I’m still here, but I can’t blog for a few weeks because I’m writing my new book. I also want you to know that my sister, Robin, got a puppy. It’s a white golden retriever. And it smiles.
Archives for November 2006
I just found out that Miss Understanding just
got sent in for a second printing! I
can’t believe that. I really can’t. People (I mean, besides us) are actually buying the book. I wonder if it’s the dress. I would have bought it for the dress, but
most people are more sensible than that. I just can’t figure it out.
It’s hard for me to put into words how I felt
early Saturday morning, when I was sitting in the car, in the parking lot of Café
Angelique, with puffy eyes, wearing my son’s sweatpants and a pajama top, with my hair piled on
top of my head,(not in a cute way either, trust me) when I spotted an old boyfriend coming
toward me. At first I didn’t recognize him, because I was half asleep. But then, as the old boyfriend was
approaching the car, I did the unthinkable. . .
Why do I sit here all day thinking up words. . .and then typing them?
Seriously, this was one of
the most telling things I’ve ever seen in my entire life, on TV that is.
Tyra had on these NBA
basketball players and their wives talking about cheating and groupies, and
what not, and one woman was crying because I guess her husband is famous for
not cheating, or for cheating; it was hard to tell because I came in at the
end, but there she was crying and saying how she could never accept her husband
cheating, and Tyra was saying, “Me too, that’s why I broke up with my boyfriend,”
and then Trya started crying. I was
sort of crying, but not really, because, like I said, I came in at the end, but
anyway. . .
Next they had on these
groupies being interrogated by Trya, and she’s basically calling them scum, and
they’re saying that they just like to date tall guys or whatever, and then the
camera switches over to the husband of the wife who was crying with her arm
around her husband, like she was saying,”
Not my man, honey.” And all you see is
the husband nodding and smiling at the girls, trying not to laugh at their
familiar stories about the way they wait outside the locker room, and the wife
has this stern look on her face like, “I’m so glad we’re not a part of this,
are we, dear?” And he’s got one arm
around his wife and his whole face is up there laughing with those girls. You just had to see it.
And then the wife of some
other pro basketball player comes on. I think this couple was either Polish or
Russian. And she’s dressed really sexy,
with way too much makeup and he’s sitting there next to her, all tall and geeky
and gross, and she starts talking about the way she keeps her professional
athlete/husband in line. Here’s what
she does: She has a rule that he’s
allowed to cheat once a year so long as he doesn’t get emotionally
involved. She’s sitting there with her
breasts popping out of her shirt saying, “And you can criticize me all you
want, but my husband has never cheated because I give him the freedom most
women deprive their husbands of. Groupies are constantly tempting professional
athletes and this is my way of keeping my family together.”
And then the camera cuts to
the husband, and here’s what he says, I swear to God, “Yes, my wife is very
good to me, and she fulfills me, and I have this offer from her, but that doesn’t
mean I will ever take the offer. . .”
Are you ready?
And then he looks right into the camera with his enormous face,
and says, “But maybe someday!”
He was this close to flashing his cell phone number. You just can’t imagine how incredibly obvious these guys were,
while their wives were crying and making deals with the devil. I just don’t get it, but then again, I was
never into basketball, so I’m probably missing a big piece of the puzzle.
hate to talk politics but oh my God! That’s all I’m going to say. And
one other thing. Oh my God!
to me, because I forgot to mention the Penn Station signing.
because it was less emotional that the BU signing and also because I was
obsessing on the whole throwing of the Jew down the well thing. But still, there’s just something about
signings– and Hudson Booksellers is now my home away from home. I love these people. They stand by me the entire time. I mean
that literally. They stand up — for
hours, right next to me, so that I’m never alone. They bring me flowers and drinks and chocolates, anything to calm
got into Penn station early so I started signing at about 1:30. So many faces came and went, but a few stand
out in my mind. Like the woman who ran over to me and said, “I can’t believe
this. Are you really an author?
Seriously? You’re the author of this
book. I’ve never met an author in my entire life! You actually wrote that book! Are you kidding me? You’re
naturally I said, “Would you like me to sign a book for you?” And then she
said, “No. I just wanted to see you in
there was the sweet, elderly woman who put her hand under my chin and said,
“You know, you look like a Stephanie. No other name would suit you, and I’m so proud of you. Really. You did a wonderful thing writing this book, and I won’t forget
you.” She didn’t buy a book either, but
I feel as though, on some level, she loves me. Her husband was shaking his head
the whole time, as if to say, “here we go again.” So there’s an excellent chance that she’s proud of everyone she
there was the guy who has three daughters, all of whom are writers, one of whom
is an Avon writer. He did buy a book.
there was the woman who very sweetly came over to me and said, “I’d like to buy
this book, because everyone in school always made fun of my jewfro.” I didn’t know what to say, so I told her
that at least her jewfro wasn’t red.
and then there was this really big, scary woman who was wearing men’s shoes and
a really frilly blouse. She looked like a gigantic school girl. We got to talking about Miss Understanding
and she said, “I’d like to buy your book, but I think it will depress me. I’ve
always relied on women. Women never let
me down. I don’t want to hear anything
bad about the way women treat one another.” I told her it was a funny book, but she didn’t believe me, and bought
“My Sister’s Keeper” instead.
there was a woman who came over to my table and very sweetly asked if she could
look at my book. I said, “of course”
and she very delicately took a piece of chocolate from the table, unwrapped it,
stuck the paper in her pocket and put the whole chocolate in her mouth in one
bite. The Godiva chocolates on my table were part of a promotion. There was also a tote bag involved. Then she
came back a few minutes later and said, “Can I read the back of the book?” So,
of course, I said, “Absolutely!” and she picked up a few more chocolates,
popped them in her mouth, put the book down, and walked away. A few minutes later, when she was heading
our way, the store manager finally said, “I can only give you one more candy,”
and so the woman walked away. I thought
she was too shy to ask me to sign her book outright, and that she was just
using the chocolates as an excuse to come over to my table, but, as it turns
out, she was just hungry.
Then my sister’s friend Stacey happened to walk by with her mom. The mother looked at Stacey and said,
“What’s Robin doing sitting down in that bookstore?” And then Stacey said, “That’s not Robin. That’s her sister. She wrote a book.” I
waved them over and basically handed Stacey a book and said, “Go buy this. You can ask me what it’s about later.”
the hours went by, I began to entertain the idea that God had perhaps sent me
to Penn Station for a reason. A reason
that had nothing to do with the actual signing of books.
I met a woman who does PR, who desperately
wants to get a book published. She
hasn’t written a book yet, but she’s going to call me when she does.
met a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders (who was nice enough to educate
me to the point where I think I could now open my own clinic). He bought a copy
of my book for his wife. And I promised to spread the word about his practice.
I met a guy who is putting together a music
show of some sort(somehow I agreed to be a part of this show, even though I
don’t play an instrument, or sing, or know what the show is for).
I met a woman who is afraid she’s going to
die because she watched Dr. Oz on Oprah and now she wants to get a sonogram of
her liver. I told her that I know Dr. OZ and that I’ll try to get her an
appointment with him.
met an aspiring fashion designer, who asked me if I knew anyone who was
hiring. I told her I’d do some research
and get back to her (and I will).
I met a man who can’t find a woman to save
his life, and so I told him to go on JDATE –even though I’m pretty sure he’s
not Jewish or datable.
I met a woman who felt my aura, (I let her
feel it for at least ten minutes)and a mother and daughter who swore they saw
me on TV last night. They were having
an argument about it as they approached me so I settled the disagreement by
saying that there is another writer who looks exactly like me and that it might
have been her or me. I also met a girl who had just bought my book the day
before and who took my picture with her cell phone so she’d have something to
post on her website.
last, but not least, I met a woman who asked me if I was seeing anybody. I told her, “Yes, I’m seeing my husband,”
but I took her number, and promised to call her if I meet someone who I think
might be right for her.
this is my calling. Finding people
dates and jobs. I might as well just go
with it for a while.
remember the first time I saw Ali G on TV with Dan and Jesse. I was squirming
in my seat. “How can he do that to people?” I kept yelling.
he want to tell on himself already?”
can’t even play the card game “Bullshit” without shooting out of my chair,
shouting, “I’m lying!! I don’t have any
threes at all. Those are Kings! See for
literally had to cover my eyes when Ali G started in on someone. Dan and Jesse
could sit there all night, watching one uptight, pompous political stiff after
another being made to look like a complete fool by the most brilliant guy on
the planet, pretending to be a moron.
then along came Borat and I remember asking Dan and Jesse, “Who is going to
watch this besides you two?” They
couldn’t answer me because they couldn’t breathe. I stood there cringing at the doorway, while Borat told some
female activist that he would very much like to be inside her vageene.
almost had a hard attack he was laughing so hard and Jesse was taping it so he
could watch it 136 more times that day.
guess I was wrong about Jesse and Dan being the only two people in America who
can sit through Borat without having to cover their eyes.
a while, we were all singing, “Throw the Jew Down the Well,” every morning in
our house. Nothing is more freeing than the exposure of ignorance through
humor, but I wonder how many people just like to hear that song for their own
Okay, some of these are too embarrassing, I’m actually blushing, and I don’t blame those of you who made me swear not to post them. But I did get permission to post the one about the girl who gave a very professional presentation in a see through sweater so everyone saw her little pink bra with the bows on it– and then there’s the really, really excruciating toilet paper story. The toilet paper fiasco is a classic, but this is by far the worst one I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure if I even read it right, I was laughing so hard, but somehow I think she walked out of the bathroom with the toilet paper in her pantyhose and her skirt somehow hiked up around her waist. All this because she lined the seat, something Zoe is famous for.
In case you haven’t heard, AuthorBuzz is running a contest for a free copy of Miss Understanding. I realize that a free copy of Miss Understanding isn’t really that great of a prize, compared to say, a car, but it’s always nice to win something, and here are the rules:
Send me an email describing the most humiliating thing that ever happened to you at work. If it’s really good, I’ll send you a copy of the book. If I laugh out loud, I’ll send you a copy of the book, and, with your permission, I’ll post it on my website. So don’t hold back.
So far I’ve gotten responses from a woman whose skirt fell off while she was walking to the parking lot, one whose slip fell down at her desk, one who keeps falling, but she’s actually having mini-strokes, so that’s actually not something we should be laughing about, one whose father did something that involves a sanitary napkin that I might have to post once all the responses are in, and one who pulled some guy’s tooth out by accident. These all qualify as humiliating, and that’s what we’re going for, so have fun embarrassing yourself. I can’t wait to read your stories.
Boston University signing went pretty well. My daughter Kim was sitting in the
front row, smiling at me the entire time, telling me to stand up straight, and
watching my every move, fully anticipating me to do something bizarre and
humiliating at any moment. I imagined
her praying to herself the whole time, “Dear God, please don’t let my mother
sneeze and pee in her pants or start talking baby talk.” My niece showed up
with her best friend and roommate, and at one point, she leaned over to her
roommate and whispered, “Don’t forget to ask questions at the end.”
is the reason we are put on this earth, in case you didn’t know it. All the boring stuff that happens in between
is just filler. The waking up and going to bed, the eating, the drinking, the
writing to all hours of the night, the picking up the kids and dropping them
off, the walking of the dog, the beating of the heart. All filler. Seeing your daughter look up at you with enormous pride, and a huge “I
love my mom,” grin on her face, and hearing your niece taking care of you by
forcing her friend to make up a question, is the reward for getting through the
rest of it. For some reason, my book signings always remind me of this.
was a woman there who had come to see me last year, except this year she had a
baby with her. She made a point of
saying it was hard for her to leave the house. I know all too well how hard it is to leave the house with a baby in
tow, which made me appreciate her presence all the more.
BU alum team were there, with hugs and gift-wrapped T-shirts, and some COM
students, and Jennifer O’Connell and two of her newscaster friends, who are
also writers, and a few girls in PR — and way in the back was a familiar face
that I couldn’t quite place. It turned
out to be the face of one of my myspace friends. When I figured out why she looked familiar, I was so surprised, I
blurted out, in the middle of my reading, “Oh, wait a minute, now I know where
I know you from!” The poor girl. Next time I’ll remind myself that people who
sit in the back probably don’t want to be pointed to and yelled at.
the reading was going really well. I was doing all my character voices, really
getting into it, when all of a sudden, someone asked me a question.
notice in both of your books, there’s a strong sister relationship. Do you have a sister?”
And that’s what did it.
I have a sister and we’re very close.” My voice cracked on the word “close.”
And then it sort of crumbled and crashed, until I was forced to apologize for
crying. I saw Kim looking up at me, wishing she could save me from myself,
knowing it was only a matter of time before I did something unacceptable up
there. But she was smiling at me so
sweetly, as if to say, “It’s okay mom. You can cry about Aunt Robin.”
And so, in the future, if any of you come to my
readings, ask me anything. Anything at
all. Seriously, I’ll even tell you what size bra I wear. But please don’t say
the word sister. I love her too much to
talk about her without falling apart.