It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting at the bar in Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City, contemplating my life over a cold beer and waiting for Paris Hilton who is, as always, late. We’ve been dating (boyfriend and girlfriend, she would correct me) for exactly three weeks. I teach English at a local high school and at the urgings of my students, entered an MTV internet contest. In truth I was hoping for one of the 100 runner-up prizes, a Dell laptop computer. Instead I won the grand prize, “Be Paris Hilton’s New Boyfriend!“
So now I’m Paris Hilton’s new boyfriend. Aside from the obvious, I find this ironic for a number of reasons. First of all I’m almost 40 and she’s in her early twenties. Also, I’ve never watched her TV show but I did see her get killed in a horror movie (she told me the make-up was icky and she broke out afterwards and couldn’t go to some huge party that Christina Aguilera was throwing and she was really pissed about that because simply everybody else went) and I did see parts of her sex tape on the internet (which she wasn’t entirely displeased with, to tell you the truth, but everything was so damn green and she fears she came off kind of ditzy).
I check my watch, a gold Rolex she’d given me three days ago when we flew by helicopter to New York to spend the afternoon shopping, and see she is over an hour late. The watch is one of three I currently own, she seems to enjoy giving me expensive gifts when we get together. I tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary but she insisted and then she fell into her high pitched whine and at that point I would agree to shock treatment just to shut her up. Besides, she has something like 400 million dollars so I don’t think she really even notices the cost. At this point I have three Rolex watches, two Armani suits, four pairs of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes and about a dozen shirts from Ralph Lauren. I’m fairly sure the new wardrobe is worth more than my annual salary but who am I to say no to Paris Hilton and anyway, I am her boyfriend after all.
How that happened is its own story. When they announced my name on MTV I was more shocked than surprised. I figured I’d be lucky just to get one of the computers. But they said it, loud as life, Scott Alten. At first I just assumed there was another Scott Alten in the contest (in fact there are three others in the eastern US alone, I know because I Googled myself once) and then my phone rang. It was Paris. She said congratulations and that I was now her new boyfriend. Then her assistant took my information and said a limousine would pick me up within the hour and did I have a passport. I said I’d be ready and yes, I had a passport and would bring it.
Twenty seven-minutes later a Cadillac stretch limousine pulls up outside of my condo and the driver rings the bell, checks my ID (rolls his eyes and humphs) and opens the limo door for me. Two and a half hours later we’re rolling into Manhattan, right into Times Square and to the front door of the MTV offices. When I get out I’m mobbed by people with cameras and pads of paper and pens. I don’t know if they know I won the contest or they just assume that, by pulling up to MTV in a limo, I must be somebody. Countless pictures are taken, I scribble some autographs and then I’m whisked inside to a news studio.
A guy who looks a lot like one of my seniors turns out to be Damien Fahey from one of MTV’s shows (I don’t know which one since I haven’t watched MTV since the early 1990’s) and he’s the VJ who is hosting the contest. He guides me to one of two red plastic chairs on the soundstage next to a purple desk. Behind the desk are all blue screens. And then I notice that approximately one hundred people are sitting in front of the stage and they all have Dell computer boxes. For a second I consider asking if someone wants to trade but that would probably cause some kind of riot. I also notice that fully one third of the audience is female. Not that I was a Paris Hilton expert but I was pretty sure she was straight.
A woman comes out and stuffs tissues around my collar and then applies some kind of make up to my face and in what seems like seconds I hear music and then Fahey is congratulating me and then, as if out of nowhere, Paris Hilton is standing next to me. She’s taller than I’d expected, maybe 5’9″ or 5’10”, and in her heels she’s taller that me by a few inches, I’m a little over 5’9″. I stand but before I can extend my hand she hugs me and kisses my cheek. Her breath smells like bubble gum and cigarettes. We sit and Fahey takes his place at the desk.
He asks me how I feel about winning the contest and how I think my world will change. I say something about being excited but for the life of me I can’t figure out what will be different. I hadn’t yet realize that in Paris’ mind this is all very serious and I am now her boyfriend. After a few questions the focus turns to her and the next hour is spent telling stories about parties and celebrity friendships and they both speculate about how I will fit in with everybody. Paris thinks I’ll be fine.
It’s not until after the interview that I begin to realize what’s going on. Paris and I go to her dressing room where she kicks out her hair dresser, make-up artist, publicist, wardrobe coordinator, personal assistant and three young women whose purpose I don’t really know. She starts to tell me how much she likes me and how hot I am (in spite of my slightly graying hair and small beer gut) and thinks my being a teacher is so hot and noble and how she wishes she’d done better when she was in school; and then she’s kissing me. Her tongue is in my mouth and her hands are running over my shoulders and through my hair and I’m kissing her back because I can’t think of what else to do.
And like that we were dating. That night we had dinner at Ammos (and I embarrass myself asking why the menu had no prices) and then we went dancing at La Caverna until three in the morning where we met up with Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Richie, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz. There were also four women who were models (they said) but I don’t remember their names. Aside from basic pleasantries no one actually spoke to me aside from one of the models occasional inquiry as to whether or not I had any coke. I tried to ask DiCaprio about working with Martin Scorsese but he said the rule was ‘no shop talk’ at the club. Once Paris realized I couldn’t dance she spent most of the time with the four models who acted as combination dance partners and man deflectors for her. I stayed at the bar and drank $12 Coors Lights. I was a bit hesitant about the price until Paris explained that she had a tab and I was not to pay for anything.
After the club we went to her Manhattan apartment and had sex.
The next day I’m in another a limo and heading back to south Jersey because I have to work on Monday but Paris starts coming down every few days and we go to Atlantic City or she’ll send a helicopter to pick me up and take me back to Manhattan. She’s even started sleeping at my place a few nights a week (and is paying a maid service to clean it and has hired a local chef to cook for us when she’s down and replaced my Volkswagen Golf with a Range Rover since I drive her places and she has her image to maintain). On the weekend I had my son she surprised us with 1st class tickets and we flew to Orlando and went to Disney. My 12 year old son is now a huge Paris Hilton fan and my ex-wife has hired a lawyer.
Anyway, at 9:30 (an hour and a half late), she swoops into Tony’s Baltimore Grill with her entourage. Everyone seems to go crazy. Cameras emerge from nowhere, reporters slip out of the wood work, even normal patrons are effected; pizza and platters are universally ignored and grow cold as autographs are requested and cell phones engaged.
After a long kiss that must have been photographed about a thousand times, Paris’ assistant informs us that the venue isn’t acceptable. She drops a hundred dollar bill on the bar, I assume to cover the three beers I’ve had over the last 90 minutes, and we’re on our way to one of Trump’s casino (the one he’s actually in tonight, of course). Paris is saying something about how much she missed me over the last two days and I’m opening up my new present, a David Yurman gold bracelet (I guess they were out of Rolex watches). We kiss again and she tells me how she saw the bracelet and just knew it would be perfect for me and she hopes I like it, too.
It’s getting easier to say thank you. It’s getting easier to ride in limousines and helicopters.
It’s getting easier and easier to be Paris Hilton’s boyfriend.