(Special Guest Post by Senior Editor Jen)

On Sunday night, I took a break from reading Kazuo Ishiguro's NEVER LET ME GO in order to make dinner. The buzz piece on Carey Mulligan in October’s Vogue had reminded me that the film is coming up and I needed to read the book immediately. The Emmy’s were on at 8, so I flipped to E! to watch a little Red Carpet coverage hoping to see the cast of Mad Men.

Almost immediately, Kate Walsh appeared on my screen for a quick interview with Guiliani Rancic and appearance on E!’s "GlamCam".

Things started auspiciously as Kate shared that she was wearing J.Mendel. I smiled, turned from my dinner prep, and paid closer attention, since J. Mendel’s former Creative Director Kym Canter is a Harper author. I also loved that she held up her bag and declared: "Aldo: $30."

But then--for me--the red carpet banter went horribly wrong. For while it was lovely and of-the-moment for G.R. to toast the pregnancy of Ellen Pompeo, and Katherine Heigl’s recent adoption, I was completely caught off guard when G.R. asked Walsh if she saw any “bambinos” in her future.

Walsh was seemingly unfazed, she answered the question, and moved on to her next interview. But I was ready to throw the vegetables at my television on her behalf.

Should it ever be appropriate to ask that question (national television or not)? In my own life, I generally accept it with Walsh’s grace, but I always find it as unwelcome as the subway seat someone insists I take because--and I quote--“you’re pregnant.” (Empire waists: clearly not my look.)

The moment between G.R. and Kate felt like a new horrible live edition of US Weekly’s “Just Like Us” page in which celebrities are photographed for such things as having cellulite in order to make "real" women feel better. Clearly having Kate Walsh experience a situation that was very true to my own life was not making me feel better, it was making me mad.

A little later that evening, I laughed with a friend also watching the Emmy's over the kind of retorts that I wished that Kate had made, or that I could make when I'm asked an unwelcome question about love, marriage, or children (example scenario: the time when the owner of my neighborhood wine store upon seeing my license and lack of ring said: "Who left you on the shelf?" I was too polite to walk out, though I like to pretend I did).

The night went on. MAD MEN won Best Drama Series, I finished the novel, and then I forgot all about it until this morning, when I dropped off my laundry at the dry cleaner that I've frequented for years. The lovely owner was preparing my receipt and out of the blue asked me if I wanted to get married someday. Her husband was busy at the sewing machine to my left, and she smiled over at him, and he smiled back and nodded at me.

I didn't mind her question. I could see very clearly that she just wanted me to be happy. As she might say, "Just like us."

Want to read more about the secret lives of celebrities, as told by Susan Elizabeth Phillips? Check out WHAT I DID FOR LOVE in hardcover--also coming out in paperback in January!


Anonymous Anonymous said:


I saw your post went on Wendy's blog. I agree that Kate looked amazing. You can ever go wrong in Mendel.

Thanks for reading,


6:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I once quite appreciated the fact that someone mistook me for pregnant. My husband was in hospital with a broken spine and shattered wrist (don't worry, he's fine now and back to rock climbing and hiking). Because we hadn't been in the country long enough to satisfy some snaggy little detail of red tape to qualify for temporary disability benefits, I faced having to try and find work to support us while at the same time dealing with his recovery. (We had actually been in the country long enough, but they were working off the year before the previous year... one of those maddening mysteries of government machinery.)

Great was my surprise when they made an exception for us. When I picked up the first cheque, I thanked the lady at the counter. She smiled and gave a sympathetic nod to my favourite a-line dress, which I wore over jeans. "We thought," she said, "that under the circumstances..." I smiled and nodded, and ran away with the cheque before they could change their minds!

7:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thank you for letting me know right away that your husband is now okay -- and the fact that he's back to rock climbing is nothing short of a miracle.

I am grateful that being mistaken for pregnant helped you during such a difficult time.

Meanewhile I love an A-line dress over skinny jeans, I would wear that outfit today but its far too hot!

Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story.


8:09 AM  

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