I’ve got to say that iPads are great for depressed people. Instead of having to sit up, switch a light on and expend energy to actually turn a page, you can just lie flat on your back in the darkness, and swipe a finger across the screen. And so it was this morning when I woke up, reached for my iPad and, in a lame attempt to feel connected with the world, checked Facebook to see what my friends were up to.
One of them had posted a link to a site about the apparently now infamous Samy and Amy Bouzaglo. Since I don’t have a TV, I was unaware that this couple, and their restaurant, Amy’s Baking Company and Pizzeria in Scottsdale, Arizona, had been featured in the season finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Their claim to fame is that they are the only restaurant that Ramsay has ever walked out on, saying that both of the restaurateurs were too difficult to work with. Now, I think that Gordon Ramsay is an arrogant, narcissistic bully, but, well, he definitely has a point. See the craziness for yourself (this might be the best TV you see all year!): Part 1 and Part 2.
Not content with humiliating themselves on TV, Samy and Amy had a massive Facebook and Reddit meltdown in which they decided it would be a good idea to respond to trolls using poorly spelled and punctuated rants written in crazy-people capital letters and filled with cuss words – well, except for when they were referring to themselves as “children of God”.
There can be no doubt about it – Amy and Samy Bouzaglo are both bat-shit crazy, but it seems that Amy is the one who has received the brunt of the online attacks. OK, OK, I admit that it’s hard not to hate on a woman who miaows like a cat to express her love for her feline “children”, and who verbally abuses and fires staff on a whim. However, what about Samy Bouzaglo? He nearly gets into an actual physical fight with a customer he’s trying to eject from his restaurant. He’s every bit as fucked-up and crazy as his wife but, as usual, people prefer to take a pot shot at the “crazy bitch”.
Amy and Samy are both adults, so it’s fair to say that they are responsible for their own actions, and the consequences that ensue. Their antics make for great TV because it’s entertaining to see two people who are so comically and tragically lacking in self-awareness and self-control.
Once I’d stopped being amused, though, I realized that we’re really just laughing at two people struggling with a mental illness. God knows what’s wrong with Samy and Amy, but, hell, there’s something wrong with them. If you stop laughing for a second, I think you’ll see that there’s genuine pain and fear in Amy’s eyes. She can’t handle Gordon’s criticism because she so desperately needs to believe in the very flimsy “self” that she’s created for herself that he’s trying to tear down.
Amy’s story has affected me because I grew up with somebody really like her – my mother. And, oh, I know somebody else she reminds me of – me. We’re all bitchy, fucked-up women with mental health problems. Just a few days ago, I was wondering to myself whether you could call my mother a “nice person”. My gut instinct was to say “Hell, no!” but then I realized that I can’t tell which part of my mum’s personality is really “her” and which part is her mental illness. I think that, deep-down, she is a sensitive, vulnerable person but there is so much shit piled on top that any good inside can’t get out. All you see is the “crazy bitch”.
I doubt you’re reading this, Amy Bouzaglo, but if you are, I want you to know that there is one person in the world who doesn’t hate you. I hope that you get the help you need because it surely can’t be fun being you.