IDON'T know why everything I like has to be, like - the most expensive limestone that was somebody's antique floor in France. For some reason, I always gravitate toward that."
So says Mariah Carey, telling Interview's Ingrid Sischy why she doesn't own very much art. Her tastes are too extravagant.
But it's hard to begrudge Mariah her luxurious cravings. She came from very little. Indeed two sentences later she's telling Sischy about experiences as a waitress, being denied her tips, which "I sometimes stole. I feel bad about that now, but you know, it was a tip; what are you going to do?"
Mariah talks a lot about her troubled upbringing, her controlling marriage to record mogul Tommy Mottola (she muses that perhaps if he'd even allowed her to go out with girlfriends to a day spa, they might still be together. Sometimes all a woman wants is a seaweed wrap), and there is much about her house, her adoring fans, her idol Marilyn Monroe. But there is no sense of Mariah's intimate life - no man, no stated desires for children, no slowing down even temporarily to contemplate these things.
For all her success, all her invariable good cheer, all those paparazzi pics that show her forever poised and posed in her peek-a-boo outfits, there is something poignant about Mariah, not tragic. She had her brief train-wreck breakdown in 2001, but recovered triumphantly. Perhaps she is simply smart and classy, and keeps her private happiness private.
I hope so. She signs her notes to me, "The diva next door." But she seems more a strong-willed little girl playing dress-up, and waiting for something else to happen. Something even bigger than the big dreams she has made come true.
But for the time being ... she's naked on Interview's cover.
Mad about 'Mad Men'
My new favorite TV show, next to Bill Paxton's polygamous Big Love, is the advertising saga of the '60s, Mad Men, on AMC. Cable will feature a marathon of this new show, showing the first seven of 13 episodes running back to back. It begins Sunday.
I know you'll be at the beach, kayaking, playing tennis, thumbing your BlackBerry or sitting in church, of course. But couldn't you arrange to tape or TiVo this? It's the way for you to play catch-up with this unusual drama, which plays out on television like a movie.
Perhaps you've read some of Susan Konig's books. I always loved her first - Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road (and Other Lies I Tell My Children).
Now comes her second I Wear the Maternity Pants in This Family. Susan has been compared to the late Erma Bombeck - no small thing.
Here's an all-American writer, born in Paris where Coco Chanel was practically her godmother. (Daddy James Brady was then editor of W.) But she grew up to want to come home to the United States.
Susan is on Sirius Satellite Radio's Catholic Channel two hours a day with her comic/husband Dave Konig. And now the TV talk shows are calling her.
Tribune Media Services