2020.06.29 16:10 efa___ I Read It So You Don't Have To: Leggy Blonde (by Aviva Drescher)
"It's always good for the memoirist to tell a story about the time she almost died." These were the words of advice given to me by a friend when I voiced my trepidation about writing a book.After learning Aviva has conveniently had every experience ever written about in a book ever, I am very much looking forward to the part in this memoir where she lives in a cupboard under the stairs until the day she finally receives her letter from Hogwarts. Also, I'd love to circle back to the male friend who loves kinky sex memoirs if we have a chance.
Good news! I had about five near-death experiences.
Another friend's suggestion: "I like to read memoirs that pull back the curtain on a marriage gone wrong, with all the sordid, destructive lies and details. You know, pain, sadness, heartbreak. Uplifting stuff."
Seduction and betrayal and divorce? I had that covered, too.
A male friend said, "Kinky sex. Something weird. Off the beaten path."
"You mean like, say, amputee sex?" I asked.
Um, yeah. Check.
"I'm a junkie for addiction memoirs," said another friend. "Got any substance abuse sagas you can throw in there?"
Unfortunately yes, I did.
"I'm a sucker for exotic travel stories, like when a normal girl is air-dropped into an upside-down world," said another pal. "I also love weepy hospital scenes, a mother bravely biting back tears next to a kid in an oxygen tent. Oh, and you can't go wrong with dramatic courtroom showdowns, especially if they have a twist ending."
I had plenty of all of those stories, actually.
Looking back at my life with newfound objectivity, I realized that it had been a long, unbroken string of wild, one-in-a-million accidents, incidents, and adventures. I hadn't gone looking for any of them, but trouble gravitated toward me. I'd had my share of remarkable good fortune, too. If a person was the sum total of her life experiences, then I was a hell of a lot more than just another leggy blonde.
My mother and I used to pick out some shoes, and then the salesperson would kneel down and attempt to put the shoes on me…For a shoe salesperson, the experience must have been freaky. Probably like a guy taking home a woman he meets in a nightclub only to be surprised by a penis in her panties.Aviva also reassures us that "physical imperfections shouldn't stop anyone from feeling pretty. Ever." Which, let's be real, is thing that only an extremely pretty person would ever say. She goes on to attend Vassar College, and absolutely hates it because she is a huge loser who hates fun:
Instead, Vassar college might as well have been Woodstock. Barefoot hippies tripped around campus with dreads, tie-dye pajama bottoms, and Baja pullovers. Parties centered around pot and "funnels," a plastic funnel duct-taped onto a long plastic tube. The funneler put the tube end in her mouth and knelt on the floor, while her friends poured beer into the funnel. You didn't have to be a physics major to understand the effect of gravity on chugging. Beer careened through the teeth, over the tongue, look out stomach, here it comes. I didn’t funnel, but it was entertaining to watch my friends do it. They sure got wasted, which was their goal. Inhaling a carbonated beverage at top speed wasn't my thing. It seemed reckless and kind of stupid. I wasn't into drunken girl-on-girl hookups either. And there was no amount of beer on earth that could make Birkenstocks attractive.I am momentarily caught up in picturing a person who, upon picking up this book, had never before heard of a beer bong, and is learning about the idea for the very first time from Aviva's description. Also by the statement, "I didn't funnel," which I can perfectly picture Aviva saying in a particularly self-righteous timbre. Most importantly, as the current world-record holder for fastest-carbonated-beverage-inhaled, it's frustrating to see my accomplishments so blatantly devalued. At least the last sentence of the passage confirms something that I have always known, deep down, to be true, which is that Aviva is a Horse Girl.
Where were the blazers, lattes, and horses?
We were a fast group, and really lived it up. We studied during the day, and indulged in restaurants and clubs at night. Nothing seedy or dangerous. We were actually pretty staid. We called ourselves the Golden Girls because we acted like old ladies.Lest we forget that she is Very Fashionable(TM) and Not Like Other Girls(TM), Aviva tells us that she "started collecting Birkin bags [in Paris] before they were popular in America." We also get a list of Aviva's phobias, which includes such assorted inanities as "terrorists," "aluminum foil," and "some spiders (big ones are fine)."
Each bridesmaid dress was going to be a bright, solid color spaghetti-strap tank with a giant tulle skirt in the same bright color. So one bridesmaid was going to have bright yellow, another fuchsia, and so on.We are treated to yet another breezy name-drop -- "a young designer and friend named Tory Burch (yes, the very same)" -- before Aviva moves right along into her next relationship, in which she "finally fulfilled my lifelong doctor fetish." I really hope that Aviva is using the word 'fetish' in the lighthearted, casual sense, and not in the way that I -- someone who has seen every episode of Strange Sex and also every documentary ever made about furries -- would use it.
How many gentile girls went to Torah classes and wound up falling in love with a Persian man? What are the odds? About the same as getting your foot stuck in a barn cleaner.Her new boyfriend, Ricky, was apparently "rooted in his family's ancient Persian culture," which makes me imagine him exactly like this. Aviva pops in to remind us of her phobic nature ("Oh, I forgot to put that on my list! I am afraid of chlorine, too!") before telling us more about the process of converting to Judaism. But lest you think that Aviva was just your regular, run-of-the-mill Jewish person after this, she clarifies, "I went into the mikvah a shiksa and came out a Jew, possibly the tallest and blondest in New York City." There is definitely something vaguely unsettling about Aviva making sure we know that she is the most Aryan Jewish person of them all, but I don't feel qualified to dive down that particular rabbit hole at the moment.
My ten-year-old stepdaughter, Veronica, came into my bedroom last night and put my prosthesis between her knees and said, "I've got three legs!" (Okay, stop thinking dirty here, guys).Her interjection makes me shockingly defensive. Aviva! I wasn't even thinking anything dirty! I promise! And I don't even know what the point of this story would be if it wasn't that your kid said something that sounded dirty! Why are you doing this to me? Furthermore, I am highly suspicious that this interaction occurred "last night." Pretty convenient timing, there, hmm Aviva?
The next time I heard from Harry, he invited me to the presidential inauguration and inaugural ball for George W. Bush in January 1997.Granted, I was busy being three years old at the time, but I am fairly certain that George W. Bush was not the president in 1997. The only explanation I can possibly come up with is that Aviva and Harry Dubin are both deeply entrenched in some sort of Illuminati-tier secret society that preordained Bush for the presidency several years before it came to pass. Which, honestly, would explain a lot. If anyone would like to pass this hot tip along to Alex Jones, please, be my guest.
In hindsight, I should have stayed in New York. The northern doctors made breasts smaller, more fashion friendly. Miami boobs were just too big.Rock in socks on chicks on fox. Fox on clocks on rocks in socks. Dr. Seuss rhymes bounce around my head for the remainder of the chapter. More importantly, this stands in direct contradiction to Aviva's infamous "the only thing that is artificial or fake about me is this" claim. But I suppose "the only thing that is artificial or fake about me is this, and also my tits," just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Eleven years later, I regret that surgery. My prosthetic boobs are my cross to bear. They remind me of that horrible time, plus they don't even look good anymore. I breast-fed two children with them, and they've become huge and saggy. The term "rocks in socks" comes to mind.
Apropos of nothing in particular, the man said, "It's tough being a new single dad."This honestly sounds like the opening dialogue of truly terrible porn. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the dulcet tones of Cara Quici in the background.
What? Single? I flung my hair back and said, "Oh, I'm single, too."
I don’t have contempt for him at all. We all lose attraction to people for superficial reasons. But given the situation, I think he should have faked it for another date to spare my feelings.This vignette perfectly encapsulates Aviva's particularly infuriating brand of "I totally get it, but also it's different for me and those rules don't apply." I’m honestly surprised that she wasn't also mad at him for failing to surprise her with a "Welcome Aviva! You Made It To Our Date!" banner.
Reid rocked. (I would write more here but my children may Google this.)Reid soon proposes with a "chunky, cool, and fun" yellow kunzite ring. Says Aviva:
[This] was a relief...I wasn't a fan of diamonds. They make other women really happy, and that is great for them.I am getting strong vibes of someone who gets an unflattering haircut and then exerts a lot of effort trying to convince everyone that they really, really love it.
I'm not fluent in five languages as I claimed on the set of The Real Housewives of New York City, unless you count "New York" and "Housewife" as languages (I could make a case for it). I speak only three: English, French, and Spanish. My German peaked at age one. I don't know why I made that outrageous claim on the show, but then I don't know why I say a lot of what I say on the show.Well, that makes two of us, then!
You see why I'm a hypochondriac? Because if anyone is going to get a hotel disease in her own bathroom, it's me. Dr. Kruger was an absolutely brilliant diagnostician to think of testing me for Legionnaires'. He had no reason to do so; it's that rare. Well, I survived it.We’re also treated to a delightful little housewives cameo, which I'm hoping is only an amuse bouche before the true entrée of Chapter Fifteen ("Housewives").
While not paying his child support, Harry dated LuAnn de Lesseps for a hot minute. It was LuAnn's single year, after her divorce from the Count but before she met her now-fiancé Jacques. I knew LuAnn. We had a mutual friend. I remember telling our friend that it wouldn't look good for LuAnn to date Harry on her TV show. His scenes with her didn't air, fortunately for LuAnn.I'm on my third Housewives book at this point, and I truly never cease to be amazed by the sheer lack of competent editorial oversight. Just one example: "But still, t [sic] wasn't so easy to walk away." My absentminded fantasy about becoming a copy editor who caters exclusively to the reality-television-adjacent is seeming more and more like a legitimately lucrative business idea.
To me, that seems like holding on to the past. I think it would be healthier for Jane to let go of Reid. However, I could understand how it would be hard to get over him. I can understand her still hanging on. I am not sure how her husband feels about it though.I can't help but imagine these lines being solemnly intoned by a middle-aged Southern woman sitting on a veranda and sipping a mint julep. Bless her heart. She's an absolute monster and I'd be shocked if her husband didn't have a mistress by this point, that poor dear.
I get a vibe from some people that they think I believe that I'm in some way better than them, that I'm a snob. Maybe I am a bit of a snob. The thing is, it's not that I think I'm better than they are, it's just that I like my taste more than I like theirs. It's just human nature. I prefer my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to your, say, Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. I'm not judging your goddamn white-trash macaroni and cheese. I just like mine better. I don't think that makes me a snob. I try not to make a show of my taste. But I tend toward the classic styles in literature, music, dress, and art. Those of us who do will always be accused of snobbery.This argument demonstrates a woefully inadequate understanding of the ways in which endemic cultural and institutional biases inescapably shape our perceptions of what we esteem to be good and valuable and worthwhile. And is also just plain irritating.
That's how I came to terms with just about everything. So that's my life so far. It's a work in progress. Stay tuned.In the acknowledgements, Aviva gives a shout-out to "transcriber Lynn Monty" who "did fast and fabulous work typing my stories" a.k.a. was the one who actually wrote this book. "Faren Bachelis," as she continues, "did a wonderful job copy-editing." Which I suppose means that I learned at least one thing from reading this book, and that is that Aviva Drescher and I have vastly different definitions of the word "wonderful."
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