READ EXCERPT: 'The Debutante Divorcee,' by Plum Sykes


"I want to be like the Eternity couple," I laughed.

Secretly, I'd always hoped that matrimony would be like the Eternity ad: a very gorgeous you, a hot him, and oodles of vanilla-colored cashmere sweaters. If possible my whole marriage would take place on a beach in East Hampton, preferably in a flattering black-and-white palette.

"If only I had had such noble aims, maybe my marriage would have lasted," shrieked Lauren. She hooted with laughter. "I gave up the Eternity dream at age eight. You are so cute. But I've got a tip for you."

"What?" I asked.

"Your goal should be keeping your husband away from the Husband Huntresses."

I frowned at her, confused.

"You know," explained Lauren. "Those wicked girls who only pursue husbands. You only become aware of them once you're married."

"Stop it." I giggled.

"Be warned." Our swim had now come full circle, and we were back in front of the sunken drawing room. Tinsley beckoned to us to come in.

"Mojitos await," she yelled.

"Well, that was only one lap, but let's go hang with her or she'll start hyperventilating," said Lauren, climbing the shallow steps up to the drawing room. She grabbed a towel from a neat pile on a wicker table and handed one to me.

"God, that swim was lovely," I said, drying myself off. I took one of the mojitos and sipped it. It was so refreshing.

"Isn't the pool genius?" said Lauren.

She curled up in her towel onto the couch opposite Tinsley, and I sat in a rocking chair painted a hot Latin blue. I noticed that the back of the chair was inlaid with exquisite mother-of-pearl.

"What do you do,Tinsley?" I asked.

Tinsley seemed like such a character, I wanted to get to know her. "Nothing," she said brightly.

"Don't you want a job?" I asked.

At this Tinsley shook with laughter. Then she said, dead serious, "I can't work, because I can't dress for day. I can only dress for evening. So obviously office life doesn't work for me. I can only dress either for the gym or for a party."

She stood up and twirled around in her cocktail frock. "I mean, look at me. It's two o'clock in the afternoon, and this is the most low-key I can go. The only career I could do is be an anchor on MTV, but I don't really aspire to that. It's so old. I mean, whereforart Serena Altschul now? The other thing that's really in the way of my career is my mom. I have to be available for two-hour conversations every day to discuss family problems, then I have to be available to go to Palm Beach at a moment's notice. I tried to have a job once working for Charlie Rose, but I was hardly ever there, and on the few unfortunate occasions that I was, I was making personal calls the whole time."

I laughed, and as I did, a pang of guilt hit me. Here I was, 100 percent amused on my non-honeymoon. Gosh, I thought as I sipped my mojito, shouldn't I be feeling more wistful right now?

"It's terrible for her, isn't it, Tinsley darling?" joked Lauren.

Then she turned to me and said,"So. When do we get to meet Hunter? Is he ever coming back? Or is it reckless abandonment, honeymoon-style?"

"You'll meet him in New York. But he's going to be traveling a lot to Paris for the TV show he just did this deal for," I said. With a hint of humor I even managed to add, "the deal he wrecked our honeymoon over."

"We can keep each other company while Hunter's gone. Whatever anyone thinks, I get lonesome sometimes," said Lauren, looking suddenly vulnerable.

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