We're Just like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle

( 45 )

Overview

"I thought I was Southern until I read Celia Rivenbark's book...what a funny, smart, and irreverent writer she is!"
- Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

"Laugh-out-loud funny."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Even die-hard Yankees will appreciate this wickedly funny collection...an amusing and refreshingly honest look at family life on this side of the Mason-Dixon line."
- Dallas ...

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We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle

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Overview

"I thought I was Southern until I read Celia Rivenbark's book...what a funny, smart, and irreverent writer she is!"
- Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

"Laugh-out-loud funny."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Even die-hard Yankees will appreciate this wickedly funny collection...an amusing and refreshingly honest look at family life on this side of the Mason-Dixon line."
- Dallas Morning News

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The most mundane situations become laugh-out-loud scenarios ... Rivenbark is a hoot."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"I loved Celia's book; it made me want to get myself a doublewide, head on down to Mama and them's, and start mowing my own lawn. I never knew that Southern folk had time set aside from cooking the best food in the world to grow such marvelous senses of humor. For a Yankee like me, Southern life has always been fascinating, but who knew it was so pants-wetting funny (like watching a hillbilly bang his head repeatedly on the door of the outhouse, because I've seen that, you know)? And there's also the mention of 'making doody,' which is always a shoo-in for me. Celia's book rocks; everyone is going to love it.

P.S.: How much prettier is she than me?"--Laurie Notaro, author of The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club

"When the aliens come to study us, I hope they find Celia Rivenbark's work prominently displayed. She is one of our greatest domestic anthropologists, digging up and airing all those things we like to think others don't know. In other words, the truth. She knows the South and she knows women, but that's just the tip of it all. I think she might very well know everything. I don't know when I have laughed so loud and so long. I am forever a devoted fan."--Jill McCorkle, author of Creatures of Habit

"Celia Rivenbark's collection of essays, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, is a must-read for anybody who wants a funny, no-holds-barred look at today's South, from white trash in all its glorious permutations, to Yuppiedom."--Haywood Smith, author of The Red Hat Club

"I laughed so hard reading this book, I began snorting in an unbecoming fashion. I loved it nonetheless. I'll be sending copies to everyone, especially my baby's daddy."--Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy

"I thought I was Southern until I read Celia Rivenbark's book. . . . What a funny, smart, and irreverent writer she is!"--Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312312442
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 471,346
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Celia Rivenbark

Celia Rivenbark is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank; Bless Your Heart, Tramp; Belle Weather; and You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Born and raised in Duplin County, North Carolina, Rivenbark grew up in a small house “with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats.” She started out writing for her hometown paper. She writes a weekly, nationally syndicated humor column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

We're Just Like You, Only Prettier

Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle
By Celia Rivenbark

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2005 Celia Rivenbark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312312442

Chapter One

Your Kid's Fever's So High, the Others are Standing Around Her With Marshmallows on Sticks

Last August marked my 4-year-old's first foray into formal education, where, presumably, she would learn how to use words like "foray." At first, the preschool experience provided loads of "me time." While my daughter attentively studied one letter per week, I finally had time to get my roots done and eat lunch with friends in the kind of restaurants where there's no changing table in the restroom, foods ending in the word "fingers" or a menu that can also be worn as a hat.

My newfound freedom was short-lived because by Week 8 (the week of "H" as in "hacking cough") Sophie had already had two colds, a stomach virus, an ear infection and a mysterious rash. The Doogie working at the local "urgent" clinic-urgent being somewhat optimistic as we spent two and a half hours with the only reading material a breast self-exam pamphlet which some funster had added nipple hair to-said the rash was "kinda gross." We left before he could proclaim my daughter's sore throat "gnarly."

Out the door and prescriptions in hand, I shookmy head sadly and realized that I could've been a great doctor, much better than Doogie. I had always planned to attend medical school but there was just one thing I couldn't get past. I could not do ass work.

Every time I thought about helping and healing the sick, I felt a surge of pleasure until I reminded myself that there would inevitably be ass work.

Driving out of the clinic's parking lot, I wondered, for the bazillioneth time why I couldn't have just specified "no ass work" on my med school application if things had gotten that far.

The truth is, preschool diseases-all diseases-fascinate me. I've watched enough medical shows on The Learning Channel to easily pass the boards in a number of sub-specialties.

Heart, lung, brain stuff, I would've been terrific, no doubt. But anything below the navel, well ...

"You'll need someone else if you want to show me your ass," I would say, looking compassionate but firm in my starched white lab coat and serious-but-hip doctor glasses.

I know what you're thinking: Why not psychiatry or dermatology? Well, dermatology still offered the threat of a stubborn pimple on the ass. Unless, I could have opened a "Just Faces!" practice, like those vets who only do cats and small birds.

As for psychiatry, there's probably no ass work per se but you have a bunch of whiny asses coming in all day long. Nope, too close to the metaphorical rectal region for comfort.

I have tremendous respect for those who do ass work. What bravery to hang one's shingle out proclaiming "Practice restricted to diseases of the head, foot, throat and ass."

As we headed into the drug store to fill Doog's prescription, I wondered just how much this was going to set me back. The big pharmaceutical companies are reporting record profits while drug-poor seniors pop tops on cans of Alpo every night for supper. What do they DO with all that money? They say it's all about R&D, research and development, that is, which is not to be confused with R&B or B&D, both of which are infinitely more fun.

I also remembered early warnings from friends who said that preschool would set us up for all sorts of sorts of contagious ailments that would lay the kids out like tiny Old Navy-clad dominoes.

One mom told me that a mean strain of an intestinal bug was making the rounds, apparently spread by kids who didn't wash their hands after making doody. She said it just like that, "making doody." She's 42 and flies her own airplane. God help us all.

Because this bug could keep kids home for a week or more, I decided to spy on my daughter's classmates to make sure they were washing their nasty little mitts with soap and warm water.

Sure, the staff asked me to vacate the premises after the first three weeks but I must tell you that my research revealed that you should probably never hold hands with little boys whose first initial is TYLER .

Back at the drugstore, the line was long. Everybody was sick, it seemed. It reminded me of the lines at the grocery store last year when all the docs ran out of flu shots, but, strangely, you could get still get one at the Piggly Wiggly.

I still haven't gotten past the whole grocery store as health care center trend. I don't want to have a glaucoma screening, blood pressure or diabetes check at the supermarket. What's next? Pap smears beside the succotash? Cardiac catheterizations sharing an aisle with the canned sausage?

After another half-hour or so, we got the prescriptions filled and Sophie managed to make it to the letter "M" week without another ailment. But then ...

Let's just say it: There should be a reserved seat in hell-where "Thomas the Tank Engine" starring Peter Fonda in the worst children's movie of all time plays on all 16 screens at Satan's Sin-a-plex- for parents who bring a kid with a 102-degree fever to school. ("What? She looks pale and clammy to you? Oh, she gets that from her father. Toodles!")

Don't they know they'll be summoned back to school by the stern voice of the principal on the answering machine? ("Could you please pick up Tonya Sue? Her fever's so high, the other kids are standing around her with marshmallows on sticks.")

Meanwhile, every kid at school is incubating the latest butt-kickin' virus and spreading it to the grownups at home.

The way I see it, thanks to some inconsiderate hussy who didn't want to cancel her seaweed wrap, I have wicked pinkeye and sound as if I'm going to cough up a Passat. Wagon.

My daughter announced during "Q" week that her friend had missed three days of school because she had "the Romeo."

It took some digging to discover that what she meant was pneumonia. Frankly, I liked Romeo much better and intend to use it if I ever feel my lungs rapidly filling with fluid. ("C'mon, Doc, don't sugarcoat it; you and I both know I've got the Romeo.")

It's funny how when you try to correct kids, they can get downright belligerent considering that you basically control 100 percent of the Ring-Pop distribution in the household.

"It's pneumonia, honey," I said.

(Loudly) "No, Mommie, you must mean Ru-monia." And, then, apparently in full preschool teacher mode, she added: "Now watch my face and say it after me, ru-moan-ee-ya."

To which I just sighed deeply, suddenly very sad to have finished my wine, and dutifully recited: "Rumonia." Which can also be spelled u-n-c-l-e.

Some parents have told me that, practically speaking, it's actually a good thing to get these diseases out of the way now so the kids will be immune to them by the time they start Real School . That makes sense. I think I'll just crash my car to make sure the airbags are working, too. Who are these M-is-for-mo-rons?

Of course alphabets and diseases aren't the only things you learn at preschool. Last week, my daughter shocked me by asking for help settling a playground debate: Did babies come out of your belly button or from Nordstrom's?

Sex talk? At 4? Oh, holy hell. I hadn't planned this for at least eight more years.

Hadn't I done the best I could do? Didn't I yank Legally Blonde out of the VCR mere seconds after my daughter asked me softly, "Mommie, what's a bastard?"

I launched a rambling 10-minute, age-appropriate discussion about how babies are a gift from heaven. So sue me. The exact details can come later, on the school bus or under the bleachers where every kid learns them.

If the Romeo doesn't get 'em, that is.



Continues...


Excerpted from We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark Copyright © 2005 by Celia Rivenbark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

Why couldn't the Sopranos survive living down South? Simple. You can't shoot a guy full of holes after eating chicken and pastry, spoon bread, okra, and tomatoes.

What does a Southern woman consider grounds for divorce? When daddy takes the kids out in public dressed in their pajama tops and Tweety Bird swim socks. Again.

What is the Southern woman's opinion of a new "fat virus" theory? Bring it on! We've got a lot of skinny friends we need to sneeze on.

In this wickedly funny follow-up to her bestselling novel Bless Your Heart, Tramp, Celia Rivenbark welcomes you, once again, to the South she loves, the land of "Mama and them," "precious and dahlin'," and mommies who mow. Y'all come back now, you hear?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2011

    Hilarious

    Bought based solely on title...so glad I did!! Hilarious book..easy read...comic relief from the mundane. Highly recommend!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    laughed out loud

    laughed so much that my husband would ask me not to read this book in bed! I'm a fan!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    Entertaining Book

    Reminds me a little of the Sweet Potato Queen books, if you've read those. I'll read more of her funnies!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Terrible - Save Your Money

    My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas - not because she had read it, but because I'm a certified Southern Belle. Apparently, the concept of an 'intelligent Southern Belle' is an oxymoron to the author. After reading a few chapters, I can't wait to get this book out of my house and am embarrassed to own it. Your IQ has to be pretty low to be entertained by both the writing style and tales in this book.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommend

    Same as another review - I brought the book based on the title and could not stop laughing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    So-so

    Some funny sections, others not so much; definitely a mixed bag. Not worth the money, in my opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Dont waste your money

    Somr funny things...not worth your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Fabulously funny

    Laugh out loud. A lot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Laugh out loud funny.  I'm a Texas girl and it never occurred to

    Laugh out loud funny.  I'm a Texas girl and it never occurred to me that "mama and them" would sound unusual to the rest of the world.  Love her style, can't wait to read her other books!


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2009

    Light and Funny

    This is lit-light for sure, but it's funny and snappy and quick. When the mood strikes for a book that is just plain fun, this is the book to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Very entertaining

    Celia Rivenbark is hilarious. I enjoy all of her books. I highly recommend We're Just Like You, Only Prettier.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Funniest Book Ever Read

    I laughed so hard, I started to cry. It is the funniest book that I have ever read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    OMG! Being from, and living in, 'the South', this book really made me laugh out loud because what Ms. Rivenbark describes I think actually happened in the double-wide next door!!! How husbands dress kids when mom is not at home is hilarious! True WT fodder at its best!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    Lewis Grizzard with Estrogen

    This is a really funny look at the South, women, and relationships. Celia Rivenbark is a really funny lady. I heard that!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2004

    As Good As It gets

    Ms. Rivenbark doesn't leave a stone unturned...she has uncovered the humor in practically every nuance of life (er, life in the South)...she can tell it like it 'tiz...hilarious and real...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    Awesome Women Book

    This is a halarious book. I would recommend it to any of my gal pals that needed a good laugh. My neighbor lent it to me. It is a bunch on funny and light hearted stories. Now that I read it, I am going to buy it to reread. Being a working mom with two small kids, it was a wonderful break. I love the Chucky Cheese chapter.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    Just like you, only funnier!

    This book is freakin' hilarious! Even the lady selling me this book in the bookstore was laughing out loud. I dare you to read this book, especially the 'Baby Born Won't Poop' story, without dying of laughter. For a good time, buy this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

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