As promised, the girls start appearing just before two in the afternoon (lunch time in Dominique’s world—she doesn’t exactly do mornings.) She wasn’t kidding when she said she’d need the space on the heliport. Ceci arrived as part of the first two helicopters worth of girls. Oddly, half of the girls went directly to one of the staff houses and the other half went to the other. A few minutes later, Ms. Wu and several of Dominique’s other “girls” arrive in the submarine—Dominique definitely taught her girls how to make an entrance…and a submarine is a seriously guy geeky toy. Dominique has it all—the best toys from an Aston Martin (she doesn’t have a Tesla because in many parts of the world including those where she keeps most of her things, it would still be powered by coal,) a Harley (plus one for a guest,) multiple boats (I’m not a sailor or boater, so don’t ask me the details) and now a submarine—wow! (The helicopters are technically Archer’s, or well, more accurately—owned by a subsidiary of Taylor. She leases them at cost…or at least that’s what he tells his father. The actual price to her doesn’t include maintenance and insurance.) Dominique does know how to negotiate.
But her very favorite toy is one of the boys invited here this weekend…You’ll have to figure out which one…If I told you, it would spoil the fun..Dominique loves to play games, especially when she’s making the rules…We’re all part of the plot (not to mix metaphors) but she still gets me worked up and turned around and unable to think or speak clearly sometimes.
The girls assemble in the library—browsing through the thousands of titles, waiting for Dominique to make her appearance…The house rule is, if you want it, take it (referring to the books, not the girls.)
Surprisingly, Dominique and all of the girls take the stairs. I know it’s only four flights, but I never could understand how they manage to do it in heels. When guests were onsite, Dominique is always in heels (with full hair and makeup) unless she’s working out or swimming (or at least attempting to swim.) As I mentioned, the German Shepherds are very protective of their woman and circle the pool barking whenever she does anything more interesting than floating on a raft.
According to Dominique, the exercise is worth it—stairs count double…once toward a weight bearing activity (because your body is weight,) and also toward your step goal which, for Dominique is 10-12 miles daily (yes, miles.) According to her research, those distances are what the human body is programmed to do…which would explain why sitting all day literally takes years off of your life. You could easily tell, by the way they quickly walked up four flights while chatting and laughing, without becoming out of breath, or slowing down after three flights (like I do, even when not chatting) that all of the girls follow Dominique’s health and wellness plan. It’s a requirement (although an informal one…because angry fat chicks would rather file a lawsuit than get in shape for a job.) Technically, because all of the girls are pilots, they legally have to have medical clearance, so adding some additional skill and physical requirements are not that far out of line. The world is a scary place, and as key employees, Dominique decided that rather than simply buying life insurance (which she does) and praying things turn out for the best…that it was a better plan to train everyone in firearms safety and self-defense…which explains why they all do krav maga. (If you haven’t watched any YouTube videos showcasing what krav really is, you should educate yourself…like now.) As a boy, I’m excluded from those physical requirements, and I have a very different dress code (Dominique has other, very specific “requirements” for me that I’m not allowed to share with you…although I would consider them more as “perks,” because I’d do them, even if they weren’t required)…occasionally it is useful to have a penis.
I did catch part of the conversation on the stairs on their way up to lunch…I walked into the video room and caught this much, starting with Dominique speaking, obviously referring to the current weekend.
“When it comes to party planning…Always ensure you have a complimentary mix of party favors and flavors.”
Oh boy, did the girls giggle at that. I didn’t catch a lot of what was said next because of all the chatter but from somewhere in the crowd, a voice proclaimed, “I just can’t believe your real age, it’s amazing.”
Without slowing down, Dominique answered, “I know…I do understand that I look really young. As they say, it’s a blessing and a curse. In real life I have a hard time meeting anyone over 30. They assume I’m 30-32 and still want to sleep with me when I tell them I’m 45. Which is a little weird for me since they’re age appropriate…for my niece. I mean everyone knows I play with J.R. whose only 28, but you do have to have at least one exception to every rule. Otherwise life would be very dull.”
She stopped at the fourth floor landing, and turned to face the crowd streaming behind her, pausing for a moment to give the buzzing around her a chance to subside before proclaiming, “Before we go in for lunch, I’m going to give you one lesson and one tip.” Scanning the crowd she continued, “First the tip…Always be aware of the way language is used…For example, when I say someone is a “dear and intimate friend” I mean we are (or were at some point) lovers. When in public or even just in mixed company (you never know who’s wife is going to walk into the room.) You can acknowledge the information with a raised eyebrow, but it’s not to be shared with anyone outside the organization. The one thing all of my men pay for is discretion.”
Shit…I think I just “heard the proverbial pin drop…Dominique does know how to work a crowd…(and apparently in more than one way.)
Now that she has everyone’s attention, she continues the lesson (or was it tip, I forget…who knew gossip was so interesting?) with, “I only share this information with you so you know how to handle the situation when one of my men is interested in having “dinner and more” with you. For a perfect example of what to do, ask Lucy about how she handled Milton last week.” (Damn, I can’t get away with anything.)
“On a related note, here is the lesson…All men are trying to get laid—all of the time—it’s their natural state of being…and if they’re not (unless they’re a MGTOW)—they’re lying or physically ill, either way it’s not natural for them to not want it. Years ago Godfrey shared this quote from Farrah Fawcett with me, ‘God gave women intuition and femininity. Used properly, the combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I've ever met.’ Heed her advice, and you will be rewarded with any relationship you want.”
One of the girls in the crowd countered, “Only because, as you just admitted, they always want to get laid.” I’m glad to see I’m not the only smart-aleck on the island. She must be new, I don’t recognize the voice…I need to find out which one she is—that’s a girl I can get to liking…a lot.
“You’re wrong. Never sleep with the wealthy ones. Everyone does. Finding a woman who says no to him is novel to any man with money….and what do wealthy men want more than anything else in the world?”
“What they can’t have!” A chorus of voices answered.
With a calm voice, a smile and a wink Dominique replied, “Exactly.” Before turning and finally opening the doors to her private domain.
I’m not sure what she has planned, but as a man I think it’s natural to get a little concerned whenever there are that many women in one place at a time. I did get to take a quick glance at what I later discovered was the agenda when Dominique pulled out a post-it note from her pocket with these six words, “plan, price, cash, burn, evac and sub.” I initially thought it was the recovery phrase list for a digital wallet but it’s too few words and that made it even more cryptic than the list itself. (And I thought reading her writing was difficult.)
According to the video, the ladies do lunch in her private dining room…curiously, the audio is not recording (I was still on duty, so of course I checked)…hmmm…must be some last minute party plans. Dominique reviews the video of my dinner with J.R. so at the time I theorized they were strategizing about how to play the two of us…(I really do need to learn how to read lips.)
Based on what happened later, and information I’ve gleaned from Ceci, Lucy and a few of her other girls over the years, this is roughly what “The Ladies who Lunch,” actually discussed during that particular luncheon.
I’ve been told by several credible sources that Dominique always conducts meetings with her girls in a particular fashion (not my word…it’s the one that is used repeatedly to describe her leadership style.)
Firstly, it’s important to note that the girls have their own motto which comes from Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Given his genius and breadth of talent, that’s quite an endorsement for Dominique’s way of life.
Dominique always feeds her guests and her clients. It’s another thing she taught J.R.—great salesmen always bring food. During lunch (or whatever meal they are sharing)…she starts by teaching the a,b,c, and d’s of an ABL (always be learning) topic. Usually using quotes as a jumping off point for discussion. For this particular afternoon, the subject was “Make It Happen” and the following quotes were used:
“The right thing, at the right time, in the right place.” Henry Selfridges. I’d suggest that for our purposes the phrase is, “The right girl, at the right time, in the right place.”
The difference between rich people and poor people is poor people have multiple jobs and rich people have multiple income streams. And yes—multiple men count as separate income streams.
You can only be wealthy after you do the work to be successful and of service. Earl Nightingale
Before you can do something…first you must be someone. Goethe
And a Bonus “E” for everything especially pertaining to our mission and Rule#16. “If you can't win, change the rules. If you can't change the rules, ignore them.” Peter Diamandis.
(The comments and any unsourced quotes are Dominique’s and I find out later, what she means by Rule #16…Besides it being just her normal modus operandi.)
After the meal, while coffee, tea and espresso are served, the real business begins, and I finally learn what the six word phrase means. I discover later the concept of the “Six Most Important Things to Do” is something Dominique learned from listening to old Earl Nightingale recordings. I’ve since looked up the reference and this particular idea was worth $25,000 many, many decades ago, so just imagine what its current value is.
The first of the “Six Most Important Things to Do” is (plan) as in final party plans. As Dominique’s number one priority, it was probably a good thing that no one had any outstanding tasks—the party was scheduled to begin in just over an hour and Dominique does not like it when deadlines are missed.
The second item on her priority list (price) is the introduction of a new discounted pricing schedule for volume prepayment. She asked Ceci to, “As soon as you can, please post these new discounts to all the usual places and contact each of our customers personally. Good and Crafty now offers ride packs in quantities of 10, 20 and 50 with 2%, 5%, and 7% graduated discounts. At our hourly rates, that adds up nicely for our frequent guests…Plus it leaves more cash left over for tips.”
The third item was especially interesting as it involved one of us boys. She asked Ceci to work with any of the girls she needed to complete this next task, a transfer of $7 Million U.S. dollars from the slush fund (?!) to whatever the closest Credit Suisse branch to Lake Como is…Sebastian’s going to drive up to Switzerland from his vacation home to deal with the deposit personally so let’s make sure everything is set. The boy is adorable, but he’s a dinosaur when it comes to any technology that doesn’t help improve his game, so you’ll have to call him directly with explicit instructions.
(Makes me wonder what she says about me when I’m not in the room.)
In retrospect, I should have been able to guess what the next three tasks were, but as with everything in life, hindsight is 20/20.
Task number four (burn) was a burner phone (or at least a different phone from the one Dominique carries.) This one with a newly created digital wallet. Dominique does keep her accounts in order, and her project funds separate. It’s just easier to track that way. She’s not a fan of complexity as a means in itself—her background as a programmer and database designer show through her polished exterior when you see how she creates the most elegant solution for any problem. It’s why she’s such a fan of using blockchain technology whenever possible.
The fifth task (evac) cleared up why two teams went to visit the staff houses. Apparently they were verifying that the evacuation plan was in place. It was perfect timing, too. We needed to execute the plan sooner than anyone had imagined.
Finally, the sixth and last task (sub as in submarine, not submissive as I had originally thought) was simply a review of how her new toy performed on the way over, how to maneuver it, and where to permanently dock it as Dominique decided that she definitely did want to keep it here on the island.
Having covered all the important things, Dominique ends the meeting, as always, with a champagne or sparkling water toast (depending upon whose flying or riding…by flying I mean they’re piloting) and her personal motto “Live!” like Auntie Mame.
On her way out, Dominique asks Lucy to, “please check in on Godfrey. Archer’s been in India so he wouldn’t have necessarily contacted him unless he was in that part of the globe, but I checked with Archer earlier and neither of us have heard from Godfrey in over a month. I’m starting to get a bit concerned about the old man.”
“Sure thing, boss. I’ll reach out to him as soon as I land…Aloha.”
Dominique replies, “Aloha,” in return.
Just before closing the doors behind her, Dominique stops Ceci on her way out and explains, “Ceci, you’ll need to take over for Milton after you drop Archer off….I need you to play P.A. while my P.A. is playing. Sorry for the late notice, I was planning on having Archer’s pilot Connie do it but as soon as she drops Archer off at the airport, she has to turn around and head back to India to pick up his wife..It’s his grandson’s birthday party Saturday.”
“And he’s here?”
Well, that explains the timing—Dominique does enjoy it when her men have to choose between her and their family. Shockingly, she usually wins out over her men’s so called “real” lives.
Dominique winks, smiles, and coos to Ceci, “Oh, and by the way, thanks for offering to shuttle him over this afternoon on such late notice. If it’s easier, you can work remotely if you like, or hang out in the bunker—your choice. Since all of my favorite men will be here, it shouldn’t be too much work but we do have to keep the communication channels open, just in case something happens.
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll be sure to grab my go bag out of the helo before I store it tonight, the winds are supposed to kick up again so I’ll put it in the hangar and plan on staying on the island myself.”
Shortly after lunch, the entire gaggle of girls, minus Dominique, left the island via helicopter.