Theresa Rebeck I'm Glad About You

ISBN 13: 9780399172885

I'm Glad About You

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9780399172885: I'm Glad About You

Crazy, Stupid, Love meets Notting Hill. About an actress making it big and the complicated relationship she has with the guy she met as a teenager. You’ll read it in two days” —The Skimm
 
Their meeting in a parking lot outside a high school football game was both completely forgettable and utterly life-changing. Because no matter how you look at it, it is piss-poor luck to meet the love of your life before your life has even started. Fierce and ambitious, Alison transforms into a rising TV star in New York City while her first love, Kyle, all heart and spiritual yearning, becomes a pediatrician in suburban Cincinnati, married to the wrong woman. What could these mismatched souls have to do with each other? Everything and nothing. Even as their fates rocket them forward and apart, neither can fully let go of the past.

As their lives inevitably intersect, Alison and Kyle must face each other in the revealing light of their decisions. I’m Glad About You is a glittering study of how far the compromises two people make will take them from the lives they were meant to live.
 

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About the Author:

In 2011 Theresa Rebeck was named one of the 150 Fearless Women in the World by Newsweek. She has had more than a dozen plays produced in New York, including Omnium Gatherum (cowriter), for which she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and The New York Times has referred to her as “one of her generation’s major talents.” Rebeck was the creator of the NBC drama Smash and has a long history of producing and writing for major television and film successes. She is the author of Three Girls and Their Brother (2008) and Twelve Rooms with a View (2010). She has taught at Brandeis University and Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

One

 "BUT WHAT IS a demimonde, anyway?" said Alison. 
The  guy she was talking  to, someone  named  Seth,  smiled like  he knew the secret answer to that.  He wrote a column about celebrity bed­ side reading for Vanity Fair and  his name  had shown  up once even as a byline on  a feature  for that  esteemed  publication. Alison  did not  fully realize the import of this accomplishment but he did.
"The demimonde, actually," he told her. "There's only one of them, grammatically  speaking."
 "What?" said Alison, confused.
 "The  demimonde. It's called the demimonde. Not like a demimonde, not a demimonde  like there's a lot of demimondes and  this might be one of them. There's only one to begin with, so it's the."
"Is there only one of them if you're speaking any other way?" Alison asked.
''Apparently not; it's all the same demimonde, no matter where you find it," he noted, pleased with the inane complication  that  had grown like a
 "What's okay?"
 "That you didn't  know."
 "That I didn't  know that people call it the demimonde?" she asked. "I just mean, you don't have to be embarrassed," he said.
"I'm not," she replied, unembarrassed. The pleasure he had been tak­ ing in the grammatical discussion was fleeing quickly, and in fact it was occurring to him  that  the  young woman was not quite as attractive  as she had seemed mere moments before. She smiled at him with  that sort of absurd  warmth  that  transplanted Midwesterners  tossed about  New York like an unappreciated breeze. Because of that Vanity Fair byline, in addition  to his rangy height, he was used to having a different effect on the women  upon whom  he bestowed  his attention in social situations. Usually they sparkled more, with a charming willingness to acknowledge the sexual  undertones  of any discussion  and  the  innate  superiority  of his position in the demimonde. He had often mocked them, frankly, to his male comrades,  for that  very thing-their eagerness  to attract was, finally, a bit of a bore, he thought. But this girl, who was clearly some sort of nobody, didn't get any points for avoiding all that. She was unsettling. Attractive, but not attractive enough  to get over that  bump of her own sense of equality.
"Should  I be embarrassed?" she asked.She sipped one of those relent­ less glasses of white wine and grinned slightly while tilting her head, so that she had to glance up at him under long dark bangs. Her eyes were a startling green and  they looked like they were laughing  at him, but not unpleasantly. This was actually better  flirting  than  he'd  had in months. Why didn't he like it more?
"No, no," he said, but a whisper of polite dismissal had snuck into his tone. It smacked her enough for a crinkle  of worry to appear between her eyes, and he felt bad. He felt badJ This girl was really no fun at all.
"Oh, well. Oh. Okay," she said, recovering from the startling appearance  of male aggression over what  to her, frankly, seemed like a nearly nonsensical  discussion.  Her friend Lisa had invited  her over just a few hours ago for drinks  in her loft, which wasn't actually a loft; it was more like sixteen  square  feet and  a skylight. And  now a  total stranger  was clearly miffed with her because of some weird obsession he had with the demimonde, and  whether  or not it was "a" demimonde  or "the"  demi­ monde. This  isn't eighteenth-century France, she thought.Who gives a shit? "Well," she laughed,  opting  for good humor, "I did know generally more or less about the demimonde. I was an English major in college and we tossed the whole thing about during one endless class on Trollope and I  finally figured it out, that  there really is only one in general, that it's a general sort  of thing. But it's not a bad question,  'the' versus 'a.' I  just never quite put it all together so specifically. Until tonight] Thank you so much for clearing that  up."
 This  was, of course, both  completely  true and  utterly sardonic,  but the wry amusement  of her tone didn't win her any points. These seem­ ingly  simple  situations   were  frankly  problematic   for  Alison,  whose untamed heart and effortless intelligence combined  to create an unfortu­ nately toxic cocktail for a certain breed of male ego. An ex-friend of her ex-boyfriend Kyle once  told her that he got sick of how she had to show off how smart she was all the time. It was an irrational misreading of her character-Alison wasn't particularly interested  in showing off; she just was not a fool and felt no need to pretend  to be one, under any circum­ stances or for any reason. Unfortunately,  her ex-boyfriend's ex-friend was not  the only male creature  who  had ever mistaken  this trait  for some­ thing less defined and  more blameworthy.
"Where was that?" Seth  the OCD word fanatic asked.
 "Where was what?" Alison asked, confused again. "Where'd you do your undergrad?"
"Undergrad?" she repeated. "Oh,  I went to Notre Dame."
 As  soon  as she had  admitted this, she wished she  hadn't.  Having arrived in New York only five months before, she was already acquainted with  the  eagerness  with  which  those  interminable Ivy Leaguers pried into  the facts around  your college education just so they had an excuse to bludgeon you with their own. And she had stepped into his trap!"Let me guess. You went to Harvard," she said, beating him to the punch line. She  tilted her chin at him, aiming  for charming defiance.
"Well, yes, actually," Seth  admitted  with a nod. Unfortunately, the charming defiance  didn't  manage  to outshine  the leaden  fact of Notre Dame. He glanced over her shoulder, to see if anyone more worthy of his attention had drifted into view behind her. She hated New York at times like this, so full of intellectual phonies desperate to take any opportunity to assert their superiority in ways that,  honestly, would have been  con­ sidered  just rude  in  the  Midwest. "Guess  they weren't supposed  to let girls from Ohio  into  this particular corner  of the demimonde," she  told him tartly. ''A Harvard  boy who writes for Vanity  Fair, how on earth  did you get stuck  talking  to a loser like me?"
"Just lucky, I guess." He shrugged,  playing the double negative now.
 ''And what do you do, Alison?"
 She  looked him straight  in the  face. "I'm, actually,  I'm an  actress." She tried to keep her confidence up but she knew how idiotic this would sound  to him, or anyone, in point of fact.
"So how is that going for you?" he asked, with deliberate disinterest. Too bad, she thought.I thought he was kind of cute. He was already some­ one she had known  in the past. "I'm going to get another glass of wine," she told him.
"Terrific," he noted  flatly. It was so dismissive she blinked  a little, and  took a step back. He had turned away, and was saying hello to some other  loser friend  of Lisa's, a girl  with  an  eager smile  and  enormous breasts. Alison felt her heart constrict with a tinge of fear and disappointment.Whatever, he's a creep, she told herself. Then  she pushed  through the bitter little crowd of young professionals who had gathered  for a fun evening  in  Lisa's ugly and  overpriced  apartment, trying  to get  to that table in the corner where people had dumped the wine bottles they'd delivered as party gifts.
"You met Seth!" Lisa exclaimed, sticking her head out of the closet­ sized kitchen  and  raising her eyebrows with smug, conspiratorial glee. "He's so fabulous. Really it is ridiculous how successful he is, he has his own column for Vanity Fair and he's had pieces everywhere, I think  he's doing something for Vogue right now. Maybe GQ.  Or  that  piece maybe already came out, I can't remember. He's very prolific and he knows a ton of people plus I think  he's really hot, he's so tall. His family has buckets of money, his father is something huge at Goldman Sachs and you should see where he lives in Tribeca."
"Goldman Sachs is like the institutional version of the anti-Christ, Lisa," Alison  reported  with  an  air  of sincere  regret  that  this  fact had somehow escaped her friend's notice.
"I'd put up with people calling me the anti-Christ if I had money like that," Lisa tossed back at her.
"Yeah, well, I think  your friend mostly wanted  to get laid, so it's fine.
 I'm from the Midwest, we don't do that on a first date," Alison reported. "Plus he's an asshole."
"No,  he's great!" Lisa insisted, pretending that  Alison's position  on sex with strangers was so outdated and ludicrous she didn't even have to acknowledge it. "He's juggling a lot of different commitments, magazine people have  to have so many  things  going on  that  sometimes  it takes them a little time to unwind and  just be themselves. Plus he told me he just got here from a big meeting with the Times Sunday magazine, which he's  been  really worried about ... So  he's probably still  just thinking about  that; he's under a lot of pressure because so much is happening for him  right now. And  tomorrow  he's running out  to  the Hamptons, his parents have a place in Amagansett and  there's some big family party he has to go to."
Alison could not for the life of her understand  why going to a party in  the  Hamptons  tomorrow  might  be  considered  an  excuse  for lousy behavior today, and she sincerely wished that she might be asked to care more about the young man's character than  his resume. But Lisa's atten­ tion had moved on to other subjects. Alison watched as her friend found herself caught  in a web of arms  and  hands  reaching desperately  for the half-empty bottles of cheap wine, which cluttered  the table behind  her. Lisa was an  elegant, slender blonde who moved with an  amused  grace through  the center of it all. The  apparently ravenous young professionals who surrounded her were consuming a simple tray of grapes and cheeses in mere seconds in a piranha-like frenzy. Blonde Lisa laughed with delight and threw her hands up in a gesture of mock despair. "I never get enough food," she admitted  happily.
In the Midwest, there's always enough food, Alison thought. She thought of her mother's housewarming  parties, where neighbors who had known one another for thirty  years would gather on  the  back porch and  talk about  golf scores and  school  functions  and  the  weather.  Her  mother would serve hot hors d'oeuvres, sesame chicken with a honey-mayonnaise dressing, toasted cheese rounds, and everyone's favorite, sausage balls, a spectacular concoction made of grated  cheddar,  Jimmy  Dean  sausage, and  Bisquick all mashed together and cooked in the broiler. Then Mom would load the dining  room table with platters  heaped with sliced ham and  turkey and  roast beef, alongside a breadbasket  filled with miniature sandwich rolls, around which she had curled lovely little dishes of ketchup and mustard and even more mayonnaise. And down there at the far end of the table, a big bowl of salad for anyone who was maybe thinking of trying  to eat  healthy. After  everyone had  gorged themselves on  sandwiches and finger food and a few bites of salad, there would be plates of cookies  and  brownies  and,  if Aunt Sis was coming,  a chocolate  sheet cake, or an extra plate of those crazy peanut butter cookies with an entire Hershey's Kiss shoved into the middle of each.
Beside the memory of this plenty, the one platter of Brie, Swiss, crackers, and seedless grapes that  Lisa had bought  at a deli two blocks away looked exactly like what it was-lame. It was already finished off a mere thirty-five  minutes after the first guests had arrived; the piranhas had swept it clean and  moved on to the consumption of more wine and booze, of which there was a river.
Lisa picked up the empty platter and held it over her head. "Go back and  talk to Seth,'' she ordered Alison.
"We didn't like each other, Lisa,"Alison said clearly, hoping this would put an end to the discussion.
"You talked to him for three minutes! You have to try harder, I mean it. I've been  in  New York a lot longer than  you and  I  know what's out there. Trust me. He's the only guy in the room smarter  than  you." Hav­ ing delivered this pronouncement with definitive finality, she sailed off into her minuscule kitchen.
He's not smarter than me, Alison  said  to herself. Which, she admit­ted in her proud and lonely heart, was the problem.
  
Two
 
 "No, HE DOESN 'T have a temperature but he's been extremely fussy for five days, it's been five days and his nose is running nonstop," the deter­ mined woman announced. She clutched a miserable two-year-old on her knee and  talked over the kid's head impatiently, like he was some kind of unmanageable ventriloquist's dummy, although  he was really quite patient,  Kyle noticed.  Not listless, just tired. Slightly heightened  color in the cheeks but no tears or frustration, no fussiness whatsoever. "I saw Dr. Grisholm  last week and he said  that  it was a virus and  there's nothing anyone can do for a virus but this has been going on much too long and he needs an antibiotic.  I don't  know why you people can't  just prescribe that stuff over the phone, it's not going to hurt  anybody and we need it and  I'll tell you  I  know  you make  us come down  here  to pick up the prescription  just so you can charge  us for the office visit and it's ridicu­ lous, the way you are gouging us when all we need is an antibiotic! He's sick! He's really sick! And  I'm tired of all this messing around  ...

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