Friday, May 23, 2008

P.S. I Don't Hate You

All right, I know I believe in the teachings of Christ and everything, which means loving others is key, but I have to admit there are just quite a lot of a few people in this world whom I hate. I’m also supposed to be a feminist, which means I should give all my sisters the benefit of the doubt, but among those I hate, some actually happen to be women. Ann Coulter, for instance, springs to mind (although, as a follower of Christ’s teachings, I am supposed to hate the Devil, and I assume that encompasses the spawn of the Devil as well). But then there are those women who allow me to feel very good about myself as both a Christian and a feminist. These are the women I would just love to hate, but I can’t. I just can’t. I love them too much to hate them. I thought you all might like to know who they are, so here’s a list for you:

  1. THE OTHER EMILY BARTON: She stole my name! She’s an award-winning novelist. She gets asked to write book reviews for The New York Times. All this, and she’s younger than I am. However, I can’t hate her. After all, how can anyone really hate someone else who has the same name, especially when that someone else seems to have something in common (like a love of writing) with her? I have a feeling that when I finally get around to reading one of her novels, I’m going to love her even more. Besides, as I once explained, we don’t really have the same name.
  1. NIGELLA LAWSON: Does she not have the most fabulous job ever, combining both cooking and writing? Does she not also happen to have been blessed with great physical beauty? Do you not just want to hang out with her eating great food and drinking great wine and talking about whatever strikes your fancy? She’s a fabulous cook who has far more confidence in her kitchen than I could ever hope to have in mine. I don’t hate her. I just want to be her.
  1. MARGO TIMMINS: Is it really possible not to hate a woman every man I know has a huge crush on? Bob loves the Cowboy Junkies, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have taken me to see them twice in the time I’ve known him if Margo were some ugly old hag, and if she didn’t happen to have one of the sexiest voices ever recorded. I don’t blame Bob and all those other males at all. She’s just so talented, and she’s funny, too. Must be the latent lesbian in me or some former male from a previous life or something keeping me from hating her.
  1. MICHELL PFEIFFER: Shouldn’t all women hate her? I mean, she just keeps getting more beautiful the older she gets. She’s not just a pretty face. The woman can actually act. Then there’s the fact that her first husband was Peter Horton. I know the marriage didn’t last, but still: she got to sleep with Peter Horton, who wasn’t the sole reason I was hooked on Thirty Something when I was a mere twenty something, but would have been a damn good reason to watch the show even if it had been complete crap. And then she married David Kelly. I mean, some women have all the luck! But I don’t hate her. Everything I’ve garnered from what I’ve read about her is that not only is she talented, but she’s also smart, warm, savvy, and witty. My hope in life is to be described with at least a couple of these adjectives. Anyone who garners all four immediately makes it into the “People Emily Loves” column.
  1. OPRAH WINFREY: She should be extraordinarily annoying. She should be fake. There should be all kinds of hidden dirt, like she hates kids or something. I used to think I hated her until I started to pay close attention to her. She’s smart. She’s caring. She’s loyal. She’s beautiful. She’s faithful. She’s down-to-earth. And she’s still managed to be successful in an arena that would normally crush someone like that. What’s there to hate, and what’s not to admire?

So, tell me, who do you wish you could hate?


Anonymous said...

Well, now I know how we can introduce Sam and Bob - Cowboy Junkies. We are quite loyal as well. And I too wish I could hate Nigella - sometimes when I am reading one of her cookbooks I just want to tell her to SHUT UP, but in the end she wins me over anyway, damn her.
I wish I could hate Meredith Viera, but I don't - I sort of would love to have had her career...

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about Oprah. I wish I could hate her too but just when I think I've managed it she goes and does something to make me like her again. As for Ann Coulter, I'm pretty sure she is devil spawn so it's ok to hate her ;)

Anonymous said...

Joan Didion. The only woman I really need to worry about my husband running off with regardless of her age, but she writes so well. linser

ZoesMom said...

I definitely would love to hate Oprah. I think I actually do love and hate her at the same time, but ultimately I have tremendous respect for her and all that she has accomplished.

I also wish I could hate Martha Stewart. I can't say I love her, but like Oprah, I do respect what she's done. The jail time does make it a little easier to hate her, but seeing how she has bounced back and seems to be more successful than ever amazes me.

Emily Barton said...

Court, there we go: make sure we have plenty of Cowboy Junkies CDs on hand when the four of us get together for the first time.

Stef, yes, that's it. Oprah's like a cute child who keeps winning you back over every time you think you've had enough, and glad to see someone supports my notion that Coulter is the spawn of the devil.

Linser, oh yes, Joan Didion. People like her just shouldn't be allowed to exist, but then we'd have to miss out on all that fantastic writing of hers I love so much.

ZM, I can't hate Martha Stewart, either. She's very, very annoying, and I'm not the least bit into all that work to make a house a showcase (looking at her books and magazines throws me into a state of utter despair, because I know my home/garden/cocktail parties will NEVER look like that), but still, I admire her, even more so after she went to jail and still managed to survive.

Susan said...

Well, I HATE Martha Stewart! She gives all women everywhere a bad name because Martha expects us all to be able to do what she does AND work, raise the kids, carpool, grocery shop and do the laundry, while she has minions do all that boring real-life stuff for her. She is the spawn of Satan (and no, I do NOT feel sorry for her AT ALL for going to jail. I can't have been the only person who cheered when she went in, was I??)
As for women I love, Nigella is up there. You're right, Emily, I think we all just want to be her - fabulous job cooking - and she cooks in her own home! -and beautiful, and down to earth. And her kids comment on her food! I love reading her cookery books, it's like sitting down and having a lovely long talk with her over a cup of tea or for a sleep-over. Since my husband loves her - he manages to find her cooking show, whichever one is currently being played, when I forget we can even get the cooking channel, I should be jealous but I'm not. I'm with you on the latent lesbian/leftover man self inside me from a past life bit, here!! No, she comes close to being my idol, and she is so down to earth and friendly (though so shy, too)....
I want to hate Oprah too, but I don't. She's done so much for showing that a woman can have and do it all, with wit, charm, kindness, intelligence, and been a superb model for black women in a time when there are few role models for any women. But I'm not sure we'd be friends, because on the living daily level, she's more into giving the fantasy (seen her wedding shows??) and I need real friends. I admire her from afar.
Fun post, given me lots to think of! As always!! :-)

Emily Barton said...

Susan, well, you're right about Martha Stewart's unrealistic expectations for women, which feed into the guilt so many women feel, so that's a good enough reason to hate her. My problem is that I think she's been punished more for her indiscretions than men who've done worse have been in our society. But, I don't exactly love her...Nigella, now there's another story, the one, as you note, with whom we could be real friends.