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In The News - DailyProgress.com


March 2009

The ‘Proof’ is a mess of options By Mary Alice Blackwell vEven before the Virginia Festival of the Book held its press conference to announce the 2009 lineup, Nancy Damon started talking to me about Debbie Wiener.

Mind you, there are nearly 300 writers converging on downtown this weekend, but the first author that the festival’s program director mentioned to me was Debbie Wiener.


So I come back to the office and the very first publicist to contact me about her client was Sharon Alava. Mind you there are nearly 300 publicists who would like to see stories written about their clients, but Alava contacted me first about Debbie Wiener.


Or were these two women trying to tell me something?

Surely not.

Neither one, although extremely nice, have been to my home.

So, I get a stack of books from some of the authors coming to town — nowhere near 300, mind you — but a stack, nonetheless. Whose do you suppose would be the first one that I open?

Debbie Wiener’s.

Now I am beginning to get a little paranoid.

Wiener, you see, is the author of a guide on how to “Slob-Proof” your home.

I will admit that I had clothes in my closet that dated back to my high school days, which was … more than a couple of years ago. But I also have friends. After trying on every stitch of clothing and awaiting a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, I now have a very slim but organized closet. It was such a success (Goodwill got 10 bags of clothes) that Kathy, Deb, Amy, Anne and I have formed our own little clutter-buster club. So far, we have cleared out five closets and two kitchens.

So there.

Still, I couldn’t help leafing through Debbie Wiener’s colorful softback guide.

She likened herself to Rhoda.

I like “Rhoda.” I actually met Valerie Harper, once.


You are not going to believe this. That was Sharon Alava on the phone. I am not making this up. She wanted to remind me that … Debbie Wiener was going to be at Barnes and Noble at 10 a.m. Saturday as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book.

I told her that you and I were discussing the book, as we speak.

Well, here’s the lowdown:

Wiener owns her own interior design company and, as her publicist noted, she is an advocate for the cleaning impaired and decorating challenged. Her first book, “Slob Proof! Real-Life Design Solutions,” shows how people, even in a waning economy, can “get the biggest bang from their bucks, as well as helping them design rooms that stand up to the biggest slobs: filthy pets, spaghetti-flinging kids, sloppy spouses.”

The Bethesda, Md., author claims she speaks from experience. She noted that she lives in a house full of slobs.

With art she believes in the Rs — re-mat, re-frame, re-arrange. Paint is good, curtains are good. Light is good. Flipping cushions is good, Wite Out is good on white cabinets.

If it isn’t good: Toss it, she says.

Hmmmm. She sounds a lot like my clutter-busters buddies. Maybe we should stop by and see what decorating ideas she has to share. I wouldn’t even mind chatting with her. Of course, I won’t invite her to the office.

My desk is a mess!

Originally published on www.DailyProgress.com March 20, 2009

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