Friday, May 06, 2005

Let's Run Away Together

I saw Brooke Shields on a couple of different television shows this week, hawking her book, Down Came the Rain. And I really wanted to be sympathetic to her, I did, but I couldn't because how can you feel sorry for an almost 40-year old woman with such long, lean calves and such well-groomed eyebrows and that dimple right by her pretty mouth?

Brooke on Oprah's show. Posted by Hello

Did you see how good she looked when she left the hospital with her newborn? On my best day, I didn't look that good. I never will. And after I gave birth? I was just a mushy-bellied, red-eyed, crazy-haired woman who smelled like baby spit-up and dried breastmilk.

I know--of course, I know--that post-partum depression is a real malady suffered by scores of women, but her descriptions of the dark days didn't touch me at all. I felt a whole lot more sorry for Andrea Yates, the mom who systematically drowned her five children in a bathtub. I related more to the straggle-haired mom who snapped than to the smooth-haired beauty who didn't want to pick up her newborn.

I know. Aren't I a terrible person?

I suppose the truth is that I'm just jealous of Brooke's beauty and wealth and extreme tall leanness. She is only a few months younger than me and it hardly seems fair that some people get more than their fair share of . . . well, everything. I hate myself for feeling so uncharitable.

But while I'm at it, let me also say that I bet women who are honest-to-God (but unpublished) writers who have something valid to say about post-partum depression, even though they are not gorgeous movie stars who had a traumatic experience . . . I bet they are peeved that Brooke Shields got a book deal about this topic as a result of her fame and good looks. Okay, right, so Brooke Shields went to Princeton and she's smart, too. Like that makes me feel any better. As my dad would say, please don't confuse me with the facts. I know I always narrow my eyes at people who get book deals even though they are not writers, per se.

As for Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called "Runaway Bride," I feel a great deal of sympathy. In fact, she has inspired me.

I told my husband, though, so he wouldn't call the FBI. I challenge women everywhere: See how far from home you can get with $150 and a bad haircut.

I leave first thing tomorrow.

(Okay, okay, only in my dreams. But wouldn't it be an interesting exercise? And then we could compile all the experiences into a book and call it "The Runaway Woman," and it'll be on the best-seller list and then we'll all become rich, rich, rich and we'll go on Oprah, but before the show, we'll get makeovers and then we'll look fabulous and afterwards, Oprah will take us out to lunch and we'll all be Best Friends and go on a cruise together. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.)


Blogger Feeble Knees said...

See how far from home you can get with $150 and a bad haircut.


Well Mel, I've already got the bad haircut, I'm ready to roll! Which way do I go??

4:09 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm in. where should we meet to compile our notes and get the book going? can't wait for that makeover and cruise!!

5:38 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

At least she didn't write a children's book. Stars and children's books -- irks me.

6:00 AM  
Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Oh dang, I saw Brooke on tv yesterday too, only I didn't even notice she was pushing a book. I pretty much spent the whole time gawking at her thinking "She's had a baby? She was clinically depressed? How can she look that good?" And yes Mel, I just couldn't take my eyes off the perfection of the eyebrows either. Ugh. Ok, so clearly I'm shallow, already have a bad haircut, and am ready to roll too. Let's go!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Sympathy isn't one of my strong points, Mel. I'm glad to see we have a few things in common...

8:37 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

I am sorry Mel, my beauty and wealth must make you cringe. ROFL!

You're a riot!

Maybe you could write a book called the Green Eyed Monster; tales of a mom gone mad.

After your Oprah appearance, of course. So what is up with her having a daughter? Inquiring minds want to know but are too busy to find out.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Well, finally, after all these years I've discovered what the purpose of my life is.

To make other people feel better about themselves.

This is because I'm:

less educated

Oh, the pathetic list goes on and on...

At least now I can feel fulfilled, as I know what I'm here for!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Thia said...

I didn't see the show, but I've heard about it. Of course, she could pick up the phone and have someone there in seconds to take care of the baby so she could shower or nap or whatever, while most new moms struggle along alone or with minimum help, sleep, and personal hygene.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

I did not see the show but when you have money and the right genes, you can look good. When you can afford to hire a trainer and a chef to cook the right meals and all, you can look great. Most of these women have live in nannies.

As for sympathy for the runaway bride, I have more for her family because of what she put them thru. None for her.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

I watched the show and I guess I saw something different. I saw that beauty is not everything(oh my--she *was* gorgeous the day she brought the baby home!)... and money isn't everything... and fame isn't everything... It's what you have on the inside that matters most. And if you are aching and miserable as Brooke was, then all the rest doesn't matter at all. She totally had my sympathy, even though I have none of her beauty, wealth or fame. But I do have a daughter and I do know how devastated I would have been to not even have wanted to pick her up. I can't even imagine such a sad, sad thing and I'm so glad that Brooke finally got some help. Well, anyway, that's how I felt after I watched the show...(sorry to sound like such a sappy Pollyanna....argh...) God bless... Debra

4:50 AM  
Blogger Jana said...

Having experienced PPD myself, I identified with a lot of what Brooke shared. No, I don't identify with being supermodel gorgeous OR having enough moolah to hire a full-time nanny. But I DO identify with the feeling of complete despair when you don't feel so head-over-heels for your newborn child. It's not a place you wanna be.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

Jealousy is one emotion I have almost never felt in my life. I think it is because I saw to myself, do I want that? If so, how can I have it? What do I have to do to get it?

More often than not, I don't want it in the end because I realize the sacrifices are more than I'm willing to give! It makes it easy.

And when they aren't more than I am willing to give -- I go for it.

So, how many publishers have you contacted? If you haven't -- get out there and do it! You have nothing to loose by trying.

You are a great writer!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

saw - say -- oops.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

I'm in!

(I love it!)

8:48 AM  

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