On Being Real

It's about gems, jets and silhouettes and champagne in the sky, fine premieres and fireworks every single night ... It's a really fun song. ~ Countess Luann de Lesseps
I wanted to put my name up there. I was like, it's not enough for New York to know me. I wanted the rest of America to know me. I have a great life. ~ Kelly Bensimon
I went to Target yesterday (which, these days, is like saying I breathed) and perused the bookshelves for some sticker books for AJ and Lila. As the aforementioned monkeys began their customary Target-inspired chant for all things Toy Story, behold! Under the fluorescent lights of this sacred place, where I always end up expecting less and paying more, I bore witness to a bookshelf spectacle:
  • Kate Gosselin, I Just Want You to Know
  • Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen, Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a real house in New York City with lessons on life and love in your own concrete jungle
  • Jill Zarin, Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love
  • Teresa Giudice, Skinny Italian
  • Lauren Conrad, L.A. Candy and Sweet Little Lies
  • Laura Bennett, Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos
  • Bethenny Frankel, Naturally Thin
  • Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair
  • Paris Hilton, Confessions of an Heiress
  • Omarosa, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off
  • Danielle Staub, The Naked Truth: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewife of New Jersey--In Her Own Words
  • And coming soon, just as an FYI (Start the depressed sounding drumroll... kind of like 5 taps, really slowly. On a shot glass. With a cigarette.): J-Woww and Ronnie, Never Fall in Love at the Jersey Shore
Please, no....?  Please?  No?

Listen, I'm not proud. I can read Star with the best of 'em. I watch "Chelsea Handler" religiously. And I drink in every single "Real Housewives" episode. Be it OC, NYC or NJ. (Never got into the Atlanta one, but give me time, and a Tivo.) Shh, Jerry. You had me at Bravo!. I'm in a highly courted demographic, dammitt, and they got me, hook, line, and Skinnygirl margarita. Here I am with all of my best intentions to offer a world of global enlightenment to my children, and yet after singing my little life sponges to sleep, I come downstairs and zone out to cat fights among the Manhattan elite. Damn genius tv programmers.

Entertaining? Yep. Something fun to talk about with my friends? Sure. But also, at times, infuriating? Unfortunately, yes, thanks to the never-ending opportunities and book deals bestowed upon these high schoolers women. Diet books and cookbooks aside, will someone please tell me what the rest of them truly have to offer us in their silly tomes? Here, we have a book on the merits of bitchdom. Parenting lessons from people I wouldn't leave my children alone with for eleven seconds. Tips like this from the Countess: "Telling racial jokes—expressing prejudice about race, religion, nationality, politics is unattractive." (Oh, OK. Thanks, Luann!) And, well, the idea of anything "written" by a cast member of the "Jersey Shore" just kind of makes me giggle. (Please don't let it be a cult favorite. Please?)

On a recent episode of "Real Housewives of New York", five of the women spent a few days in St. John at one of the most gorgeous homes I have ever seen. The lush seaside vista was nothing short of breathtaking. And not one of them appeared to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, as they were too busy chugging Pinot and hurling insults. It almost made me sad for them. They were entirely incapable of embracing the tremendous beauty that lay right in front of their very eyes. And that's just sad...

(I can guarantee if it were me and four of my girlfriends spending a long weekend in paradise, we would not stop talking for one second about how lucky we were to be there. But, well, that wouldn't make for good television. *sigh* I get it, I get it.)

Hmm... Maybe there is actually something redeeming about all of this "reality". It does make me appreciate so very much more the real housewives I know. Real kind women. You know, the ones with true talent and character. If the universe was fair, Luann's producer would recognize the incredible singing voice of my friend Kate; Patty, my mom, Eileen, Jen, Ana, Angela, Penny... countless friends and family members with interesting stories to tell would all be handed kickass book deals tomorrow; cookbook publishers would be standing in line, all vying for the opportunity to feature my friend Heidi's amazing epicurean photography on their pages; and Heather and her family would be given that very same trip to St. John. And they would appreciate every single second.

But, I'm guessing that the universe is fair (most of the time). My friends are all successful: They have character and strength. They're tremendous and talented women with no sense of entitlement and who appreciate life and love and laughter. They deserve the very best in life, and they are kind, unaffected, and real. These are the women I am honored to spend my time with. Even if it's just on the couch, watching reality TV.
Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them. ~ Suzanne Necker
h a p p y   f r i d a y !


Kelly said…
Is it bad I wanted to read all those books? Who knew they all wrote a book? Such a great post with so much 'real-ness' rolled in! Nothing better! Can't wait to see Heidi's pix...i bet they are incredible! xoxo

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