If you’ve read her New York Times Bestseller, then you already know the Heather
McDonald of yesteryear. In her new book, My Inappropriate Life, you’ll get acquainted with Heather’s more recent misadventures as working mom and devoted, self-proclaimed “Real Housewife of Woodland Hills”. Whether she’s competing with her Chelsea Lately peers to pull off the most bizarre pranks, or taking flak from neighbors for her bold parenting techniques, one thing is certain: for Heather McDonald, “appropriate” is a relative term. Heather and I caught up to discuss her new book, what inspires her, and where she’s headed—and of course, some inappropriate topics too.
SF: Okay, so let’s jump into the first question: what’s your favorite chardonnay (I’ve got wine on the brain right now)?
HM: Great, we’re talking about alcohol! Cakebread is really good, but it’s quite pricey. If somebody is serving it, I get pretty excited! I also like Acacia a lot. And Malibu Rocky Winery—a winery that’s kind of local here and the owner is awesome—the Kardashians get all their wine from him and it’s really buttery and good. And then Meridian is pretty nice for a less expensive option.
SF: Let’s talk about your new book, My Inappropriate Life. How is it different from your first book?
HM: Well, my first book was really about myself in my twenties, and even my girlfriends, who are my age,were like, “My Inappropriate Life is so much better than your first book,” just because it’s so much more relatable, and it’s all now; it’s all about the last few years. And even my friends who don’t have kids really, really liked it a lot. It is a lot of kid stories, just because that’s in my life, but most of it is the balance of feeling inappropriate and trying to do my best as a mom. And I think a lot of moms do feel inappropriate and not like…“Are we doing this right?”
SF: Can you tell me about the part of your book known as “One nipple out the door”
HM: Yes. One of the things I delve into is that I did not breastfeed. I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t breastfeed, and I tried with my first son…back then, I watched this Oprah episode, and it was like the most controversial Oprah ever! Mothers talking about hating being mothers! I was listening to them and the common denominator of every single one of them was they had a horrible time breastfeeding. They felt guilty, their kid was crying all the time, they felt bad if they ate Mexican food and the kid didn’t eat right. And I was like, “You know, there is an alternative.”
SF: Do you remember the moment that you decided you wanted to do comedy?
HM: I remember I was in music class, I was a senior in high school, and my music teacher was like, “You should be a stand-up comic, you could imitate anyone.”
SF: What books and authors have influenced or inspired you—or which ones do you just like to read?
HM: Well, obviously Chelsea. Her work ethic, has been the biggest inspiration. As far as humor books, I loved Mindy Kaling’s book—I thought hers was really funny. And all of Chelsea’s are very funny too, as are Kathy Griffin’s and Tina Fey’s.
And then, as far as novels, the last book I read that I just absolutely loved was Gone Girl. It’s one of those books that you start to read and you just can’t wait to get back to. And I love biographies too, and autobiographies and hearing about people’s true lives and all of that.
SF: What’s the most inappropriate thing you did this last week?
HM: My 7-year old son was really upset at my 10-year old, and said, “I just want Drake to live somewhere else.” So I said, “Okay, if you want, we’ll get rid of him—if you really don’t want to have a brother anymore.” And he goes, “Umm…”
So I go, “Or I could just talk to him and tell him to be nicer to you.” He goes, “Yes, I’d like you to just talk to him.” So the next morning I say, “Alright, so what did you decide, are we going to try to find Drake a new home?” And he goes, “No, just talk to him, tell him to be nicer to me, and then let’s keep him.” And I’m like, “Okay.”
SF: So, what’s the next big thing you’re working on?
HM: I have a pilot that I co-wrote, and it’s through Chelsea’s company for a TV show called My Inappropriate Life. Fox bought it, and there were other networks that wanted it, so I think that it’ll land somewhere. The script is really strong and hopefully, if the book is successful, the networks will become even more interested.
Wow, a TV series that shares the title of her newest book…way to leave us wanting more! In the meantime, we’ll keep watching Heather on Chelsea Lately, and learning invaluable lessons on truthfulness, self-expression and individuality—and above all, everything inappropriate. Thanks for making me feel so appropriately inappropriate, Heather.