TV's long-running FAMILY FEUD series isn't about a feud. "Play Together! Win Together!" the website says. The show has been around since 1976, more than half of my life and since my daughter, Tori, was only three.
The series was never about a "feud." It was a game show. My husband, Aaron Spelling, thought the title was brilliant marketing. He was right. For a long time, it even aired back-to-back with Aaron's "The Love Boat" in syndication, fitting together like love and marriage.
My life isn't a game show, but many people think I'm involved in a feud. (I'm not.)
On April 20, USA TODAY headlined a story and chart: "Rating the celebrity feuds. Some are hot, some are not."
I can only speak for my family's "feud." It's only marketing, and my daughter learned well from her genius father. I'm not feuding with my daughter. She just doesn't speak to me. And, she's a good marketer.
Also on April 20, The Independent UK headlined: "Tori and Candy Spelling: the mother of all feuds."
A week earlier, ET ONLINE quoted PEOPLE magazine for its own feud coverage: "Tori Spelling says any so-called feud between her and her mother Candy is greatly exaggerated," it began.
"It's not like we're not talking, we just haven't talked," Tori tells People. "I love my mother. I've always loved her [and] no doubt she loves me. There's no feud. We simply never meshed."
I don't know what "we simply never meshed" means. I thought we meshed well. We certainly enjoyed life together as part of a loving family.
USA TODAY furthered the marketing theory in deciding the heat of celebrity feuds:
"Though they might not be looking for a fight, stars get media heat when they are criticized publicly. What might seem like an innocuous remark could fuel a lasting feud, depending on the circumstances. USA TODAY asks Dina Sansing, Us Weekly's entertainment director, to check out the latest spats."
My daughter and I were one of four "players" on the spat chart. Our "fallout" was rated as "intense."
I read about "meshing" again in Tori's quote in USA TODAY via US WEEKLY's expert quoting PEOPLE Magazine slightly differently than ET quoted PEOPLE. (Who says celebrity media is fading? They clearly all rely on each other.)
"Tori Spelling insists that the supposed rift between her and her mother, Candy Spelling, isn't nearly as bad as it has been made out to be. 'It's not like we're not talking, we just haven't talked," the actress tells People. "I love my mother. There's no feud. We simply never meshed.'"
The other feuds, by the way, were Madonna vs. the paparazzi, Lindsay Lohan vs. Stevie Nix and Jamie Fox vs. Miley Cyrus. Who knew they were all related? Only Tori and I would have been eligible for the game show; but we're not feuding, so would we really be eligible?
I always thought it took two to feud. I think of vendettas and blood feuds and Hatfields and McCoys, not of my daughter and me.
I've told "Extra," "Access Hollywood," "The View," "20/20," Larry King, Chelsea Handler and "People" there's no feud. My daughter just refuses to speak to me, and she's using not "meshing" as the reason.
My emails and postings are filled with heartbreaking stories from other mothers and daughters who have strained relationships. I'm sorry my daughter and I do, and I hurt for the hundreds, maybe thousands, of others who've written to me to tell me their stories.
I'd love to mesh for Mother's Day and beyond. Now that my daughter has agreed with me and denied there's a feud (which was a heck of a marketing vehicle for her TV shows and books), maybe she'll define mesh for me. I'm ready. Let's mesh. This is meshuga to live this way.