Last night on The City, Freddie Fackelmayer and his father managed to make utter fools of themselves. Freddie by wearing gingham, and his father by just appearing on the show at all. Meanwhile, Whitney allows both Father Fackelmayer and her ex Jay to make a fool of her. But the biggest fool this week was Olivia, for whom Whitney and Roxy discover a deep loathing.
Lesson 1: Verbal communication.
Do: When your superior is explaining an assignment at work, speak clearly and try to show a sense of understanding of what your boss is saying to you. Erin explains to Olivia her work task for the episode, which is to help with the party Elle is throwing with Longchamp to support the Kipton Foundation for emerging artists. Olivia can’t even say, “Okay, sounds great!” like a good assistant (because she’s not a real assistant, but we digress). Rather, she sits there looking angry, like her hairdresser pulled her hair back so tight that her face was too taut to allow her lips to move enough to speak.
Don’t: Try to prove to your supervisor that you are superior to her every chance you think you get. All Olivia can say to Erin is stuff like “I know Kipton.” Translation: “I’m a socialite and so I'm better than you.” Erin looks like she would find no greater pleasure than in throwing a stapler at Olivia’s parted, moussed bun.
Lesson 2: Showing your date you’re not batshit crazy.
Don’t: Bring your dad to dinner within the first five times of seeing somebody. On Whitney and Freddie Fackelmayer’s second official date (assuming The City producers haven’t deprived us of any other winning moments in their fictitious courtship), Freddie brings his DAD as the surprise guest. He refers to Whitney as his “girlfriend.” What is Freddie’s dad thinking by appearing on this show? What is Freddie thinking by allowing this to happen? Aren’t these people businessmen? Wall Street must really be a joke.
Don’t: Say “AWKWARD” as soon as the parent leaves, as Freddie does to Whitney, probably more because he knows they’re going to look ridiculous on national television than because he cares about her comfort zone.
Do: Something unexpected and sweet, like having her over for home-cooked veal piccata. Like surprising someone you like at dinner WITH YOUR DAD, it’s still a risk — and therefore a thrill — yet if successful is a surefire way to get her in bed quickly.
Lesson 3: Preparing for the first meeting between love interest and parent.
Do: Explain to the parent that she has a college degree and is not an idiot. Freddie’s dad’s conversation with Whitney is so patronizing we felt bad for both of them. Whitney asks him about his job, because what else can she possibly talk to him about? It’s too soon to joke about Freddie’s tanning addiction. Dad says he’s in finance: “I work for a company that manages money.” He turns the tables: “Do you work every day right now?” Translation: Are you an out-of-work model or part-time bottle girl? Whitney says she’s starting a clothing line. “Right now it is very hard to raise money for anything. I don’t believe it’s best to throw money at a start-up,” Dad says. We wouldn't invest a dime in Whitney's line, either, but we would never tell her that to her face.
Do: Drink heavily. If we were Whitney, we would have ordered a dirty martini instead of sparkling water. And as soon as that one arrived, we would have ordered another one. And as soon as that one arrived, we might have ordered a bottle of Patrón for ourselves and a hottie we would have called over from the bar.
Lesson 4: Lighting.
Don’t: Allow cameras to shoot you in dim candlelight if you’re tanner than Audrina Patridge. Freddie's glaringly white caps elevate his tan to Oompa Loompa proportions in the light of the dinner table. It was somewhat terrifying.
Do: Embrace dim lighting if you’re not as tan and shiny as Freddie Fackelmayer. Whitney looks sexy and gorgeous in the scene in her room getting ready with Roxy for the Longchamp party. Her features and long wavy hair look stunning lit softly from below. Sadly, she ruins the effect when she twists her hair and pulls it back in a style best suited for performing in a second-grade talent show.
Lesson 5: Doing PR at a party.
Do: Make sure socialites get photographed. Erin asks Olivia to make sure the house photographer gets shots of all the socialites and “important” people there. Olivia should know who they all are, since she is supposedly friends with them. A public-relations professional would do this in reality, but we happen to know the house photographer who shot that party, and he knows everybody at these things. He can identify socialites faster than they can identify themselves. The last thing he needs is Olivia's help.
Don’t: Pass this task off in a bitchy manner because you feel above it. Olivia fake-works in the accessories department at Elle, not in PR, so she feels she can justify making Roxy help the photographer find people to shoot. She's ruder to Roxy than she is to Erin. This makes Roxy hate her.
Lesson 6: Having the career you want.
Do: Start your own company. One of the most redeeming moments in The City’s history came when Erin and Kelly Cutrone talked about life at the Longchamp party. Finally, a moment between two women who actually work! Kelly tells Erin she started her own company at 22 because she didn’t want to do things she didn’t have to do anymore. “It's really hard when you have to promote people you don’t believe in,” she says, at which point we could practically see a thought bubble form above Erin’s head with Olivia walking a plank.
Don’t: Allow your employer to bully you into reality shows with socialites you can’t stand. Olivia was so embarrassing to Erin that even Whitney says to Roxy after the party, “Why doesn’t Erin just fire her?” Roxy replies, “Because she’s an idiot.” Which isn’t true! But Olivia is like a cancer to Erin's professional demeanor.
Lesson 7: Getting your love interest to like you after your dad insults her.
Do: Go to her work function if she invites you. Even if it’s a gross fashion-y scene that has no place for a straight man. Freddie goes to see Whitney at the Longchamp party. He kisses Olivia on both cheeks when he arrives because they know each other, probably from lounging at Bliss and eating brownies and cucumber slices together over Page Six Magazine. Whitney is turned off by their friendship, but somehow seduced by his outfit.
Do: Change out of work clothes before said function so you don't look lazy and douchey. Freddie looks just amazing at the party. He lets his hair down into crisp gelled waves and offsets his freshly buffed orange skin with a bright-turquoise gingham shirt, unbuttoned just so. He looks like a modern-day Nantucket-dwelling Poseidon who just body surfed from New England to Manhattan on a wave of hair gel. Somehow this turns Whitney on and she tells him he looks "cute."
Lesson 8: Reuniting with an ex.
Do: Meet in person. The producers bring Jay back to confront Whitney about bringing the Fackelmayers to his party when he was out of town. Whitney agrees to meet him because (though she doesn’t admit this) she either wants to have illicit post-breakup sex with him or rub her hotness in his face. Their meeting marks one of the few times in the show’s history that she actually wears tight clothes and straightens her hair. Someone wants to get laid!
Don’t: Go to a sit-down dinner. The best way to reunite with an ex is over drinks or a walk in the park so that if the boy storms away, you can play it off like that was supposed to happen and you’re not actually the fool. Whitney and Jay go to dinner and Jay storms away from Whitney, so appalled is he at the prospect of her new Oompa Loompa Wall Street lover. Whitney should have been the one who yelled at him for taking advantage of her, probably making out with bottle girls at Tenjune during their time together, and never showering while living in her apartment. But instead she apologizes to him for bringing Freddie to his house and sits there looking miserable when he gets up and leaves. At least she didn’t run after him.