Sometimes you just need to read a fluff book, you know? After finishing the thriller The Wife Between Us, I was ready for something light.
Enter, One Day You'll Thank Me, Cameran Eubanks Wimberly's memoir. If her name sounds familiar, that's likely because you've seen her on TV. She was a cast member on The Real World (San Diego) on MTV, worked for the NFL Network, and most recently starred on Bravo's Southern Charm.
I've always loved Cam. She's fun, spunky, and refreshingly honest. It was cool to hear her behind-the-scenes stories from shows I've watched devotedly.
Chapter one is all about The Real World. She shares her first impressions of her cast mates when she initially arrived to the house.
On page eight, "Our cast had a unique bond. I immediately had a crush on Brad. As a motorcycle-loving boy from Chicago, he was nothing like the guys I was used to in small-town South Carolina. He had a loud mouth, said what he felt and had little decorum. I found him to be very refreshing and interesting! I shared a room with Jamie Chung, a beautiful Korean-American girl from San Francisco who went on to become a successful actress. I was in total awe of her effortless California style - she wore UGG boots before they became a thing. I thought she was just so cool and by the end of our stay, was definitely copying every single thing she wore. Jamie and I still keep in touch to this day."
She also talked about what it was really liked to be filmed 24/7. How hot the mic packs were against their backs, how their bedrooms had night vision cameras and microphones in the headboards, and how there was zero privacy, even to take a shower. Cameran wore a bathing suit in the shower the entire season!
The middle section of the book covers Cameran's dating life, meeting her husband Jason, deciding to have a child, and her first two years of motherhood. There are several chapters about pregnancy, postpartum life, and parenting a toddler. If you're not into that, skip right ahead to chapter sixteen, where she spills the tea about Southern Charm.
I knew that Whitney Sudler-Smith came to Bravo with this idea for a show, but I didn't realize that his original pitch was called Southern Gentlemen, and that the cast was going to be all male. I am so glad that didn't happen! Can you imagine the show without Cameran or Patricia?
I devoured this chapter, eager to hear what it's really like to shoot with Shep, Craig, Austen and the others.
On page 164, "One night Craig, Shep and I made plans to have dinner downtown to talk about what we were getting ourselves into. Gosh, I hope I like these people, I thought on my way to the restaurant. Within five minutes, I knew that the show would probably take off. Both Shep and Craig had that TV 'it factor.' They were both good-looking and tall (a rarity in Charleston), with charismatic and gregarious personalities. Although Shep talked on the phone for half the meal, I liked them both instantly. They also split the check and didn't make me pay, which I thought was super nice. We left the dinner wth an attitude of - Well, here goes nothing!"
Obviously the show has become a huge success. Cameran talks about how in the first season local bars and restaurants didn't want them to come in and film, and now they beg them to.
Later on, she shares the experience of going to BravoCon in New York City, a festival for Bravo super fans. She writes, "It was so cool to meet so many of the other Bravo talent who I had seen on TV. Some were just like I imagined they would be and some were complete assholes. I won't name names, but let's just say I was very disappointed by some of their behavior. I watched a couple of the real housewives act as if they were legitimately A-list celebrities. The nicest housewives were Denise Richards and Teddi Mellencamp, and the nicest cast was from Million Dollar Listing."
So interesting that she applauded Denise and Teddi, both people who are no longer on the show.
My favorite parts of the book were the sections where she clued us into her experience filming. I found the pregnancy and parenthood chapters extremely boring, but that's likely because I am not a mom.
The book isn't very well written, so don't go in expecting beautiful prose. It almost feels more like a diary. If you've watched Cameran on TV, you will absolutely hear her voice in your head as you read.
I did learn one funny thing that she and I have in common. On page 54, "I literally never eat fruit. Ever. I have taken bites and they have all been spit out. I can't swallow it. My body is not capable. No lie: if you told me you would pay me a million dollars to eat a banana or an orange, I couldn't do it."
I'd take the million dollars, but it's nice to have another member of Team Hate Fruit!