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White Girl Problems
By Babe Walker
Formats and Prices
- ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD
- Trade Paperback $21.99 $28.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 31, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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- I hate my horse.
- Every job I’ve ever had is the worst job I’ve ever had.
- He’s not a doctor, a lawyer, or a prince.
- I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free, and organic.
“People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don’t want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about what Jackson said in our session yesterday—fuck that guy. And fuck his stringy hair, and his fisherman hats, and his almond breath. How many times do I need to explain to him that I’m here because I spent $246,893.50 at Barneys during an afternoon of mental unclarity? What does he not understand?
During our first session, Jackson told me I could trust him, and that recovery was about accepting help from others. Quick question: how am I supposed to trust a man who works at a rehab facility in Utah? Does he not realize how creepy that is? He talks to psychos 24/7. I’m not going to just open up to him all of a sudden, so he needs to give it up. He keeps telling me that I’m approaching treatment from a place of anger. Well guess what? He hit the nail on the fucking head, because I am angry. I’m angry that I picked this bullshit, sauna-less rehab facility. I’m angry that, out of all of the counselors at this stupid place, they paired me with Jackson: the least chic one. And I’m angry that, after four weeks of being here, he still insists I’ve made zero progress. This past month was supposed to be about me relaxing, getting my emotions to a less fragile place, and losing a few pounds. Jackson, however, has made it his mission to ruin my chances of achieving peace with his constant nagging and prying.
Gosh, you’re so fucking smart, aren’t you, Jackson? With your “theories” about the “underlying issues” that brought me to rehab. I don’t even know what you’re talking about half of the time. Surrender, borderline, acceptance, boundaries, anorexia . . . blah, blah, hugging, crying, chanting, BORING. You need to relax. I’m addicted to shopping, not meth.
Everyone makes fun of me during group sessions. Their nickname for me is “White Girl Problems.” I know that Jackson and the rest of the cast of Trainspotting think that because I grew up in Bel Air, they know what I’m all about. They don’t. My life is not a joke, and that nickname is actually so fucking rude. Sometimes Jackson defends me, which I appreciate, but I’ve seen him laugh, which means I’ve also seen his teeth. Sick.
The truth is, Jackhole, that even though I’d rather talk about the inconsistencies in your hairline during group, I do actually have a lot of real problems. I always fuck the wrong guys, I hated my vagina for eleven years until I had it replaced, my dad’s British, I can’t hold a job, Alexander McQueen is gone forever, and even though I love Sarah Burton—and I really do love her—it will never be the same. Also, I just met my mom for the first time last week, which was a real mindfuck.
Is that good? Is that enough? Do you need more information to make your grand diagnosis? Do you need to know my entire life story? Is that what you fucking need, because I will go there, Jackson. I WILL GO THERE.
You know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to smoke two Marlboro Lights, brush my teeth, pull my hair into a chic/grungy little bun, put on my black shawl and a pair of Lanvin flats, walk down the hall to that smelly girl from Arizona’s room, steal ten Adderall from her stash, come back to my room, and write down all my life’s problems from start to finish. I’ll show all you cunt-faced bitches what White Girl Problems really are.
All I want for my birthday is for you to know what I want for my birthday without me having to tell you.
In a cruel twist of fate, every birthday I’ve ever had has been a complete and utter disaster. I’m cursed. And as much as I try to be a good person and put positivity out into the world, the birthday gods continue to piss upon me.
My first year of being on this earth was somewhat hectic. I was born at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on June 10, 1987. My mom then opted out of motherhood altogether, leaving my dad to deal with the pressures of raising a supercute kid on his own. So there we were, alone in a mansion in Bel Air.
The thing about my dad is, he’s the entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. If you are important, aka a celebrity, chances are you’ve worked with him. He’s also from England, which is great for me because there’s nothing chicer than having a European parent, and having two passports really puts you on a whole different social level. Also, everything sounds better with a British accent. Not that I have one myself, but I’ve been known to pull a Madonna if the occasion calls for it.
Just after I was born, my grandmother (whom I call Tai Tai because she thinks the word “grandmother” is an ageist slur) moved from London to LA and set herself up in a wing in our house so she could “help out with that adorable little accessory.” The truth was, she was excited at the prospect of living in a city where she wouldn’t have to apologize for making her appearance her number one priority, and she figured that pushing a newborn baby around in a stroller would make her appear younger.
When my first birthday rolled around, Tai Tai took it upon herself to host a cocktail reception on my behalf at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. The guest list included my dad and all of her new Hollywood friends (producers, directors and their Asian girlfriends, and Elizabeth Taylor). Everyone was shocked when they arrived to find the party Babe-less. Yeah. Somewhere between lunching at La Scala and getting her hair done for the party, Tai Tai had managed to leave me in a dressing room at Neiman’s (while trying on a pair of sling-backs, I’m sure). Thankfully, some kind soul found me wandering around the jewelry department clutching an Hermès bangle (the only time I’ve shoplifted, I swear) and decided not to involve the authorities.
This accidental misplacement inspired my dad to hire Mabinty, a Jamaican baby nurse, to keep tabs on my every move. Mabinty’s been with us ever since. She’s a total bitch but in the best way possible. I guess I technically benefited from this first birthday party by getting a mother figure, so happy birthday to me.
The years passed, and I had a slew of shitty birthday scenarios, but I convinced myself that by my tenth, the curse would be lifted. Not so. I hadn’t even seen the worst of it . . .
I had always wanted to do a movie-themed party, so when the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park came out in theaters just before my tenth birthday, I knew I’d found the perfect fit. I was obsessed with the entire Jurassic Park franchise, so I decided to really go for it and transform our entire backyard into a lush dinosaur jungle. My dad even made a call to Steven Spielberg’s lawyer and got him to personally lend us some animatronic velociraptors. It was going to be major.
I kicked off the birthday festivities by screening a short film that I had written, directed, and starred in. This was my moment. At its core, my short film was an homage to Jurassic Park but way more political, and it was shot from the perspective of a dinosaur. I think it went over the heads of a lot of my guests, but when you’re pushing the boundaries of storytelling you’re gonna lose some people along the way. Looking back, I really admire the passion that I put into that film.
After the credits rolled, I made my grand entrance by busting through the movie screen on a go-kart that had been painted to look like a Jurassic Park Jeep. I was wearing a really chic safari number, complete with a hardened straw safari hat, and I announced to my guests that they were about to enter a “new world with endless possibilities.”
I led the first group into “The Lost World,” and within seconds it became clear that the animatronic dinosaurs were a huge mistake. The dinosaurs were so realistic-looking that every kid there was paralyzed with fear. Two boys from my class immediately pissed their pants when a velociraptor leapt at them from behind a tree. Children were literally freaking out. Three kids (including one epileptic) passed out completely, and one of my guests went into a catatonic state and had to be rushed out on a stretcher. I heard she spent seven years in therapy dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and is now addicted to crack. (Sorry, Brooke! xoxo)
After a calamitous eleventh birthday (my boyfriend at the time had a crazy peanut allergy) and a controversial twelfth-birthday-party performance by Marilyn Manson, in which he tore out pages of a Bible and ate them, burned an American flag, and threatened to “make Satanic love” to my Tai Tai (who was into it), I decided that the best route to take for my thirteenth birthday would be a low-key pool party. So I threw a basic BBQ/swim/sleepover and invited the girls in my grade who were still allowed to come to my house, which basically just meant the nerdy, acne-faced girls to whom I’d barely ever spoken. But I needed seat fillers, it was my birthday for fuck’s sake.
Of course, I wasn’t going to partake in any barbecue food, but if my guests had such little respect for themselves that they wanted to clog their veins with cholesterol, the option was on the table, literally. In order to make a point that the Walker family could host a normal teenager’s birthday celebration, everyone attending was encouraged to bring food, making for a potluck scenario. (Let it be known that I vehemently oppose potluck ANYTHING, but I’d been branded a Satan worshipper thanks to Marilyn’s antics, so I needed an image overhaul.)
My dad had to be out of town for work on the day of the party, so Mabinty and Tai Tai were in charge of overseeing the festivities. Mabinty (my nanny/maid/BFF/party planner/project manager) and I have a tradition of staying up late on the night before my birthday and watching a movie that came out the year I was born. The night before my thirteenth birthday we watched Dirty Dancing while splitting half a slice of cake. Mabinty and I must have both fallen asleep during the movie, because I was jolted awake at 8:30 A.M. by loud snores and realized she was still in my bed. I got up and ran to the window, ripping open the curtains, expecting to see the beautiful Bel Air sun shining down on my backyard, but instead I was met with a gloomy, gray morning. And not only was it cloudy, but it was starting to sprinkle. Fuck. I couldn’t deal with a weather malfunction, so obviously I panicked.
“Mabinty! Mabinty! 9-1-1! 9-1-1!”
I ran over to my bed and pulled back the covers. I could tell by Mabinty’s breathing patterns that she was pretending to be asleep, so I started whispering in her ear.
“Mabinty, we have a code red emergency. Clouds. Rain. How are we going to pull off this party if there’s a hurricane today? This is supposed to be a pool party! What are the chances of tenting the entire pool/hot tub zone in the next three hours? I’m calling the architect.”
Mabinty pulled the covers back over her head.
“Yuh know yuh cyan’t be wakin’ mi up before nine in di morning, Babe Walker,” she said in her native Jamaican dialect, Patois (Patwa). “Every day ina di month of June begin with a gray sky. Mi promise yuh, dis afternoon it’ll be sunny fi yuh party. Mi gwahn down to mi room. Mi need to sleep so don’t yuh come a bahderin’ mi till at least eleven.”
I assumed that Mabinty knew what she was talking about or could see into the future, because by the time all of the guests arrived there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Tai Tai, on the other hand, brought the shit storm. A week before my party, she’d gone under the knife for her second face-lift, and even though she was in a lot of post-op pain, she’d agreed to show up and bring some desserts. Due to her tendency to drink six to eight glasses of champagne a day no matter what’s going on, Tai Tai’s plastic surgeon had advised against taking any pain medication, so she was smoking lots of marijuana during the first few days of the healing process. Then she got sick of “smelling like an artist,” so she had her French pastry chef start making edible weed treats for her. On the day of my party, she mistakenly walked out the door with a tray of “Mary-Jane Macaroons” and “Petit Four-Twenties” instead of the vegan cupcakes I had requested.
When Tai Tai arrived at my party, I screamed in horror, then kindly greeted her and asked if she wouldn’t mind participating in the birthday celebration from the safety of our panic room. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a face-lift after one week, but let me tell you, it’s really fucking scary. Her head was bandaged in such a way that only her eyes, nose, and mouth peered out, all black and blue and swollen. She looked like a dead Teletubby. I didn’t want her creeping out my guests. They’d been through enough over the years. Tai Tai was a little angry, but she relented once we set her up with a bottle of her favorite rosé and queued up all the surveillance cameras so she’d be able to see what was going on.
I’m not proud of what happened next.
Every year on my birthday I give myself the gift of eating one treat. Sometimes it’s a little piece of cake or a cookie. This year I went with one of Tai Tai’s macaroons. It was so fucking good that I couldn’t stop myself from eating two more. My guests followed suit and went to town on the tray of sweets, raving about how delish they were. About an hour later, everyone at the party was unknowingly stoned. My hot tub was filled with twelve tweenage girls, blazed out of their minds, discussing whether or not their moms’ fake tits were a bad thing. One girl was so paranoid that she locked herself in a broom closet and was never seen or heard from again. I was so high that I even let it slide when I opened my presents and discovered that two girls had bought me the same Kate Spade book bag. Mabinty knew something was up when she saw me lurking around the food table, murmuring, “I’m so hungry,” to myself and eating a plate of Kobe beef sliders with blue cheese dipping sauce. She cornered me.
“Babe Walker. What yuh dun now? Yuh smoking weed? Yuh too young to be stealin’ from mi stash.”
“That was one time. I was nine, okay? It won’t happen again. What are you even talking about?”
“Yuh eyes are red, and yuh eatin’ like it’s yuh last meal on eart. Don’t try and tell Mabinty yuh nah high as a kite right now.”
She was right. Thankfully, no parents were around, and since we were all high, none of my guests thought anything weird was going on. Everyone had a blast, ate a ton of food, and we were all asleep on the living room floor by 8:30 P.M., so I guess it wasn’t that bad of a party, but I will never forgive myself for eating those little hamburgers. Or that hot dog. Or those sprinkles. Or that frosting on a spoon. Or that leftover pad thai that I found in the fridge that wasn’t even part of my birthday party. I mean, it’s fine for all of those regular people to eat that shit, but not me. Whatever, moving on.
My Sweet 16 was possibly the most epic disaster of all, and the only party that ended in death. That year was all about a tacky party, so my big idea was to transform the guest house into Studio 54. I had the interior of the house temporarily gutted and remodeled to resemble the club at its peak in the late seventies, obviously. Black walls, booths, ceiling-high shafts of neon lights—it was the perfect balance of grotesque and gorgeous. To add character, and to keep in theme with the era, I had small mounds of faux cocaine (vitamin B powder) scattered around the house. A lot of kids were so high on actual coke that they ended up snorting it anyway. The Studio 54 effect wouldn’t have been complete without a huge mass of people waiting in line to get in, so I hired one hundred extras to do that all night. One of them actually fainted because the polyester suit he was wearing was superhot, and I guess he was too old to stand up for five hours straight. Looking back, his near-death experience brought a certain authenticity to the party, which I can now appreciate.
I wore a blue, off-the-shoulder, vintage Halston jumpsuit and a pair of red Manolo Blahnik pumps that I regret to this day. I mean, it was 2003, everyone and their mother was drinking the Manolo Kool-Aid at that point. Thanks, Carrie, for convincing us that simple, boring pumps were chic because they’re expensive and kind of comfortable! Anyways, I arrived to the party on a white stallion, flanked by two white Bengal tigers on chains. Huge moment for everyone. Things were going so well that it seemed like everyone had forgotten the mishaps at my many previous parties. I was on top of the world.
Halfway through the party my dad took out a bullhorn (so embarrassing) and instructed everyone to come to the front yard so he could give me my birthday present. Once we were all in position, a big truck pulled into our driveway. My dad had actually gotten me the all-white Range Rover I’d secretly been praying for! I was freaking out, and all of my friends were screaming in anticipation.
The door of the trailer opened, and there was no Range Rover to be found. In fact, there was no car at all. Instead, a huge fucking peacock came strolling out of the trailer and onto my driveway. A PEACOCK. Like, an actual bird, with feathers and a beak. The crowd fell silent; I was beyond confused. I wanted to flip, but I pulled it together and pretended that a peacock was exactly what I’d been hoping for. I didn’t want any of my guests to see how deeply saddened I was by the sight of this fucking piece-of-shit bird, so I allowed the party photographers to do a mini photo shoot of me and my “gift.” The pictures turned out really gorgeous, but if you look closely you’ll notice that both of my hands are balled up into fists.
After the photo shoot, I pulled my dad aside to have a little chat with him.
“Dad, why did you get me that bird thing? It’s not a car,” I whispered.
“That’s a Burmese green peafowl with golden plumage. Do you know how rare that is? Who wouldn’t want that? Plus, I overheard you on the phone a couple of weeks ago talking to your friend about how you are ‘obsessed with owning a crocodile or a peacock.’ I certainly wasn’t going to get you a bloody crocodile, now was I? That would have been completely irresponsible, Babe.”
“That’s really sweet, Dad, but I was talking about Hermès bags, not pets. There’s a fantastic crocodile Birkin in peacock blue coming out soon that I would kill for.”
“Well, I guess I misunderstood you then. Look at the bright side, now you have a beautiful pet to take care of. And looking after this fine specimen will teach you some damn responsibility, you’ll learn to love the little bugger. Who of your friends can say they have a Burmese green peafowl? Answer me that!” he said with a huge grin.
After staring at him for about fifteen seconds, I simply said, “Hello, I’m Babe Walker, your daughter. Clearly we’ve never met.” And walked off.
I knew my dad was into weird animals and stuff, but the fact that he thought it was okay to get me this peacock for my birthday was baffling—misunderstanding or not. At that moment, two cater waiters dressed as Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger brought out a birthday cake and all the guests started loudly singing “Happy Birthday.” As I blew out the candles, a huge fireworks display began in my front yard. It was so loud and so scary that the peacock was losing his shit and flapping his huge wings angrily. He was running around in circles through the party, knocking over my friends and the extras and destroying the decorations. Mabinty was chasing him around, which only seemed to make the peacock more frantic. The animal was even emitting a high-pitched bird scream, which added to the mass hysteria.
In a last attempt to escape the loud torture that had become my sixteenth birthday party, the peafowl ran for the wooded area next to my house. He sprinted through the fountain and across our circular driveway, and ran straight into the arms of one of the Bengal tigers that was chained to a statue in the yard. Best day of that tiger’s life.
It was horrifying. The peacock exploded in the grip of the tiger’s jaw and was being whipped, lifeless, all around the driveway. Feathers and bird guts spritzed a crowd of screaming kids who were standing close by. You really have no concept of how many feathers can actually come off of one bird until they are scattered around your front lawn. It was disgusting, but at least it was quick.
The brutal demise of the peacock really killed the party. All of my guests and extras left shortly thereafter. The biggest travesty was that Maroon 5 were the surprise musical guest, and no one was there to see them play. They ended up doing a private show for my dad, Mabinty, and me, but they weren’t even really singing, so that was annoying.
That was the last birthday party I ever had.
If I like him, he’s probably gay.
The question “How did I end up losing my virginity to my gay best friend, dressed as Sandy from Grease, while my maid taped us from inside my closet?” is one that most girls never ask themselves. It all began a long time ago, when I was a little baby Babe, running around the garden in Pampers. Just kidding, my nanny would’ve been fired immediately for even saying the word “Pampers.” My skin is sensitive. I required cloth diapers.
When I was six, my father sent me to a very chic elementary school. At the time, La Maison du Petit Étoiles was the most forward-thinking school in the States. I think they invented the dry-erase board or something. To this day, I believe my education at Maison set the tone for my entire relationship with the world. In other words, it bestowed upon me a high level of taste and a low tolerance for processed kids’ food. We only ate certified organic greens and root vegetables direct from le jardin.
It was at La Maison that I first met Roman Di Fiore. From day one, Roman was a total mo, as well as my partner in crime. I thought he was the coolest kid in our class. He said what he wanted, dressed how he wanted, and did whatever he wanted, and I loved him for it. When we were ten, in honor of Princess Diana’s death, Roman wore a purple three-piece suit for a week and I wore a series of custom purple Versace children’s dresses. Although I didn’t know it at the time, the boy I played house with, the boy who would only let me pretend I was his wife if I let him wear my sequined scrunchie around his ankle, the boy who on the jungle gym politely asked if he could touch my “wee wee,” would eventually take my virginity.
But that was much, much later. Tragically, Roman and I were ripped apart when his family moved to Las Vegas. Roman’s dad, Mauricio, was a movie producer who decided to leave the film business and compulsively invest in commercial real estate/his gambling addiction. He now owns half of Vegas.
I was devastated when Roman moved away. Who would braid my hair? Who would tell me I looked like Christy Turlington? Who would go to ballet class with me? It wasn’t easy, but I moved on, and resigned myself to hanging out with the girls in my class who were obsessed with me.
Growing up lonely and beautiful in LA without a gay best friend to lean on, I quickly learned that even the homely girls in my seventh grade Social Studies class, whom I thought I could trust, were psychos. Especially at Archer, which is a private, all-girls school in Brentwood, where every girl’s main objective was to out-slut the next. Parading my A cups around in a tube top and hooking up with Mark McGrath at MTV’s Spring Break was not my style, so I stuck to shopping.
By the time I was a B cup (sophomore in high school), I had finally started to entertain the idea of having sex. I knew it was time I took my vagina out for a test drive. She was ready for her maiden voyage. Yeah, I had given a couple blowjobs and done the whole “let’s get drunk and make out and maybe get naked in your parents’ room” thing, but I wasn’t the type of girl who was about to give my virginity away to a guy I barely even knew just because he drove a Range Rover. Even though most of my friends had done it and gossiped about it, sex still seemed sloppy and gross to me. Which is why it came as a total shock when I laid eyes on the new boy at school and instantly wanted to fuck him.
It was the first day of school, and I was about fifteen minutes late to first period Geometry. I mean, who gives a shit about shapes if they’re not part of a Pucci print? Am I right? I settled down in my desk, turned to the left, and there he was: a tall, sinewy, Burberry Prorsum ad. Studded leather jacket, ripped white tee, perfectly skinny black jeans, and filthy black Dior Homme ankle boots. A true fashion punk. His look said “Fuck me, or fuck off. Your decision.” His skin was flawless, his hair was calculatedly disheveled, and I wanted to kiss him. On the dick. I swear he winked at me and I literally melted.
Babe, I thought to myself, Do not fall in love. Do not listen to your stupid body. Your body is a nutcase, you’re puffy from those three beers you drank over the summer, and your skin is an 8 right now, at best. It’s first period of the first day of sophomore year and already you’re eye-fucking this strange boy-man. Sit the fuck down. But you are sitting down! Shut up.
- On Sale
- Jan 31, 2012
- Page Count
- 224 pages
- Hachette Books