“Mary Kay” Interviews Laura

“Mary Kay” Interviews Laura

After my editor asked me to produce a Q&A for publicity purposes, my older sister, “Mary Kay” ,decided to, umm, help out and interviewed me herself. “Mary Kay” is not “Mary Kay’s” real name, but she refused to appear in my book under her real name, on the grounds that people might recognize her as my sister. So she gets to be named after a make-up company, which I consider appropriate retaliation. Just in case people were wondering if it’s common for my family members to pretend we’re not related—yes, it is.

Who perms your hair?
Nobody perms my hair. My sisters have the kinky-curly, poodle hair. Mine is soft, undulating waves. I resent this question coming from someone who briefly looked like a green poodle as a teenager. Even if she did plan for the green to be black.

Speaking of which, I did not, either, have pink hair at your wedding. Look at the pictures!
I got confused! That time you dyed your hair pink really burned itself into my brain!

What is the first thing you taught your sisters to say in French? Où est la toilette?
Interestingly enough, “lots of ice.” Mary Kay hesitated to come visit me in France out of fear of not finding any Dr. Pepper and not getting any ice in her drinks. Her carry-on was a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper. I’m not making this up, so I don’t want any interruptions from my interviewer. I unfailingly kept my promise to ask all waiters or cashiers for “lots of ice” any time we ordered drinks. This unfailingly produced either a) no ice, or b) 3 minuscule chunks of ice floating on a sea of liquid.
Mary Kay had really been trying to behave herself, but the third time this happened, she cracked. She was already having to drink Coke instead of Dr. Pepper, and it was just too much. “How do you say ‘lots’?” she demanded through her teeth.
“How do you say ‘ice’?”
“Boo-coo. Glass-ons.” She repeated this a few times thoughtfully. Then she marched back into the nearest McDonald’s, slammed her cup on the counter, and cried, “Boo-coo glass-ons, boo-coo glass-ons, boo-coo glass-ons!”
And, by God, she came back out with a full cup of ice. It was nothing short of a miracle. After that, I believed. In Mary Kay, I mean. She’s got the power.

I have more stories I could tell about Mary Kay in Paris, but she knows where I live. Some of them revolve around a pink jogging suit. That’s all I’m going to say.

Tell me about flying to the U.S. with Sébastien’s cat.
Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

For whom? You or the cat?
I’m gonna take the 5th.

How did your families communicate?
Mary Kay answers her own question: Beer, wine, food, the great equalizers. Elementary Spanish.

So you got married in mid-summer in Georgia…
It was not my fault! It was Sébastien’s fault! I told his family the latest we could get married in Georgia was May, but they refused to pull Justine out of school! You should have seen their faces when they walked out of that airport, though. The funniest part was it was raining, so they’d just assumed it would be, well, not quite so hot. I think it was the first time any of them had ever felt warm rain before.

Do you have any apologies you want to make to your family for making fun of them so much in your book?

I am the sixth of seven children. What do you think? But if anybody wants to apologize to me for feeding me dog food or taking pictures of me coming out of the shower or ripping off my T-shirt when I’d just had a tetanus shot and everybody knew I couldn’t move my arm or it would break, now before I finish my next book would be a good time.

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    December 11, 2010 at 11:40 am