It’s official. I am 2-2 when it comes to saying absolutely ridiculous things to celebrities. My first moronic blubbering happened when I met Micky Dolenz of the The Monkees last summer. My second just recently occurred at a book signing with Andy Cohen, Bravo television executive and champion of The Real Housewives franchise…who also happens to be a fellow St. Louis native. Because I can’t be trusted with my words, I have decided I should cloister myself away with my computer and only interact with the public via my blog. Apparently, I am really lame in person.
Cohen made an appearance at the St. Louis County Library last Friday to publicize his new book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, and my friend Catherine and I thought it would be fun to go see him. We are both guilty of being Real Housewives fans after all, and I have a little soft spot for Cohen. Aside from marveling at his grace under fire during every Housewives reunion special, he is also responsible for bringing the shows Project Runway and Top Chef into my life. One sparked my interest in sewing, leading me to spend precious bonding time with my grandmother learning her tricks of the trade for pillow shams…the other sparked my interest in gainig five pounds. There’s also a sense of pride that comes along with seeing a likable homegrown boy make it in the big city. But mostly, I was hoping to get some Housewives dirt. I was sorely disappointed on that front. But “bravo” to Cohen for being smart enough not to bite the obnoxiously blinged-out hands that feed him. That’s some good old Midwestern common sense.
I like that Cohen is a proud St. Louisan. He often references being a native of The Lou on his live late night talk show, Watch What Happens Live. And he was just as appalled as I when, during a game of Pictionary with a couple of the Real Housewives, Kyle Richards had no idea what the St. Louis Arch was. He is a loud and proud Cardinals fan. And a recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch relayed his feelings on his place of birth: “When I tell people I grew up in St. Louis, their first reaction (is sometimes) ‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ (…) Here’s what: Apology not accepted — or needed. I loved growing up there.”
In light of the props Cohen routinely gives to his roots, Catherine and I thought it would be funny and perhaps (not so) clever to make The Real Housewives of St. Louis t-shirts to wear to the book signing. (Cohen did make clear during the interview with McGraw Millhaven prior to the book signing that there will never be a St. Louis Housewives…for purely selfish reasons. As he put it, he doesn’t want to be home for a relaxing Thanksgiving break and run into the “Ramona of St. Louis.”) So I took a little trip to Walmart (because that’s where any good Housewife gets her apparel) for some $4 t-shirts and printable iron-on transfers. I spent a good thirty minutes or so recreating the Real Housewives logo with our esteemed city name and icon of choice: Orange County has the orange, Atlanta has the peach, New York has the apple, Beverly Hills has diamond-studded sunglasses…what better to represent St. Louis than the Imo’s pizza logo! Not only does it have the Arch, but it is also the symbol of the square-beyond-compare of delectable provel cheese…the cheese to which Cohen confessed to loving, though he touted it as the cheese they put on salads at Cafe Manhattan, not mentioning Imo’s once. Well, there was a missed opportunity on his part to have a bunch of people clap and woo-hoo for him at the mention of something that doesn’t really deserve clapping and woo-hooing but for the mere fact that it is something familiar. Oh my god, he said Imo’s Pizza! I’ve eaten that! WOOOOO-HOOOOO!
Anyway, Catherine and I were totally digging our shirts, despite the fact that we were surrounded by women who were dressed as if they were auditioning for Real Housewives themselves. It’s all good, we thought. All the more reason we’ll stand out. Catherine even dared to hope that maybe, just maybe, Cohen would love our shirts so much he’d give us a “mazel” on his talk show. That was stretching it a bit, but surely he would love our playful sense of humor, right?
So our turn came to get our books signed. I walked up to Cohen and immediately thrust my hip to the side, pointed at my chest with both hands, and said in a somewhat cocky manner, “Like my shirt?” Oh…my…God. He smiled a little and said “Aw, cute.” But it was totally in the tone someone uses when she first sees a friend who has just gotten her hair butchered at the salon. Really? I spent a good thirty minutes on this t-shirt, buddy!
Perhaps to make up for my failed attempt to win his friendship with my shirt, I went on to say, “Thanks for always representin’ the STL.” ……………??????????????? Yes, that was “representin'” minus the “g” and “STL”…not “St. Louis.” I actually used the letters S-T-L preceded by the word “the.” I will no longer comment on this for there really are no words. What I SHOULD have said was, “Please tell Alexis Bellino to stop reminding people she’s from Missouri, because it’s giving us a bad name.”
One of the librarians quickly snapped a photo of Catherine and I with Cohen. I was excited to see it since the librarian kept saying how “adorable” the photo was as she was taking it. She very obviously loved our shirts and found them super clever (aHEM, Mr. Cohen). However, either she was in need of a new prescription for her glasses, or she just thought Catherine and I were more “adorable” if our faces were blurry, because the photo was a pretty big fail.
But all in all, I give the experience two thumbs up. Sure, I wish we had gotten a better reaction about our shirts. But really, it’s not like it was this crazy original idea. And we had fun with it, so that’s all that matters.
In honor of Cohen I will end this post in a similar fashion to how he wraps up each episode of Watch What Happens Live…with my “Jackhole of the Day” and my “Mazel of the Day.”
My “Jackhole of the Day” goes to the crazypants woman from Iowa who expected Cohen to recognize her voice since she had called into his show three times, and who both asked to be his wife and wanted to know what her chances were of becoming a Real Housewife. His response? A very honest probably not that good. Honey, if Real Housewives of St. Louis doesn’t have a chance, I wouldn’t hold out any hope for Real Housewives of Des Moines.
My “Mazel of the Day” goes to Cohen himself for giving me something fun to do with my good friend on a Friday night. Then again, the rest of my day consisted of a trip to Walmart, making an unappreciated tee-shirt, and cleaning up my dog’s barf off of our living room carpet…so he really didn’t have all that much competition. Now THAT’S the life of a Real Housewife.