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Today Colette Freedman joins us for the return of the 10 Questions feature, her character Maureen Ryan will be on the hot seat today! But before we get started here’s a little info about Maureen in case you haven’t had a chance to pick up Colette’s book The Consequences yet.
Maureen Ryan, (65), is Robert Walker’s long-term secretary, and is also a close personal friend of Kathy, Robert’s wife. You could call her a glamorous granny, and she’d not entirely disagree with you. She is a woman of a certain vintage, with a certain exotic reputation and the life experiences to make her a font of knowledge. When Kathy first suspects that her husband is having an affair, Maureen is one of the people she turns to for help and advice.
An intricately stitched piece of needlework hangs framed on Maureen’s wall. It contains the complete text of the poem WARNING by Jenny Joseph, which begins with the line, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.”
Maureen is one of those women who will NEVER wear purple.
Q: What is the one thing you never leave the house without and why.
There was a time when I stuck a ten dollar bill down my bra and just walked out the door. No bag, no keys, no phone, no computer, no purse. It was incredibly liberating. Nowadays, of course, I go nowhere without my phone. I also have a ring of keys which would make a jailer proud and enough plastic cards to buy out most of Newbury Street.
However, if you insist that I can only have one thing, then it has to be my Spanx girdle. And, don’t get me wrong, the only person I wear it for, is myself. I like to know my bits and pieces always look good. I think it was Groucho Marx who said that a man is only as old as the woman he feels and Mae West said that a woman is only as old as she feels. I like to feel and look about fifty. It’s a good age.
Q: What is the number one item on your birthday wish list?
Oh, there are so many answers I can give you. And some of them not so polite. As I get older however, it’s friends. Their presence, their company, their connection with the past, both theirs and mine.
If you want me to be practical – then I’ll say, a salary raise. I know I’m worth it.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Some people, when they get older, become crankier and find fault with everything. I find I have become far more tolerant. I used to accompany one of my older lovers to AA meetings and I came to love and appreciate the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
However, I find that I still have an enormous problem with liars. People who lie, not only to others, but also themselves. Sadly, my boss, Robert – although he’s a nice man – is the perfect example of this.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
So many years – so many books. Look around you and what do you see: a house full of books, each one a memory, of a person, a place or a time. There is one I come back to again and again, and that is: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I love it. But maybe that is because I’ve been there, done that!
Q: What’s your go to song to get your amped up?
Oh my taste is music is terrible and it is so easily influenced by whatever we’re working on in the office. Robert shot a short documentary series about Whales and I spent weeks afterwards whistling New Age Whale music. When he went to New England to scout locations – and that might have been the time he began to get very close to Stephanie, I found myself singing shanties and folk music. However, right now, on the CD player in the bathroom is, It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls. Its my singing in the shower music!
Q: You walk into a pet store, what animal would you bring home and why?
This is probably a terrible admission. But I am just not a dog or a cat person. Maybe that has to do with my lifestyle: I like to be independent. Let me see … a parrot perhaps. I could teach it all the disgraceful words I’ve learned over the years.
Q: If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?
I know this sounds like boasting, but I’ve been very lucky enough to travel the world. There are places I would go back to of course, and others I’d never choose to revisit. I love Alaska, because the men are plentiful, unreconstructed real men … and the nights are long. Plus, of course, it is beyond beautiful.
Q: What would you pick for your last meal?
Brad Pitt! Oh, you mean food! When I was younger I loved my meat. One of my long terms lovers, the head of a studio in Hollywood, would fly in steak from his favorite New York restaurant. We’d sit beneath the Hollywood sign – I don’t think you can do it now – and picnic. When I was in Japan, I was courted by a cabinet minister who brought me to all the beast restaurants for Kobe Beef. In was in Japan that I discovered sushi. It is still my all time comfort food. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve become more and more vegetarian. So, for my last meal, it would be twenty inch vegetarian pizza. (Because bigger is better) With Brad Pitt.
Q: If you were a contestant on the show Survivor, what would your luxury item be?
Oh, I’ve been there too. Kathy and Robert created a very similar show and we even shot a pilot where I was one of the contestants, but The Great Race and Survivor were already happening, so I knew it would never get off the ground. The luxury item I brought to the island was a role of supersoft, triple-ply bathroom tissue. I could have sold that roll for a fortune. Nowadays, my luxury item would be a first class ticket off the island to somewhere else. You know what Sartre said: hell is other people. The other half of that sentence should be, hell is other people on a desert island!
Q: What are your worst and best qualities?
Worst quality: well, I know you’re going to think its my insatiable appetite for younger men. Though, its not insatiable. However, I think it might be that I regret nothing I’ve done. And I suppose there are some things, I really should regret.
My best quality: patience and the ability to see all sides of a story. Take this latest situation with Kathy, Robert and Stephanie. I suppose most people would think there are only two sides to a story. But in an affair, there are three.
Don’t forget to check out Colette’s book The Consequences, here’s the synopsis!
The end of an affair may be only the beginning…
Over the course of one tumultuous Christmas Eve, Kathy Walker confirmed her suspicions about her husband’s affair, confronted his mistress, Stephanie, and saved her marriage. She and Robert have eighteen years, two teenagers, and a film production business between them–plus a bond that Kathy has no intention of giving up on. Yet though Robert is contrite, Kathy can’t quite silence her doubts.
While Robert reels from his wife’s ultimatum and his mistress’s rejection, Stephanie makes a discovery: she’s pregnant. Her resolve to stay away from Robert wavers now that they could make a real family together. And in the days that follow, Stephanie, Robert, and Kathy must each reckon with the intricate realities of desire, the repercussions of betrayal, and the secrets that, once revealed, ripples through lives and relationships in thoroughly unexpected ways.