With her first collection of essays, the author of “Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar” tells the truth about marriage, kids, and peeing in her pants.
For every writer who dreams of being discovered on Twitter, Kelly Oxford is the patron saint. With a crooked halo. The 35-year-old mother of three was living in Calgary, Canada with her husband, James, when she started her Twitter feed in 2009. And within a year, her famous followers included Jimmy Kimmel, Juno screenwriter Diabo Cody, novelist Jonathan Ames, and a couple of hundred thousand others who love hearing Oxford wax sardonic about motherhood, marriage, and Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum. (Long story short, call her, Channing.) The Twitter success led to sitcom deals with CBS and NBC, a screenplay, and a hilarious collection of essays, which has just been published by It Books. Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar chronicles everything from getting stoned—as in with rocks—for having sex in a park, to the power of a positive enema, to the other other man in her life, Leonardo DiCaprio. (You were king of her world, Leo.) Here, the Twitter star answers our questions about advice she would give her kids, the best thing about being a mother, and the weirdest things people tweet at her—140 characters at a time.
—Karla Alindahao (@karlaalindahao)
Elizabeth Street: As a terrible liar, what’s the best lie you ever told your husband?
Kelly Oxford: Probably something stupid like I didn’t know what he got me for my birthday. Wives always know.
ES: What’s the best lie you ever told your kids?
KO: That they will die if they don’t sleep, or get cancer if they don’t eat vegetables. But those aren’t totally lies.
ES: What’s the best lie you ever told yourself?
KO: That my hair looked okay.
ES: The introduction to your book is hilarious. (Your kids are awesome.) What’s the best thing about being a mother?
KO: Having something in your life that is more important than yourself.
ES: Are you funnier in Twitter, Tumblr, or in person (whatever that is)?
KO: Twitter is just the funny stuff, no yelling or grocery shopping, so there.
ES: Say something in Canadian.
KO: Only if you say something in that George Bush accent all you Americans have.
ES: Who’s the first person you unfollowed?
KO: No idea.
ES: Who’s next?
KO: No idea. Maybe American Airlines.
ES: What’s more fun: writing a book, a screenplay, or a tweet?
KO: It’s all the same, but it obviously there is instant gratification for the tweet. Gratification for the book takes a year, but is 100000x better.
ES: What thing/pharmaceutical/piece of clothing/alcoholic beverage do you consider a must-have (survivalwise) as a mother?
KO: Some time alone.
ES: Let’s pretend your kids are grown. What important (read: must-follow) piece of life advice would you give them?
KO: Don’t let anyone stop you from following your dreams, including me, unless your dreams are illegal.
ES: What does your husband think of your Twitter fame?
KO: He doesn’t care. He’s never been online beyond email and BBC news.
ES: Tell us one thing people don’t know about you.
KO: People know I peed my pants (page 77) when I was 16, they know everything.
ES: Has moving to L.A. from Calgary changed your parenting style? Any huge changes, culture shock, major adjustments?
KO: No, not really.
ES: L.A. or Canada? Any profound observations?
KO: Canadians are viewed as “really nice” because we live in a society where we make the gov’t work for us and protect us. The U.S. doesn’t have that. We’re just so much more relaxed than Americans because we don’t have to fear about our future the same way Americans do.
ES: Is there a tweet you regret?
ES: If Twitter were to crash forever tomorrow, what would you do?
KO: Keep doing everything else I’m doing.
ES: What’s the craziest thing you would do to get Oprah to follow you?
KO: Nothing, it would be false and wouldn’t matter if I tried to get her to follow me and she did. It has to be natural.
ES: When will you allow your kids to read your book? Or have they already?
KO: I’ll know when the time is right. There are a few they can read now.
ES: Who’s your favorite follower?
KO: I have 3 kids and know better than to pick a favorite.
ES: What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever tweeted at you?
KO: Students often tweet that they’ve learned about me in a media or PR class in college or University.
ES: What’s one thing you would never let your kids do online or otherwise?
KO: Look at porn???
ES: Do your kids have Twitter accounts?
KO: The oldest two do, but they never use them.
ES: What’s the first thing you’d say to Leonardo DiCaprio if he called you right now?
KO: “Too late”