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Carol Perkins: Paula Deen

It's a topical story about forgiveness, redemption. Who gets it. Who doesn't. The latter may have better PR people. Carol Perkins thinks Paula should hire Martha Stewart's people
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Richard Duncan recalls 1950s HS gyms

By Carol Perkins

When a little girl comes home from school and says, "No one will play with me," do you really think that's true? Could it be that someone will play with her, but maybe not the ones she wants? Could it be that the ones who do want to play with her feel just as rejected when she turns her back on them because they aren't "cool" enough? Being a girl means a lifetime of drama. Boys, in contrast, seldom care who wants to play with them and often prefer to play alone. At least that has been my observation. All of this brings me to the topic of Paula Deen and the drama surrounding her.

Paula Deen likes people to like her

In the latest edition of People Magazine, a "friend" of Paula's made this statement, "Paula likes people to like her. She hates it when just one person doesn't like her, let alone millions." The need to be liked is in all of us, but the need for everyone to like us is not reality. Everyone ISN'T going to like us and Paula discovered this rather harshly. I think what has happened to Paula is personal; she rose to great heights and the "Mean Girls" (society in general) took her out.

Perhaps the need to be liked comes from past rejection. (I've read her autobiography). Perhaps it comes from an adult world who still doesn't want to play. (I don't have a license to practice.) Sometimes the happiest people are those who don't give a rat's pajamas who like them. It's a matter of wiring. Now, I'm going to try to take this analysis further.

First of all, is there more to the Paula Deen story than an incident thirty years ago? I'm going to Google it now, so I will be back. Give me a minute. . .

When is an incident from 30 years ago forgiven?
It took more than a few minutes to surf through statements but all I could find is that she admitted using the "N" word decades ago and a disgruntled employee accused Paula and her brother of allowing their restaurant to be a racially and sexually harassing environment. She was accused of this; not convicted of this, so none of what has followed makes sense to me.

Paula has apologized for using the "N" word, but she still has been dropped like a melted stick of butter over a homemade biscuit by more than fourteen companies for whom she has generated millions of dollars. Is that fair? At age sixty-six will she have the desire to step back into the spotlight? I would hate to think otherwise, but she may be so hurt and so disappointed that she doesn't have the heart.

Writer thinks she needs to stop apologizing

In my opinion, she needs to stop apologizing. I was embarrassed for her when I saw her on TV so tearful. I thought, "Gee whiz, Paula, don't you know the story about kicking the dog when it is down?" I knew the media would find a big boot and they did. Begging for forgiveness to the "mean" girls (society can sometimes be mean) who won't play with you (your sponsors) only makes them laugh-and become stronger bullies. "Never let them see you cry," often is the best policy, but people react differently to all situations.

Paula needs to hire Martha's people

What is the best avenue now for Paula? After the embarrassment, which she is truly feeling, and the hurt, which she is bound to have, perhaps she needs to get back out there and talk to the talking heads. Use her larger than life personality and be seen and heard. Right now, she is wounded, but there comes a time when the wounds hurt less and the back gets stronger. Success is the best retaliation. Martha Stewart is stronger than ever and she was in JAIL. Paula needs to hire Martha's people.

I think Paula Deen has been wronged. If there is more to the story, then perhaps I am wrong for thinking she has been wronged, but I can't find anything else. Whether a person "likes" her or not isn't the issue. Whether she should have been treated so harshly is the issue. If this can happen to Paula, who is next? I'm sure next week there will be someone in the news for whom the ax is ready to fall. We can be sure of it. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2013-07-07 08:19:32
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