Being real and other problems
I am having some teensy problems with my reality lately. Not the reality around me. The reality of me. The problem is that publishing is slow. Really, really slow. Joshilyn Jackson says that publishing is slower than terminally ill turtles in chains, and she is RIGHT. And so, when I WROTE this book featuring me in things like stiletto boots and leather pants, I like to think I looked pretty darn good in that kind of thing. And when I REVISED the book, I still looked fine. And when I SOLD the book, I still looked fine. But then they spent a year and a half doing whatever it is they DO in the depths of publishing houses, which I like to imagine as them sitting around eating chocolate and saying, “Well, let’s wait another year before we ship this one, because otherwise, authors will start wondering why we get the biggest percentage of the profits. We have to make it look as if it takes as long to print a book as it does to write one. Or even LONGER. Have another chocolate, aren’t these delicious?”
And so, by the time they sent me a copy of the cover art for Blame It on Paris, I was 7 months pregnant. Please take a look at this cover art again.
Please, if you have never been pregnant, go take a look at a few women in their third trimester and TRY to imagine my state of mind as I looked at this anorexic blond who was supposed to represent me.
And NOW I have to go do book signings, and I just had a baby a few months ago, and I can just see everyone in the audience who has read the book looking at me and thinking, “Talk about poetic license” or “If SHE went around Paris in leather pants, no WONDER Parisians jumped back in fear when she smiled.” I have asked my publisher repeatedly to find a body double who looks like the woman representing me on the cover of the book and who can go out and do my book signings for me, but they have refused, which is just so outrageous because I heard the Nanny Diary authors at least get a hair and makeup artist to prep them before every public appearance, that it’s in their contract, and they don’t HAVE a cover image to uphold at all. Well, they do, but it includes a red umbrella, so I figure they could look like whatever and just wave the umbrella for distraction.
And here I am, having to be the current real me all the time, which means that I paw through my closet looking for things that 1) I might still fit, 2) are ironed, 3) I look halfway decent in. And trust me, after we’ve eliminated not only my closet but all the malls with the first two, there’s not much left for 3.
And THEN, about five minutes before I leave for the signing, we usually have a little spit-up incident. I bet the Nanny Diary authors don’t have spit-up incidents. And if they did they are the NANNY, it would be perfectly in keeping with their role. I am supposed to be a swinging single American in Paris. I am the one who needs a hair and makeup artist, but preferably the covergirl body double.
And ten days from now I have to go do a book signing in my HOME TOWN, which is way worse than going to your high school reunion, let me tell you. And even though I have been following a strict diet of dark chocolate and water and a strenuous workout routine of lifting a baby up fifty million times a day, it is not having the effect on my waistline I would like.
This is all very frustrating, because, to tell the truth, I was kind of a nerd in high school. Kind of as in maybe like a lot. So it would have been nice to swan back into town for book signings in leather pants and stiletto boots or better yet, looking like the cover of my book. Except for the part where she is wasting sugar intake on a dessert that looks suspiciously vanilla, that is just inane and no one would ever buy it. They know me better than that.
So I am putting pressure on my agent to work on the whole body double thing for my next contract. But meanwhile, I have decided my story is going to be that I USED to look like the woman on the cover of my book.
But I have just had a baby and, as everyone knows, having a baby widens your waist, frizzes your hair, ruins your nails, and shortens your legs.
That is my story, anyway. And until this chocolate and baby-lifting regime takes effect, I am sticking to it.