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It perhaps wasn't the best choice of words and as a writer I should have known better, I suppose, but I still believe it was clear to everyone what I meant when I said, "it takes a village" to make a book. It does. I've said this all before – in the Acknowledgements of Leggy Blonde, on the show, in interviews.
But the haters can’t seem to get past the phrase -- and, you know, I don’t blame them; it sounds lame. There must be a more felicitous way to say it. Would it sound better if I said "team" rather than "village?" Or maybe "coven" (that’s more Housewifey), "Clack," "Minyan," "Platoon," "Mob," "Posse" (very Heather), "Clique," "Band," "Troop," "Society," "Crowd," "Gang," "Party," "Crew," "Cluster" ("cluster f---?"), "Committee" – yes, committee: that sounds more democratic and modest than "village" or "ME." It takes a committee to make a book. But before I abandon "village" altogether, here’s some background that may enlighten you to how I was seduced:
The phrase purportedly comes from an African Proverb -- "It takes a village to raise a child." It was used in the title of the 1996 bestseller, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton about Clinton’s quest to find a way to improve the lives of children. The Dallas Morning News called it "a textbook for caring . . . filled with truths that are worth a read, and a reread." (Maybe a must read for Housewives?)
The Acknowledgments section opens with "It takes a village to bring a book into the world, as everyone who has written one knows." That was a long time ago . . . before the concept was considered weak by Carole and the "we do it alone" set. (Can’t you just see Carole chopping down those trees to make the paper to print the words that no one is allowed to change a letter of?) It's also in the title of Jane Cowen-Fletcher's children's book It Takes a Village, Jethro Collins’ It Takes a Village to Murder Your Husband, and Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One (maybe these two latter ones should also be required Housewife reading). So for now, I'll stick with being grateful to everyone in my committee. I couldn't have done it without them. And again, congratulations to Carole for doing it on her own without help, villagers, or committees. I now know what an impossible task that is.
By the way, as gorgeous and natural as we are, I think you could say that it also takes a village -- make that, committee -- to make a Real Housewife real. Makeup, stylists, Spanx (or those knock-offs Heather pushes), eyelashes, Botox (those foreheads aren't going to inject themselves), boobs, tucks, tightening, designer spare legs, hair (color and cut), manies, pedies, peels, etc. God forbid natural women should also have a little help with their words.
To me, this week's episode belonged to Sonja. I remain moved and delighted at the way she puts herself out there. She's so full of courage, generosity, and good nature. What a brilliant counter to the petty spats breaking out all over Housewifeville. I still maintain Sonja is the Realest; Carole and I are unfortunate distractions. Sonja should have her own show.
And finally, Carole says what I'm doing by asking about her book is "slander" and "illegal." This is not something that was covered when I went to law school, but then maybe Carole has some special insight. Illegal, Carole? Really? Who you gonna call?
Buy Leggy Blonde here.