I read Vanessa Williams’ book You Have No Idea last year, which is a memoir she co-wrote with her mother. It’s kind of unique in that for many stories “Ness” tells, her mother also gives her view of how it went it down–usually in terms of Vanessa’s romantic relationships and the infamous Miss America/Penthouse scandal in 1984. Because I’m just a few months away from my own book on relationships (from the male POV), I thought I’d highlight a few things Ness said in her book, from and about the men she loved the most.
About her divorce from first husband and ex-manager Ramon Hervey:
“I had become more forthright in my feelings and opinions. I’ve discovered that many women marry men for their potential and pray they live up to the expectations, whereas men marry women hoping they’ll never change and have issues when they do transform and grow.”
Regarding her ex-husband, retired NBA baller Rick Fox, who didn’t want to get married to Vanessa when she got pregnant:
“Men tell you the truth–you just have to be willing to listen.”
The sweetest thing in this book is the relationship between Ness and her dad Milton Williams, who has passed on. He taught her this bedtime prayer:
Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. May love guard me through the night and wake me with the morning light. Help me do the things I should, to be to others kind and good. In all we do and all we say, to grow more loving every day.
There’s nothing boring about Ness’s life, or this book, which is full of surprises about who you think she is. We know she’s driven and talented, but the stories of intimate details–both her take and her mother’s–are pretty insightful.I recommend it to women ages 20+.