I wonder how people manage to keep things secret. I haven’t had much luck with it. Once I threw my husband a surprise birthday party and two different friends of his called him to ask, “How do I get to the place where your surprise birthday is going to be?”

Granted, both of these guys have been stoners for years, but you’d think that even in a stupor people would realize that an invitation with the words, “SHHHH – IT”S A SURPRISE!” would know not to mention it. It’s one thing to let something slip, but there was no excuse for that, and it caused me a lot of misery.

Since my husband knew, but I didn’t know that he knew, he thought it would be funny to torture me by driving down to the beach that day with one of his friend’s to go crabbing. They left early in the morning and while they were on the water, his friend kept trying to get him to leave, but Esso said things like, “It’s such a nice day, let’s just hang out some more. You don’t have anything planned for tonight, do you?” When they finally left to come back home, he wanted to stop and eat, stop and buy beer, etc. Julius, the friend, sneaked off and called me to report that they were still in Tillamook and he didn’t know WHEN they’d be home.

I was, of course, a nervous wreck, because we hadn’t made “plans.” We’d talked about going out to eat with some friends but hadn’t firmed it up. I thought this would make things seem less suspicious. Esso finally called and said he was too tired to go out, and that he’d rather just stay home and order a pizza.

The inability of those two friends to keep a secret caused me a whole day of torment and agony. One of them had the gall to show up at the party pre-intoxicated. He parked himself in front of the microphone when it was time to roast Esso and rambled incoherently about who knows what until I bitch slapped him. Not really. I politely nudged him to the side and announced that they were going to take the food away, but he certainly deserved a hefty smack.

The reason I thought about this subject was because I was watching Biography and it was about Paul Newman. Some gossip columnist back in the day kept saying that there were rumors of trouble in Newman’s marriage to Joanne Woodward. For those of you who don’t know who she is, I can tell you that she’s this gorgeous, very classy actress. By sheer coincidence, people have told me I look like her. However, I think she looks like me.

Newman and Woodward got fed up with the rumors and took out a full-page ad in some newspaper saying their marriage was just fine and the gossip columnist needed to go bungee jumping without a cord. They didn’t say that because Joanne would have been way too classy, but they said something, believe you me.

Movie stars have the paparazzi and everyone else watching them, so I can’t imagine how they keep secrets, but they certainly try. When they get discovered doing something like having an affair with the nanny, they first deny it over and over. Then evidence starts piling up, for instance the nanny shares intimate text messages from the alleged perpetrator. Still the star denies it, though not quite so forcefully. “I did not have sex with that woman,” they say, then add, “not that I can remember.”

Another thing that’s interesting, when I was younger everyone thought I looked like Sally Field. People told me that all the time. Now she looks older than me, so I’m glad they’ve changed to Joanne Woodward, who is, as I’ve already mentioned, quite a looker.

Pssst – Can you keep a secret? I didn’t think so.