I hurt my daughter this week, and I feel awful about it. I’m still a couple of years away from sponge baths and soft foods, but I feel that Melissa is sacrificing parts of her life because she feels the need to take care of me. I want her to meet a man. I want her to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, which means she either has to have more children, or we all have to play hide and seek with Peter Dinklage.
In any case, it’s time for me to get out from under her roof.
If I moved out on my own, Melissa would be crushed so I devised a plan to be so terrible and difficult that she’d have no choice but to throw me out! At first my scheme wasn’t working because nothing I did seemed to bother her. It was sort of like making faces at Stevie Wonder.
I devised a foolproof plan to enrage her – an extensive “zombie photo shoot” in her home. I got Melissa so angry, upset and stressed that I thought she was going to lose her mind. Aren’t I such a good mother?
Of course, like any other mother/daughter team, we can’t stay mad at each other forever, and I’m glad that’s the case.
In 1844 the poet Thomas Haynes Bayly wrote, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I didn’t know that Thomas Haynes Bayly lived with my mother.
When my mom moved into my house three years ago I thought we’d have a Golden Girls kind of relationship – kind of a Jewish Sophia and Dorothy. But I didn’t take into account that Dorothy only had to put up with Sophia for 30 minutes a week (23 without commercials). I’ve got my mother 24/7, 365 days a year. And as much as I love her, over time she’s become more and more impossible. She started the week off by inviting Lynn to move into the house. (I love Lynn but she’s messier than Woody Allen’s family tree). Then she decided it was time to re-do her bedroom… not by moving the TV or changing the throw pillows, but by hiring construction workers to knock down a wall. The coup de grâce came when she decided to use my house as a studio for a photo shoot for her upcoming UK tour, “Die Laughing.” My house was overrun by hundreds of zombies and their “people.”
Meltdown. I’d had enough. It was time for Mom to go! So she left. She was sad and upset. But (shockingly) she wasn’t surprised.
Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said, “’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
I famously say, “Alfred Lord Tennyson ‘tis an idiot.” There’s nothing noble about falling in love and getting dumped by a jerk, which is what happened this week to my assistant, Melody. I’m not going to give out the name of said jerk, but it rhymes almost exactly with Al. B. Sure. After what he’s put Melody through, I hope he’s the one who gets dumped on… at least by a flock of pigeons after a hearty meal at Taco Bell.
Meanwhile, Melissa and I thought it would be a great idea to sell matzo ball soup out of a food truck – we’re marketing it as lunch for the “Jew-on-the-Go.” I found my grandmother’s old recipe for cabbage matzo balls, and for some reason they turned out blue, but they still tasted great. We loved them. Marc Canter from Canter’s Famous Deli in Los Angeles loved them. Everybody loved them… except our customers. Our matzo balls were sort of like Tom Cruise’s wives: They looked great and they smelled amazing but they just sat there, untouched. I wonder what Tennyson would say about that.
My mother and I are known for a lot of things but cooking isn’t one of them. Although I must say, Cooper’s never been deprived – I can order in in seven different languages. While going through all of the boxes from the Connecticut house mom found her Russian grandmother’s recipe for matzo balls. They’re made with cabbage, but when they were done they came out blue! Then a eureka moment occurred. One of the things my mother and I ARE known for is marketing… and in less time than you can say “food truck,” we were on the road with “Joan & Melissa’s Blue Balls.” We hit a busy parking lot and starting hawking our wares. We even got Tara Reid, yes, that’s right, Sharknado‘s Tara Reid, to help us sell. I don’t want to give away how it turned out, so just think “Animal House.”
Speaking of animals – Melody’s new boyfriend, Al, is a real dog (FYI, I didn’t even know Mel had a boyfriend until I found a lace bra hidden in the pantry!). Anyway, we were having a birthday for Melody and all of her friends came – except for Al. He just never showed. Melody’s a great girl and deserves better. I hope she’ll take a page from our book and give Al some blue balls.
For a change of pace, Melissa, Lynne, Cooper and I spent a day at the Hollywood Park horse track. Melissa knows a lot about the sport of riding horses from her equestrian days, and Lynne knows about betting on them from the low-life, degenerate guys she dates. Cooper is a 13-year-old boy, so his room often smells like a stable. It’s not an understatement for me to say: I was instantly hooked on the races!
I had so much fun betting on the ponies, but I didn’t want Melissa to know I was spending my time and money at the track. I decided to pawn some of my jewelry for cash and snuck back the next day with Lynne. (I tried to keep my secret money stashed in my bra, but ten-dollar bills kept falling out from the cuffs of my pants.)
People constantly asked me, “Joan, what do you know about gambling?” Once, after a wild night, my designated driver Helen Keller drove me home – THAT was a gamble. At first, my streak was on fire, but then I bet the kitty on a trifecta and lost it all.
Luckily, Melissa and her philanthropic efforts were there to brighten my mood. “Our House,” an organization that helps families affected by suicide, held a major gala dinner to honor her for her hard work. Melissa delivered a wonderful, moving speech and Cooper and I were so proud of her. I even forgot to steal some of the silverware to hock down at the pawn shop.
I feel like Alice in Wonderland, like I fell into a hole and when I woke up everything was crazy and everyone was mad as hatter.
Cooper decided he wanted pet parakeets – and after he presented his case and promised to take care of them, I said yes. Enter the Queen of Hearts, my mother, who decided that Cooper needed “flashy birds”. Goodbye parakeets, hello toucans. FYI, toucans screech, squawk and yell all the time. Not only that, they poop when they fly. They didn’t see me as Cooper’s mother… they saw me as target practice.
Penn Jillette runs a charity event and asked my mother to do some magic for him. Enter Marissa Jaret Winokur who agreed to be my mother’s assistant. After my mother nearly sawed her in half, exit Marissa Jaret Winokur. Enter Me. First mom asked me to lie down on a Table of Terror and have huge spikes driven through me, but I said no. So she settled on putting me in a squisher machine and compacted me like trash. I felt like a human mammogram.
Things in my life keep getting curiouser and curiouser. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat any mushrooms.
My first real job in show business was as the assistant to the famous magician, Kuda Bux, AKA “The Man with the X-Ray Eyes.” He must’ve been able to see through my clothes as he fired me after a week. But it was my roots in mysticism and illusion that made me say, “YES!” to Penn & Teller’s request for me to help them out with their charity at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. I was nervous, however, since other than getting Edgar to marry me, I haven’t performed magic in years.
I knew I’d need help with the event so I called on a wonderful actress, Marissa Jaret Winokur, to be my assistant. She agreed, but I guess it was the prospect of being sawed in half by an 80-year-old woman who’s had nine eye-lifts and cares more about ruining her manicure than for the safety of her volunteer that scared her off. She quit, so enter Melissa who is still angry with me about the birds I got for Cooper… Cooper wanted pet birds and Melissa said that parakeets would be fine. I think parakeets are boring, so I upgraded him to pair of toucans – squawking, flying, pooping toucans. They never shut up. Those birds are needier than Taylor Swift on a first date.
The toucans lasted in Melissa’s house as long as I did on stage as a magician. In the span five days I aggravated my daughter, upset a bird handler and alienated a major Broadway star.
Right about now, I’m the one whom they’d all like to saw in half.
I’ve had a lot of losses lately. I lost my sister, Barbara. I lost my dog, Max. I sold my house in Connecticut. And I also lost my priceless Queen Victoria chair (more on that later). Let’s face it – I’ve had more losses than Amy Adams during any given awards season.
I loved my house in Connecticut, but it didn’t make sense to keep it anymore. I was never there. It became an unnecessary expense, sort of like Melissa McCarthy’s gym membership or Steve Buscemi’s toothbrush. Going through the house and trying to decide what to keep and what to sell was VERY stressful! So, I did what any self-respecting celebrity would do – I took drugs.
Melissa gave me a sleeping pill to help me get some rest, and that’s when the fun began. Under the influence I bought things I didn’t need and gave away things I wanted – like my priceless Queen Victoria chair. What am I going to replace that with, a Johnny Weir barstool?
I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I need a little help getting to sleep, I’ll take an Ambien. The worst that can happen to me is I’ll wake up in the middle of the night eating a meatloaf on Melissa’s front lawn.
There’s only one thing worse than seeing my mother hurting – and that’s seeing my son hurting. That’s what happened this week, and it really hurt me.
Earlier this year, my mother lost her sister. Then she lost her dog. Then she sold her house. And now, she’s lost her mind. Mom was so upset about selling the house I gave her HALF a sleeping pill so she could get some rest. Naturally, she took the entire pill and then began acting crazy… she bought her own QVC stuff, invited strangers to my house, and Skyped dirty messages. She even gave a priceless antique chair to Tony Tripoli as a housewarming gift. And she remembers none of it.
This week I lost something too… my temper! Cooper’s lacrosse coach benched Cooper FOR NO GOOD REASON. Turns out he was mad at ME for not hiring his wife, Patty Padded-Resume, to do the make-up for Fashion Police, so he took it out on MY son. I let him know that s*** don’t fly, and from here on in he’d better treat Cooper fairly. If not, I’ll give my mother another pill and a .45 and turn her loose on him.
Remember the classic Seinfeld episode with the close-talker? That’s what this week was like for me – EVERYTHING was in-your-face. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, but all of it was THIS CLOSE, all the time.
The worst thing was my Mom having to put her dog, Max, down. Max was part of our family. Lynne “threw a funeral” for Max and as crazy as it sounds, I think it helped us through it.
It was Fashion Week in New York and as EP of Fashion Police I work 24/7, which doesn’t give me time to worry about other things. Right? Wrong! Duncan shows up! And he’s in my face wanting to get back together, to have our relationship remain as it was. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for me.
I need some me-time to clear my head. Maybe I’ll watch something that will me feel better like “Kill Bill!”