I just finished "Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler", an autobiography written by Wade Rouse. This was a hilarious (sometimes sad) book about mean girls grown up. The title hits the proverbial nail directly on the head.
It was a very easy read, and gave me the much needed break I needed while I am doing re-writes on "False Victim."
While reading I am thinking, 'I wouldn't put up with these diva's for a minute.' However, the more I thought about it, I realized I have been doing just that for most of my life.
As a matter of fact, I think it's safe to say, that I, Kathie Truitt, am a certified "Diva Handler."
It started in High School. I was always the 'plain best friend' of several of the girls that always made the 'most beautiful' list. Were they mean girls? No. Divas? Oh, yeah.
Dee is the most memorable because she was the leader of the pack. She wore full makeup in 5th grade. I'm talking foundation and the whole kit and kaboodle. At 16 she had the best cars, the best clothes, the best of everything. If there was a song on the radio that she liked it was 'her' song and we couldn't as much as hum the tune. We weren't allowed to have a boyfriend until she okay'd him first. Meaning if she didn't think he was cute then we could have him. Did I mention that she also had a drug problem? Still does. One time, Honey and I had arranged for a local doctor to write out a 'free pass' for her to go to rehab. Yes, I said 'free.' As in 'no money', no cost to her. She refused. I was the one she always called when when their was a crisis. Her brother died. Her marriage ended. She always wanted me to have 'answers' which were impossible for me to have. Her 'neediness' continued but she wouldn't accept any help to get over her drug and alcohol use. Finally, the next time she called, I refused.
She wasn't the only diva friend. Not by a long shot. I never really had a boyfriend because everytime I would like someone I would always walk away because one of my friends would suddenly become interested. One boy I turned down week after week after week. Girlfriend spotted me talking with boy in the hallway and quickly informed me boy was hers. I continued to turn him down. Boy was persistent. He finally resorted to showing up at my house. I finally gave in and dated him. Boy and I have now been married for 27 years. (Girlfriend did move on and marry someone else, but she's still not real friendly.)
So, if you're a regular reader you know up until about 2 years ago, my career was in the entertainment industry. You name them, I've probably hosted them, interviewed, scheduled them or at least met them. No diva stories there. As a matter of fact, I have many wonderful, funny stories I could always do in another post if you like. But thankfully, no bad experiences.
Working with the Miss America and the Miss USA and Mrs. America systems have also been pleasant experiences as long as its the contestants. Yes, the contestants and the title holders are incredible. The divas in that atmosphere were mostly backstage. I almost had to break up a fist fight between the Master of Ceremonies and the choreographer one year - right before the curtain went up!
The following year I was the MC and that same choreographer had been fired. He still attended the pageant. He snuck in without buying a ticket and heckled the contestants from the stage the whole night! Not only was he a high maintenance jerk, but he was incredibly demanding. He wanted fresh flowers in his hotel room, a certain kind of bottled water, blah, blah, blah. Years later, Aimee, a former Miss Missouri USA, called me and said 'Quick! turn on the television. L is on! It's a pageant reality show and he's the coach!'
I was a comedian at a music theatre in the late 80's to early 90's. I also happened to be the emcee, and two very pretty young ladies were the lead singers. The show was broadcast every weekend and these two singers, of course were the main attraction. I was the emcee and backup singer, but most of my routine was done as a filler in between commercial breaks. After the show was done, it was these ladies whom the crowd would line up to see for autographs and pictures. No problem - such is the life of the funny girl. Except, these two were so jealous. I never understood that. They were the ones that got to sing, wear the glamorous clothes and look pretty. Finally, I was told to write a few on-liners and short skits to include them. After that, everything was fine. They pulled their 'diva claws' back in.
For one year, I managed a modeling agency in DC/New York. Oh. My. Goodness. Never again. NEVER. AGAIN. The men were the worse. One time I took a male model on an audition. I had my daughter with me and this guy was being flirtatious to the point of being obnoxius. It was an old story - most of the male models were like this. Rachael was furious until I explained to her that he was acting this way in hopes of gaining favor over the others.
The girls had their own problems. I was constantly getting phone calls from either an upset client over a model being late, the wrong size, wrong hair color, etc. One young lady had a habit of showing up only when and if she wanted to. I fired her at one point, but she was so beautiful that clients would beg to give her one more chance (yes, I know sometimes life isn't fair). I have never in my days been given another chance because I was 'so beautiful', have you?
One girl had a particular problem with weight gain. When I went to New York I unlocked the door to the girls dorms and the smell of 'weed' slapped me right in the face. Duh! Pot is not only illegal, but it revves up the appetite as well. I prompltly sent her "two sizes too big hips" back home to Canada.
The most memorable, though, was when I was out of town and a model couldn't get hold of me and she kept calling Jay asking - no demanding he give her permission for hair extensions.
My problems weren't with just with the models. There was one particular designer that was very, very eccentric. He lived in a mansion in Baltimore that must have been absolutely exquisite at one point, but was so rundown now that is was downright creepy. He would always ask the girl he was working with at the moment to marry him. Of course everyone thought he was joking, so this model playfully told him of course she'd marry him. Well, guess who had to do damage control when he was announcing their engagement to world?
Of course, Diva's aren't just relegated to the Fashion and Entertainment Industry. I now work someplace that has nothing to do with either, but yet the diva factor stands at 95% - which, honestly, is higher than any place I've ever stepped foot in.
I am not as adept at "Diva Handling" as I used to be. Which is not good. Probably because I am not as patient as I used to be. Which is also not good.
Or maybe it's because I'm enough of a Diva in my own right, that I think it's my turn
Hmm, now that's a thought.
Now, darling, could you please get me a glass of iced tea, sweet, no lemon, crushed ice, not cube, and in a crystal.....
I am giving away "Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler"! If you want to be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment...I'd love to hear your 'Diva handling' stories!!!!
(I'll be doing the drawing on Thursday)