There are few things that we love more than a good book. But a glass of wine is right up there. Which is why when we saw the memoir, Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship by Cathie Beck, we knew we had to take a closer look. Because we figured anything about friends and wine just had to be fabulous! Originally self-published, Cheap Cabernet received with so much praise that it was picked up a major publisher. (You go, Girl!)
Cathie Beck was in her late thirties and finally able to exhale after a lifetime of just trying to get by. A teenage mother harboring vivid memories of her own hardscrabble childhood, Cathie had spent years doing whatever it took to give her children the stability— or at least the illusion of it— that she’ d never had. More than that, through sheer will and determination, she had educated them and herself too. With her kids in college, Cathie was at last ready to have some fun. The only problem was that she had no idea how to do it and no friends to do it with. So she put an ad in the paper for a made-up women's group: WOW . . . Women on the Way. Eight women showed up that first night, and out of that group a friendship formed, one of those meteoric, passionate, stand-by-you friendships that come around once in a lifetime and change you forever . . . if you’ re lucky.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS: WHAT'S ON CATHIE BECK'S BUCKET LIST?
Ah yes … bucket lists – where we get to literally throw caution and inhibition to wind and declare that which will make our lives complete, should we get the chance to attain them before our last breaths.
One item on my “for real” bucket list was to publish a book. It took ten years and ten more years off my life (read the Poets & Writers story at www.cathiebeck.com/press). But on July 20, 2010, Hyperion Books published “Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship” – a wild ride of two women in the 40s who drink lots of wine and get into some trouble. But they’ve got good hearts and the friendship rocked both our worlds – changing our lives in ways we never saw coming. Bet you know a friend or two like that.
In the meantime, here are a few things that are “must-dos” on my bucket list. In no particular order:
1. Date Alec Baldwin. I don’t mean just go on one of those sad, Oprah-episode, “you get to LUNCH WITH ALEC BALDWIN!” dates – I mean I’d really like to hang out with him and date him. Like where we watched movies (imagine!) and he took me to good restaurants and when he had a Hollywood function to attend, I’d be “His Girl.” I know he’s a cad and I’m not talking about marrying him, but I’d love to go meet his parents and his brothers and then I’d love him to fall madly, deeply in love with me. Oh please. Why not?
2. Jeff Bridges. See “Date Alec Baldwin.” Since Jeff is married and devoted to his 30+-year-long marriage/wife and since it is then completely unrealistic that we’d ever date, you should know that I’d throw Baldwin backward in a heartbeat for a Bridges opp. Jeff, are you reading this?
3. Lunch with Bill Clinton. Yes there’s a tiresome and obvious theme playing out here, but at least it’s a brainy, interesting theme. The lunch I’d have with Bill Clinton would be one of those loooonnng lunches, where he go off the wagon and have one too many “Jim Beams & 7s” and he’d start telling risqué jokes and maybe even slightly flirting, though that’s not what I’m after. What I’m after is a loose-lipped Clinton all full of himself (and of Jim Beam) and willing to divulge tidbits that never hit the headlines. Just for the fun of it.
4. Win the Nobel Prize in Literature. There, I said it. I know full well how ridiculous and egotistical that sounds. I cannot help it. Did you SEE the great gown and the pomp and circumstance when Tony Morrison went to England to accept the Nobel? I just want to wear the cool gown and eat with British Royalty and courtesy. Whatever it is I have to win to do that.
5. Sing a song, live, with Al Green or Bette Midler. This one’s creepy and I hope that Rev. Green and The Divine Miss M don’t seek court protection after this runs -- but the truth is that I melt whenever I see either of them live (now, probably 6 times each). If they are unavailable and/or freaked out about this the very thought of this, Jamie Foxx would work too.
Thanks Cathie! xo, L&L