As a personal assistant, I frequently work from my couch. I’ve joined the ranks of envelope stuffers and stay-at-home moms across the nation, meaning I know that Wednesday is psychic Sylvia Brown day on The Montel Williams Show, and that Dr. Phil really does “tell it like it is” because it is usually obvious.
I’m not the world’s best typer or multi tasker, so if I’m watching Judge Judy arbitrate a dispute over public drunkenness and slashed tires, chances are I’ll type “violent” instead of “violet.” I happen to think “violent flower” has a nice ring too it, though.
Today I watched Oprah in my pajamas while typing up My Poet’s lecture on line-breaks and metaphor. Oprah featured Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry, who just published a cookbook. “Deceptively Delicious” is an homage to puree. It’s premise is simple: Jessica couldn’t get her three kids to eat vegetables. She found that by mashing up carrots and concealing them in meatloaf, she could easily trick them into ingesting nutrients.
Even though a spinach brownie doesn’t much appeal to me, I recognize hide-the-leek as simple yet ingenious. It’s really not much different from how my parents used to get my Norwich terrier, Flipper, to take her heart-worm medicine by wrapping it up in Oscar Myer Bologna.
Often when I watch Oprah, I feel that her name is a collective chant of the under-accomplished and over-optimistic. “O, Prah.” It has come to mean, for me: I could have bought a food processor and made beet paste and spread it onto pizza bagels and written a best-selling book about it!
If I had to choose between a spa day with Jessica DeStefano or Jessica Seinfeld, I’d gladly pick Tillie The Frog’s creator. If you don’t know the fairy-tale story of Jessica and Jerry’s courtship, allow me to do a brief recap. In 1998, Jessica Seinfeld (then Jessica Skylar) was just back from her Italian honeymoon with Broadway Producer Eric Nederlander. She was exercising at Reebok Sports Club on The Upper West side, working off the pasta weight, perhaps in a group class with a name like “Beach Body Bootcamp,” when she met Jerry. I can’t imagine Jerry Seinfeld was all too attractive in mesh shorts, and I can’t imagine the conversation went without some strain — Jerry: “Hey, nice tan!” Jessica: “Thanks… I just honeymooned in Italy…”— but soon they began dating, and soon after that, Jessica left her newly-wed husband.
Oprah’s audience was smitten with Mrs. Seinfeld. Apparently, all it takes is a little sweet potato masquerading as taco meat for a mainly married demographic to forget that Jessica herself got married, and then, a few weeks later, began dating another man. A man she met at the gym (I like that part—makes it twice as tacky.) I’m not on a family values high horse, but I do think, much like some Christians interpreting the Bible, that Oprah audiences tend to do selective behavioral readings, a pick-and-choose of applicable parts. Conning your kids into eating vegetables trumps “in sickness and in health?” Even if, at some point on the honeymoon, you realized you had made a mistake, even then, hopefully the person you were honeymooning with was enough of a best friend that you wouldn’t immediately run to (or at) the gym and begin another highly publicized romance. Or maybe that’s just me.
In many ways I admire Oprah, but I wish she had asked more interesting questions, questions like “Did you learn about puree at the Reebok Sports Club juice bar?”
I don’t think divorce is a bad thing, but I’m also a fan of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe When I Fall in Love This Time It Will Be Forever.” And for an indecisive second-guessing Gemini like myself, Jessica Seinfeld is a panic attack waiting to happen. What if I get it wrong? What if I marry only to discover, on the treadmill at New York Sports Club, that it’s really Dane Cook I love? I guess then I’d write the Dane Cookbook.
I also think that Jessica Seinfeld just looks Deceptively Delicious. Like she was voted Deceptively Delicious by her Senior Class.
Was she scanning the room for new love?
Finally—and perhaps the most interesting part to this story—is that when I did Google research on the cuckolded ex himself, Eric Nederlander, I discovered he had happily remarried. Yay for underdogs, though I nearly fell off the couch when I read who he remarried: Lindsay Kupferman.
I went to middle school in North Carolina with Lindsay Kupferman. We performed together in the Ravenscroft 1988 sixth grade grammar musical that borrowed heavily from “Annie” songs (“The Noun Will Come Out Tomorrow”) and I can still picture her pretty mother, who looked a lot like the Baroness in “The Sound Of Music,” vigorously doing Lindsay’s stage make-up in the pool locker room. We also performed solo verses of Bette Midler’s “From a Distance” at a choir concert (I came in four bars too early. “From a–). Lindsay was popular enough to host the eighth grade graduation party at her house, where I wore a green dress with a pattern that could only be described as “violent flowers.” And once, after an awards assembly, after I had just accepted certificates for Perfect Attendance and Language Arts, Lindsay (and my friend Barbara) made fun of my self-conscious posture in the hall, outside of Mr Joyner’s Science room, right as I rounded the corner.
But that’s all puree under the bridge. Who wasn’t a little caddy in middle school? She’s smart and successful and doing meaningful work, and I’m sure really nice, and I think it’s super sweet that she and Eric first met at a “preseason get-together in 2000 of potential members of a Hamptons summer share.” I never seem to meet anybody at those things. O, prah.