Be raw. Hang your dirty laundry out to dry. Be open when you’re confused. Be a friend. Be a mensch.
From NY Magazine, a few years back:
People always ask Rivers why she doesn’t just retire, enjoy her old age. “But they don’t get that I love it,” she says. “All I ever wanted was this. I’m lucky, you idiots.” Here, she imitates her society-lady friends. “ ‘We’re going to the Kentucky Derby and then taking cooking lessons in Venice and then we are going on so-and-so’s boat and then perhaps five fun days with a group to the Galápagos!’ And you go, Why? I’ve done all that crap. That’s not retirement to me. That’s death.”
When I ask her how she fell in with that crowd, she says, “Sort of by mistake. I got friendly with C. Z. Guest and through her I met Jerry Zipkin and I had no idea that if Jerry and C.Z. said, ‘This Jew is okay,’ you were okay. You got in. Immediately. And it’s all very glamorous at the beginning. Going to the Metropolitan Opera, taking a table here, being on a committee there. Going out all the time all dressed up.”
She levels me with a look. “And then I got bored to death. Nobody tells you the truth. I once asked one of the ladies, ‘Did you ever have an affair?’ And she stared at me like I was crazy. ‘Why would I tell you?’ she said. Another time, someone had just bought an apartment and I said, ‘How much?’ And she said, ‘That is really none of your business.’ And I thought, Fine. Then we are not friends and I don’t want to spend any more time with you. I was friendly with one couple who I no longer see at all. They would always say, ‘We’re such good friends.’ And then I found out that their daughter had a complete nervous breakdown. For a year, I was always told everything is wonderful. Well, then what are we wasting our time here at Elaine’s or Mortimer’s or Swifty’s? I don’t want to sit in Swifty’s and not say anything about anything. I just totally stepped away. Blaine Trump is one of the few people I am friends with out of that period. She’s honest. She will sit there and say, ‘Life is crap.’ All I want you to do, if we are sitting down and it’s after 6 p.m., is tell me the truth. Because we’ve all lied to each other all day long in business and we’ve all had these lunches and we’ve all ass-kissed to the point where I carry Chapstick. If I am going to sit down and eat with you, just tell me the truth and let me say to you, ‘Things are lousy and I’m sad.’ ”
Here she is talking about death: