It has always been my opinion that as a public service, at 12:00 every afternoon rather than airing Whitney Houston’s National anthem, radio stations across America should instead play Kelis’ “Caught Out There.” Perhaps listening to the primal cries of “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW” will rightfully put the fear of God in the hearts of men (and women) inclined to cheat on their partners. A scorned lover doesn’t always fall into a rumpled sweatpant ball of Ben and Jerry’s and Bridget Jones; sometimes, they morph into a screaming superhero hell bent on serving up retribution and getting theirs. Let’s add Brandi Glanville’s new memoir “Drinking and Tweeting (and Other Brandi Blunders)” to the canon of “scare-the-pants-back-on” storytelling that is doing our society and our relationships such a favor. She is not one to be messed with, and her immensely entertaining tell-all is proof.
Brandi Glanville first limped her way into our hearts as the newest Real Housewife of Beverly Hills when she arrived at party wearing a cast on one foot and a 6-inch heel on the other. I knew I loved this woman when Kyle Richards hurled what she thought was the baseless allegation that Glanville slashed the tires of her ex-husbands motorcyle, and Brandi non-chalantly confirmed that the rumors were true with a casual, “I did do that,” sinking Kyle’s entire bitchy argument like Rabbit from “8 Mile.” Brandi doesn’t stand for lies or bullshit behavior but is still willing to stir the proverbial pot of Kim Richard’s chicken salad, refusing to play the role of befuddled and above it all outsider just because she can serve the truth (staring at you, beautiful and amazing genius Carole Radziwell, who despite my admiration continues to act as though she just happened to wander into Sonja Morgan’s decaying townhouse off the street, where a ghost strapped a mic pack to her skinny leather pants.) Brandi makes it clear that if she is being paid to play in the mud that she’s going to get down and dirty, instead of trying to keep her rhinestone strapped 90’s elegance satin cocktail dress clean (cough cough everybody else on this franchise cough) .
But before reality fame, Brandi was the jilted wife of Eddie Cibrian, possibly the world’s most handsome untalented actor, who passed his dick around town behind her back for years before getting caught red-handed with emaciated country star LeeAnn Rimes. This betrayal and subsequent divorce is what the bulk of the book focuses on, with Brandi dishing out tips to girls and gays on handling a catastrophic breakup.
The book is half memoir/half advice book, and harkens back to the title of “Drinking and Tweeting” with a smattering of perfunctory hash-tags, like “#Crazytown” or “#GhettoBrandi” or that old standby “#JustSayin.” I found this kind of needless and distracting; the hashtags will probably date the book when everyone is interrobanging on Achooblop (a social media platform I just invented where you share the audio of your best sneezes with friends), but other than that the book is really funny. Brandi has a really masterful handle on using profanity for comedy; I laughed out loud when she described finding pictures of “my husband and some fucking slut having a great fucking time on my motherfucking boat.” Brandi displays self-awareness, referring to her and Eddie’s last vacation as “our D-List Jen and Brad beach moment,” as well as being unafraid of admitting to her flaws. She openly takes responsibility for her DUI, admits to a vaginal rejuvenation surgery that she successfully cages as an act of independence and personal growth, declares her love of prescription pills and use of anti-depressants, and offers a detailed laundry list of every filler and injection she has ever used. It’s nice to see a Real Housewife admit to her struggles in establishing credit and leasing a small house when the primary “income” source of a lot of these Housewives come in the form of fees from the show, premium vodka sales, and “profits” of indoor bouncy castle franchises. She also writes in detail about her Twitter addiction and how it allowed for her to stalk the whereabouts of her ex and his bony new wife; I think her chapter on the dangers and realities of social media was surprisingly succinct and would make a really good one-off essay for people who aren’t so interested in minor celebrity gossip.
These admissions, however, are a drop in the bucket compared to the many grievances she airs against her ex-husband, a man who once claimed to have caught the HPV he infected her with by sharing a lollipop with a coworker. Eddie and Leann started their affair on the set of the Lifetime movie Brandi urged him to undertake, carrying on in front of their spouses, claiming to be “just friends,” and once rather sickeningly performing a duet of “I Got You Babe” in front of Brandi. This being The Homo Life, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the point, although Brandi does not mention it in her book, than Leann’s ex-husband is totally gay.
After their romance is exposed on the cover of Us Weekly, Brandi goes full on Carrie Underwood and slashes the aforementioned motorcycle tires, as Eddie attempts to take her to the cleaners in their divorce, leaving her living out of her car, all while Leann Rimes goes full on Single White Female on her ass. Look, I’m not particularily interested in Leann Rimes, but this book does provide a particularly juicy look into the world of delusion brought on by childhood stardom (take note, Richards sisters!) Leann begins poaching Brandi’s old friends, gets a boob job by her plastic surgeon (by the way, does that guy specialize in the look of “two orange halves running towards your armpits like your sternum is on fire?”) and rips off all the specifics of her wedding for her own ceremony. Now THAT is some insanity. That’s what I want to read about! There is no end to the bottomless, shameless fame whoring duo that is LeeEddie, and that’s part of what makes this book so good.
Overall, this is a great read. Give Brandi a Pulitzer, both for how much I liked this book, and the amount of shit she’s had to endure. A no holds barred account of the dirty details of your divorce certainly isn’t in good taste or particularly classy, but unlike most other Housewives who try and fail at appearing tasteful, Brandi doesn’t seem to care much for these labels. (My apologies to Yolanda Foster, but building a lemon fridge out of scrap material from Wonder Woman’s plane does not Martha Stewart make.)
Brandi seems to know that underneath it all, reality television isn’t a platform to project the perfection of your lifestyle, but to make a name for yourself as a personality unafraid to reward the audience by saying what you and they are thinking out loud. Her book actually examines the problem of defining yourself as a Housewife quite astutely; in trying to be the perfect wife and mother with the perfect home and the perfect things, Brandi failed to establish an identity of her own, and she only found herself and the loud, cursing voice we love so much by losing it all. A+ job, Brandi; I’m pouring a margarita on the floor for you right now.
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