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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 07/27/2009

An Open Letter to Candy Spelling

By Liz Kelly

The Spellings in 1997: Randy, Candy, Aaron and Tori. (AP)

Dear Candy Spelling,

I need some of what you've got. I, like every girl, dream of one day having kids who love me enough to loathe me.

I haven't any kids yet, but who doesn't envy the kind of relationship you have with your daughter, Tori. Maybe you could share some of your parenting wisdom? I want to be prepared if and when my as-yet-nonexistent offspring start taping reality shows and writing books in a bid to torture me and broadcast to the world to what a rotten childhood he/she had despite the fact that I gave him/her everything, including (but not limited to) my girlish figure, a big house, lots of clothes and stuff and (along with my big shot producer husband) even a recurring part in a primetime TV show.

Kids, so ungrateful. I should know. I am one. And, trust me, if I could I'd be all up in a reality show not inviting my mom to contrived events just to give her the opportunity to show me how much she loves me. But obviously my mom didn't raise me correctly because, aside from the usual banal complaints ("you didn't let me stay out late," "you forced me to study when I wanted to be a tattoo shop apprentice"), I've actually grown to really appreciate her and our friendship.

So please, please, please -- share the genius behind your open letter to Tori. I am in awe of how you managed to strike a tone both loving and scathing. Maybe it would be easier if I just posed a few questions based on selected bits of the text:

1

How long did it take to decide between "spoiled brat washed up Lifetime movie hag" and the "To" field you did go with:

EXCLUSIVE TO: TMZ.COM TO: MIDDLE-AGED REALITY SHOW STARS (LIKE MY DAUGHTER) FROM: CANDY SPELLING

Personally, I would have gone with "hag," but the "middle-aged" thing has me thinking that there is a nuanced art to slamming one's child and I long to know more.

2

This line is killer in its subtlety, but just so I'm clear on how things work -- how do you work up the proper amount of righteous indignation when your posting public letters to your daughter is just as icky as your grandchildren having their lives chronicled on reality TV?

A big party wasn't how I envisioned meeting my granddaughter for the first time; but, hey, this is Hollywood, and my grandchildren have become reality show props, too.
3

Re: this bit:

The same old whining gets tired after a while. Enough complaining about what may or may not have happened during first grade or YMCA camp, or what vegetable you were forced to endure, especially when you are privileged enough to be on TV and get paid for it.

Do I have to send my kids to YMCA camp in order for this whole thing to work? In other words, if we went with Girl Scout camp instead could a potential daughter turn out to be an undesirable loving, supportive best friend?

4

Finally, you can't leave me hanging -- I have to know, how long did it take before this well-aimed missive of love brought Tori running back to mommy? (Choose the closest approximation):

One minute
One hour
One day
I'm still waiting

By Liz Kelly  | July 27, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Comments

Should I be worried? I once sent my son to YMCA camp and even received a sobbing "come get me, Mom" call. I didn't. Counselor said he'd be ok, and he was. Ended up having a great time. But should I still be worried he'll become a reality show trainwreck and say mean things about me in public and withhold my grandkids??? Oh God, I made him eat Brussel Sprouts once too!

Posted by: hodie | July 27, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"I haven't any kids yet"


Then you know jack-all about raising kids. MYOB, Liz.


Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Candy, give it up. Renounce your maternal rights and adopt someone who really could appreciate your advice and counsel and give you lots of grandkid exposure. Someone like Kate Gosslin, perhaps.

Posted by: mdreader01 | July 27, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

With respect, jez, when "raising kids" means writing snarky open letters to them in TMZ, it becomes Liz's and our business.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | July 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

*shrug* The whole thing bores me.

If Candy Spelling was really an ultra loving, ultra caring mother, would she have allowed her husband to cast her daughter in a prime-time show that frequently had her in wardrobe that featured a camel-toe?

It's a dysfunctional family, hands-down. It just happens to be a very rich dysfunctional family, which apparently is now how you get a reality show. (See The Osbournes, Newlyweds, The Simple Life, ad nauseum)

I really don't care whether or not they are speaking to each other - these are rich, pampered women and I can't find myself too sympathetic about any hardships they've created for themselves.

Aaron Spelling had a certain talent - it doesn't appear to have filtered down to his daughter and while his wife apparently picked up the flair for the mildly dramatic he instilled his his shows, she lacks the sense of how to make a situation just compelling enough to make you want to watch...

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | July 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Liz, could you please check the following rumor I vaguely recall: Back when Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas were active in TV show production, Mrs. Thomas refused to have anything to do with Candy because she simply Could.Not.Abide.Her. If true, now I'm starting to understand why.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Cannnn-dee. I call my b*tch mom Cannnnn-dee." (Yes, I am recycling old snark.)

For starters, Tori is what, 36? She has not yet earned the title "middle-aged." Candy, however, is way beyond it, the annoying cow.

And gee, Candy, if Aaron hadn't stiffed his daughter in the will, maybe she'd be a little kinder. (Seriously. Girl deserved at least a couple million for having to go through life with those unfortunate bug-out eyes she got from Daddy's side yet somehow manages to downplay well with makeup.)

Newsflash there, Cand. Perhaps YOU are the reason Tori has to do reality shows to support herself? Something tells me you helped your late husband write his will and write out your only child. Just a little ol' hunch.

What a bombastic shrew. Though nothing I can write matches this witty comment on the TMZ site: "And maybe if Candy didn't have such a big stick up her @ss she would be a decent grandmother." Well said. Brief and to the point.

Current poll numbers favor Tori (69%) over Candy (31%). Total Votes: 158,580.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

My mom never sent me to camp. I guess that's why we're still speaking.

Posted by: memphis1 | July 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Current poll numbers favor Tori (69%) over Candy (31%). Total Votes: 158,580.


Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow! 158,580 votes for this crap?

Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Back when Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas were active in TV show production, Mrs. Thomas refused to have anything to do with Candy because she simply Could.Not.Abide.Her. If true, now I'm starting to understand why.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


LOL! Danny Thomas was a BIG womanizer!

Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

td, loved your post, but Tori isn't an only child, she has a brother. Was he left out of the will? Liz, inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: zn123 | July 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

jez, are saying that Danny Thomas and Candy Spelling were once an item, or that he was hoping they might be?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that Tori Spelling is (oxymoron alert!) spectacularly uninteresting. But her mom really is a bit of an ogress, no?

Posted by: bobsewell | July 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, zn123; I did not know Tori Spelling had a brother. If Wikipedia is a reliable source (wink), both she and her brother got the same amount -- a measly $800,000 each from an estimated $500,000,000 fortune.

And if all that is true, and Candy has the better part of half-a-billion dollars to spend, wouldn't it just be easier for her to buy the Los Angeles Times and spread her venom so it could be delivered to Hollywood homes on a daily basis?

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 27, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Woo-hoo!! Who was with whom? Danny and Candy, or Aaron and Mrs. Danny Thomas? Gotta love it.

I went to Camp Fire Girls camp and I love my mom. Actually, she just had surgery for oral cancer, but she is on the mend because last week she called Sarah Palin "white trash."

Posted by: chocolatetiara | July 27, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

chocolatetiara, best wishes to your mom for a complete recovery. You're right that she's already on the mend.

I was actually grateful that my parents sent me to camp (although the aunts and uncles had to pitch in to help make it a reality), since my folks were still in dire financial straits at the time. I loved getting away from home for a couple weeks each summer!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

jez, are saying that Danny Thomas and Candy Spelling were once an item, or that he was hoping they might be?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Danny Thomas, like Bill Cosby, travelled a lot for work and had mistresses in Vegas, etc. so he could "relax" away from the family.

Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I had to beg my parents to send me to camp.

I can see the book now "How to Raise Happy Well-Adjusted Children" by Alec baldwin and Candy Spelling.

Posted by: epjd | July 27, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I had to beg my parents to send me to camp.


Posted by: epjd | July 27, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Band" camp?

Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Band" camp?


Posted by: jezebel3 | July 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jez,Don't knock it 'til you tried it! One time in band camp....

Posted by: hodie | July 27, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

hodie, do tell!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Who ever would have thought that anything would make Dina Lohan look like a mother of the year candidate.

cheeze.

A fellow mom,

Curmudgeon

ps: I made my kids wear "Tough Skins" jeans! Owe the humanity.

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon
ps: I made my kids wear "Tough Skins" jeans! Owe the humanity.

Better watch out, Mudge, Robin Givhan's liable to report you for child abuse!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Better watch out, Mudge, Robin Givhan's liable to report you for child abuse!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse


N_P,

Eeeeeek! Please, not Robin Gihvan . . .

My kids have grown into relatively well-adjusted adults, but they won't let me forget those "Tough Skins".

Haven't I suffered enough?

Regretfully yours,

Curmudgeon

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'd bet your kids are better adjusted, and have better values, than La Givhan.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Robin's ok.

It's her job to be fashionably snarky.

(Actually, I was wondering if maybe the President borrowed those jeans because he forgot to pack some of his own.)

Ponderingly,

Curmudgeon

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

chocolatetiara, i have a feeling i'd like your mom. hope she continues to get better.

Posted by: memphis1 | July 27, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"and my grandchildren have become reality show props, too."

Why everyone knows, respectible people farm their kids off as extras to cheesy network serials produced by their fathers.

Posted by: mdreader01 | July 27, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how anyone could have a healthy relationship with someone who has starved and plastic surgeried and bad-dye-jobbed herself into a lollipop with watermelons bolted to her chest (yes, those are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but still ... Tori is quite odd-looking these days), who had a ginormous bazillion-dollar wedding then divorced the guy for a married man who left his wife and kids for her .... but I digress.

Posted by: Californian11 | July 27, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If I were to advise Tori Spelling, I'd advise her to phone Candy with the following:
"Hi, Mom. I can certainly try to be a more appreciative daughter. What's it worth to you?"

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 27, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Sas, do you suppose Candy said the following to her husband very often: "Hi, Aaron. I can certainly try to be a more appreciative wife. What's it worth to you?"

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

N_P and Sas,

Sure. And when, as a child, Tori caught Aron and Candy in really really flagrante delicto, Candy explained to Tori the next morning that Mummy was making jewelry.

Is it any wonder . . .

As ever,

Curmudgeon

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Now see, I thought the letter was pretty funny. I think the whole family is over the top and they deserve each other. I've caught a few episodes here and there. I saw a clip of the one where Tori is talking about weather or not her Mom is coming to the b-day party. It was pathetic. And if I was her Mom I wouldn't have shown either. It's all for publicity. Their whole life is one big publicity stunt and then they complain about the paps following them. Blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. And her Dad didn't owe her or her brother anything. He gave her the resources to go out on her own and make it big. She didn't.

Posted by: Vienna8425 | July 27, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Candy explained to Tori the next morning that Mummy was making jewelry."

Mommy makes jewelry by helping Daddy get his rocks off.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 27, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

However, that's not how Michael Jackson makes jewelry. Michael Jackson becomes the jewelry.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge & Sas, How am I supposed to finish my work when I can't stop laughing? You two are a bad influence. A bad bad influence. May I buy you each a round at the Tiki Bar?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

May I buy you each a round at the Tiki Bar?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Sure, N_P.

Make mine a Sex-on-the-Beach.

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, We still need to invent a drink called "Hiking the Appalachian Trail."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

N_P,

I'll take one of those, too.

But not on the rocks - too uncomfortable for making jewelry. (Just ask the Gov's "soul mate".)

Sincerely,

Curmudgeon

Posted by: bmschumacher | July 27, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, it's late and Ms. Snatchquatch and I have already split a bottle of white over some wonderful home-made pesto and pasta.

May I take a snark check on that drink?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 27, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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