In honor of the late Carrie Fisher, I picked up her audiobook of Wishful Drinking. This was written/performed about 8 years ago after Ms. Fisher went through electroconvulsive therapy, with a side effect of the therapy affecting her memories. So she wrote the show/book to help her remember. I highly recommend the audiobook version, as Carrie reads/performs her own work. We tend to skip around in time a lot, which I suppose is understandable given her condition.
Before I picked this up I really had no knowledge of Ms. Fisher’s personal life. I knew her, as many people did, as Princess Leia. “I quote fictional characters, because I’m a fictional character myself!” She talks about Star Wars a bit, and the merchandising that went with it. (I couldn’t tell if she was sarcastic or sarcastically pleased that she is a PEZ dispenser.) I did not know about her drinking, drug abuse, or mental health diagnosis.
This is mostly very funny, but sometimes it’s in the “If I don’t laugh about it, I’ll cry.” It seems that’s how Carrie viewed life in general. And in her words, “If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”She acknowledges that she had a privileged and awesome childhood in only the way a Hollywood child can. People also seem to trade lovers like Pokémon cards in her life as well. I think a flowchart or diagram would have helped!
*Spoiler alert? Can there be a spoiler alert for a memoir?* One of the saddest parts for me was the story she told about her mother setting things aside for her children for after her death. Because Debbie Reynolds didn’t have to set anything aside for Carrie after all. Carrie seemed to have a lovely relationship with her mother, but they did grow up in different worlds, both from each other and us normal people, and it shows sometimes. When Carrie’s mother is concerned about her daughter’s drug abuse, “…she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.” The casual name dropping that occurred in Carrie’s life was astounding. But the people that are famous and unattainable to us are the peers of the Hollywood elite, and we get glimpses of some of them through Carrie. She certainly holds nothing back.
There were many things that I found quotable in the short book. I’ll leave you with this one:
“Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.”