Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book Review: Sliding Into Home

I admit it.  I'm a reality TV junkie.  I'm not nearly as bad as I used to be since we no longer have cable, but the addiction is still there.  When I was fresh out of college, I never missed an episode of MTV's The Real World.  I even kept watching it after it went from being semi-real to crazy land.  Yes, I remember when it was all about whether or not the cowboy was going to get along with the girl from the 'hood, not how many kids can we can drunk and naked in a hot tub.  I watched the finale of the first season of Survivor on the couch of my house in Massachusetts while on the phone with the Cobbler who was on a business trip in Vermont.  I once claimed to want to be on the show Big Brother (I have since decided I would be a crying blubbering mess if I was forced to live in a house with some of those people for a whole summer).  

After reading my confession, it should come as no surprise to you that I was a fairly consistent viewer of the E! reality show The Girls Next Door, which followed three of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's girlfriends.  While browsing the biography section at the library, I came across a memoir by Hef's former girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson.  Let me be clear---my expectations were not high and I was not thinking I was going to find anything life changing inside.  How much could possibly have happened to her?  She was 25 when the book was published and it came out before she did her stint on Dancing With The Stars.  I did, however, hope to have a few of my questions answered like---

How does one become Hugh Hefner's girlfriend?
Answer: He calls you up and asks.  Granted, he had seen her photo from a shoot she had done for a motorcycle company and she had been offered a gig as a painted shot girl for his birthday party, but all the man did was call up and ask.  That must have been some photo!

What does being "a girlfriend" mean?
Answer: You move into the mansion, you live and eat for free, and get a weekly $1000 allowance.  You have a 9PM curfew (unless you're out with Hef), no drugs are allowed except pot, and you are followed by a bodyguard (to make sure you're not harboring any illicit boyfriends) except when visiting family.  Hef paid for her to go to physical therapy school while living in the mansion.

Did she have sex with Hef?
Answer: Yep.  Apparently weekly with 7 (or more) other women present.  And he does everyone consecutively.  She wasn't into it though.  It sounded more like she viewed it as a duty or job than actually wanting to be there.  Yikes...

So I got my main questions answered.  Along with those juicy tidbits, you also get to hear about her tough teenage years (lots of drugs, sex, and cutting--oy!), obviously her time at the mansion and filming The Girls Next Door, and her courtship and marriage to NFL player Hank Baskett and the birth of their son.

Overall, it was a quick entertaining read.  Every once in a while it was obvious that her co-writer was doing the writing.  I can't really imagine her saying, "It was a job nonetheless."  Nonetheless?  Has she uttered that word at any point in her entire life?  On the other hand, the parts she did help with were clear.  I should go back and count how many times she says "Shut the f--- up!" in the book just for kicks.  So if you need a break from that classic you're reading and want a trashy pick me up, this one is for you. :-)

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