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My amazing, kind, intelligent, funny, sexy husband, we need to have a little talk.
Our relationship is based on trust, understanding, and mutual respect. You are the love of my life, the father of my children, and one hell of a babe. With all this in mind, I feel we can have the following conversation without anyone’s feelings getting hurt and move forward in a positive direction, strengthening our bond and our marriage along the way.
Just in case there has been any confusion, or if my swatting you away and hissing, “I literally just fell asleep, dammit!” has been in some way unclear, let me state the situation to you emphatically and with my utmost certainty.
When I put on my pajamas, crawl into bed, turn off the lights, roll over to my side, and pull the blankets up around my chin, the Sexatorium is closed. My vagina is in sleep mode, and if you try to disturb it, all you’re getting is that frustrating low-battery symbol that lets you know that charging is happening and must happen before you can turn me on again.
I am not averse to sex. I love it. I love it with you. But I also love sleep, and I need sleep. Once it is in my sights, there is no turning back. You can dangle a glowing, shiny, explosive orgasm directly in front of my face, and the only reply you will get is “turn that shit off.”
Do not nudge me. Do not poke me. Do not queue up any Barry White on your iPad. I will elbow you right in the nipple. I had my dentist make me a mouth guard specifically to avoid this situation. Putting that monstrosity in my mouth should convey the same message as a neon, blinking motel sign, sparking out before it turns dark.
My day was spent cleaning our house, which was clean before I went to bed last night but somehow managed to look like a frat house by lunch today. It was spent making food for our children and then supplementing my own nutrition with their leftovers over the kitchen sink before we ran out the door, almost definitely late to wherever we were going.
It was spent smelling something foul and then trying to find the source of that smell. It was spent driving to various errands and pickups and drop-offs. I’m sure your day was long and hard and — Oh! Sorry! I know I’m not helping. Sorry.
Anyway, your day had its challenges — I am sure. And I understand and sympathize with that. I’m not saying that because I am tired I can’t have sex, because I am always tired. I don’t want to never have sex. I just don’t want to have sex when I am on the brink of some relief to my ever-growing sleep deficit. You may not know this because you have been gifted with an innate ability to fall asleep before I can locate my pajamas on the bedroom floor, but sex wakes me up.
That PTA mom who makes Wonder Woman look like a lazy slob? I know her secret. Sex at bedtime and Adderall. Girlfriend does not sleep. That’s why her pupils are so dilated. They’re full of secrets. As I am without Adderall, I am sorry to tell you that sex alone cannot sustain that kind of sleepless lifestyle.
Any other time of day, literally any other time, I’m down. Jump in the shower with me in the morning. Baby’s down for a nap? Let’s go. Put on that show that I never let the kids watch because it’s a 23-minute toy commercial, then run to the bedroom and lock the door because we have exactly 23 minutes. GO! Let’s bang it out during any of those or one of the countless other moments in the day when I am not drifting off to sleep.
Even the moment directly before I climb into bed is up for grabs. If after brushing my teeth and examining my pores like I’m going to find a pair of unicorn LuLaRoes in one of them, I come out of the bathroom and you’ve got “Let’s Get It On” blasting out of your iPad, then I say, “Yes! Let’s! Hell, let’s twice.” But that moment is the last of the evening in which the possibility of sex is still on the table.
This is not a rejection, rest assured. This is self-care in its most basic form. I am just trying to get some sleep so I can do everything I did today again tomorrow. But remember, this is not forever. I am not forgetting to put you on tomorrow’s to-do list.
Your adoring, tactful, gentle, delicate, well-rested wife
Dear Full Night’s Sleep,
Hi. It’s me. It’s been a while since we last saw one another. I have so much I want to say to you. It’s hard to know where to start. So I guess I’ll start with the obvious.
I miss you. I miss you so hard it hurts.
Things just haven’t been the same since you left. I don’t feel like myself. I’m a little lost, to be honest. You were the glue that held me together, and now it’s like I’m fraying at all ends. You knew how to put a spring in my step — without you I find myself dragging through the day. You were always just what I needed at the end of a hard day. Now I can barely make it through the not-so-hard ones without you.
I didn’t know how good I had it when I had you. You treated me like a queen, and I never appreciated you fully. I should have woken up every morning and thanked my lucky stars to have you in my life. I should have never complained when you weren’t perfect. I should never have taken you for granted.
I feel silly saying this, but I can’t stop thinking about you. I relive our time together and fantasize about you constantly. When I’m staring into the abyss of my kitchen sink, or trying to keep my patience with a whiny child, or being woken at 2:00 a.m. by a kid with a nightmare, I find myself getting lost, imagining you in my bed one more time.
I spend more time than I should daydreaming about a clandestine rendezvous with you. Maybe in a hotel room somewhere? Someplace quiet, away from it all? I imagine what it would be like to bring you into the bedroom, close the door, and let you have your way with me. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?
I wish I had known how much I was going to miss you. I wish I had figured out a way to keep you here a little longer. I wish we could have one more glorious night together, just you and me. I’d give anything to make that happen. Anything.
I know that sounds desperate and pathetic, but I don’t even care. I’m past the point of mincing words. I need you. I need you. I don’t know how to go on without you.
Please give me a glimmer of hope that we still have a chance. Please say it was all a misunderstanding and that you’re going to come back to me soon. Please. I am begging you. I can’t live day after day not knowing if I’ll ever see you again. I can’t.
Please come back, Full Night’s Sleep. I beg of you, don’t leave me like this. I’ll do anything.
Every Sleep-Deprived Mother on God’s Green Earth
When I heard you utter the words “affordable, quality child care for all families” at the Republican convention last summer, I literally stood up and cheered in the middle of my living room. It’s one of the many, and arguably one of the most important, issues facing working families. These are the families whom I care deeply about and have been fighting for over the last decade.
Quality child care is high-quality early childhood education, and it’s one of the best investments we can make as a society. Research shows that for every dollar spent on early childhood education the economy will see upwards of a 13% return on investment. Child care has always been a nonpartisan issue and has seen its fair share of changes — from World War II when universal child care was available to the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
Unfortunately, what we have not seen is many substantive changes for working families in need of child care. We know that more than 11 million children under age 5 are in child care right now. That means that for working families, child care is required. And yet child care is unaffordable and completely out of reach for families in 49 out of 50 states!
The Trump child care plan bases the value of a household’s deduction on that household’s tax bracket. This means that individuals with an income of $250,000 will receive a higher deduction than family’s making $50,000 a year. The table below best illustrates this.
Let me use my own family as an example: My partner Aaron and I have two children, both in child care. Luckily, we both have good jobs with benefits. Even so, we have only recently been able to tuck away a few dollars towards savings. We would receive a tax rate of 25%, while families making far less would only have a tax rate of 12 percent. This means that families struggling far more than mine will get far less assistance than we will. The bottom line is all families, particularly those who are hurting the most, deserve to get the help they need.
So don’t start with a family like mine…
Start with families who are working but still living in poverty, or are just trying to make it from one paycheck to the next. These are the families with lower incomes who need high-quality child care as a means to better their children’s long-term outcomes. They are struggling with other household expenses and can’t afford to add child care to the mix. A family of three in Massachusetts living at the poverty level would have to pay nearly 85% of their income for full-time center-based care for just one infant!
Start, too, with single parents. In every state, the average cost of center-based infant care exceeds 24% of a single parent’s median income. The financial math works against them.
Start with millennial parents. They are saddled with mountains of education debt and are putting off buying homes and having families. Estimates reveal about 1 out of 4 postsecondary students are parents — and many of those students are millennials trying to improve their circumstances.
Start with families who need child care coverage during nontraditional hours. They are working when my family is sleeping or relaxing. They work the night shift, or on weekends, or they have shifts that change by the week, and they have little to no quality child care options to support their work schedules.
Start with the parents of children with special needs who can’t find access to critical services at an affordable cost, if they can find them in their area at all.
Start with parents from rural areas. They are experiencing child care deserts (areas where the supply of quality child care doesn’t meet the demand). These parents cobble together temporary or unstable arrangements just to get to work or school.
And of critical importance, please start by investing in the child care workforce across the country. It’s been researched that half of the people who provide care for our nation’s children are living in poverty. They are woefully undercompensated and undersupported, even though they are critical to the quality early learning experiences children need to be ready for school and life.
Ivanka, I appreciate and respect the attention you are bringing to this critical issue, but don’t make this a winning issue for only some us — all of us need your support.
Investment in early childhood education is a win for children.
Investment in early childhood education is a win for families.
Investment in early childhood education is a major win for the economy.
Join us in the fight for quality, affordable child care at childcareworks.org.
I was looking through old photos the other day when I found some of us. As I looked at our smiling faces, I found myself wondering about the people we were back then. We were younger, smaller, and wilder, of course. We were also idealistic, naïve, and carefree.
But even amidst our startling immaturity, there seemed to be a keen and inherent understanding that we would, quite simply, always be us. You were my person, and I was yours. It was just that simple.
Remember all those years ago back when we still had time to watch Grey’s Anatomy, and Christina told Meredith that she was her person? All the world wiped their tears and hugged their BFFs because we got it.
Over the years, life has gotten more complicated, busier, messier. But that simple truth remains: You are my person. You always were. You always will be.
These days there are fewer photos of us. There aren’t as many photographic images of our friendship in its current state. Our friendship seems to exist in a series of text messages, which would tell you almost everything you need to know about our friendship. Almost.
The text messages would tell you that we sometimes “talk” all day, with running conversations that consume our data plans. There are also long stretches where we don’t talk at all. There are the “love you” and “miss you” and “remember when…” messages. There are expletive-laden texts with a single F-bomb containing a multitude of emotions. And I suppose there are a few photos too. Nostalgic photos from back in the day. Photos of shoes with fashion questions. And photos of LOL-worthy memes about being friends for so long we can’t remember which one of us is the bad influence. (Side note: It’s you.)
These text messages would tell you a lot, just like the photos from our younger days would tell you a lot as well. They would tell you that we both know, with a certainty felt deep down in our bones, that we love each other and miss each other so much it physically hurts sometimes. They would tell you that we are always thinking of each other, though life gets busy and overwhelming sometimes and we lose touch for a while because we know that when things settle down and we have a minute to catch our breath, we will pick up right where we left off, like no time had passed at all.
These messages would tell you that it takes no less than 113 texts to plan a girls’ weekend and dozens to make weekend plans for lunch and a pedicure. They would tell you that friendship is our lifeblood.
Yes, our text messages (and our emails too) can tell you a lot, but they won’t tell you everything.
They won’t tell you how I sometimes lie in bed at night and remember the days when girl talk was as simple as walking down the hall or meeting at the corner bar. They will tell you that I miss you, but they won’t tell you just how much I miss you. They won’t tell you that I’m sometimes worried about what time and distance will do to us. And they won’t tell you that sometimes I worry about whether there will come a time when can’t be each other’s person anymore.
We are different now, with fuller lives and saggier bodies, but the core of what makes us friends is the same: love, respect, understanding. Sure, we still share beauty tips and fashion advice. But these days there is less intensity to these conversations because we know that, in the grand scheme of things, wrinkle cream, skinny jeans, and heel height don’t matter all that much — not when our conversations are also about things like cancer, depression, and aging parents.
We still disagree, but we don’t fight or nag. We still let loose together, but nowadays, it’s with a few extra mimosas at brunch instead of stumbling home at 2 a.m. We’ve still got each other’s back, but it’s hard to imagine that those fresh-faced girls we were back then could have expected that having each other’s back would include things like chemotherapy, infertility, and the shitstorm that is parenting.
Back then, we thought being each other’s person meant standing up in each other’s wedding (which we did) and being forever friends meant wearing purple hats over our gray hair and laughing a little too loudly during martini-laden lunches. Because we were going to be that kind of old ladies. Being forever friends would be effortless, easy, and natural.
But with all that daydreaming and reverse nostalgia, we failed to realize that life is messy and hard, like really fucking messy and really fucking hard. We forgot to acknowledge that staying forever friends takes time and effort and a whole lot of grace and forgiveness. We didn’t really think about what it means to be each other’s person.
But somehow, in some way, we’ve figured it out. We find the time for each other even though it’s never as much as we’d like. We put in the effort because it’s worth it to be together. We muster up grace and forgiveness because that’s what you do when you love someone.
We talk on the phone when we can. We text and email. We see each other as often as possible, which is never as much as we’d like. And I think of you all the time.
Because even though things have changed, and our friendship is different, you are still my person.
Eleven years ago, you opened your door with a smile and open arms. You were overjoyed that your oldest son was finally visiting from college — and, holy crap, he even had a girlfriend!
“She’s the one,” he told you a few days before we arrived. I can only imagine the thoughts that ran through your mind as you dusted off baby books and prepared your family’s famous homemade soup. Were you scared? You didn’t act like it. You swept me into your arms with a squeeze and ushered us inside for a weekend of fun activities.
Me, a wide-eyed Southern girl, yearning to make a good impression. You, the coveted stamp of approval.
I instantly adored you.
Sure, there was a natural tension between us, but you tried to make it less so. We strolled and talked for hours. We chatted about family, our interests, my future aspirations. We joked about football rivalries and dove deep into the nuances of politics. We even discussed our faiths.
We were quick friends.
The day of my wedding, I remember watching my husband dance with you. Your face was glowing with joy, but there was something else there too. Sadness? Nostalgia? Insecurity?
I should’ve paid closer attention.
Years later, after the birth of our first, you swooped in from out of town and took over: cleaning the kitchen, cooking, washing the breast pump. You offered so much help that, at first, I was floored by your generosity. But three weeks later, it became clear you weren’t planning to leave. When asked about your return ticket, you said you didn’t have one.
“I was just waiting for y’all to say you didn’t need me anymore!” you chirped.
At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on why those words bothered me. But they did.
Fast-forward to today.
You just walked out of my house after what can only be described as the visit from hell. From the hour you arrived, I was counting the minutes ’til your departure. Throughout your visit, you butted in on our parenting, claimed the kitchen, and established yourself as the woman of my home. You chastised me for waking my husband up in the morning to help with the kids. You advised me that our discipline tactics weren’t working. You even asked if we “ever intended to potty train” our toddler.
I swear I almost threw a rock at your car and screamed “Never come back!” when you left, which I realize is totally bananas considering I kissed your cheek and asked you to come back soon.
My, how far we’ve fallen from casual strolls and homemade soup.
Here I sit, running it all through my head, trying to understand what the hell has happened between us. I realize some of this is my fault; I suck at boundaries. But this? This is miserable. I don’t want to hate having you around. I want to give you the same grace and love that I received so many years ago.
So, in that spirit, I guess it’s time to have this talk.
*deep breath, here we go*
I love you. I respect you. And I know that you’ve raised two wonderful children.
But for the love of God, let me raise mine.
I’ve always welcomed your opinion on so many things: the sale rack shirts at Ann Taylor, vacation plans, where to buy tires. Our friendship is something precious, but there are lines you can’t cross without damaging it.
To be clear, those lines are drawn in big fat crayon around my children.
This means you don’t get to tell me what my children should or shouldn’t eat. You shouldn’t laugh at the fact my oldest is still rear-facing in his car seat. You shouldn’t casually mention that your sons played outside unsupervised at 3 years old (fine, I hover). Don’t pipe in that our preschool of choice looks dated and dusty.
Are you hearing me? I sure hope so.
It’s fine that these are concerns of yours. Heck, they are concerns of mine. But as the mom of this household, I can assure you that our parenting choices are intentional, vetted, and made as a couple. I’m sure this will probably shock you, but your “gentle recommendations” feel like judgmental intrusions. You know there is nothing as intimate, personal, or high-stakes as parenting. Your son and I are doing the best we can. Your unsolicited feedback feels like criticism. It isn’t welcome.
And there’s something else. I know it will hurt to hear this as much as it hurts for me to say it, but your parenting job is done. Your son is a wonderful man.
He doesn’t need raising anymore, Mama. And his kids? They have a mother. *waves*
Remember that time you stayed around “just waiting for us to say we didn’t need you anymore”?
Well, we actually don’t need you anymore.
Don’t leave yet.
Because, here’s the thing: We still want you.
This has been a hard talk, and I know we will both need some time to process. So can you do me a favor? In a few weeks, pack up your car and come back for a visit. When you arrive, I will sweep you up in my arms with a squeeze. I will make you my family’s favorite homemade soup. We can take a casual stroll and talk about life, sports, and politics. We can sit on the back porch and watch the children play, and maybe dust off some of the baby books and laugh.
Because the thing is, I love you. And I know you are an amazing mother.
I’d just prefer that you remain an amazing friend.
I’ve been meaning to share these thoughts with you for some time, but I’ve been a little bogged down with years of sleep deprivation, cleaning up messes, providing taxi service, and navigating kid crises. You know how that goes. You’ve been through all of this yourself.
The first thing I want to say is thank you for doing all of those things. Thank you for all the mom duties that I always assumed came naturally and didn’t realize required Herculean effort some days.
Thank you for nursing and rocking me when it felt sweet and nurturing as well as when it felt like you were being suffocated by my needs.
Thank you for comforting me when I was sad, playing with me when I was happy, and teaching me when I needed to learn — even on days when all you really wanted to do was lie down and sleep for a few uninterrupted hours.
Thank you for sacrificing your time and energy to raise me. It never dawned on me that you could have made another choice, or that you may have wondered some days what your life would have looked like without me. Not that you would have ever considered that possibility for real, of course. I know how unfathomable your love was and is for me. But I also know how motherhood messes with your identity, and how you literally traded in one life for another when I came along.
Thank you for finding ways to make money that allowed you time with us when we were little. I learned from you that there are ways to make things work with a little creativity and willpower. And thank you for going back to school when we were older. I learned from you that it’s never too late to start a career or to follow a passion.
Thank you for teaching me to say “please” and “thank you.” Thank you for picking up my strewn Cheerios and dropped sippy cups five hundred times. Thank you for sitting me in front of Sesame Street when you needed a break. Thank you for driving me to drill team practices and homecoming dances and sleepovers. Thank you for all of it.
Now that I know what the years of my childhood fully entailed on your end, thank you for your incredible act of motherhood.
But I’m not done there. Because along with thanking you, I now know that I really, really, really owe you some apologies.
I’m so sorry that I got mad at you when you wouldn’t buy me those name-brand shoes I wanted even though they cost three times as much as the ones without the little blue label. I didn’t realize how much financial sacrifice motherhood entailed and how much of a life lesson you were teaching me by not giving me what I wanted.
I’m sorry for every time I whined. Holy gracious, am I sorry for that.
I’m so sorry for all the times my brothers and I bickered. I never realized how freaking annoying that was, and how it hurt your heart to hear your children not getting along.
I’m sorry for every time I relentlessly begged you for things at the grocery store.
I’m sorry for every time I didn’t pick up after myself.
I’m sorry for every time I complained about food you set in front of me.
I’m sorry for every snarky or disrespectful attitude I ever threw your way.
I’m sorry for any time I pushed you away as I got older. I don’t even remember if I did, and I know that it’s a normal part of growing up, but I had no idea how painful the letting-go process is on this side of it.
I’m sorry for not being outwardly grateful and appreciative for everything you did for me. I’m so, so sorry. And so, so thankful. You were a great mom, and any greatness I can claim in my own motherhood is owed to you.
Thank you so much, Mom. And I’m so, so sorry.
Repeat a million times for eternity.
Your Daughter, Who Finally Understands
You are a man now, yes.
But I am still your mother. And as you well know, I will always have something to say.
Because I love you.
As you venture off into your bold journey through life, remember to savor the love you sow, wherever you go. And you do indeed sow love — I’ve seen it. Continue to champion the noble efforts of others. Be sure to show kindness and work to uncover the good, for there is so much good in people, places, animals, and things.
Your job is not your life. Developing your life is your job, and yours alone. It is not the job of others to make sure that you are happy and fulfilled.
Be an active participant in government. Vote. If you have a vision for the future, share it. The future does not conjure itself. It takes the young, the willing, the smart, and the able. Most of us oldies are jaded by now, so step in and step up.
If she says no, it means no. Don’t sulk. She needs to trust your motives. She needs to give herself to you freely. Her heart is as fragile as yours. Strive to put her pleasure before your own. Yes, always.
Tell her you love her. Your actions will show her, that’s true, but say the words out loud. She needs to hear them more often than you think. Pull her in when you say it, and don’t avoid her eyes.
Do what is right and honest when you are faced with a choice. Don’t be a sneak. No one likes a sneak.
If you’re worried or uncertain, ask yourself what your father would do. Because you know what he would do, and that will give you strength. Unless it involves fixing something. If that is the case, don’t do what your father would do. Call someone instead.
Scientologists are wackos. If you are looking for religion, go for a hike outside. You just might find God in the woods, amid the trees and bees.
Being a man doesn’t automatically mean you’re in charge. If you understand that, you will understand half of what life has to offer. Yes, only half. The other stuff you’ll have to figure out along the way.
Show your feelings. It’s okay. It’s always okay to show sensitivity. Son, you are not made of stone.
Give a speech. Make it a good one. And by good one, what I mean to say is make sure it incorporates a poignant, personal anecdote and something humorous. Tie it all together at the end.
Be slow to anger, and save it. Save your anger for the important stuff. Judge not, lest you be judged. Be part of a solution. Any solution.
Lift weights a couple of times a week. And for heaven’s sake, eat some spinach.
Remember that there are, indeed, a variety of spices other than red pepper flakes.
Your work ethic will tell the world more about you than your words or your money ever will.
Wear a suit that fits.
If babies enter the still frames of your life, playfully hog them. Hold them. Change them. Rock them. Feed them. Sing to them. Whisk them away. Become a human recliner and let them sleep on your chest while you kick back and watch sports. Do this while the beautiful lady of the house who made you a daddy takes her naps. That beautiful lady will need lots of naps. This is where your work ethic will come in handy.
Make good on your promises.
Keep writing. Writing feeds and waters your soul. You’ve been a writer since you were able to hold a pencil, and I still have all of your unpublished masterpieces to prove it.
Do not cultivate any kind of belly, beer or otherwise. It doesn’t matter how small. Back away from the bar or the buffet, and go do something else.
Take risks. Calculated ones. Jump. Dive. Plunge. Just go there, down the path that is littered with challenges big and small. Risk your heart, risk your security, risk it all. Be vulnerable. Do it while you’re young.
Navy blue looks great on everyone, especially you, but of course when I look at you, I am blinded by stars, so I’m probably not the one to ask.
Travel. Visit the whole, wide, vast, and wondrous world.
Life’s many doors will open if you remain open. When facing adversity, try to think about what the problem is trying to teach you. It is indeed the human way to take the easy way out of bad situations. Sometimes we must remember to rail against the human way. The easy way out is forever the way of cowards and fools.
Inside your heart, carry with you the good, honest, decent boy you’ve always been.
Call home. Come home. Call me — it’s not a crime. I’m your mother, and I love you.
Don’t forget, I was there when you toted your white, stuffed “puppy” friend around under your arm. I tucked you and that little puppy into bed each night, covering both of you with dinosaur kisses. And I was there when you lost him at the mall. I lead the frantic search to find him, and I didn’t let you give up until we did.
Dear son, please know that if you are ever lost out there in the world, I will help you find yourself again.
Because I am your mother, and I will always have your back.
By now, you’ve probably watched at least one minivan video, recorded by moms with edgy opinions and paisley scarfs. So I guess this is a thing now, and maybe I should just accept it because it’s clearly not going anywhere.
How did this all start? I imagine some mom got annoyed one day because the grocery store cashier didn’t triple-gold-star-free-toilet-paper-for-life her coupons or some shit. So she stomped her yogi butt out to the Odyssey, hopped on Facebook Live, and proceeded to tell all of her friends at once. And her family. And her ex-boyfriends. And those two girls she worked with for a month at Aeropostale back in 2006.
Why bitch to a store manager when you can bitch to everyone you know and your aunt’s childhood neighbor, all at once?
Then a bunch of other moms were suddenly hit with moral outrage over something dumb their teen said in the car on the way to Kohl’s or got bit by the life lesson bug sitting in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, and they had to let us know.
Not by writing it down. No. These were urgent thoughts, and there was no time to scream at autocorrect or figure out commas. This social commentary had to be captured via the art of motion picture!
Then Chewbacca Mom exploded onto the scene, went crazy-viral, and made George Lucas and Hasbro a literal shitton of money. The floodgates opened, and soon enough, every Melissa, Kate, and Tammy saw a path to fame via the suburban version of the sex tape: moms in cars videos.
Now, look, I’m sure we all have super controversial or profound original thoughts we’d like to share with the world. But can we hit the brakes for a minute and acknowledge that these are not the spontaneous bursts of social commentary they’re being presented as?
I mean, please Becky. You’re telling me you wake up two hours earlier than your kids every morning to shower, then blow-dry and curl your hair before you contour the wine bloat out of your face, put on clean clothes, and tie a scarf in a bunch of decorative knots around your neck?
Because none of you look like you just rolled out of bed for elementary school drop-off. We have already established that to be a task performed in your pajamas while wearing sunglasses to hide yesterday’s mascara smudge.
I literally can’t with these car-video moms. They pretend that their diatribe was inspired so swiftly that they had to pull over into their local strip mall parking lot. I’m not dumb. I know the real reason is that parking spot has the most flattering lighting at 2 p.m. on a Sunday when you’re actually recording this shit.
We know the truth: The only spontaneous acts that occur in the front seat of a Toyota Sienna are screaming at that dickhead who cut you off and plucking chin hairs at a red light.
So listen, ladies: Mom-to-mom, can you just cool your damn jets with these scripted speeches on the moral failings of store-bought cookies at your church bake sale? Or how, unlike that other mom you saw today, you are hashtag-blessed with a little angel who doesn’t eat food from the grocery store before you’ve hit the checkout?
You can act all high and mighty. You can plan this shit out weeks in advance and make an appointment to have your face airbrushed up like a spring break T-shirt. You can google “production value” and find out whatever the hell that means to make sure your video has it. But don’t think for a second that we are buying this as “improvised.” I’ve seen Star Wars droids that sound less robotic.
And look, I’m all about sharing your experiences and airing your grievances. (Clearly!) But the blatant commercialization of talking to your friends? Whether or not you end up getting paid, these videos reek to high heaven.
All I’m asking is be real and stop it with the manufactured outrage.
Your front seat is not the confessional from The Real World so stop treating it like one. Can we just go back to doing normal stuff in our cars, like eating fast food and then tossing the wrappers in the nearest dumpster and pretending it didn’t happen?
Fine, go ahead and hop into your RAV4 to tell your iPhone camera about that woman who didn’t like your videos.
She can shove it.
I’m so sorry. You made quite the run as an athlete without any major injuries, or at least any that required surgery. Getting old is the worst. It’s going to be rough having to rehab and not be able to life an active life for the time being.
But I’m more sorry for me.
You see, we have three kids (the oldest being 4) and a two-story house. Neither of those things are changing when you get surgery this week. While you are drugged up and watching Netflix, I’ll be managing the kids.
Recovery is going to look a bit different from what it would be if you had done this before we had children. I probably would have taken some time off work, given you a bell to ring if you needed something, rented movies, cooked for you, and written encouraging notes on Post-its stuck all over the house. Instead, you will need to set your own alarms for when you need to take pain meds. I’ll put a case of water and snacks on your nightstand, and I’ll see you around 7:30 p.m. — best of luck. See, I didn’t drop out of nursing school solely because of anatomy and physiology. I also discovered that compassion isn’t exactly my part of my gift set.
Also, if you by any chance have a secret wife I don’t know about, now is the time to come forward. I’ll grant you complete amnesty because I could really use her help the next couple of weeks.
Next, we need to discuss your athletic endeavors moving forward. This injury took place while playing adult league flag football. There were a few problems with this: 1) You never played football growing up, 2) we live in Texas where football is life and everybody who played in high school was bound for the NFL until some coach didn’t see their true potential, and 3) you were playing with 20-year olds.
Whoever says 30 is the new 20 is not talking about playing sports. Thirty don’t play.
There are lots of ways to get exercise. We are surrounded by running trails, we belong to a gym, and we have three small children you can chase. In the future, if you could stay in shape by doing things that involve running in a straight line, that would be fantastic. You can run races, do triathlons, or even the MS 150! However, if it involves cutting, 20-somethings, or keeping score, the answer is a firm no.
We will get through this. But as a small request, if someone asks you what they can do, please let them know they can bring dinner, take a child or two or three, or give you a ride to work.