Photo by Jeanne Rice
Makeup by DehxIs there a woman alive who hasn't wanted to beat her lover with a high-heeled shoe? Yes, I know: this will get posted to a newsgroup for battered husbands, and we'll get 47 letters whining soulfully about how I wouldn't think it was so funny if the high-heeled shoe was on the other foot, and there's more shame and less support for abused husbands, blah, blah, boring thing, blah.
For the record, it is wrong to beat your husband with a high-heeled shoe. For one, you might get arrested. For two, your husband might hit you back if you don't run away real fast, as my friend Gina did when she beat her husband with a high-heeled shoe. Oui. Gina, she ran vite.
So, Newport Beach actress/model/mother Tawny Kitaen may never live down a particularly harrowing spat with her ex-husband, famous baseball pitcher Chuck Finley. It embarrasses her. She doesn't like it—she calls the resultant publicity her "cross to bear." Indeed, two years later, she doesn't leave her lovely home much (except to go put in an honest day's work at her new boutique). But we think Tawny is a national hero.
When we arrived at Tawny's home this past weekend, the 42-year-old kitten was nude in her bed having her picture made, a satin sheet artfully arranged over her nudeness. That's right: we saw Tawny Kitaen plumb naked! Frankly, we felt like less of a woman.
We had an excellent plan: we would have Tawny Kitaen coach us on how to land a man. When she was just a young buttercup of a lass, she famously dated David Coverdale of Whitesnake and rolled and did the splits on the hood of a Jag for a ridiculously popular video. (She can still do the splits, she says.) After that, she married baseball great Finley, with whom she stayed for 13 years. Once she and Finley split, she was set up on a blind date with developer Phil Cyburt—a former minor-league pitcher. It was her first date after her divorce—and a year and a half later, Cyburt introduces himself as Tawny's fiance.
Basically, what that means is there's no way Tawny Kitaen can coach us on how to land a man if we are not in fact Tawny Kitaen.
And for the record, we are not.
With the Julia Roberts smile lighting up her face and the mane of red-blond hair falling perfectly over her wide cheekbones, Tawny talks to us with warmth and kindness, but she has little to say that will actually help. She's most comfortable talking about parenting her daughters—we have a nice little snicker over Dr. Laura—and though she seems like a very cool mom, that's not what we all want to learn about the sexcellent Tawny K! Is it?
The rest of the time, answering our stupid questions, she chooses her words carefully. And we don't like to pry.
Exercise? Hates it, and plans to start "eventually." Doesn't wear makeup because she never learned how to apply it. Gets her hair blown out twice a week in Beverly Hills as her concession to beauty.
Doesn't go out (ever, really) because she's shy—and no, there are no underground clubs for the shy rich and famous.
We get down to it. How, Tawny, how can we meet a man?
Tawny gets stern. "You must ask your girlfriends to set you up on blind dates," she tells us with conviction. "I would no more go to a bar to meet a man . . ." The idea is so appalling she can't think of an analogy awful enough. But she continues. "I would get a recommendation from a friend."
Tawny Kitaen doesn't know our friends.
We're reaching for questions: frankly, we're a lousy interviewer, and we would no more badger someone like we were Diane Sawyer than . . . well, we can't think of an analogy awful enough. Still, we soldier on.
"Jeanne Carmen once told me you have to be bad to a man; you can't be sweet," we tell Tawny. "Uh. What do you think of that?"
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Tawny agrees and disagrees. If you're a sweet person, you have to—say it with us—be yourself. "But you always, always have to have a leg up on him," Tawny says wisely. "If he's a good guy, he deserves for you to be nice to him, but to be at his beck-and-call?" She actually shudders.
But what about the conundrum of "out of sight, out of mind"? Damn it, there's no easy answer.
That's about when Tawny tells us she doesn't exercise, and we are forced to slap her and storm out in a shower of tears.
Damn you, Tawny Kitaen. Damn your black, beautiful, unexercising heart. Somewhere—in her bedroom, most likely—Tawny is smiling and doing the splits.