images.jpgManhattan is lousy with models. It has more of these lank, willowy creatures per capita than any other city in the world. There is no model census, of course, but they’re everywhere, lovely, graceful vermin who wear what you can’t.

If you’re going to buy coffee in Dean & Deluca in SoHo, or ride the elevators in the Conde Nast building, as I have for many tortuous years, well, all you can do is pull in your tummy, wish you were carrying your gym clothes in a designer sport tote instead of a ripped plastic supermarket bag and try to appear appear as if you’re not staring. I’m willing to accept this momentary discomfort as the price of getting to live in a city as exciting and diverse as mine.

Well.  Now I’m thinking there ought to be a law. I took my girls to soccer at the community center on the Lower East Side,  as I do many Saturday mornings, and in floats this person, each of her legs about a third longer than mine, her hair messy-yet-still-fabulous, with outsized pouty lips that nonetheless looked natural. I’m wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, and ugly Ugg boots. She’s wearing sleek black leggings and a $700 Montcler ski jacket. I’m dripping lukewarm coffee out of an environmentally friendly travel mug onto my shirt. She appears to need nothing but the aura of her own beauty to sustain her.

I feel like a troll, and it’s not even really her fault! That’s the worst part: She’s just a mom trying to get through the day, as am I. It’s just that she seems to do it with so much more…fluidity.

I turn to my friend and say, “Wow, look at her! What is she doing here?” Until recently this community center served  hungry and tired immigrants living 10-to-a-tenement, and surviving on herring and pickles. Now, apparently, it’s where models cluster.

My friend responds that she, too, is taking her kid to soccer (he then scoots in behind her) and that she’s seen her on the playground. “She’s, like, from Luxembourg or something,” she says.

“Well, she can’t look like that and be really nice, can she?” I ask. My friend gives me a resigned smile and says, “Actually, she is. She’s really nice.”

I grunt. “Her son–he must be awful, then?” My friend shakes her head.

We sit there for a few minutes as silence. “Well, her husband seems like he might be kind of an asshole,” my friend offers.

YES! Now I can view her as a beautiful princess abducted and locked in a tower on the Lower East Side by an evil warlock, which not only fits into my narrative but allows me the possibility of actually liking her, should we ever meet. She has tsuris. So do I! She has a young child. So do I! We both are probably exhausted (she from going to fabulous parties and me from doing laundry, but still!) When she was the model-turned-mom who looks like she carried her fetus in a Botiker handbag, I couldn’t relate.

Go ahead, blast me. I deserve it. She can’t help being model-esque any more than I can help the way I  have started to grow and old Jewish lady beard. I know, no one’s life is perfect. But it would help if people like her didn’t make it look so easy.