03/10/2008 08:22 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Get Your White On, Margaret Seltzer

OK, Margaret, you have a lot of white going for you already. Next to Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, Margaret "Peggy" Seltzer is about the whitest name this side of Sherman Oaks, your true homeland. Now that you've been outed as just a plain old Nilla wafer like me, and not the thug-life baby gurl you played in your book, Love & Consequences, I thought I'd be the first to say, welcome home to whitey-town. But it seems you need a re-immersion in what it means to be a moderately educated white child of the comfortable class, with all the liberal pretensions you so obviously have: our mores, habits, cultural touchstones. Think of me as the "Big Mom" who'll embrace you, our wayward girl, back into the warm bosom of white-hood in 7 easy steps. But watch out. I'm going to be on your tiny white ass like white on rice.

Step 1: Meet Your New O-riginal Gangsta.
Watch Oprah as if your deeply troubled soul depended on it, which it does. Now Oprah may be too middle-brow for a fancy-pants private school girl like you. But there is no one with a more comprehensive grasp of the white American woman than Oprah: the prescription pill-popping, the runaway shopping binges, the bored-stiff husbands, the flopping white rolls of fat. She's the passport to your true past, and future, as a loud-and-proud white girl.

Step 2: About those black friends...
For many of us white-folk, Oprah is really our only black friend. If the black "homies" you have are real, by all means, keep them. But if not, you can do what most of us white girls do, and feel like we know black people through famous ones. Aside from Oprah, there's Randy Jackson, Barack Obama, the two black guys from The Office, Tyra Banks, Whoopi Goldberg, and for us white parents, DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba.

Step 3: Get a New White-Lady Cause.
You claim to mean well, but if that's even true, you've over-identified with your inner-city cause, certifiably so. As for me and many of my fellow white-women friends, we enjoy supporting far-flung disasters from a comfortable distance, say, several continents away. How about the scourge of untreated obstetric fistula in Africa? There seems little likelihood that even you would be so attention-starved as to pretend to have a hole in your netherparts that leaves you continuously incontinent, with your pit bulls following you around, sniffing you. Right? Well, umm, maybe I shouldn't give you any ideas. Forget I said obstetric fistula. Tell you what: for my white-girl posse, there's no better field guide to worthy, exotic causes than the intrepid Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. He's da bomb!

Step 4: Must-read Mo.
I know this might be a slog, but while you're reading the Times at that Starbucks you frequent (Starbucks is good, keep going, lots of white people, and white-girl music there, Cat Power, Jack Johnson and much, much more), you must read columnist Maureen Dowd. Here, you can get many of the white-only pop culture references that you'll need, and some really clever puns. Miz Dowd must have watched a lot of Sex and the City (might want to rent that too.) She also has a barely suppressed volcanic rage of indeterminate origin, and this is very white-girl. I, too, have this volcanic rage.

Step 5: Quit yo jibba jabberin'!
I listened to you for a fanciful hour on public radio, and I must say I was impressed by your urban vernacular. But, of course, I'm an aging white girl, what the Sam Hill do I know? I'm not saying you have to lose all of your beloved phrases. You just have to do it the way white girls do when they want to appear sassy. The phrases, like "da bomb," and "Jibba Jabba," should be at least a decade old or rarely if ever used by actual inner-city residents. You should say them with perfect diction, for ironic purposes (did they offer diction at Campbell Hall day school? Gorgeous campus, by the way. Not like my crap-hole urban high school.) But a proper white girl should never, ever use these phrases with actual black people, even if it's, say, your roommate at Princeton who's from Scarsdale. They might think you are, at best, a fool, or at worst, a racist, which, of course, Peggy, you are not.

Step 6: Eat Pray Love
This book is by us, for us. Wait, I mean, for us, by us, FUBU. Read it. Live it. Downward Dog it. Share passion for it with white friends. 'Nuff said.

Step 7: Talk the talk, but you don't have to walk the walk.
You may fervently support quality public schools for all, but if want to send that adorable child of yours to private school, we white women will politely forget you ever mentioned that whole public school rant. Then you need to act like getting your kid in is about as important as brokering a Middle East peace deal. Ask your pasty white parents. They must know all about this.

It may be a tough and boring road for you, without those gunshot wounds and helicopter-hovers that seemed to liven up your drab suburban life. But we're here for you, Boo. And if you miss your mythic past, you can always watch your fave episodes of The Wire on demand.