I just found out some horrible news in a really weird way.
I got into Boulder, where I am staying with one of my best pals from childhood, and finally got a chance to spend some quality time with my computer, catching up on the email. My publicist sends me links to all of the book reviews, which I try to skim and not stress too much about. (It might be all the self-helping, but I am much better at reading this stuff now.) In the comments section for one of the reviews, a reader mentions the hotness factor of the photographer Debra McClinton, who took the picture that's on my book jacket, the one of me with my head in the box. Sadly, a few comments further down, someone else wrote in saying that Debra died last November. I had no idea. I had only hung out with her a few hours that day, but it was clear she was a special lady; funny, quirky, vibrant, creative, and incredibly beautiful. We talked about kids because she had a young daughter, and she snapped away while we chatted about thrift shopping and food and an ex-boyfriend of hers, a comedian I knew. From the outside, it seemed like everything in her world was going well.
I just spent the last half hour frantically Googling away, and it seems that she was severely depressed and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't know what else to say except that it's a shock and so sad. Here is a memorial site for Debra, where people have shared their stories about what an impact she had on their lives.
It's 6 am now and I am about to head back into Denver to do some radio and TV stuff, before driving back to Boulder for another interview, and then my reading tonight at the Boulder Bookstore. Last night's thing at the Tattered Cover was fun. Lots of people coming up to share their experiences with different self-help programs. I forgot if I mentioned the lady who demanded her money back from John Gray after a Mars/Venus seminar! We ladies may like our chocolate and warm hugs, but apparently we can also be direct when we need to. According to an inside source at the bookstore, the self-help events seem to attract singles looking for dates, which brings me to the issue of the complete unsexiness of self-help.
My friend in Boulder is someone I've known for twenty years. She's a genius, almost finished with her Ph.D, and currently single. When we were driving into the reading last night, she was telling me about these two men she has recently dated. The first one was fifty years old, extremely handsome, and well-respected in his career. He had had great success with a book he's written and landed this hot new babe, my trilingual pal who's got gorgeous strawberry blond hair and is built like a brick shithouse. So, when the time arrives for them to do it, she finds in his bedroom, next to his collection of antique timepieces, a list taped to the wall of all of his affirmations and goals. He was doing The Secret! It was a complete turn-off for her to be reading about all of his insecurities and private issues whilst preparing for some action.
The other guy she dated was Moroccan, a recent immigrant, and was working at Starbucks. He was kind of a happy-go-lucky dude, not very interested in learning English, and didn't set any goals for himself. But he was super confident. He didn't care about finding a career or figuring out his Personal Mission Statement; he felt fine. But in the end, she found that kind of a turn-off, too. Maybe good for sex, but not so much for laughs and conversation.
Lessons learned today:
1) If you are doing The Secret, don't keep your list of self-actualization junk next to the bed.
2) If you have no goals, you can still be hot in the sack.
3) If you are severely depressed, please know there are people out there who have made it their Life Purpose to help you. 1-800-SUICIDE.