Maybe you think I’ve just been in the ladies’ room all this time, but that’s not the case. I haven’t been blogging as frequently as I had in the past for a couple of reasons: I’m still not confident about or comfortable with the new software and format of “Brainstorm” and miss the more lively, if insane, exchanges with readers who made up names and, in all probability, entire personalities — and I’ve had a complicated semester (both good and bad) this fall. But I’m knocking on wood and hoping that things will calm down and resume their routine.
Routine starts to look great when you’ve been away from it for a while. Ever notice that?
One of the more bizarre things I’ve done recently was to tape The Dr. Phil Show in Los Angeles last week. I’m not kidding. And it was actually fun. It would be very easy to be all academic and snobby about the experience but since I enjoyed myself thoroughly to pretend otherwise would be entirely disingenuous.
The topic was revenge. I wrote a book on the subject several years ago, which was translated into German, Spanish, and Japanese, and have been asked to comment in the press over the years about everything from children’s movies to Madoff’s mistress’s new tell-all memoir. The producers paired me with an attorney from New Jersey so that we could discuss the larger issues surrounding the very idea of revenge — and so that we could also respond to a Real Couple who were having what might be called “troubles.”
My favorite part of the show happened when we started to discuss the case of a woman who ran over her cheating husband — twice — in a parking lot. I mentioned that this might at first seem like a bad thing, until you heard the backstory and discovered he was coming out of a motel with his girlfriend after telling his wife, who’d just had twins, that he’s broken up with this girlfriend because the wife agreed to lose weight and have a boob job. Since these were the circumstances, I said, one understood that by running him over twice, the wife showed restraint, and that if they knew the story, other women in the parking lot would have lined up to run over the guy, too, just on principle.
The women in the audience burst into sustained laughter and applause. I hope they don’t cut that out of the show when they edit.
Hey, it’s television, not NPR. There was emotion, not aphorisms interrupted with reed music. The Dr. Phil episode on revenge airs tomorrow and I’m more worried about how my hair will look than about how I’ll sound. My ideas I could control — my hair they dealt with entirely.
And I hope to get back to the rest of my routine soon. Thanks for your patience. And don’t look at the hair.