Sleb Safari: Gwyneth Paltrow has a house manager. Might you need one?
HAVE you been introduced to the second most famous Jeffrey in the world? You’ll be familiar with Jeffrey number one who is married to Ina Garten and should really be known as the Barefoot Count even though he’s Dean Emeritus at the Yale School of Management and it might look odd on a business card.
As of five minutes ago there’s a second, very special, Jeffrey who is employed as Gwyneth Paltrow’s house manager. That’s right, her House Manager.
“He’s from Chicago” she offers by way of explanation and introduction.
We meet House Manager Jeffrey in a Taffy Brodesser-Akner profile of Paltrow for The New York Times Magazine.
Offered a drink, Taffy asks for a glass of red wine and Gwyneth nods to someone over the journalist’s left shoulder.
“I turned to see Jeffrey, the same man in a shawl-collar sweater who opened the door for me earlier. He nodded back,” Taffy writes.
“Is he your butler?” she whispers to Gwyneth after Jeffrey has retreated out of earshot to the wine cellar.
“No, he’s a house manager,” Gwyneth replied.
“She doesn’t know what she’d do without him. ‘He’s the best. He’s from Chicago. He’s so incredible. He helps me with everything’,” Taffy writes.
So now, when someone looks to you to explain an unusual situation all you need to say is “He’s from Chicago”, regardless of context.
You can be pointing to a puddle on the floor, a damaged wing mirror or your husband when he says something odd to the postman.
Sleb Safari recommends Taffy’s razor sharp profile of Gwyneth and her multi-million pound goop industry based on moon dust and jade eggs.
“The minute the phrase ‘having it all’ lost favour among women, wellness came in to pick up the pieces,” she writes.
Sleb Safari particularly enjoyed Taffy’s retelling of her visit to Paltrow Palace and the dinner of steamed clams (the irony) cooked by her host with a glass of whiskey in hand while “a woman who has worked for GP for a long time stood beside her, cooking an entirely separate dinner for GP’s children”.
And Taffy met those children who were about to enjoy their entirely separate dinner. They were mannerly and she liked them.
Taffy and Gwyneth enjoyed their clams, steamed, in a candlelit dining room alongside GP’s fiancé Brad Falchuk and later smoked a cigarette, suggested by Taffy as a test since she had read somewhere that GP smokes one cigarette a week.
Afterwards Taffy returns to her hotel and lies wide eyed in the dark comparing her life to Gwyneth’s. That way insomnia lies.
Sadly, Jeffrey does not make another appearance. He opened the door in a shawl-neck sweater, he poured the wine and he topped up the glass while Taffy’s attention was diverted and disappeared in a puff of smoke, or more likely a cloud of vegan cologne. And he’s from Chicago.
That, quite simply, is not enough. We need a profile of Jeffrey, Taffy, and we need it now.
Sad Cat News
Sleb Safari greets you this week with the sad news that the cat of the year 2018 award had to be presented posthumously.
That’s right, Theo the cat died one week before he was (rightly) named 2018’s top cat by the Cats Protection.
In a nutshell Theo is credited with saving his owner’s life when she developed a blood clot.
“When I woke up in the night feeling unwell, I put it down to a virus. I was confused and shaky but thought I should just get some sleep. Theo wouldn’t let me and was behaving very strangely and out of character. He kept batting me with his paw, meowing and jumping on me – keeping me awake. Eventually I decided to call my mum and she called an ambulance,” Charlotte Dixon said.
“The paramedic recognised the signs of a blood clot straight away and said it was a good thing I hadn’t fallen asleep as I probably wouldn’t have woken up.”
Charlotte collected Theo’s award and said she was devastated to lose him but proud that others thought he was a worthy winner.
That he was Charlotte, that he was.
Ask Rihanna: Our New Agony Aunt
The subscriber’s cover of the September issue of @britishvogue, starring @badgalriri, styled by @edward_enninful and shot by @nick_knight. Rihanna wears a @loewe dress, hair by @yusefhairnyc, make-up by @isamayaffrench using @fentybeauty, floral artistry by @azumamakoto, nails by @jennynails and set design by @tomotattle
Rihanna has the September cover of British Vogue and offers some sage relationship advice in the accompanying interview.
“I think a lot of people meet people and then they’re dating the idea of what the person could become, and that person never shows up and then they’re just mad disappointed.
“A person can always get better, they can always get worse, but you’ve got to be fine with what you met them as.”
Vogue, you know what you need to do. Give Rihanna her own advice column.