Thank You Liz

Elizabeth Taylor gave me my first lesson in how true it is that nobody likes a wise-guy. This was back in the mid-80s when face lifts were relatively rare  (meaning before current times, when even the family dog is getting work done.)

Liz got some done on her jawline and then kept gaining weight so she kind of grew around it. I was mean and chilldish enough to mention this in one of my columns. What I actually said was  “at least one of her chins is still pointy.”

And boy did I get a lecture!  “Who do you think you are?” this one woman wrote in an angrily scrawled hand. “Where do you get off making fun of others when your eyes are beady, your teeth look false and your hair is out of style?” She could tell all that from the headshot that accompanied the column. And she was right on two counts: my eyes are beady and my hair is generally out of style but did that stop me? Nah. I then took that quote and put it on the cover of my very first book I Thought He Was a Speed Bump.

Dear Elizabeth: she couldn’t learn to stop marrying (and what did Samuel Johnson call that, the triumph of hope over experience? ) Me I couldn’t learn for the longest time stop trying to get the laugh even if it meant sometimes getting it at somebody else’s expense. She did a lot of good that lady, AND singlehandedly saved over-the-topness after we lost Liberace. I hope the lids closed easily on those amazing blue eyes.


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