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'The City': You have to know your tribe

November 18, 2009 |  7:41 am
WHITNEY 2 flip New York City can be a lonely (and intimidating) place if you haven’t found your niche. Sure, it’s a relatively small city, but the truth is that someone who lives on the Upper East Side is culturally worlds apart from someone who lives in the East Village, which is less than five miles south of it. In this week’s episode of “The City,” the women all seemed to be struggling with the inevitable pitfalls of trying to belong.

Whitney Port is back on the prowl this week as we watched her go on a blind date with quite possibly the biggest idiot in New York City. It’s so L.A. of Whitney to go out on a date with someone who is way beneath her. Here in Los Angeles, one can barely avoid it. The city attracts jerks from every corner of the world with dreams of Hollywood stardom. It must be in the water, because even accountants think they’re celebrities here. In New York, though, the shelves are better stacked. There’s no reason for Whitney to settle for some scrub who can’t even pick up the dinner bill and forces his crazy retail-working jargon on someone like her, who actually has a real fashion career. Whitney, this week Kelly Cutrone said what we all feel – your friends are kooks. Don’t let them pick boys for you either. How is it that each new guy in Whitney’s life leaves us thinking the last one wasn’t that bad?

I felt for Roxy in this episode, because I know that being the new girl in a town that eats up and spits out dozens like her before lunch isn’t fun. The secret to making it in a big city, though, is to listen to your instincts. She already felt that there was a tinge of jerk in this guy she was dating, but she has yet to learn that those types of thoughts will save her a lot of heartache in a city like New York. Of course, I don’t know the guy, but as soon as he said that line about not liking blonds, his cover was blown. I don’t know one guy who’d turn down a hot blond gal if she came knocking at his door. And if he does turn her away, he didn’t really want to, or he’s gay.

On the other hand...

ERIN & OLIVIA It’s fun to watch someone as pretty and well-connected as Olivia stumble in social situations. That sounds mean, but, OK, it’s mean. I won’t defend myself. It’s just that bluebloods like Olivia are so used to being accepted by everyone around them. They grew up as little princesses with no doubt in their minds that  they’ll descend to the throne. That’s obviously what peeves Erin off so much. Erin knows that Olivia has done almost nothing to deserve the post she holds at Elle. By virtue of her social status alone, she has garnered Joe Zee’s unfounded belief in her skills and the opportunity to dine alongside Robbie Myers, Elle’s editor in chief. I’m certain that even some of the most veteran staffers at Elle have yet to enjoy that same privilege.

Unlike Roxy in this episode, Olivia knows all too well what tribe she belongs to. Her problem is in relating to those who are outside of it. Whenever someone mentions a celebrity or other personality, she doesn’t have to say she personally knows them every time. No one doubts that she does. And when Erin, someone who has obviously figured out how to make it at Elle, is trying to give her job tips or asking her questions about her assignments, she should probably not dismiss them as quickly as she does. If Olivia could learn to relate to those who aren’t from (or possibly don’t care) where she comes from, she may actually earn a title next to her name that isn’t “socialite.”

– Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)

Related:
Exclusive first look: Olivia and Erin square off on ‘The City’

‘The City’: Mixed signals in Miami

Full ‘The City’ coverage on Show Tracker

Photos, from top: Whitney Port is on the prowl on “The City”; Erin Kaplan’s signature dirty look aimed right at Olivia Palermo on “The City.” Credit: MTV
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