Tova Leigh | You Did What | MomCave LIVE
Tova Leigh, best-selling author of “F*cked at 40,” has a brand new hilarious book out. Tova and Jen chat live about confessions, outrageous stories, and how YOU can win a signed copy of Tova Leigh’s new book!
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Tova Leigh on MomCave LIVE (Transcript Below)
Jen: I’m Jen from MomCave. And this is MomCave Live where we may have lost our minds, but not our senses of humor.
I’m live with my buddy Tova Leigh, who is with us all the way from the UK. And if you don’t know who Tova is, you’re gonna wanna go and check out her page right after this, because it’s, she’s “Tova Leigh My Thoughts About Stuff” on Facebook, which kinda started as you know, your funny mom page and it went viral, but now it’s so much more.
Tova Leigh: Thank you so much for having me. I was just saying it’s been so long actually since I’ve seen you, since we’ve spoken. I was so happy when you messaged me, and really grateful actually that you, wanted to have me on your live. So thank you.
Jen: You’re very welcome.
So, Tova’s first book was “F*C-K-E-D at 40.” And it’s a wonderful thing to celebrate the fact that you are over 40, as am I, and we’re just gonna admit it and like own it and live with it.
Tova Leigh: Oh God! I love being in my 40s. I honestly do. It’s so far been my favorite decade. Like it’s the, yeah, it’s the “F it Decade.”
Jen: Yeah, because if it does matter, then F it, why like waste energy, time, thought?
Tova Leigh: Exactly. I feel like the fact that I’m running out of time.
Jen: I know that’s the worst. Like the person who’s always like death is near. I don’t have time for it.
Tova Leigh: Oh, yeah exactly. It’s getting near. And some people might see that as something quite morbid and depressing, but I find it motivates me, really. Thoughts about death motivate me.
Jen: I love it. See, you can have dark thoughts and laugh about them .
Tova Leigh: I just think that listen, soon, I’ll be able to really say more past than future and I need to get on with things. I’m not gonna waste my time on through, you know things, that don’t matter. So yeah.
Jen: Things that we’ve wasted our time on are insane. Like, I would’ve been so much more successful if I didn’t waste my time on worrying about boys-not even men- boys, or like, you know, my outfits or something. That just took up a lot.
Tova Leigh: When I think honestly, about the number of hours, days, years that I probably spent trying to calculate how many calories an avocado actually has.
Jen: Like how avocados are healthy. Yeah, they have that, but it’s not like you were trying to calculate a Big Mac!
Tova Leigh: Yeah.
Jen: Just shows how like obsessed. Anyway, we digress.
Tova Leigh: We’re really old.
Tova Leigh’s NEW Book
Jen: Yeah. We are here really to talk about Tova’s new book, which just came out. Didn’t just come out this weekend or?
Tova Leigh: It literally came out last week on Tuesday. So not even a week. It’s not even a week old. It’s a new baby.
Jen: Unlike brand-new babies, it doesn’t like keep you up constantly, right?
Tova Leigh: No, not at all. It’s the best baby I’ve ever had. It sleeps through the night.
Jen: It doesn’t wreak havoc on your body. Tell everybody, what is “You Did WHAT?: Secrets, Confessions and Outrageous Stories from Real Life?”
Tova Leigh: It’s basically a collection of confessions. I can’t take full credit obviously for this book because it’s confessions from real people from all over the world that were sent in. So mostly from my community, which is the nicest community in the world. They really are. And they sent in so many confessions and wanted to be part of the book. So it really is a collaboration. And I wrote this intro.
Jen: So how did you get them? Did you just ask your whole community online to send you confessions?
Tova Leigh: Yeah, I don’t know if you remember, but I used to do Pajama Party on Facebook. Do you remember?
I did Pajama Party every Friday night where people would send in confessions. I went live on Facebook every Friday and read out those confessions. It was a really good way to sort of pass a Friday night.
But very soon I discovered that A, people have the same secrets and B you know, the truth will set you free. Once people kinda shared their secrets, they really felt much better about themselves because you suddenly realize that everybody has the same secrets and the things that you hid because you thought they were awful or you were embarrassed by are not actually not as bad as you thought.
And then I thought, this would be a really good book. Like this would be great if we could keep it, and people would have it to be able to sort of look at it and read. And that’s when I asked the community, “Do you think this is a good idea? Like, would you wanna take part in it?” And I was really chuffed when they said, yes.
Jen: About how many confessions are in the book?
Tova Leigh: So, the book has around 350 confessions, I think. But there were thousands that we went through before we sort of decided on these confessions and each confession in the book I think represents a lot of confessions that were very similar, you know. Because that’s the whole point. These are things that I heard over and over again from people.
Jen: And are they only confessions from women or do you have confessions from men as well?
Tova Leigh: Yeah, so, I mean, I really wanted confessions from men and women and, you know, from everyone basically. It was open to anyone, but I think women are just more, I don’t know, maybe honest or open or–
Jen: Emotionally intelligent, available… Yeah.
Tova Leigh: Talkative.
Jen: I don’t think my husband is watching this right now, because I can hear him on the phone, so like, I can just talk shit.
Tova Leigh: So yes. So it’s mainly women is my answer. I think there’s like three confessions from men in there and I don’t even know if it’s necessarily clear which ones those are, because some of them don’t necessarily say, you know, who it is. You get an idea if it’s a woman sometimes, but, yeah it’s mainly women.
Jen: Okay, I’m gonna ask you about a few of the confessions. So what would you say is the funniest confession in the book?
Tova Leigh: Oh, it’s hard to say. I think the funniest section of the book is the Bodily Fluid section.
The “Bodily Fluid” Section of Tova’s New Book
Yeah, I mean, honestly, I didn’t think that at the age of 45, I’d write a book that had a Bodily Fluid section, but do you know what? Everybody has a really good- I don’t know if “good” is the best word-but a really funny, oh, you know, poop, oops, kind of story. If it’s poop or some other–
Jen: Any of the fluids really, you could have a story about!
Tova Leigh: Yes, and I think that that section is probably the funniest. I mean, we’ve had people confessing to pooping, you know, in handbags.
Jen: Oh, my God!
Tova Leigh: Yes. Desperate times, right outside of moving vehicles. There was a great story from a lady who said that she was so desperate. Like she was locked out of her house. Couldn’t get in. So she desperate had to go, so she pooped on her doorstep because she had like no other choice and then forgot to clear it the next morning. A neighbor, oh, my God! And then she pointed out the poop and she had just stand there and tell him the story about it being a fox.
Jen: That’s believable.
Tova Leigh: Very, I know, very, very funny stories. We’ve also had some period related stories that I won’t even tell you, but like very funny stories in that section. I think the parenting confessions are very funny as well. Lots of parenting hacks, like the stuff that people tell their kids, like just, you know, to make the day just a little bit easier is just so good. So good, you know, like lots of funny stories about the ice cream van and what people tell kids when they hear the music. “The ice cream ran out!” Or when someone said it’s not an ice cream van, it’s an egg van.
Jen: A lot, of these things are like up as soon as your kid learns to read or tell time.
Tova Leigh: Yeah, yeah. Someone also said that actually her son was 13 and he was, you know, he obviously he’s older now. Like he’s 27. He’s a dad himself. Like he turned out okay–I just wanna make it clear… When he was 13, and he was going through a rough patch. Like he wasn’t, you know, he’s being a little, you know, a little, what can I say? ‘Cause I know you don’t swear on this show. So a little–
Jen: I’ve loosened the rules greatly. He’s was being a little shit.
Tova Leigh: Yes, a little shit. Okay, so his mom told him she was gonna give him up. She was gonna find a foster family for him. He reminds her of that until this day.
And I just wanna say, the key by the way to confessions is you have to read this book and remember that the number one rule about Pajama Party was always, “No judgment.”
Tova Leigh: It didn’t matter what I read out. People were not allowed to judge because that was the whole point, you know. That was the whole point to be able to say those things, that are gonna be so shocking, you know, and no one would judge you. And people really listened, like they were up for it. Every now and then you’d have, someone go, “Oh, well, I don’t know…” but everybody just kind of ignored that and we’re not gonna go go there, you know. So there are also some dark confessions in there.
Jen: That was my next question like, that’s where I’m gonna go. What was the darkest confession?
Tova Leigh: Yeah, I mean, you know, people talk about tricky relationships, not being completely sure of their life choices. So for example, with regards to parenting. How they feel about you know, being parents, which is hard to read when you are a parent yourself, you kinda go, oh my God.
So yeah, so we had some kind of like, I think more serious confessions, you know, people living in relationships that they’re not necessarily happy with or living even double lives, you know, kinda having to prove that they’re one thing when in fact they were not either, you know. People who have fallen out of love with their partners, but stay in relationships because of X, Y, or Z, you know, questioning whether or not they should have had a family. Yeah, people who’ve had children and that they know are not their partner’s! But they’re partner DOESN’T know.
Jen: Oh my God! I can’t imagine living with that.
Tova Leigh: Yeah, lots of really, really heavy stuff and secrets. A lot of big weight to carry actually. Again, without getting into any judgment or to any like backstory, it really was about them being able to say that and just put it somewhere. And I can’t even tell you again, how many of those types of confessions we had. Like the ones that I put in, honestly, we had a lot of those, like they were, it was common.
Yeah and also, you know, a lot of moms talking just about the grind, like how they feel about being torn between, I love my kids and I want to be a mother, but I feel like I’ve lost myself. Sometimes, I’m like, “I don’t know who I am.” Like sometimes I hate it.
You know, like I think when you are allowed to say things anonymously, you allow yourself to say it, you know. And yeah, and that was interesting. And I wanted to include those confessions. Like I sort of debated, do I just wanna have a book of lots of funny things- and it is, I think the majority of the confessions are funny- but it was important to me to put in some of those as well. Pajama Party was exactly like, most of the confessions were funny, but nearly every Friday night I would share one confession that was really serious. And usually, that confession won because I think people really appreciated the vulnerability and how raw people will allow themselves to be, because it’s very rare, you know. It’s very rare, yeah.
Jen: Because of the judgment. I mean, that’s why like, the Catholics have their confessional. I’m not Catholic, but whether you are religious or not, it’s like therapeutic, right? To just say out loud, something you’re feeling guilty about or bad about totally.
Okay, so anyhow, did you include any of your own confessions?
Tova Leigh: Yes, totally. Every section starts with an introduction for me and in that introduction, I reveal all. So I reveal the latest confessions, and I’ve shared bodily fluid confessions. Honestly, I didn’t think, I was gonna have much to reveal because I think like, I revealed quite a lot in my first book. But you know, I dug deep and I did find a few stories that people didn’t know.
Jen: Is there one you’d like to tell us?
Tova Leigh: No, you have to read the book.
Jen: Buy the book people, buy the book.
Yes, and I think I put the link to buy the book in one of the first comments. So you can go find them. Oh no that, I have the link to your first book. Let’s put the link to the second book. Is that there too? You know, they really shouldn’t allow 40-year-old women to do like, this technical stuff.
Tova’s Book Tour and “Special Toys”
Jen: So have you planned a tour for this book yet?
Tova Leigh: Yes, so I really wanted to come back to the States because obviously with “F*cked at 40,” I did a tour in America and it was amazing. North America was just fantastic, and it was just before the pandemic. But this time around, I’m gonna stay low key and I’m doing four shows in the UK starting next week. My first show in London is next Thursday. So I’m super excited about that.
Jen: So where are the shows in the UK? Are they sold out? How do people get tickets?
Tova Leigh: So the first show next week is in London and that’s nearly sold out. There’s literally a few tickets left, so people need to hurry for that one. And then there’s the following week in Birmingham. Then there’s Manchester and then there’s Glasgow. And I think there are tickets for all those venues. But I think the VIP potentially has run out in some of those venues.
Jen: That’s cool, what is a VIP ticket? Like do they get to meet you?
Tova Leigh: The VIP ticket includes a copy of my new book. Yeah, a meet and greet and a special toy.
Jen: A toy?
Tova Leigh: A toy.
Jen: It’s THAT kind of toy, isn’t it?
Tova Leigh: It’s not a fidget spinner, which by the way, someone confessed to playing with a fidget spinner.
Jen: That’s seems very economical. You know, like buying your children’s toys and your toys… It’s a little bit like they might need therapy later, but.
Tova Leigh: There was another woman actually that confessed that she once– Again, I don’t know how clean we’re supposed to be on this show-but she once opened. She saw a really strange video on her iPad. She opened only to then see a video of her own mother playing with herself on camera.
Jen: Oh, my God! Like that’s something I just need to unsee you know. I would be happy, like, wouldn’t you be happy for your mom? I’d be happy for my mom that she knew how to please herself.
Tova Leigh: Like, “You go, girl!” No.
Jen: I had a friend in college who- remember when “The Rabbit” came out and it was like .
Tova Leigh: Yeah.
Jen: The rabbit was a sex toy. And it was on “Sex and the City,” and all that, and it was really famous. Well, she asked her mom for the rabbit WINE OPENER, which is a totally different thing. The Rabbit Wine Opener really easily opens a bottle of wine, easier than a corkscrew. So this girl asked her parents to get her a Rabbit Wine Opener for Christmas. And when she unwrapped it, her mother had bought the wrong rabbit!
Tova Leigh: Oh wow.
Jen: That would be pretty awkward.
Tova Leigh: Did she open it like on Christmas day, you know, with all the family?
Jen: Yes in front of the whole family and grandma and grandpa and everything. And I think there might have even been kids there. Like how do you explain?
Tova Leigh: Fantastic.
Jen: We have to make a sketch of that sometime. So we’re gonna give away a copy, a signed copy of “You Did What?” To someone who’s watching, who leaves us the best secret or confession in the comments. So we have comments over here on Instagram and comments on Facebook, and leave us a comment about your best secret confession to win a signed copy.
Tova Leigh: I love that. So can they send in confessions about anything? Can the comments, be like information about anything?
Jen: Oh, yeah. I think we should say anything. It can be from anybody and it can be a funny confession or a serious confession. But then you and I will pick the best one and you know, sign a book for them.
Revenge Confessions and Stories
Tova Leigh: I love it. Oh, I love that. I love it. You know, what other really popular confessions we got and there’s a whole section of that we didn’t discuss and that is revenge stories.
Jen: Oh, do you have any.. Like one you can tell me, short one?
Tova Leigh: Yeah, people are very creative. I mean, all I will say is this, do NOT leave your toothbrush unattended with someone that you have pissed off, like don’t do it.
The thing that people get up to with other people’s toothbrushes is quite extraordinary.
Tova Leigh: And also there was a lady- oh, I love this confession-who confessed that she had a really annoying boyfriend who used to criticize and comment on her cooking. I mean she was so nice, she cooked for him and he still had, you know, he had complaints, right? So he was a jerk. And specifically, it was very specific. He did not like the egg sandwich that she used to make for him. And he used to say that she puts too much pepper in it.
So one day, one day she took a bunch of hamster poo. They had a hamster and she collected the hamster’s poo and she chopped it up real small. And she sprinkled on the egg sandwich. And he ate it, and not only did he eat it, in fact he said, it was the best egg sandwich she ever made!
Jen: Did you know if she ever told him that he had had the hamster poo?
ova Leigh: This is the thing, you see a lot of the confessions you read and you laugh and you go, “But what happened, what happened later?”
Jen: What happened after? Because yes, it’s satisfying to know that somebody ate the hamster poo, but it’s much more satisfying for them to KNOW they ate the poo!
Tova Leigh: Exactly I know.
I feel very unsatisfied in a lot of the confessions I wanted to know more. Like I wanted to know did the person find out? I wanted to know like, what happened next? Did they break up? Who broke up with who? Like, I wanna, I really wanted to know more about the stories.
So this is actually a project that I’m trying to develop now is really to kind of pick my favorite, like stories, the ones that I really wanted to learn more about and just develop them into longer stories, like a longer format. That’s a longer format, you know?
Tova Leigh: And I feel like, I don’t know I want it to be a book like I want it to be, I want to WATCH it. I wanna watch these people go on and on through life lessons. Like it’s scripted, right?
Jen: Well, we could do a live on here? I will cross-post that. I will send that to everybody. And yeah, like everybody just has to have their beer or their glass of wine. So they get a little loosened up, they get on camera and then you ask them what happened afterward.
Tova Leigh: Yeah, ’cause I wanna know what happened to the hamster, you know?
Jen: Oh, the hamster, I wanna know, did the man like get sick you know?
Tova Leigh: Yeah, oh, there are so many things I wanna know.
Jen’s Embarrassing Bodily Fluids Story…
Jen: So many questions. So many. Okay, I’m gonna tell one of my embarrassing stories that I thought of earlier, which was, it’s a bodily fluids story.
So I was driving in my car to an audition, which was about two and a half hours away. So there was a ton of traffic, so I’m waiting in traffic, I’m stuck in my car for hours, not moving. And I had to pee so bad.
So for like two hours, I held it and I just tried everything I could to like distract myself, jump up and down, whatever. And it was so bad and there was no way I could pull over. There’s no shoulder. There’s car here, car here, a car here, and I had a diaper in the back.
And I actually took my baby’s- the baby wasn’t there-just the diaper. I took the diaper and sat on it. And I felt very clever in the moment and like, wow, this was using my brain and I fixed the problem and all, but then I told my family about it and they were like, that’s disgusting.
Tova Leigh: So let me tell you something. I’ve heard that confession, there are people who confessed. And actually, there is that confession in the book. Like, that you’re not alone. You are not alone.
Jen: Like if your choice is between peeing on yourself from your car seat, and you have a receptacle that is designed to hold urine, you might as well use it.
Tova Leigh: I think that if diaper companies would read my book, they would realize that this could be used as a strategy, you know, to sort of, when you’re trying to promote your product, you know. You can say it and if you’re ever stuck and you need to pee, you can just pee into the diaper. Like that can be it, you know.
Jen: Yeah, so it’s like a dual, another dual purpose thing. That’s for the kid AND the mom, like the fidget spinner.
Tova Leigh: Bringing it back to the fidget spinner.
Tova Leigh: Obviously one of the biggest sections in the book is the sex and relationship confessions. And a lot of the confessions going back to parenting were being caught by kids, right? Or walking in on your own parents, which is also bad. Yeah, lots of those.
When Kids Walk in On Parents Having Sex…
Jen: Yeah, I don’t think our kids have ever walked in on us, thank God. When we did a renovation on our house, the first thing on the list was locks for the upstairs. Because we didn’t have locks. So now we have the locks, but I’m trying to think. I’ve always like thought that if they did walk in on us, we were like, grab the covers really fast and just say something about wrestling to see if that flew.
Tova Leigh: So, I can tell you that this is in the book. I confess that I got, we got, we were caught. So unlike you, we’re not smart and did not put locks on our doors. And we also have the sort of the, we have, we basically failed to establish any type of boundaries in my house. So my kids had no idea what privacy meant.
And one night we were having sex and we were underneath the covers, ’cause you know, it was married sex after all, but it was good. It was good sex. And you know, and I had my eyes shut.
And the next thing I know, I hear, I hear a sound that honestly, no parent wants to ever hear when they have sex. I heard, “Mummy?”. And my daughter, who was nine at the time, was standing right here. I’m not even kidding like, she was at the end of the bed, looking straight at me.
And I, just froze. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t even shout, yell, send her back to bed, cover myself up, like nothing. And all I was thinking was, how do I minimize this trauma?
Tova Leigh: And then the next thing I know, she smiles and she looks at me and asks, “Mummy, is this sex??”
Jen: Oh, that’s the sweetest.
Tova Leigh: I mean, it was like, she was watching a documentary on the “National Geographic,” channel you know. And she was like, “Is this it? Is THIS what it is?”
So at this point, I sent her back down and I won’t bore you with the whole story. But the gist of it is that, you know, after about 15 minutes we were convinced she went back to bed and we decided to carry on, but really quietly, okay. And we did very nice.
And then we finished and then I hear her from outside the door. “Goodnight, Mummy.” I know. Mortified! But this isn’t the worst part of my confession.
The worst part is that the next day, I decided to have a conversation with her because, when in our house, I really do try to normalize everything. There’s no taboo, talk to me about whatever. So I’m like, I’m not gonna not pretend like this didn’t happen. We’re gonna have a chat, right? So we have a chat and it goes really well. And I take advantage of the moment that I can now say to her, listen, when mommy and daddy’s door is closed and knock on the door and all that type of thing.
And then I asked her, “Do you have any questions?” And she says, “Yes, I’ve got one question, why did you sound like a zombie?” And I was like, why would we, and then she proceeded to make this sound, which honestly haunts me till this day. She went–(Tova makes crazy noise.)
Jen: Oh, my God! It does kinda sound like a zombie.
Tova Leigh: I mean, there’s nowhere to go from there. Like, there’s nowhere. Never, I mean, years of therapy, you know, years of therapy.
Jen: The best thing about this story is hearing it in her British accent. So whenever you tell it, play up the accent because that just makes it so much funnier.
Tova Leigh: No, she told me, “Mummy mummy, why did you sound like a zombie?”
Jen: Oh my gosh, okay. So I could talk to you forever. And I said, we will go for less than 30 minutes and it’s been 34 because this is fun. We have lives and families and work. Everyone, you gotta go buy this book it’s on Amazon and all the places. “You Did, What?: Secrets, Confessions and Outrageous Stories From Real Life,” by our favorite buddy, Tova Leigh. And if you leave us a secret or a confession in the comments of this video you could get a signed book from Tova. So, yeah.
Tova Leigh: Amazing. This goes to everyone, I can’t wait to see what people send in.
Jen: Cool, okay. Well, we’ll get back to that later. Thank you so much for talking with me Tova.
Tova Leigh: Thank you so much for having me. Really, it’s been so much fun.
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