy lady.

WHAT A GREAT WAY TO MEET GUYS! FIFTY new Bunnies will staff the modern Playboy Club planned to debut on the Near North Side, perhaps in the vintage space of restaurant Il Mulino on North Dearborn Street. In years past, the curvy, sexy femmes were not allowed to date customers, but love (and lust) found ways to overcome management rules. One famous case was Bunny Beverly Crown marrying Barry Crown of the wealthy local family, after he fell in love with the brunette beauty and divorced his wife. It was hard work being a Bunny. You had to learn the Bunny dip, so putting down drinks and food was like an Olympic sport. Today, so many young women boast enhanced bosoms that they will look super hot in the revealing rabbit couture.

CALL IT “DANCING WITH THE REJECTS.” NO STARS in the current lineup for this popular TV series.

THEY CAN’T LOSE … BILL AND GIULIANA RANCIC are partnering with the Melman winners, R.J., Jerrod and Molly, kids of veteran entrepreneur restaurateur Rich Melman, in birthing an Italian eatery where Ben Pao ruled on Illinois Street. Melman’s young crew has proved its worth with Hub 52 and Paris Club, creating a mecca location for young diners rivaling the Viagra Triangle action at Rush and Bellevue.

WHEN THE COOL CAT’S AWAY, the mice will play … WHO is the musician who went out of town leaving staff to take care of his elegant home? They had nonstop parties, drank all his wines and emptied his freezer of steaks and chops.

JASON DOHMANN, popular assistant general manager at busy, swank RL, is now with Perennial Virant restaurant at 1800 N. Lincoln Ave.

CHAZ EBERT, wife of movie critic Roger Ebert, will be honored Oct. 13 at the Women in Film Focus Awards at the Mart Plaza Hotel. Also in the limelight are Linda Jack, director of voice-over talent with Grossman & Jack Talent, and Karen O’Hara, Oscar-winning set director for Alice in Wonderland. Toni Reed is event chair.

THERE IS NO PRE-NUP for the third marriage of beret-wearing anti-violence chief Curtis Sliwa and wife Mary, who are calling it quits. They remain friends and she’ll get custody of their 7-year-old son. They were wed 11 years.

A RECORD 23 TV SERIES are being filmed in New York, with Pan Am the newest. The $5 billion TV and film industry is vitally important to the Big Apple. It supports 4,000 businesses and 100,000 jobs.

LOOK INTO YOUR CELESTIAL BALL and you’ll see that the Adler Women’s Board annual gala benefit is Sept. 10 at the planetarium. The ball’s chair is Amanda Bonnell.

CONFIDENTIALLY, a manager at one of our larger condo buildings is in hot water and may be terminated.

MOVIE CRITIC ROGER EBERT and author Rebecca Skloot who penned The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will be honored with awards at the Chicago Public Library Foundation dinner on Oct. 20 at The Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. This celebratory evening is co-chaired by Margot and Tom Pritzker, Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Michael Pucker, Donna La Pietra and Dia Weil. This event marks the 25th milestone for the Foundation and the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Harold Washington Library Center. It is also the 10th year for the Library’s One Book, One Chicago initiative. Skloot’s book is being made into an HBO movie produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. Ebert has written 17 books and countless reviews, essays and screenplays. Master of ceremonies Bill Kurtis has authored three books.

ONE OF THE TASTIEST STORIES in Food & Wine this month is about top chef Tony Mantuano of acclaimed Spiaggia. He reports that President Obama “loves the wood-roasted scallops at Spiaggia.” Some of Tony’s obsessions are green Sanelli knives from Italy, Zegna and Armani suits, Chinese dumplings in chili oil, pepper-rubbed pork sandwiches, Cy Twombly art, tennis, his hometown Kenosha, Barack Obama, Ritmo Mundo watches and London’s One Aldwych Hotel.

CHEF ART SMITH’S COMMON THREADS, which educates kids about nutrition and physical well being, will hold its benefit Chef’s Cookoff Sept. 15 at Fulton on the River. Guests will vote for their favorites with Stephanie Izard, Todd Stein and Sarah Levy among the contestants. Lots of good eating for a good cause.

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE COMICS, Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm will be seen in an ABC comedy which he will write, star in and produce — complete control.

BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES for Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall, Kobe Bryant, Gene Simmons, Sean Connery, Macaulay Culkin and Kenny Rogers.

WE CONGRATULATE THE ART INSTITUTE on naming expert curator Douglas Druick, 66, museum president. He has a 25-year background with many notable achievements.

WHO ISN’T ADDICTED TO SHOES AND MORE SHOES, AND HANDBAGS? Not the 400 guests who drooled over the Saks fashion show at the Palmer House Hilton to benefit the American Cancer Society. Kathy Brock of ABC 7 was master of ceremonies and chair of the event was Bonita Friedland. Stacey Barrins is women’s board chair.

GUESTS AT FASHION SHOW INCLUDED KRISTINA McGRATH, NINA MARIANO, TONI CANADA. IN TOWN FROM NEW YORK to see family and friends was stunning Sunday Galiano-Porcelli, formerly hostess at Bice on Ontario Street. Tall, glam Sunday was a popular star at Scores in the Big Apple before marrying Louis Porcelli and having two great kids — Angelina, 7, and Dominick, 12. Blond angel-like Angelina is a model and dancer.

GETTING A GIGGLE each time it parks near Gibson’s Steak House is the sign on the side of the Stockyards Meat Packing truck. It says, “Caution: Driver Carries No Steak Sauce.”

POLLY PANCOE, JOYCE FONG AND SHERYL NOVAK brought home awards from the National Concierge Association’s leadership summit in Texas and their group was voted Chapter of the Year 2011. Bravo!

WHO DARES SAY WE ARE NOT A SUPER CLASSY CITY? POLO at North Avenue Beach Oct. 1 and 2 is our latest attraction and this sport of kings will impress the peasants! And the snobs! Joe Ahern, Jack Hartman, Mark Mitten, Dan Uslan, Craig Duchossois and David Herro are major members of the host committee. Nobody will kick sand in their eyes. Even Michael Butler, who once brought Prince Charles, Maj. Ferguson and other notables to his polo field, is in on this endeavor, the Grey Goose World Beach Polo Cup. Fashion shows and social tents will add to the fun as eight teams from all over the world compete, and four teams are made up of women. David Wigdahl, former six-goal world class player, will field a local team and rival Argentina’s best. A portion of the proceeds from the matches will go to the 100 Club which aids families of fallen firefighters and policemen. VIP passes are $250 and general admission $20.

“A MURDERER, AND I’VE DONE NOTHING BUT CHARITY FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS.” —HEATHER MILLS, ON THE PERILS OF DIVORCING PAUL McCARTNEY

CONTACT: annbgerber@gmail.com or 847-677-2232



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