Twenty two or so years ago, I chanced to spend a few hours at Tavern on the Green, in Manhattan, chowing down with Donald Trump and Melania, who was just his girlfriend back then, black leather pants, black shoes, black overcoat, black turtleneck, looking dewy, even moist. She was 30 years old. He was 54 and already as he always has been. He'd been pursing his wet red lips around a hunk of chocolate and dribbled a bit of it on his tie. He frowned. “Very uncool,” he said. “Chocolate on the tie.”
Melania took a napkin to it and began scrubbing busily.
Trump's eyes lit up. “What other supermodel would do this? I ask you? What other supermodel?”
He looked around as if for an answer. When none showed up, he frowned. And then frowned even more. Out of the corner of his eye, he'd seen ex-wife Ivana make her entrance, her hair piled up high and displaying an amount of cleavage that outdid even his supermodel's and that's saying something, despite the fact that Melania wasn't really a supermodel by anyone's standards, just a run-of-the-mill model, though only a churl would point such a thing out.
Just then, billionaire investor and fellow lady's man Norman Peltz came up to Trump, who had been busying himself darting his eyes in Ivana's direction, then retreating, not wanting her to see him seeing her, then darting again.
Peltz said, “Your ex is here.”
Trump leaned up close to Peltz's ear and spoke words that could not be overheard but you can only imagine. She was the mother of three of his kids, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. She'd caught him screwing around on her, with model Marla Maples, who then became his second wife. She took him for $14 million, not a bad divorce haul in those days. She took his glitzy Greenwich, Conn., mansion, too. She would have taken lots more, no doubt, had she been allowed to talk about that marriage, but a nondisclosure agreement kept her lips sealed.
When their conversation could be heard again, Peltz was saying, “Yes, I can see how it would make you very uncomfortable.”
Trump said, “Yes, there's nothing fun about having her here.”
And then a lot of time passed -- decades, in fact, until last week, when Ivana, at the age of 73, took a fall inside her Manhattan residence and died of what the medical examiner called “blunt impact trauma.” For their part, the cops said that there did not “appear to be any criminality” surrounding her death. Shortly thereafter, her daughter Ivanka tweeted, “She lived life to the fullest – never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance. I will miss her forever and will keep her memory alive in our hearts always.” Trump himself tweeted, “She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life...Rest in peace, Ivana.”
Seemingly unable to be anyone other than who he's always been, he thought it wise to append to his tweet a garish link to his “Donate to Save America” bit of huckster fundraising malarkey, “Paid for by Save America and not authorized by any” etc etc and so forth. What a putz, as all media, social, traditional and otherwise, rightly pointed out.
Meanwhile, returning to that night at Tavern on the Green, with Ivana very much still alive and making his life miserable, Trump found a way to make himself happy once again, by greeting and chatting up all the models and maybe supermodels he could find.
“I do know a lot of pretty women,” he said at one point. “I probably know too many.”
“You're very lucky,” someone said to him.
“I am lucky!” he said. But not lucky enough for Melania to have had success with his tie. The chocolate blot was still there -- still very uncool, a hopeless case, pretty much just like the man around whose neck it was tied.