The Big Apology
So, many, many people are currently angry with me. I know because of all the emails they've been sending to me, telling me all about their anger, and how they won't be buying my books anymore, etc.
That is why I am making it official. Right here, right now, in my blog.
That's right. I'm apologizing. I'm throwing myself upon your mercy. I'm appealing for clemency, begging for absolution, hoping you'll grant me a reprieve….
Some of you might not know what I'm talking about. But the rest of you…you know. You know what I did.
And I know that you know.
But for those of you who don't know…well, that's why I'm posting this, the big, public apology blog. And here it is:
Not just for what I said in my last blog, about how I thought Independence was a town in Texas, when actually, there is a town called Independence in the following states, as well:
(PS Thanks to David F. for the list. But it turned out I didn't need it because I got emails from residents of just about every state on this list already, letting me know how I'd screwed up.
If there are more states that have a town called Independence that got left off this list, I apologize to you, too. No need to write!
I believe you!)
No, that is not my only transgression. If only!
Because additionally, I've received angry emails from residents of Indiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Utah, all of them outraged—OUTRAGED–over portrayals of people from their fine states in my books.
I don't suppose it would do any good to say that I never meant to hurt anyone. I mean, would you even believe me if I swore that, in all honesty, I didn't pick YOUR states to make fun of for any particular reason? It could just have easily been Ohio or even New Jersey. There is something amusing about every state in the nation…even Colorado. I mean, it's so square-shaped.
IT JUST WASN'T ANYTHING PERSONAL, I PROMISE!!!!
Still. I'm apologizing, just the same.
So here goes:
West Virginians, I'm sorry that so many of you found the plot of “Princess Diaries 4.5, Project Princess” (in which Mia and her friends go to West Virginia to help build houses for the poor in a fictional town that does not actually exist) so deeply offensive. According to a number of West Virginians who wrote to me, “Project Princess” inaccurately portrays West Virginia as a place where there are poor people. According to these emails, THERE ARE NO POOR PEOPLE in West Virginia.
This was obviously my error, and yes, I do know I am going to have live with the consequences FOR THE REST OF MY NATURAL LIFE. I just hope you will be able to find it in your West Virginian hearts to forgive me.
Oklahomans, your objection to the fact that a native of your fine state is portrayed in “Princess Present” as having a mullet and enjoying the craft of scrapbooking is not only duly noted, but abjectly apologized for! Again, I did not know that there is NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF OKLAHOMA with a mullet, or who enjoys scrapbooking. Mea culpa, Oklahoma.
Natives of Utah, I have received DOUBLE the amount of mail from you, because your state has been slighted in my books TWICE, first in “All American Girl”, and then again in “Princess Diaries 5: Princess in Pink”, when I mentioned that there are fundamentalist Mormon sects in your state who practice polygamous marriages.
I can't really apologize for this enough. I was obviously misled by the information I got from THE NEW YORK TIMES, which printed several front page stories on this subject, and which I double checked to be sure were not written by that guy who got fired from the Times for making stuff up (they were not).
Still, I see now that I was wrong to assume that this was actually accurate information, for which I am truly sorry. I might respectfully submit, however, that you direct your ire at the Times, and not me, as I am truly an innocent victim of their foul yellow journalism.
But lastly—and perhaps most importantly of all—to my fellow Hoosiers:
What can I say, fellow residents of Indiana? I only lived in Indiana for twenty-two years, so OBVIOUSLY I don't know what I'm talking about when I mention Grits, biscuits and gravy, or that sign in the bank in Versailles, OF WHICH I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH, that says “If Bank Is Closed, Please Slide Money Under Door.”
I will admit the sign wasn't there the last time I went to Versailles. But is it really so wrong of me to mention that it existed once? Are you so worried, Hoosiers, that people reading my books will come away with a negative image of the state in which I freely admit I was born, just because I mentioned a SIGN IN A BANK DOOR (that is actually a very cute sign, and a symbol of our native state's implicit faith in the goodness of mankind)?
If so, I'm sorry. I really mean it.
And while I'm at it, I feel I should apologize for something else that was mentioned here in the blog a few days ago: A super, duper sorry to all the Republicans who wrote to tell me that they were wounded—yes, WOUNDED–by my cat Henrietta's endorsement of John Kerry for President.
I'm sorry to say she was unmoved by your argument that she ought to have voted for Bush because he is a Christian, however. The truth is—and I know some of you out there have already guessed this—Henrietta isn't Christian. In fact, she doesn't belong to a organized religion. If she believes in anything, it's in the universal spirit of catkind, and of course the Circle of Life (but I'm pretty sure the latter is only because she thinks Simba is a hottie).
I hope this won't change your feelings about her. Hakuna matata, ya'll.
I guess now would be a good time to point out something else you may not be aware of. It's something I've been meaning to tell you for some time now, but I haven't had the heart. But I can see things have now gone much too far, and it's time to fess up. The truth is, readers:
My books—in fact, ALL of my writings–are intended to be humorous.
I'm very, very sorry if you have been reading my books under the mistaken assumption that they are serious works of fiction. I really apologize for whatever damage this may have done to you psychologically, now that you know the truth. If, for instance, you've received a bad grade in class, because a teacher told you to read a classic piece of literature, and you reached for one of my books—
Oops! My bad! Sorry about that!
The truth is, my books, from the very first one I ever penned (or actually, typed) are supposed to be “light”—i.e., not serious–reading. I will admit that there may be an occasional moment of weightiness here and there, and possibly even a moral or life lesson learned.
But I can assure you, any scenes like that were entirely unintentional. In all honesty, my books are supposed to be funny.
Clearly, however, some of you aren't laughing. And for that, I can only blame myself.
What can I say, except that I will try my very best to be funnier in future books?
I sincerely hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
I hope those of you who li
ve in the Miami area will come to my book signing at the Miami Book Festival on Saturday, November 13. It will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Book Fair on the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College, 300 NE Second Street, Miami FL. If you get there by 10:30, you can hear me give a reading with Kristin Gore (yes! The Vice President's daughter) in the Auditorium!
See you there (hopefully)!
And remember…to err is human, to forgive divine.