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Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom Hardcover – September 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312339933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312339937
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In some 32 short essays on the ridiculousness of modern life, Rivenbark (Bless Your Heart, Tramp; We're Just Like You, Only Prettier) wanders through Tweenland at the mall, thinking a better name would be "Lil Skanks." She thinks that the Cruise/Holmes pregnancy has an "indescribably delicious" Rosemary's Baby feel to it and recalls that Monica Lewinsky hosted a TV dating show—in which she "didn't get the guy." Rivenbark riffs on America's crazier obsessions—the painful but obligatory pilgrimage to Disney World, the new attention to "buttocks cleavage," coffee makers calling themselves baristas, or those celebrity moms who have "bumps" instead of babies. Rivenbark describes herself as a "slacker mom" and reminds readers to learn something from men—"because no matter how slack a dad is, if he does the least little thing, people gush over him." This is a hilarious read, perhaps best enjoyed while eating Krispy Kremes with a few girlfriends. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"This is a hilarious read, perhaps best enjoyed while eating Krispy Kremes with a few girlfriends."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"She kills in the ''Kids'' and ''Southern-Style Silliness'' sections, putting the fear of Mickey into anyone planning a trip to Disney World."
--Entertainment Weekly
 
Praise for Celia Rivenbark and We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier

“Will give you a case of the giggles.”
--New York Daily News

“Warm, witty, and wise, rather like reading dispatches from a friend who uses e-mail but still writes letters, in ink, on good paper.”
--St. Petersburg Times

“Even diehard Yankees will appreciate this wickedly funny collection.”
--Dallas Morning News

“North Carolina doesn’t have a post for a ‘humorist laureate,’ but it should invent one and install Celia Rivenbark.”
--Greensboro News & Record

“I thought I was Southern until I read Celia Rivenbark’s book....What a funny, smart, and irreverent writer she is!”
--Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

"Laugh-out-loud funny.”
--Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A collection of essays by a woman working in her element…Rivenbark writes with that breezy, irreverent allure that makes so many of these belles legendary.”
---Blue Ridge Business Journal

“An edgy Erma. An Erma dipped in corn-bread batter, wrapped in collard greens, and drawling that she was speeding because ‘my uterus told me to.’ ”
--The Tennessean

“A hoot and a holler.”
--Boston Herald

“I laughed so hard reading this book, I began snorting in an unbecoming fashion.”
--Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy

More About the Author

Celia Rivenbark was born and raised in Duplin County, NC, which had the distinction of being the nation's number 1 producer of hogs and turkeys during a brief, magical moment in the early 1980s.

Celia grew up in a small house in the country with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats. Her grandparents' house, just across the ditch, had the first indoor plumbing in Teachey, NC and family lore swears that people came from miles around just to watch the toilet flush.

Despite this proud plumbing tradition, Celia grew up without a washer and dryer. On every Sunday afternoon of her childhood, while her mama rested up from preparing a fried chicken and sweet potato casserole lunch, she, her sister and her daddy rode to the laundromat two miles away to do the weekly wash.

It was at this laundromat, where a carefully lettered sign reminded customers that management was "NOT RESONSIBLE" for lost items, that Celia shirked "resonsibility" her own self and snuck away to read the big, fat Sunday News & Observer out of Raleigh, NC. By age 7, she'd decided to be a newspaper reporter.

Late nights, she'd listen to the feed trucks rattle by on the highway and she'd go to sleep wondering what exotic cities those noisy trucks would be in by morning (Richmond? Atlanta? Charlotte?) Their headlights crawling across the walls of her little pink bedroom at the edge of a soybean field were like constellations pointing the way to a bigger life, a better place, a place where there wasn't so much turkey shit everywhere.

After a couple of years of college, Celia went to work for her hometown paper, the Wallace, NC Enterprise. The locals loved to say, as they renewed their "perscriptions," that "you can eat a pot of rice and read the Enterprise and go to bed with nothing on your stomach and nothing on your mind."

Mebbe. But Celia loved the Enterprise. Where else could you cover a dead body being hauled out of the river (alcohol was once again a contributing factor) in the morning and then write up weddings in the afternoon?

After eight years, however, taking front-page photos of the publisher shaking hands with other fez-wearing Shriners and tomatoes shaped like male "ginny-talia" was losing its appeal.

Celia went to work for the Wilmington, NC Morning Star after a savvy features editor was charmed by a lead paragraph in an Enterprise story about the rare birth of a mule: "Her mother was a nag and her father was a jackass."

The Morning Star was no News and Observer but it came out every day and Celia got to write weddings for 55,000 readers instead of 3,500, plus she got a paycheck every two weeks with that nifty New York Times logo on it.

After an unfortunate stint as a copy editor--her a*s expanded to a good six ax handles across--Celia started writing a weekly humor column that fulfilled her lifelong dream of being paid to be a smart a*s. Along the way, she won a bunch of press awards, including a national health journalism award--hilarious when you consider she's never met a steamed vegetable she could keep down.

Having met and married a cute guy in sports, Celia found herself happily knocked up at age 40 and, after 21 years, she quit newspapering to stay home with her new baby girl.

After a year or so, she started using Sophie's two-hour naps to write a humor column from the mommie front lines for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The column continues to run weekly and is syndicated by the McClatchy-Tribune News Services.

In 2000, Coastal Carolina Press published a collection of Celia's columns. A Southeast Book Sellers Association best-seller, Bless Your Heart, Tramp was nominated for the James Thurber Prize in 2001. David Sedaris won. He wins everything.

Her second book, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, published by St. Martin's Press, was the winner of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Nonfiction Book of the Year and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Jon Stewart won. He and David Sedaris probably went out drinking afterwards. I'm sorry, did that sound bitter?

Celia lives in Wilmington, NC, with her husband, Scott, Director of Government Relations for New Hanover Health Network and author of the true-crime bestseller, Innocent Victims. Their daughter, Sophie, attends elementary school where she grudgingly wears a very uncool uniform. When she isn't writing books, magazine articles or speeches, Celia enjoys watching old episodes of "The Gilmore Girls" while eating anything from Taco Bell.

She reports that the proudest day of her life was the one in which the Sears truck showed up to deliver a matching washer and dryer and neither one of 'em had to go on the front porch.

Customer Reviews

This book kept me laughing out loud.
mom loves nature
Also it's a series of essays so it's not cohesive like a standard book.
James Montgomery
As soon as I heard of the title of this book, I knew I had to read it.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on December 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rarely do books make me chuckle out loud. If you live in the south, or appreciate the differences that makes southern culture unique, you will enjoy this book. Celia Rivenbark divides the book into chapters which discusses the trials and tribulations of life. She has a humorous outlook on life.

The book starts out nicely with describing a trip to Disneyland, and what a bad parent you are if you do not take your child there, buckling under the pressure of taking your child there, and the "fun" that will only happen under the pressure of having fun. Note: Disneyland isn't always fun for everyone.

I love her look on parenting, and the shock and horror of when your child must go from toddler clothes to little girl clothes. As the style of fashion goes from safe designs to where you are having to dress your six year old going on seventeen. It is a shock to the system when you are trying to find clothes that do not make your child look like a street walker. In addition to Disneyland, dressing a six year old girl, she writes about taking a school class to the zoo, the rigors of volunteering for a Halloween festival, and volunteer opportunities that your six year old signed you up for.

This book is extremely enjoyable, and personally I would love to sit down with Celia Rivenbark and have coffee with her. Her book is a delightful look on living in the south, and how one navigates parenthood. I highly recommend this book to those who are wanting to seek out an amusing look into what it is like being a parent in the south.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I mean, who hasn't thought that themselves? As soon as I heard of the title of this book, I knew I had to read it. So when I saw it on the new book shelf at the library I snatched it up. I read, I giggled, I made my partner listen to me read whole pages aloud and we both laughed uncontrollably.

Celia Rivenbark is like your fun sarcastic girlfriend who says things that make you snort milk out of your nose if she catches you at just the right moment. I am a non-heterosexual, childless, transplanted Northerner but I thoroughly enjoyed her thoughts on marriage, child rearing, and Southern living, as well as her unabashed enjoyment of junky TV (sister!) and contemplations of celebrity foibles ("Speaking of aliens, as I write this, Tom Cruise and Katie 'I'm With Crazy' Holmes are expecting a celebrity pod-baby. Yes! The seed has been successfully planted and now is growing and flourishing in the formerly Catholic womb of Ms. Katie.").

Very funny stuff, and a nice light, quick read either all in one gulp like a pint of Haagen-Daz, or rationed out like the package of Oreos you are hiding from the kids. Consider it as a gift for the favorite slacker-mom in your life (as long as you are reasonably sure she ISN'T one of those dressing her 6-year-old like a skank, because that would hurt her feelings, bless her heart...)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By science gal on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In this laugh-out-loud collection of essays, Celia Rivenbark skewers the absurdities that we deal with on a regular basis. Kids, huzzzbands, celebrities, vanity - nothing is sacred. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the book was the intimate, best friends tone Celia uses coupled with the most fabulous quips and turns of phrase - you can practically hear her delivering them. When you are reading the book, it feels like you're having a delicious gab fest with a dear friend. For example, in describing her daughter's overstuffed school bookbag "I tell you hons, sometimes I expect to pull a live squirrel monkey out of there". I couldn't help but laugh out loud at that comment because it is oh, so true with all the stuff kids bring home!

Clearly, this book has a target audience of southern moms in the 35-50 y.o. age group, but covers enough universal observations to make it enjoyable to a wider audience. Try it. You don't have to eat grits to enjoy it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Durrett on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book based solely on its title, and as a Disney-phile, I was hooked by the first paragraph as I saw how Celia Rivenbark minces no words as she "tells it like it is" about so many things in life. She's not afraid to address the topics that my girlfriends and I sit around and talk about (Krispy Kreme donuts celebrity craziness, and inappropriate clothing selections for the younger set), and she's not afraid to address the ones we don't talk about (like what happens when you're sick at your in-laws).

This book is a quick read, 32 separate chapters that entertain you and, in a weird way, make you think.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Picky Consumer on September 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once again Celia Rivenbark has made us laugh out loud. I love the 3rd book by the funniest blond in the South. I will be sure to buy several copies for gifts, and hope to make it to one of your signings. Thank you for sharing your Southern wisdom!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on September 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I didn't know I got this book on the day of its release, it just jumped out at me, so I bought it. Ha, funny. The cover is what caught my eye; it was a pink-infused backdrop for a little girl with a huge mane of blond hair blow-drying it all out, no doubt in some misguided effort to make herself look about twenty-one. When I read the title a recognition went off in me that it's so true, pre-teen girls do often dress, or ARE dressed, like little porn stars these days. It's an awful trend and a further sign that the re-designing of childhood is really and erosion of what should be the best and most protected years of human life. (If I'd have gone out looking like that back in the day...boom, straight to an Irish nunnery for me.) So that's what drew me to this book, but I went on to read Rivenbark (by the way, that's a neat name) as she doled out essays that showed real understanding of the ridiculousness of our increasingly shallow culture today. Instead of merely carping on what's nutty with contemporary culture in America in the 2000's, she gave us reason to laugh at it and recoil in humorous disdain at all this ridiculousness. Her southern-fried sense of humor can get biting, but it's also tinged with a sweetness that lets us know she's mainly kidding about everything. Whether she's reminding us of the brief pop culture reign of a certain White House intern and knee-pad aficionado, or following the crazed cult of the Hollywood stars, this writer's prose flows along with an easy dexterity that makes its funniness all the more genuine.
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