LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jill Kargman knows what it's like to be an ill-fitting peg, an experience she brings to brilliant comedic life in Bravo's "Odd Mom Out."
The sitcom lampoons snooty New Yorkers whose parenting skills are not enhanced by their wealth, in contrast with the comfortably off but un-posh Jill Weber (Kargman) and her freewheeling, openhearted style.
The fictional Jill is a married mother of three, as is the real-life one, and they're equally funny and sharp in their ability to observe and cope with life's challenges.
It wasn't always so, said Kargman, as the show she created and stars in returns for its third season at 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday on the Bravo channel, best known for its reality shows. Episode one is online at BravoTV.com.
"I didn't have that 'brash' at 28. I have it now that I'm 43," she said, recalling one painful mom-on-mom confrontation with her trademark candor.
It occurred at a dance class for her daughter, Sadie, when Kargman called her over to join in a parent-daughter circle on the floor.
"I said, 'Sadie, come sit down Indian-style. And one of the moms said, 'That's really offensive. Now one says that anymore. It's 'criss-cross, applesauce' now,'" Kargman recalled.
"I apologized and went home and starting crying," she said, at which point her husband told her to makes notes about that moment — thus giving birth to "Momzillas," a 2007 collection of essays.
Kargman, whose latest book is "Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave," is far better equipped to deal with life's curveballs — which she's learned can be the same wherever or whoever you are.
She's heard that from people who live in small towns in America or cities abroad and who say their experience echoes hers despite its Manhattan setting. It's the same message she gets from gay admirers, who see in her a soul mate.
With that in mind, here are Kargman's universal tips for standing tall when you feel small:
— Make one close friend, or maybe a handful.
"That's all you need," she said. "I don't have a mass of people. Find friends, stay loyal to them. That will protect you. The friendship vault has to close and only open for really special people."
— Help your children learn to navigate the world by being open and keeping it in perspective for them.
"That continues to be a struggle," Kargman said, especially given her family's proximity to great wealth. She recalled daughter Ivy, then 3, asking why she was the only mom "who doesn't have red bottoms on your shoes?" — translation: why no Christian Louboutin heels?
"I didn't know whether to be proud of her powers of observation or horrified that I'm raising her in that kind of environment," she said.
Kargman told her daughter it was because she doesn't spend a thousand bucks on shoes and never will, adding that some people "want to all be the same because they feel part of something" but that her goal was to be an individual.
— Don't live and die by your looks.
"People say to me, 'Don't you get nervous dancing with your cellulite" showing, a reference to such "Odd Mom Out" scenes in which Jill indulges in enthusiastic, underwear-only shimmying at home.
"I don't give a (expletive) about my body. I do not care about my jiggling stuff. ... I'm a mom, what do you expect?" she said, adding, "Who am I trying to impress? Nobody."
— Make sure your kids understand the artifice of perfection.
While she enjoys social media for allowing her to stay in touch with friends and family and providing a "keyhole into people's lives," Kargman is concerned by overly doctored and curated posts.
"My daughter will say, 'Look how skinny she is' or 'Look how pretty she is,' " Kargman said.
She's got a ready reply.
"I'll say, 'That took 30 selfies, two filters, a beautify app, and it's all a facade. As Chris Rock said, 'It's the ambassador of themselves, it's not their real self.' "
Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.