My first cognizance of Jenny McCarthy was back in 1997, when folks were all atwitter (in their low-tech, pre-Twitter way) about those Candie’s shoes ads she did, which featured her smiling up from her perch on the toilet.
Call me gauche, but I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. So she was peeing, or pretending to, anyway. Big whoop. Like we don’t all pee a half-dozen times a day! Would I let someone shoot me on the can? Not a chance. Did I need to see Jenny McCarthy on the can? Not exactly, no. But it was a little like seeing a Little Caesar commercial where they’re offering the double carb rush of free “crazy bread” with your pizza; it never would have occurred to you that it might be appealing until someone puts the idea into your head.
And I did find her appealing. There was a girl who was not afraid to be shot micturating, as my grandma Esther would have put it, because she just knew that not only would she look as cute as anyone could mid-stream, but that she clearly knew that making fun of yourself inoculates you from any real criticism. What’s someone going to say? That an ad featuring a hot blonde taking a leak is tacky? Yeah, well, it doesn’t take a Ph.D.
So why the belated praise of Jenny McCarthy and her spot in the Toilet Museum Celebrity Stall of Fame (there is aÂ Toilet Museum, btw)? Because she liked my book and wrote a blurb for it! I’m hoping that some of herÂ bestseller fairy dust rubs off on me. Here’s what she said:
“Full of hard-won wisdom and pee-in-your-pants humor, My Formerly Hot Life perfectly describes the experience of being an adult tween: well past your 21st birthday yet not into real middle-age, still frisky enough to want to go out on the town yet old enough to know how you’ll pay for it in the morning! It’s the perfect gift to yourself or for your thirty and forty-something girlfriends.”
Nice, right? From her mouth, etc.
BTW, Jenny McCarthy is not the celebrity I told you about who I accosted in the playground. That woman–also funny and self-deprecating–wrote me a very nice email saying she couldn’t blurb My Formerly Hot Life for legal reasons. I’m inclined to believe her, because she strikes me as impossibly sincere, especially considering she’s a big famous lady and everything.
It did occur to me, however, that perhaps a fabulous actress type who is still trying to work might not exactly be dying to be associated with a book about what happens when you realize you’re no longer young. That day in the playground, she mentioned that she lost a role for “43-year-old mother” to a 27-year-old. (She’s a 43-year-old mother.) That’s gotta suck.
OK, OK, it was Brooke Shields.
Aside from sometimes feeling like being a real-life (almost) 43-year-old mother would be easier if I were 27, I’m glad to be a mere mortal.