Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks

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.

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HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I am laughing and laughing. I tried to watch Honey Boo Boo (just out of journalistic curiosity of course) but couldn't.

I'm glad I'm not:

 --Ann Curry
 --The guy who wrote that scathing NYT review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant
 --Guy Fieri
 --Someone who cares about Guy Fieri
 --Karl Rove
 --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!


  1. Even worse than telling the other girl to stay away from your guy: telling her to stay away from some OTHER woman's husband, who is also your guy. Whew. When you need a scoreboard to keep up with all the men you're juggling, that's when you should step back a minute and regroup.

    Why would anyone want that much drama in their life? I'm grateful that I don't have the kind of drama that gets splashed across headlines all over the world.

  2. I am grateful that I am not any of these people who have been recently thrust into the spotlight and who do not seem to be suffering even the slightest bit of embarrassment at having their questionable behaviors exposed to the world. As for Honey Boo Boo, I’m still shuddering at the mere mention of the cranky temper tantrum queen . . . .

  3. All of the above. Also grateful not to be Sarah Palin, my hairdresser with her teeny-tiny high girly voice, or Michelle Bachman.

    On a more somber note, I'm grateful not to be my beautiful, funny, healthy dear friend Susan who was just diagnosed with a fast-growing brain cancer, even as I wish I could take some of the burden from her. It has made me fierce about appreciating every moment I have right now. Telling my boys I love them. Breathing in the cold morning air. Savoring a good meal.

  4. Wonderful observations, all of you ! Now let's see what Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins will say in the Grey Lady! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  5. Edith,
    I am so sorry about your friend Susan-

    Karen, I couldn't agree more.

    Joan, I still don't really know who Honey Boo Boo is. In fact, I googled her image so that I could add it to the blog, but there were images of both a little girl and and old girl and I wasn't sure if they were BOTH Honey Boo Boo and which one everyone was talking about.

    Like Debs, I consider myself lucky, I have no idea.....

  6. I am so grateful to not be any of those women married to any of those men who think it's okay to be married AND have a girlfriend. tacky tacky

    Who the hell is Honey Boo Boo??? and why doesn't she change her name?

  7. I am glad not to be Melky Cabrera.

  8. You lovely ladies make me laugh. I love this take on the recent headlines! And I wish I did not know who Honey Boo Boo is--is there a loofah for your brain?

  9. Oh,Lexie's Mom--what a good idea.If only we could selectively erase stuff..and then we'd have room for new information!

    And yes, Jan, I am very mindful of being grateful. That's always more to WANT, you know? And we just have to stop doing that. And be happy NOW.

    Happy that we don't have a decision-making process like Paula Broadwell's. Sheesh.

  10. Jack, you are a scamp. Okay, I'll bite. Baseball?

  11. Jack,
    I don't know about that....I wish I could say I wouldn't want to be Melky Cabrera but the idea of being an awesome hitter, ,even with the baggage, is too much for me to turn down.

    I'm much more comfortable turning down Paula Broadwell.

    This morning I had an awful thought - what it must be like for Paula and the general's kids this Thanksgiving.



    PS Hank, that pretty much is the key to it all. Especially in THIS business. I


  12. Lexie's Mom,

    I LOVE the Loofah idea. I felt that way after breaking down and reading 50 Shades of Grey.

    But in the meantime, can you tell me, WHO IS HONEY BOO BOO? I realize it's some reality show, but is Honey a child or a grownup? OR both?

    many thanks,

  13. Jan: I'd rather be Melky than Paula, too. I see her coming at me down the sidewalk, I'm crossing the street. But Melky's disgrace was more than a few testosterone milkshakes. His SF Giant teammates (yes, baseball, Ms. Hank) say he left them without a word of apology or even goodbye. I guess he figured if you're going to be a cheater and a bad sport, why not go all out.

  14. Jan, although I, too, would rather not know this (from commercials while at my daughter's), Honey Boo Boo (horrid name for a horrid child, given to her by horrid parents) is a particularly unlovely example of the child pageant phenomenon. Her parents are low-class, crass, and ridiculous, and yet someone thought they and their crazy family would make a great "reality" show.

    Shoot me now.

  15. Maybe I should take back the Justin Bieber comment after seeing him win practically everything at the AMAs last night... Or maybe we could do a whole post on Justin Bieber...

    Edith, I am so sorry about your friend, Susan. I wish we didn't need things like that to remind us to enjoy our days.

    And, yes, I am incredibly thankful not to be Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman, or Ann Coulter. Can you imagine what it must be like to be driven by such anger and venom?

  16. Seems I'm out of the loop too: Honey Boo Boo? The Elmo scandal? Just as well; sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode with all the excess crap news floating around us.

    I'm glad I'm not Broadwell's mom, a Hollywood wife chasing after the latest youth-ifying procedure, and the octomom.

  17. Oh Jack,
    I didn't know that. The last thing I knew about him was that he voluntarily withdrew from ...what was it, the batting title? But now that I know he is not a good teammate, I DEFINITELY do not want to be him.

    Karen, thank you so much!! THose Google images are all making sense now. Having once watched the Jersey Shore, I think it must be the same appeal, people like to watch those shows so they CAN BE GRATEFUL they aren't those people.

    AND I had almost forgotten about the Octomom....


  18. Until today, I thought Honey Boo Boo was a cartoon character. Gee, the things I learn at JRW!

  19. Someone called me Honey Boo-Boo the other day, and I almost decked him.

  20. Honey Boo Boo [real name Alana Thompson] originally surfaced on "Toddlers and Tiaras," a TLC reality show. She has a reputation for her bad behavior and for drinking a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that her mom provides [they call it Go-Go Juice]. After garnering so much attention on "Toddlers and Tiaras" [which is about child beauty pageants], the seven-year-old became the focus of a new reality show called "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" . . . . It’s really beyond appalling, but the child does seem to be being exploited by her family and the show . . . .

  21. I'm grateful to not be -

    Honey Boo Boo's mother

    Bruce Jenner (for any number of reasons)

    Paula Broadwell's husband (until last night I didn't realize she was married with children)

  22. From one of my sons who thinks he is too macho to post here: "Broadwell. Not a well broad."

  23. I'm pretty much grateful that I'm none of those people - reality TV stars, disgraced sports figures, or sex-scandal participants. Suddenly, being little ole me looks pretty darn good. =)


  24. Reine,
    Now that I know who Honey Boo Boo is,(thanks Joan and Karen) I applaud your right to deck that person =- unless you happened to be wearing to tiara and a lot of makeup at the time.

    MarySutton - Yup... maybe that's the whole point of reality television. To feel grateful we aren't those people.

    ~ jan

  25. You are all wonderful! I agree with you all. And I had no idea who Honey Boo Boo was either. I, too, thought it was a cartoon character.

    I am thankful that I am not someone who has read one word of the Fifty Shades series. I'm pretty proud of that. And for not shopping at WalMart. And not watching Jersey Shore. Yes, I'm glad I'm not those people!

    These have been great posts today. I love it.

  26. I am grateful that I am not the spouse/parent/child of anyone whose criminal or illicit activities have made the headlines. And my heart just goes out to those poor people, because their right to privacy was ripped away from them with little or no warning.

  27. Not into drama. My idea of a soap opera is watching "Blue Bloods" and of course, "Downton Abby". Too old and too tired. I really feel for the innocent victims of these scandals. The husbands/wives and children.

  28. :) No, Jan - no tiara or makeup. No glitter in my hair. Just a little lipgloss.

  29. Marianne,
    You should be grateful and proud you read not one word of the Fifty Shades series. I broke down and read it. I feel like it subtracted important things from my brain.