You can't help but see how this sharp-tongued, funny, pop-culture-savvy, champion-of-women toys with images of herself. In her den, the columnist who famously said "Wooing the press is an exercise roughly akin to picnicking with a tiger … [and] the tiger always eats last" displays a streak of tiger collectibles and jokes that "maybe the house needs a cub running around, like the one Katharine Hepburn had in Bringing Up Baby," her 1938 movie with Cary Grant.
Many of the pieces came from friends; an Elvis statue from historian Michael Beschloss watches over a conga line of cocktail shakers. "I know I should get rid of stuff, but it all has, like, different memories," she says. "I've been collecting my whole life, from flea markets, secondhand stores, and trips with presidents. I'm always dragging weird stuff through customs." Just a few months ago, she brought home a falcon trap from Saudi Arabia.
Maureen keeps the upright piano and vintage sheet music in JFK's old bedroom. Among the memorabilia are small treasures from her beloved parents, Peggy and Mike Dowd. While she didn't inherit major furniture from them, she has more personal items, including a silver flask and a billy club from her policeman father, who died in 1971, and a framed twenties-era photograph of her mother, Peggy, dressed as a flapper. "I got her skin—that's better than a million dollars," Maureen says, acknowledging an unmistakable resemblance. It's clear she left her daughter her spirit and sense of style, too.
The paperback edition of Maureen Dowd's book Are Men Necessary? came out in October, 2006.
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