I remember telling a mama friend of mine about Rebecca Eckler's Wiped! when it came out. Well, more specifically, I was telling Mama about the review I read in the Quill & Quire (Canada's publishing trade magazine). Go ahead and read that review, then come back here. I'll wait.
Don't you just want to find her and give a stern lecture? And by "stern lecture," I mean "a couple blows about the head." This is entitlement parenting at its most obnoxious. Most mamas I know, even the ones with "good jobs," struggle to make ends meet, and they do it without a nanny. I'm not going to say that raising an infant is easy work, no matter how much help you get. What astounds me, is that Eckler (and her editor[s?] and publisher) really thought that anyone would care about her particular "struggles."
I'm not a parent, but I'm pretty annoyed at this whole treating your child like just another accessory thing going on here. I can't imagine anyone with kids, who didn't have the privilege that Eckler has, would be able to spend more than five minutes in Wiped World, without ripping the book to shreds, in a sort of voodoo ritual. Eckler continues the whine fest in her own blog (oooooh, I wonder if she's looking for trackbacks). "I think to find a reviewer who would 'get' and be open to someone like me would be very hard indeed," she writes. "I mean, how many other writers in Canada write openly about getting knocked up in a drunken state? (Trust me, I know a lot of babies are made that way.)" Probably a lot of 'em would, Becky, but they don't have the connections, and the cash flow to allow them to take time out from their child-minding duties to write the damn book.
We all "get" that it's not what you know, it's who you know, and we know Eckler knows some folks. The bad reviews weren't generated because no one really understands her (the rallying cry of adolescents everywhere); the reviews exist because we know her -- and her type -- far, far too well. While fictional, and fraught with its own problems, a book like I Don't Know How She Does It sold exceedingly well because the everymama could relate, at least on some level, to the real exhaustion portrayed in those pages.
I have a feeling Wiped didn't sell too well, and here's some interesting backup for that feeling (and the raison d'être of this post):
"Eckler says film Knocked Up too close to home" (via Bookninja). Yep, she's suing because "'Alison' was an up-and-coming television reporter; in my book, I was an up-and-coming newspaper reporter." Oh, and the baby daddy was Jewish. And the pregnancy was the result of a drunken one-nighter. (Wait, wait, wait, didn't she say in her blog "Trust me, I know a lot of babies are made that way." She knows a lot of babies are made "that way". But she's suing?) Clearly, we're talking Viswanathan-esque levels of plagiarism here! Except, not. We're talking about a woman who
whines about having to spend two months in Maui and begrudges her fiancé’s frustration as he forks out for endless new portable DVD players after the baby destroys them. She inadvertently spends $400 on a jean skirt for the child on a weekend trip to Paris and $1,500 on her second birthday party [...]*The hilarity. It burns.
By the way, if you or anyone you know has ever gotten pregnant accidentally, by Jewish guy, while being an up-and-coming something-or-other, do let me know in the comments, won't you? Just don't bother writing a book about it.
Edit: Steven W. Beattie at That Shakespeaherian Rag takes apart the whinge post here.
Eckler threatens job action against those would would critique her. Well, not if they're "just some weirdo 60 year-old who still lived in his parents basement who made fun of me." It's really threatening to have educated, successful types disagree with you, ain't it? "I'm laughing so hard I basically have tears streaming down my face." Sure, hon. Her blog, it burns.
Here is the parody blog. Go to June 1st for the redux of the "threatening" post I link here. Holy cow, who knew there was all this hubub around one self-centred *expletive*?! And now I'm feeding it (not that anyone actually reads this). UNCLEAN!
Globe and Mail commenters go to town.
*Quoted from the linked Quill & Quire review by Emily Donaldson. A woman. Not the "middle-age men [who] wouldn't exactly get where I'm coming from." Though what the hell do I know? I'm just a childfree person, struggling to pay the bills.