Every year, it's the same. The twinkling lights go up, but they're not spelling out my name, so why bother? The many contradictory messages of the holiday season (Be happy! By spending more time with family!) lead me to a lonely place, a place where I feel desolate. Depressed. Yet utterly glamorous. (Stick with me, here, I promise this is going to turn into a holiday gift guide.)
Is there someone like me on your holiday gift list? Someone who's got big dreams, and bigger troubles? Someone with hair as puffed-up and tangled as their love life? Someone who used to have a hopeful, small-town gleam in their eye—a gleam that, if it still exists, is now hidden behind big, dark sunglasses and last night's eye makeup?
Then you, my friend, need this Valley of the Dolls gift list, inspired by the 1967 classic of drug abuse, twisted sex, and the evils of fame. We've got gifts to pick them up, to put a little pep in their step and some dance in their imported-lace pants. We've got gifts to ease the inevitable crash—gifts that'll make them feel like they're laying their heads on a pillow made of frozen champagne. And we've got gifts for those dark hours when they're all alone, waiting for the rotary phone to ring—with a job? With a friend? Or with the best gift of all—the news that a rival has gone back into rehab?
"I want a doll! I want a doll!"—Neely O'Hara
These laser-cut pill brooches from LaCanica, a Spanish jewelry design boutique, will cost you $15 for a triple pack. Wear all three, and call me in the morning.
"When did I get, where did I?
How was I caught in this game?
When will I know, where will I?
How will I think of my name?"—Dionne Warwick, Theme from The Valley of the Dolls
The theme of the Valley of the Dolls is more than a syrupy song sung by the second-most-charted female vocalist of all time. It's about finding yourself. It's about knowing, truly, who you are as a person. At $44, this t-shirt from L.A. based Treacherous Minx asks the question we're all asking this holiday season. "What kind of woman am I?" And the answer is, of course, "more false eyelashes."
"You know it's bad to take liquor with those pills!"—Anne Welles
How, exactly, can all be "calm" as well as "bright"? Pharmaceuticals is my guess. Keep them in this $28 beauty from Jonathan Adler, but be careful. Like your fragile psyche, it may break if handled roughly!
"I have to get up at five o'clock in the morning and SPARKLE, Neely, SPARKLE!"—Neely O'Hara
I don't care what time it is, put on a vintage Wenjilli frock and you will sparkle. These late-60s/early-70s beauties have all the comfort of a sweater dress, but they glitter and gleam like they were woven from mermaid hair and asbestos. A better-quality Wenjilli will cost you somewhere between $150 and $250, but they're just the thing to wear whether you're plucking wigs from your enemies' scalps or stripping down for your starring role in a European "art" film. Or you could just make a cameo at your company's holiday party. Keep dressing like this and you'll soon be too famous to appear in the party room at The Cheesecake Factory, though.
"The sanitarium was very expensive!"—Jennifer North
Didn't I tell you to be careful with that fragile psyche of yours? These jewels from artist Margaux Lange are created from bits of Barbie strung up like yesterday's superstar. Take that extra $1,800 you've been propping up the corner of the pill humidor with and turn it into an assurance that your dolls will always be within reach.
So there you are. THE guide to what to buy for the overblown, underfed, overexposed, underdressed fame-hound in your life. But remember, kiddos. As washed-up Broadway has-been Helen Lawson would tell you, internet shopping doesn't go for booze and dope. Now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me.