Getting an exclusive
Shelby Hodge stars in Texas Monthly (but CultureMap digs deeper)
Proof that print journalism still carries some clout, Texas Monthly has placed the spotlight on the city's preeminent social scribe and CultureMap editor-at-large, Shelby Hodge. She sported some of that classic CultureMap urgent sass in a full-page feature, answering an inquiry about her age with, "old enough to order Cristal."
But to get the dirty details and really pry into the inner workings of the society savant, we asked for Shelby's two cents on 10 additional dish-y Qs.
What's the sloppiest behavior you've witnessed at a charity bash?
An entire audience once spied a young socialite passed out on the dance floor in her ballgown and being removed from the scene by three men. She was completely gone — they put her in a limo and sent her home.
Do the social swells ever engage in scandalous behavior behind a venue's closed doors?
There's the account of the couple that had sex behind the curtains at the opera ball. The gentleman culprit bragged later that the rustling of her taffeta skirt was just too much to resist.
What about risqué romps with a larger audience?
One year at the Contemporary Arts Museum gala, a charming young woman sat in her date's lap, legs askew, writhing up and down to the rhythm of the band. The deviant duo gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "riding coattails."
With all the decadent food being dished at events, how do you stay so thin?
Thin? I'm more like a 300-pound deb dying to get out of this size 10.
Do you ever drink?
What's your preferred post-gala hangover cure?
A greasy hamburger and fries, always. I hear menudo is really good for that but I can't stomach tripe. And besides, as I said, I never have a hangover ...
Just how common is gala crashing?
There are plenty of uninvited intruders — that's what the party police are for. Sneaky people hang around, but the worst social scene impersonator of recent years has moved on to Dallas.
What's the most surprising thing about the social set?
You'd be amazed by how many of them smoke. If you're on the good guest lists, you can catch them lighting up at private parties and in the bathrooms at the museums.
What's the biggest obsession of the debutante dilettantes?
They live and die to be on the Houston Chronicle's "Best Dressed" list. Not me though.
What's your number one tip for ardent social climbers?
Spend money. Spend money on your clothes, on your car, on your jewelry — and especially on your table location at the galas.