People often ask me what it’s like being the world’s most famous teething toy. They want to hear about the glamour of it all, about the F.A.O. Schwartz displays and the accolades and the song John Mayer may or may not have written about me. But it’s not always an easy life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. I mean, sure, if I’m being honest with myself, it can get a bit tiring to be gnawed on all day by babies and Shih Tzus, or placed in a cat litter “zoo” with Muno, the phallic centaur from Yo Gabba Gabba. But trust me, the adoration of my fans makes it all worthwhile. (That, and the 10 percent cut I get on Sophie sales, which has made me a millionaire hundreds of times over. My primary residence – on Avenue Foch in Paris – contains three original Picassos that have been shrunk down to 18 centimeters using giant convection ovens so that I may enjoy them without the assistance of an Erector Set crane.)
Still, I’m getting older, and while my rubber may look taut and healthy thanks to my all-natural, phalate-free Hevea tree sap physique (as well as once-a-month juice fasts and a truly punishing Equinox trainer named Fabian), I have to be realistic about how long I can keep up with the other toys in the sandbox. I turned 50 in human years last May, rolling off the assembly line in 1961 on the same day that John F. Kennedy made his “man on the moon” speech to Congress. Incidentally, would you believe that I’m just a few weeks younger than George Clooney? Our agents tried to set us up once but he backed out at the last minute, mumbling something racist about dating outside his species. You’re not kidding anyone, Clooney – I know the real reason is that my shapely neck and legs would make you look like a toadstool at the foot of la Tour Eiffel.
Anyway, my birthday was quite the fête. My publicists threw me a huge party at Le Rex Club, and absolutely everyone who’s anyone was there. Even President Sarkozy stopped by to pick up a few of me for the First Baby, Giulia. The night was a dream until Rupert Murdoch – whose young daughters used to dress me in edible gold leaves from their ice cream sundaes at Serendipity – asked if the rumor was true that I’m really 350 in dog years. Well! I had a few Kir Royales in me by that point and so I said, “Do I look like a bitch to you?” Then I turned on my heel and had a dance-off with Alexander Wang. Rupe and I laughed about it later, of course, but I had Nate Silver do the math for me using mean solar days, and in giraffe years it turns out I’m just 155, like my style icon Karl Lagerfeld – only skinnier! (Mais non, Karl – I kid! You know ich liebe dich.)
Obviously I rub elbows with major celebrities, which is a nice perk of fame, but I also suffer the consequences of being a household name. Have you looked at my Amazon reviews lately? I hasten to add that normally I wouldn’t even bring them up, but last night I ate the entire foie gras appetizer at Nougatine all by myself and came home feeling bloated, which led to an unfortunate 2 am Google shame spiral. Of course I didn’t read any of the 1,130 five-star reviews. Oh, no, I went straight to the one-stars, or, as I like to call them, LAND OF THE ALL CAPS CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.
I don’t know which is more hurtful, the suggestion that I should have my legs surgically shortened to prevent rugrats from accidentally “choking” on my God-given gams, or the claim that I’m simply not worth my price, and “could easily be mistaken for a dog toy.” Oh, REALLY? Well, I don’t know what kind of dog you have, “Valery,” but any pedigreed breed would never even think of disgracing me in its jaws. On my last trip to Washington I met Bo Obama, and he could not have been more of a gentleman – not even a cautious lick. That’s class.
But as (former) Countess LuAnn de Lesseps once told me, I shouldn’t indulge the haters. At least when I’m feeling down, I can just shut my laptop, nibble on some twigs and gaze at the framed photo I have of me and Harlow Madden – Nicole Richie’s daughter – frolicking in the grass in Washington Square Park, my head in her mouth. It’s not like I don’t have plenty to do to pass the time. On any given day I might be on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, lounging poolside at Soho House, taking a safari through the dishwasher, or watching Let’s Make a Deal with the nanny – we love “le Wayne Brady” in France!
And of course there’s my 51st/158th birthday later this month. It will be a smaller affair this year, but that’s to be expected–and makes it so much less stressful. People are always BBMing me last minute to get on the guest list, or requesting freebies for their niece, their neighbor’s adopted twins, their godson. But if my half a century on the planet has taught me one thing, it’s self-respect, and I’m done sticking my neck out for people. I really am.