I’ll Take Over From Here, Liz

It was the one question I’d wished I answered differently in my interview with Terry on Mother’s Day. A caller asked why I chose to use selfish in my book title when it’s obviously such a loaded word. I said something quasi-lame about the kind of selfishness I’m referring to.

I wished I’d answered the question something like this:

I chose the word selfish because it’s provocative. I want the title to stop you in your tracks. Make you uncomfortable. Invite you to wonder about yourself. I’d ask you who is the self that is being deemed selfish? And I wouldn’t ask you if you are selfish, but how you are selfish.

Everyone is.

But, I didn’t answer the question that way, and reluctantly accepted that I’d have to wait for another opportunity.

So, you can imagine how excited I am to see this post by Liz Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, the primary inspiration for my memoir, Being Selfish, My Journey from Escort, to Monk, to Grandmother.

Apparently Liz has been defining (and defending) selfishness for ten years, and as of May 16 she is officially done. All questions about selfishness will now be free floating orphans that will inevitably need a place to live. Since I’m already receiving similar criticism to what Liz has been contending with for over a decade, I feel fairly confident that some of those questions will find their way to me. I’m ready. After all, one reviewer has already suggested I title my book Being Self Absorbed, seeing as my navel-gazing is blatantly over indulgent.

Why does being selfish get such a bad rap?

You tell me.