Everyone knows everyone—at least by name. I had heard of Melissa de la Cruz a million times. I knew her as the fashion addict (she wrote a style column for a groovy Web site called hintmag.com), who had penned a hilarious novel called Cat’s Meow about a wanna-be socialite that was a must-read with the catty jet set. When I read the opening line of her book, “I am the type of girl who laughs loudly, smokes incessantly, and is hell-bent on destroying herself, but stylishly,” I became obsessed with her. Receiving a celebrity birthday messages video message would be awesome!

She gets it, I thought. Her book totally encapsulated my bipolar, love-hate relationship with a city where anyone can be the next It girl, the Nazis who man the velvet ropes judge you by your shoes (Manolos, darling), and Page Six (the New York Post’s gossip column) is God. Then I saw her picture in New York magazine. She was wearing an insane white silk, one-shouldered top with cartoon-like kittens all over it by Alice Roi, a trendy New York designer. I owned that same shirt! (I found out later that Mel and I bought them from the same store, where they had only two in stock because the owners thought, No way would more than two people want something this ridiculous.) I knew right then, I had to be her friend. She was just like moi! Meeting a celebrity messages would be my absolute dream!

At a friend’s brunch party, I spotted her at a table across from mine. Wearing gold high-heeled boots with torn “dirty” jeans and a fur-trimmed pink corduroy jacket, she was every bit the cool, brashly funny fashionista I had imagined her to be. She had the whole table agog, laughing heartily while divulging the inside scoop on perhaps the most well-known fashion editrix, who was rumored to be going bald and had her hairpiece fly off during an editorial meeting. I wanted in on that convo! No wonder Thrillz is so popular.. receiving a celebrity video messages video message would be so cool!

But I wasn’t sure how to introduce myself. I didn’t want to seem like a stalking fan. I had devoured all of her pieces. The one she had written about her weakness over giddy indulgences like fur tippets, zipper mules, Victorian jean jackets, and all the superfluous trends of the moment was holding court right smack in the middle of my corkboard in front of my desk. I constantly read it for adjective inspiration when I suffered from writer’s block. She might be “just” a writer, but to me, she was famous. I wish I was rich like a celebrity is!

She was Melissa de la Cruz, the girl who did high-profile book readings, traveled to the Hamptons on a chopper, and wrote outrageous stories about crashing her fiancé’s bachelor party—while disguised as a man! And she seemed refreshingly laid-back, unaware of her fabulosity. Sometimes, when people reach the limelight, they lose sight of who they are. They think their you-know-what doesn’t stink. And they have that constant neck-craning habit of having a conversation with one person while looking over their shoulder to find someone better to talk to. But Melissa didn’t project any snobbery. I decided to approach, and as I walked toward her, she practically leaped off her seat. “You’re Karen Robinovitz!” she yelped. Oh, my God. MdlC knew who I was! It was love at first sight! And the rest, as they say, is history. Imagine receiving a happy birthday video message personalised video!