Archive for American Idol

The problem with self-help books…

Posted in blogging, chick lit, ebooks, fiction, humor, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Ella Slayne

I was watching Nanny PcPhee Returns the other day (I know it’s a kids’ movie but it was on telly and I had nothing better to do … besides Emma Thompson reminds me of home). Anyway at the beginning, when Nanny McPhee has just arrived and is trying to explain her appearance to the bunch of unruly children, she says something along the lines of:

“When you need me but don’t want me, I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, I must go”

And it occurred to me that the same thing could be applied to self-help books…

I think self-help books have a fundemental flaw: the people they target are the people least likely to actually pick one up and read it. I mean when you’re down in the dumps, your focus is usually wallowing in your own self-pity. You’re not usually receptive to some positive bright spark advising you on how to “Gain Control of Your Gloom” or “Walk Over To The Sunny Side of the Street”. No, because it just makes you feel worse, even more of a failure. You look at the picture of smug self-help book author and you weep, because next to them you look like a worthless drip! You read one chapter of their book and end up snivelling into a chocolate bar.

It’s like when Simon Cowell was on American Idol and he used to say to the contestants: “The only thing stopping you from winning this competetion is you!” And the poor wanna-be pop star would just stand there blinking back the tears. I mean come on Simon – how on earth is that helpful? You’re basically telling the poor sods that they’re ruining their own chances just by being themselves which they can’t do anything about!

It seems to me that we are most receptive to positive thinking when we are already thinking positively! So we should make a point of stocking up on our self-help reading when we feel we don’t need it, in the hope that it will carry us through the glum phases and then hopefully we, too, stand a chance of becoming an AMERICAN IDOL! Well not really but you know what I mean…although just so you know, I’m am actually quite good a karaoke

Bye y’all!

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Sobbing in Public – it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

Posted in blogging, fiction, humor, life, personal, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by Ella Slayne

I just want to say THANK YOU to the lovely lady in Aveda who offered me a hug (and bag full of free samples – yay!) yesterday. 

There was I, an emotional wreck, dry unkempt hair,  oily make-free skin strewn with blemish after blemish, tired sullen eyes with dark shadows so ominous and grey they were worthy of a tornado warning.   (Well everyone has a bad day don’t they?  I mean even Jennifer Lopez must have a rough day musn’t she?  Doesn’t she?… Maybe not…sigh.)

And there was she, Erin – Aveda Sales Assistant,  round and buxom, in a maternal way, reassuring wrinkles and dimples, greying hair swept back in a tidy chignon and wearing a pinny (you can never underestimate the comforting power of a pinny).

As I scanned the shelves, reaching out for the Eye Sift and Lift Cream, the Skin Armour Face Mask and rather intriguing Gumba Mamba Bath Oil, Erin handed me a cup of purifying Tea, which tasted so disgusting I knew it was good for me.   So frail was my emotional state that this simple gesture brought tears to my eyes.

“Aw,” she said in a warm sing-song voice, rather like a hen clucking to her chicks. “Do you need a hug?”

Ten minutes later, as my sobs rang out through the entire store and several potential customers had come and fled, I think she may have regretted the offer.  Eventually I pulled away reaching for an organic, non-bleached towelette and blew my nose.  The saleslady scanned her shoulder and patted it dry with a tissue. 

“Thanks ever so much,” I said. 

“Oh you’re welcome honey,” she replied.  At which point I began to sob quietly again.

“You…(sob)…are …(sniff)…so…(sob)…nice (small wail)…”

“Right…let’s see if we can find you some samples shall we?’  Erin muttered nervously. 

I collected my things together and as I left Erin handed me the rather generous bag of freebies  and a business-card.

“This is the number for my therapist…why don’t you give her a call?” She smiled, gently guiding my towards the door.

“Oh thanks but I don’t think I need a therapist! I feel much better now!”  I gushed.  And with a grin worthy of an American Idol Judge,  I was gone, on my way to Banana Republic and hopefully a super-stylish J-Lo make-over!

Ah there’s nothing to lift the spirits like a good old public sob!

Bye y’all!