JAN BROGAN: Thursday is Thanksgiving, and it's tempting to ask everyone what she is grateful for. But let's not talk about our husbands or our families, good friends or the fact we have roofs to sleep under and food to eat.
Let's talk about Paula Broadwell.
I am really grateful I am not Paula Broadwell. Not because I would have been found out as a cheater. Nor that I apparently couldn't cut my doctoral thesis at the Harvard Kennedy School. And not because my biceps couldn't possibly be that defined without steroid use. But because I can't think of anything more humiliating than getting caught threatening some other girl to stay away from my guy.
Even in junior high school, when catty behavior was all the rage, I was not a fan of passing nasty notes. But imagine being a grown up and having the FBI find all your nasty notes? Imagine the entire world learning that you tried to scare off your competition?
So how about you Reds? Are you really happy you aren't Paula Broadwell? Or are you grateful you are not someone else? On the positive side, Paula has lived an exciting life. Do you think being beautiful, brilliant, and close to power might be worth the price? And is she a good basis for a character? A woman smart enough to graduate from Westpoint, but stupid enough to put her catty little snit in print?
ROSEMARY HARRIS: I'm just sorry that any of this story is seeping, unbidden, into my brain. When I could be thinking about the Elmo sex scandal. Which I originally thought involved Miss Piggy. It's enough to make you wish the campaign was still going on. Okay, maybe not.
I'm grateful that I will be out of the country with no internet access for the next two weeks, during which I suppose a whole new slew of unattractive people will be doing stupid things but I won't have to read about them.
LUCY BURDETTE: Glad I'm not Monica Lewinsky. Or for that matter, Hillary Clinton, even though she did an amazing job of bouncing back from her humiliation. Also Mrs. Petraeus, or Mrs. Spitzer, or most of all, Elizabeth Edwards. I get that people are drawn to do dumb things but being in a position of power and accolades seems to make it worse. I'm grateful to just be little old me:).
RHYS BOWEN: I've never understood what it is about power that attracts beautiful young women to unattractive old guys. It must be the same thing as the rest of the animal kingdom where the stag with the biggest antlers gets all the does. I'm amazed that women like Hillary stayed with their guy through all that farce, proving that power is a strong drug. I'd hate to be any of these women. All their lives, wherever they go, people will nudge each other, saying "Remember her?"
And as for making a good character? Only if she winds up dead. Certainly never a heroine. Readers can love a person who makes stupid mistakes, but not a shallow catty and needy one.
HALLIE EPHRON: Love the question, Jan --
THIS year, I am so grateful NOT to be:
- The Olympic badminton players who threw their matches to get an easier quarter-final draw
- Lance Armstrong
- Maria Shriver
- A Kardashian
- Related in any way to Honey Boo Boo
- The Pope's butler
And may I say I am a huge Elmo fan -- I am wishing Kevin Clash well and hope he can soon get back to the business of making us all giggle.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Elmo? What? I've missed the loop on this one. Must go Google, and hope to avoid any mention of Kardashians in the process.
Yes, love the question, Jan!
- I am grateful not to be Donald Trump's hair
- Grateful not to be shopping on Black Friday (taboo in our house)
- Grateful my daughter is too old to like Justin Bieber (and would have had better taste even when she was young enough)
- Grateful that this year I'm not going to be picking meat off the turkey carcass at 2 a.m. Thanksgiving night. We're going out for Thanksgiving dinner!
- And I am really, really grateful that I have NO idea who Honey Boo Boo is.
I'm glad I'm not:
--The guy who wrote that scathing NYT review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant
--Someone who cares about Guy Fieri
--Arnold Schwarzenegger's illegitimate son
But, oh, honeys, I have a book called THE OTHER WOMAN. For the past two years, I have been thinking about motivation and power and deception and denial, and why someone would be the other woman, and why a man in power would get entangled by someone like that. (And honestly, if I had put the real stuff from today's headlines in my book, people would have said it was too unbelievable, right?) So I am FASCINATED and also happy to be timely.
JAN: So these are the people we are very grateful not to be this Thanksgiving. How about you?
And please come back tomorrow when I talk about why gratitude is good for your brain!