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.
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.
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.
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!”
I never thought anything could be more upsetting than catching your parents in bed but there is. Catching your best friend and boyfriend in bed. First, let me point out that I NEVER walked in on my parents having sex. I believe they only did it once – to produce me.
I went to see Duncan in his hotel room to try and hammer out some things out and he answers the door in a towel. No problem: a) I like clean, and b) he looks great in a towel. But behind him I see Lynne in his bed and a) she doesn’t look clean, and b) all she’s wearing is a look of surprise.
I’m not sure who to be madder at – Duncan, who says he loves me, or Lynne, who I know loves me. My life is turning into a soap opera, except without commercial interruptions or Susan Lucci.
I think I’m a nice person. I’m a good mother. I’m a good daughter. I’m a good friend. So why is so much crazy stuff happening to me? I’ll explain. Here’s how my week went:
My mother asked me to make a sex tape so we can have an empire just like the Kardashians. But since I’m a sane person, I said “no.”
So Mom decided SHE’D make a sex tape – and whom does she call to produce her sex tape? My old ex-boyfriend, Steve, that’s who.
I broke up with my current boyfriend, Duncan.
So my best friend Lynne tried to “help” by reaching out to my current ex- boyfriend, Duncan. And by reaching out I mean “with her tongue.”
It’s all pretty overwhelming. I’ll try to resolve the Duncan and Lynne stuff, but I have no control over my mother’s sex tape. And I have no idea who’d want to see an 80 year-old woman having sex. I’m pretty sure they don’t have that kind of a category on J-Date. And how am I going to explain her sex tape to Cooper? Have a video night? “Here’s Grandma on Carson; here’s Grandma on Fashion Police; here’s Grandma on Vinnie, The Italian Stallion?” After that I’ll have to explain, “Here’s Mom on Valium.”
It’s amazing how rich everyone is out here in L.A. Case in point, they don’t use trucks – they use garbage limos. So, my day began just like any other in Malibu when I asked Sabrina and Melody to help me plan a yacht party for our employees. The moonlight, the sea air, an open bar to fuel Tony and Lynne’s anger toward each other…what could possibly go wrong?
I also taped an amazing episode of In Bed with Joan with Sarah Silverman as my guest, which was a complete delight except for when Sarah said my show was a joke and we screamed obscenities at each other. I thought, maybe Sarah is right. Maybe my show needs a bit of a make-over, starting with my bedroom set. I’m already breaking the bank on our boat party, so off we went to IKEA, where I figured we could save on some new furniture. (By the way, if you think IKEA is fussy about people sitting on their furniture in the showroom, you should try taping a TV show from one of their beds.)
The other big news concerns Melissa’s relationship with Duncan. Yes, I can call it a relationship. I don’t want to go into detail about what I saw going on between them behind closed doors…at 2:00 in the afternoon…in Melissa’s bed. All I can say is that she clearly paid attention to my talk about the birds and the bees!
I’ve got to hand it to my Mom: when it comes to meddling in my personal life, nobody does it better. For example, this weekend we’re all going to Las Vegas so Sabrina and her husband Curtis can renew their wedding vows. Of course, Mom’s real purpose for this trip is to surround me with hot guys and ply me with liquor in a town where there’s a quickie wedding chapel every three blocks and just, you know, see what happens. Every celebrity has a cause, and apparently my Mom’s cause is getting me back in a relationship by next week and married off by this summer. Meanwhile, back here in Reality Land, I’m not even ready to start dating again, let alone settle down with anybody. But in my Mom’s English-to-Mom Dictionary “I’m not ready yet,” translates into, “I’m totally ready!” Truth is, Mom wants me to get married again is so I can have another baby. But I’m lucky enough to live in an age where a woman can make that decision for herself whether she’s married or not. Now if I can just get my Mom to understand that.
I know that we keep discussing that Joan is 78, but I am tempted to insist that she show me her birth certificate. When we were shooting the episode in Las Vegas, we shot with her all day. Our cameras followed her as she planned out Sabrina’s bachelorette party. Then we taped her live comedy show at the Venetian. During the concert, I had our crew go to the party bus that Joan and Melissa had rented for Sabrina’s party. We knew the bus would be dark, so we set up some extra lights inside it before the ladies got there. While they were adding battery-operated lights on the bus, I stayed at the theater and watched as Joan greeted a long line of the audience members who waited after her stand-up show to take her picture, get autographs, etc. Joan was really impressive to watch. Mind you, it was 11:00 at night when her show ended. Joan greeted each person — listened to each story, answered each question and patiently stood smiling as each person attempted to take a picture with her. (You’d be amazed how many people are clueless how to operate their own cameras, especially the ones on their phones). Joan was sincerely thrilled by their delight in her performance. I sometimes think that the audience adulation is the extra energy source that keeps Joan going. Like Audience Viagra, or Comic Ginseng.
It was nearly midnight when Joan finally climbed on the party bus. And you could have sworn she had just woken up from an eight hour sleep by her energy level. She was drinking and dancing on the bus – putting all the younger ladies to shame. All except Melissa, who was surprisingly adept at dancing on the pole on the bus. Where she learned it, I can’t imagine. Joan’s energy continued right into the dance club. Joan loved dancing to the Black Eyed Peas and got a second wind surrounded by 1500 gay men dancing with their arms above their heads. We did not stop shooting until 2:30 in the morning. And Joan was up for more dancing long after our cameraman gave me the eye that he was beat tired. Granted, he does have a 30 pound camera on his shoulder the entire time. It was a fun night for us all – and I had to smile as I watched Joan still dancing as we left the club.