From the June 14, 1991 issue of Dan’s Papers:
I think it is important, if you are going to hang around in the Hamptons, to be as chic as you possibly can. This means driving the right kind of car, dressing in the right kind of clothes, going to the right clubs and reading the right publications (Dan’s Papers, of course). An important thing often overlooked is to have a chic injury.
Not that I am suggesting being injured is chic and that you should run right out and get one, but I am suggesting that if you do get an injury be sure to have gotten it in a chic way. Or at least tell people that you got you injury in a chic way.
What made me think of this was a comment made by my fiancée at an elegant dinner party last Friday. She had pulled something in her back, and as she got up from the table, this fellow sitting next to her saw her wince and asked her about it. “I hurt my back picking up a toilet,” she said. Immediately he turned to talk to someone else.
Now, I spoke to her after this party and tried to explain that she should figure out a more elegant way to explain this back injury, but she reminded me that the truth is we are building an extension on the house and she picked up the big box with the new toilet in it and that was that. I dropped the matter.
My cousin Elsie, who lives on the West Side of Manhattan, came over all black and blue on her neck and shoulder Sunday night and when I asked her she told me she was in the Strand Bookstore in the City, and she was reading an early edition of Proust when an entire bookcase tipped over and fell on her.
I was impressed.
I read the other day that Prince William, someday presumably to become the King of England, was injured when he got hit in the head with a golf club. Many stitches, a stay in the Hospital.
A chic injury.
Perhaps the chicest injury I ever heard of resulted in death. Three years ago, this elderly man put on his suit and bow tie, white silk shawl and dress shoes, and went to a performance of the Metropolitan Opera. He committed suicide by allowing himself to fall from the upper balcony down into the orchestra. Most chic.
There are many opportunities here in the Hamptons to receive a chic injury. In case you wish to report one as such in the event you are injured, here is a short list. Injury to the ear: caused by a loud buzz on car telephone. Injury to top of head: caused by a smack on a pool diving board. Injury to ankle: caused by a kick in the shin from a thoroughbred at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Injury to arm: caused by a failure to return a serve blazed at you by the runner up at last year’s U.S. Open, staying with you this weekend as a house guest.
Some not-so-chic injuries: injury to the knee: caused by a cesspool cover that malfunctioned when you stepped on it. Injury to forehead: caused by a beer can thrown at you during a bowling competition. Injury to arm: caused by a falling water pump that you tried to remove from underneath your 1983 Ford Fairlane.
Remember—how you get injured is no joke in a summer community such as the Hamptons. If you want to get ahead… well that’s about all I have time for right now. Here comes my fiancée.
Get your copy of the limited edition Dan’s Papers coffee table book “60 Summers: Celebrating Six Iconic Decades on the East End.” On sale now for $60 at FriendsOfDans.com.