"ALWAYS STRIVE to excel, but only on weekends," said the American philosopher, Richard Rorty.

GUESS what? I went to the Hamptons of Long Island last weekend -- East Hampton to be exact -- and had a heck of a good time.

(I once lived summers in the Hamptons for more than 20 years so I am one of those old-timers who is always deploring modern times. Except, I'm not!)

I visited in the actual town, only a few blocks from the Main Street, in the "residential" old-fashioned part and the burgeoning scenery from recent rains, was perfect. The trees overlapping roads were as beautiful as anything in France. There was also that swelling moon that was so near the earth and we kept driving to the beach at night to see how it was getting on. Great!

I attended a marvelous little cocktail party given by my "cousin" -- Valerie Smith and had the greatest ever hors d'ouvres there, created by Kate Pratt and Michel Mazuret of East Hampton Gourmet Food. (Take a baby tomato, slice it in two, insert a drop of mayonnaise and sprinkle with bacon bits. Fabulous!)

Valerie's address, in East Hampton proper, has a divine hidden garden that has been created by Carol McClenin and Brian McMackin of East Hampton Gardens. I also later visited Valerie's Monogram Shop on Newtown Lane and got a big kick out of her new "china" that resembles paper plates. (This is the sort of item that appeals to the rich and famous. Valerie produced the election cocktail napkins that showed Romney's dog saying, "I Ride Inside!")

AGAIN, I was invited to the posh Maidstone Country Club for lunch with John and Elaine Bricken and they told me that the beach there escaped the wrath of Sandy and did its dirty work elsewhere nearby. (Sandy, I guess, didn't "belong" to the Maidstone!)

All this, plus a lunch at the divine little Devon Yacht Club where they know exactly how to concoct a cocktail called a South Side, with mashed mint from the blender. Plus, a visit to BookHampton on Main Street, a place to end all bookstore ideals. Then, there was the fried chicken from Brent's Deli in Amagansett, N.Y., and I met a lot of nice people whose primary concern is that the deer are eating their flowers. (It's so refreshing from those who believe in the zombies and the apocalypse.)

I'll add just one P.S. Alan Patricof, the dashing man who knew the Clintons before anybody else, gave me a lovely gift -- an actual parasol in breathless pink! We need parasols in New York these days; the hot weather, don'tcha know!

Oh, I almost forgot the fabulous food at the Maidstone Hotel on Main Street. But I still miss the life at the Hedges when it was owned by Henri Soule. However, we have to now and then let an ideal go by the wayside!

MY PAL ERNIE POMERANTZ sent me the following and it struck my truth funny bone. I am told it has been on the Internet for months and I don't know who posted it, but here goes a repeat:

To all kids who survived the '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s:

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

As children, we rode in cars with no seat belts or airbags.

Riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.