Category Archives: Righteous Indignation

Seriously, I hate you.

I first noticed the bane of my existence, Franny and Milhouse (names invented since I don’t actually know their real names) about a year ago when I moved to the damn suburbs and had to start taking the train into work.  The express train I take is about 35 minutes to downtown.  The first time I saw them, they had walked up to the front of the car near the doors of the train about 15 minutes before we got into the station.  Franny had a worried, sad expression just like Droopy Dog.  Her husband was by her side with a look of concern and deep, deep, deep, deep enduring love on his face as they stood there, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes.  On a train.  At 7:15 in the morning.  And as they stood there staring at each other, at times he would softly kiss her forehead and sometimes they would hug, and then they would always go back to looking into each other’s eyes and always with the same expressions  — she looking forlorn and somewhat constipated and him staring at her like she is an orphan about to die of starvation.  All this, standing there in the middle of the aisle on the damn train in front of about 50 people.

So the first time I see this, I think “God! Was she just diagnosed with terminal cancer or something?”  These two are fucking intense.  I wonder if it bothers them at all to stand in front of all of the sleepy, seated commuters on a train for 15 minutes and make slow, sad love to one another with their eyes? But maybe something absolutely horrible has happened to them and they don’t even care because they are so traumatized.  It’s kind of embarrassing for them, and me, but I’ll let it go.  I hope she gets cured.  I hope they stay together.  They are so obviously in love.

And then the next day came and there they were again doing all the same shit. And then the next day, and the next.  And after a few days of this, I’ve had enough. It was all I could do not to stand up and scream “Get a fucking room you silly stupid ass wipes! What the hell is the matter with you?”

Nobody could convince me that Franny has ever smiled with her eyes in her entire lifetime. Ever. Franny must be the most depressed, victimized, Eeyore-like person in the universe.  She better have a fucking crazy tough life carrying around that constant pained expression and sucking any positive energy out of the entire train car, leaving a vacuum of desolation and depression.  I think that Milhouse is under the impression that only his dutiful hugs and kisses  keep her from committing suicide every morning and I find myself praying that one day he would stop and let her get it over with so I could enjoy one single fucking day on the train.

If I had to spend more than 4 minutes with Franny I would probably eviscerate myself with a fork  just to get out of her path of misery.  There were times when I felt bad for Milhouse because he has to tend to the needs of the most high maintenance, soul sucking individual on the planet. But then it dawned on me that he doesn’t have to. He LOVES this. This drama played out every morning. He is addicted to this woman’s dysfunction.  I mean, he is as jacked as she is if he has the stomach to be replaying this scene over and over every. single. fucking day in front of an entire train car of people who want them both dead. (I haven’t taken a poll, but how could my fellow commuters not be as infuriated by this shit as I am?)

So I switched train cars to get away from them.  Their shenanigans made me feel homicidal thoughts for the first time in my life and I was worried for their safety. I started day dreaming about punching her in face until I couldn’t see it any more and I’ve never had thoughts like that in my life.  I was scared and surprised about my own visceral reaction to these two. I mean, why do I hate them so thoroughly with my whole being? What about them loving each other sick is so abhorrent to me?

Well, I had to make this stop, so I switched train cars to avoid them.  And that worked! For a day.  But on the second day in my new car where I could feel calm, peace and love?  Oh shit. Franny and fucking Milhouse apparently decide to move a car up, like they are stalking me, and once again in front of an entire train and hold each other and kiss each other and look intensely at one another in the eyes.  Sometimes she would whisper something and then his concern would grow and he’d rub her back and brush the hair from her forehead. Or he would cup both of his hands around her little face and whisper something back. I’ve never heard a single word of what these two are saying, but I imagine in a Mystery Science Theater sort of way that she’s like, “My little toe hurts again. I’m not sure if I can make it.” and then he says, “Darling, if I could take your pain away I would. But instead I’ll just treat you like a sick infant, and I’ll be concerned for your life 100% of this train ride. I love you, Schmoopie.”  and then she looks down sadly because Milhouse should have said something else like, “Darling, I will get down on my hands and knees and suck on your little toe if that will make it feel better.” But he didn’t, and so she must mope some more, all alone in this world and so very sad that her husband isn’t taking her pain away.

So now what? I could not shake these two, but I finally felt grateful I had gotten myself knocked up with kid #3 and finally I could go on maternity leave and Franny and Milhouse and all of their infinite problems they are solving with their intense, infinite love on the train each morning would disappear.  After a week or two, their specter no longer haunted me and truthfully, I forgot all about them. I was sort of busy.

Seven weeks later,  I go back to work and I have to drop my baby girl off at daycare and I’m a mess and as I’m walking to the train station, some guy runs past me like he is trying to beat the world record in the 100 meters. And lo and behold – I recognize him. It is fucking Milhouse.  Seriously, God? Today? These two? Fuck me.

So where the hell is Franny? I thought she and Milhouse were Siamese married people.  How does he expect her to survive without having his face within 6 inches of hers?  “Maybe they divorced!? Maybe she is finally dead!” I thought hopefully.  Well, that would not explain why he was running so fast with his messenger bag flopping all over the place.  He must have dropped our Franny off at the station and went to park the car and though the train wouldn’t be arriving for another 12 minutes, he was running like it was leaving the station.

Yup. Franny was standing there waiting for him with an expression on her face as if he accidentally poured cyanide instead salt into the soup and she was really serious today about jumping in front of the train because of his inadequacy. Very disappointed in him. He didn’t run fast enough I guess. Or perhaps he had screwed up everything already that morning, putting her in a fragile state that only staring into his pleading eyes would ever remedy.  UGH. Kill me now.

But then they did something I could not believe!  They separated for a few minutes! Each lined up on the platform so that they were each on one side of the throng of people waiting so they could hedge their bets so when the train pulled in one of them would be close to the door and could snag a seat where they could sit together.  So clever. I think they were probably texting the whole time just to ensure that Franny was okay as she stood waiting for the train 12 feet and 12 bodies away from her husband.

I realized then I had only seen them in that last half of the ride but apparently, they have to sit together on the train (of course) and if they can’t find a suitable seat where they can sit together, she sits down next to a random stranger and he stands there in the aisle, holding her hand, rather than finding another seat himself. I mean AREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?! These two have no shame. That guy has no balls. It makes my stomach turn.

So now you know about Milhouse and Franny. I’m sorry to tell you that there is no happy ending to this story.  They still ride the train with me every morning. I have switched cars to be even farther away from them, so my mornings have been filled with peace, optimism and calm for the most part because they haven’t found me yet.

But, the story has taken a sad twist.  Franny appears to be pregnant.  I pray for that unborn child everyday.  I cannot imagine the hell on earth that awaits that child when she meets her mother.  I don’t think there is any way in hell that this is going to turn out well for that kid, because her mother’s needs are so vast, I’m sure the baby’s need for food and nurturing and love pale in comparison.  And watch out Milhouse! You spend more than 3 minutes with that child and enjoy it, Franny will have your ass on a platter. You will wish you were never born.

But the good news for me is that this baby might just mean that Franny and Milhouse will no longer ride the train together because she will be institutionalized and he’ll have to stay home with the baby and I can finally get on with being my loving, kind self again. I love happy endings.

Shit my psychic says

First of all, I would just like to say that psychics???   Are the shiznit.

I’m not that concerned with whether they actually have a sixth sense and can talk to dead people or tell my future, as long as they put on a good show.  For $100 I want to walk out of the psychic’s den convinced that she knows more about my life than I do. It saves me A TON of time from having to figure out my own shit and it is even more entertaining than a Kardashian wedding.

When I was a freshman in college they used have this ‘psychic fair’ once a month at the run down Holiday Inn in my hometown, which is likely ground zero for the modern-day bed bug infestations. I can’t tell you how many times I drove by the little yellow plastic sign that read simply “PSYCHIC FAIR” that they would plant in the front of the hotel and wonder how insane it was that I had never gone in, given my inexplicable, irrational and as yet untested love for psychics,  but one spring break when I was home instead of in Cancun with all the normal college sluts kids whose parents didn’t mind bankrolling the drunken unprotected 3-ways their daughters were initiating (but I’m SO not bitter), I went for it.  Armed with the $20 I earned for the day at my minimum wage job channeling Al Bundy and selling $250 pairs of hiking boots, I was determined to see what my future had in store since obviously it wasn’t Mexican tequila shots and drunken unprotected 3-way sex.  Maybe a psychic could confirm the spiritual connection  that my soul shares with Oprah’s.

So I go for it. I follow what seemed to be 600 little signs with arrows throughout the whole fucking building and wind up in a small, dingy room where there were like six self proclaimed psychics just sitting at these conference room tables just waiting for bitter coeds whose parents weren’t paying for them to be in Mexico for spring break like everybody else’s parents were.   I’m not going to lie – I was pretty disappointed that none of them had big swami hats, playing flutes to snakes coming out of baskets, but it was a fucking Holiday Inn in suburban Chicago – not 7-11. These psychics actually looked more like the people my parents played bridge with than the freaks I was expecting. A little anti-climactic to say the least.

So I sit down with this lady who reads tarot cards. And she had me shuffle the deck and blow on it and probably she took some blood or something, but it was a long time ago, so I’m a little foggy on that. Anyway, she puts all the cards out and tells me that I’m going to marry a man from Boston who is very tall, has black wire rim glasses and eyes bluer than mine.  In other words, not Brad Pitt.  And not my boyfriend that I was madly in love with who was not tall, not from Boston, wore contacts and had brown eyes.  I felt bad for him. Apparently neither he nor Brad was going to get to marry me.  It had never occurred to me that this may not have been all he ever dreamed of.

She said some other shit too and I’m sure I took notes afterward, but I somehow cannot find this info in my journal.  But I remember the part about my future husband, because it was very jarring for my 19-year-old self to fathom that I wasn’t going to marry my 19-year-old boyfriend.  It would be safe to say I was more naive than Dakota Fanning at that time, who was about 10 months old.  Yeah. I know. I’m not sure I’ve ever dated anybody for longer than 4 hours before I began to think about our future marriage. I had no concept of what ‘casual dating’ was and still can’t wrap my head around one night stands. This might have been avoided had I gone to Mexico that Spring Break and had a 3-way. But I didn’t, as we’ve gone over in agonizing detail.

But the point is that 7 years later I married BD, who is from Boston, is tall, wears black glasses and has blue eyes (but not bluer than mine, for the psychic record). Yep. She pretty much nailed it. And it was written in the stars because my angel knew him right when she saw him, so she was totally for realz.  Who knew there was a real gem at the Holiday Inn’s psychic fair every month?  It’s just a fucking shame it took 7 years for her prophecy to play out.  Oh, and by the way, in case you are still feeling bad for the guy that didn’t get to marry me, he was a full-on douche bag that cheated on me, but the psychic neglected to let me in on these pearls of wisdom, which would have saved me an awkward trip or two to my OB-GYN, so the lesson here is that psychics are good for some shit, but really fucking bad at other important shit, like helping you avoid AIDS.

Okay, so fast forward to a month ago.  I’m talking to a friend who casually mentions that she once went to a ‘medium-clairvoyant’ lady  years ago who can talk to dead people and apparently relayed some messages to her from her deceased grandma and she was completely creeped out, but convinced this woman was the real deal.  Suffice to say, I almost had to break up with my friend for not having shared this a million years before she did, because obviously I needed to meet this psychic as bad as Charlie Sheen needs to beat his wives.

So it took a fucking month to get on this lady’s schedule and you can only go if another client refers you and you have to do an orientation beforehand via phone because she wants to explain how she does what she does and the nuance of how dead people prefer to communicate.  If you don’t do orientation, you’re not allowed to have your reading. You’re fired. I know, right? I’m convinced it’s easier to steal plutonium from Russia than it is to get a half hour session with this baller.  And BTW,  the fee is no longer the $20 of yesteryear.  It’s $120.  But the good news is that I’m a lot richer now than I was then, and plus, it’s not about the. bla bling bla bling, it’s not about the. cha ching cha ching, What it’s really about is making the world dance and forgetting about the price tag.  I think Oprah said that? Or was it Ghandi?  I don’t know, whoever it was, it is really fucking genius.

So anyway, I started this story with the intention of revealing to the 12 of you who read this blog what the future holds for Love and what the dead people wanted me to know, but as you all know I have the unfortunate affliction of being unable to self edit, so my deep tangential thoughts have once again taken up an entire entry.

Do not fret. I shall return with the details of my psychic reading and together we can find out if they come true.

God, it feels good to write my stories again.

The time I took a fun-filled cruise to Haiti

Okay so this particular event has not occurred yet.

But it’s about to. Next week.

I know.

I KNOW.

I KNOW.

I swear to you this is true because I wouldn’t even make up something this perverse if it wasn’t. We’re going on a cruise to Jamaica and Haiti next week.  Haiti. Yeah, let it sink in —  Haiti.

But in my defense, I thought we were going to a luxurious “private island”, which is what they call it in the itinerary.  So the cruise line was trying to trick me and they totally did and then I bought the tickets and then my husband decided get all Christopher Columbus and wanted to know exactly where the “private island” was that we are sailing to. Yeah.  It’s Haiti.

But just so we’re all clear and I’m not throwing the esteemed cruise line under the bus, it isn’t the part of Haiti that is totally devastated.  It’s another part. The part where you’re apparently not supposed to think about death and destruction and destitution.  It’s the part where you can order lots of mai-tais and take pictures with parrots on your shoulder and have TONS o’ fun and fantasize about building a cute little compound right on the beach one day. And recommend it to all your family members. And the Internet.

Right.

Oh, I have so many jokes about how ridiculous this is, but I also have a heart and if I told them all I would feel bad about myself as a human being, perhaps even more than I do now for paying to go to Haiti next week on my one single romantic vacation with my man that we take away from our children every year.  And probably the last one we’ll ever taken given that three kids may get us officially kicked out of the grandparents babysitting club.

But anyway,  I wonder what excursions we’ll have to choose from? — STOP, Love. You promised.

Okay,  I said I wasn’t going to tell jokes. So I’m not. But you’re allowed to. But I mean, really?

Okay, so I’ll be gone for a while.  But I’ll write again when I get back from fucking Haiti.

Have a banner week!

Love conquers all – hopefully even in an office

Well, first I would like to congratulate myself on escaping the fires of hell my big huge corporate entity job so that I could take a job with a little, itty-bitty, tiny company that hopefully doesn’t go bankrupt. Today was my last day at the former and Monday is the first day at the latter. And much to my surprise and horror, I’m a little freaked out by the big change and I’ll tell you why:

MY NEW JOB REQUIRES ME TO WORK IN AN….AN…..OFFICE.  WITH PEOPLE.  There. I said it.  I have never done that before except when I used to work as a temp in college, but I always knew I would be free of those whack jobs in a few weeks and I didn’t want to starve so I did it.  Oh, the stories I shall tell you about some of my temp jobs!! Not to worry – definitely on my to do list.  But I digress.

I’ve never actually worked in an office before. I always had jobs where everything is really flexible and I can work from home, or from some temporary cube, or I’m on the road, or with clients and nobody bugs me or cares where I am.  And I like that. Total freedom to wear my pajamas to work most days, or watch Oprah when it originally airs. The little girl in me that used to always inform people that they aren’t the boss of me has grown up and she feels exactly the same way.

But this new job…I mean, they told me it was flexible when I told them that I’m afraid of offices, but I feel like the culture is that they expect you to actually go there. Like, everyday.  So in some ways I’m super-curious because I’m not one to shy away from situations that will give me priceless fodder for my best-selling memoir I haven’t written yet, and I’m totally gearing up for water cooler banter/debates by Tivo-ing American Idol and Project Runway, but on the other hand…I mean, will it be like “The Office”? Will I get a desk next to some clown like Creed, or Angela or Kevin? Please, please, please, dear mother of GOD, put me next to Dwight and Jim Halpert.  Or Oscar.  Or even Toby. Toby’s good.

So this makes me think about which Office character I’m most like. Because I guess my new office mates are also wondering what the new chick is going to be like and whether I’m a loud food chewer, or if I don’t wash my hands after I go to the bathroom, or if I’m on the phone all day trying to order a huge new projector thing for my mega-church,  or if my husband works for Vance Refrigeration. I actually am none of those things.  Well, BD might accuse me of chewing too loud, but I’ve convinced myself that that’s more about his hang ups and less about my chewing volume. I’m not really like anybody on “The Office”, because my Awesomeness is hard to capture in just one character, but if you twist my arm I think…and I’m not proud of this, but I’m probably maybe closest to that goofy new receptionist chick.  She kind of looks normal and nice, but she is definitely a little freaky, and weird and clueless a lot. Which I think pretty much sums me up perfectly.  Except that I would never fall for the Nard-dogg. Just saying.  So I guess I’ll be her if a board game comes out.

But so anyway…how does one conduct oneself in the office? I don’t know why I’m asking the Internet since if you read my blog you clearly aren’t at work — or are you? Do they let you do that?! I’m assuming I can’t really blog at work anymore. Or read your delicious blog.  Or check Facebook at 34 second intervals. Or burp loudly after an especially satisfying gulp of Diet Coke. I suppose pouring myself a tall glass of Shiraz at 4 or doing 3.5 loads of laundry is out of the question.  And random lunches with random people at random times — not so much.  How do people do it? I mean, how much of a waste of time is it to be in an office all day? What if I have nothing to do? I think the cubes are situated in such a way that everybody can pretty much see what you’re doing because there aren’t really high cube walls or much privacy, so I think I have to have Excel open all the time to look like I’m officially working.

Also, I have to start traveling again. They told me I didn’t have to go very often when I told them I don’t like traveling, but I might go so insane in the office that I become a road warrior and turn out like that lady in “Up In The Air” who is inexplicably still hot with the worst 70s hairdo ever AND breaks George Clooney’s heart, which, I mean, come on – I would never do. So I have issues. At least at my totally unsatisfying, frustrating, uninspiring current job I just quit didn’t make me do things like go to an office and have a desk all day. I got to go to Cubs games and out to lunches and lots of 3 o’clock happy hours. But my company was an asshole.  Like, if the company could be a person, it would be the biggest ass you’ve ever met.  Which is weird, because the individuals that work there aren’t assholes, but it’s one of those Gestalt things where the sum was more than the parts and somehow the sum of decent, smart people equaled Really Huge Global Douchebag Corporation.

So why did I take this new gig? Well, probably the same reason I voted for Barack. And, no,  not because Oprah said. I would have voted for any damn Democrat, because I was really voting for not George Bush.  And this new gig is like that – it is not old gig.  Once in a while (every three years to be exact), you have to do something completely different.  And I’ve been at this one 3 years, so I had to go.  Plus at this new place, the people seem cool and the company does appear to be laid back, and they seem to actually get the concept that their employees are human beings with feelings and families, but in a work all the time sort of way, since it is small and everybody needs to pull their weight to make it awesome. Which is fine because I work a lot. I do. I just do it when I feel like it. When the mood strikes. And I’m afraid that at 8:30 in the morning, the mood is not normally striking. No. That is about the time when I go to the gym the 7 times I did in 2009.

Anyway, now I’m rambling. I hope that New Job is 100x sweeter than Old Job. It may turn out to be A Job. But no doubt I’ll have a whole host of new and interesting stories to tell you…I just hope I get a chance to write them down. I may have to change my blog name to “Very Important Site for People Who Are Successful and Productive” so when I’m writing in it and someone comes by my desk they’ll see that in really big letters and be satisfied that I am indeed working very hard and I might just be the best new hire they’ve made since the Kelly Kapoor-ish chick from two months ago.

Wish me luck. And I apologize in advance if the posts are coming a little slower in the next couple of months. Demonstrating my Awesomeness will likely take a lot out of me.  It’s not easy to do The Worm on hardwood floors.

Bitch, Pleeze!

Here is the link an interview that my sister sent today with that bitch person who “lived Oprah” for the year and then wrote a book about it. You need to watch it. It’s like 5 minutes of the worst TV I think I’ve ever seen.

Have you watched it yet? Yeah, now you know why I am understandably incensed about this on multiple levels.

A) That should have been my idea because I live Oprah anyway.

B) How dare she question Oprah’s taste in footwear?

C) If that bitch bought everything Oprah told her to, it would add up to a lot more than $4700.  So she cheated.

D) Oprah made her do good for others, like provide books to female felons and save a cat’s life – what’s not to love? What sort of ingrate bites the hand that feeds the world?

E) Finally, when has Oprah ever ruined any normal person’s marriage or sex life? Well….I take that back. Forget point E.

F) She said people view Oprah like their BFF in a way which suggested that somehow that was crazy.  I didn’t dedicate my life to making Oprah realize I’m her soul mate so this dumb broad could come along and ridicule me.  I swear if I ever see her on the street, I’m going to give her a really mean look. Like, seriously mean. And then I’ll report her whereabouts to Gayle, and you can bet Gayle will give her the beat down she deserves.

That is all I’m going to say about this topic, which has wounded my soul very deeply.  If she can’t see Oprah for the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent spiritual healer and teacher who wears really good shoes most days, then she clearly doesn’t understand her subject matter and should be revealed to the world as the charlatan she is. You know who she reminds me of? Debbie Mathers. Eminem’s mom. When she made up that song about him to get rich just because she was mad that he has spent most of his professional life telling stories about how she was the worst mother of all time. I just don’t like when other people try to get famous off the back of someone with the Awesome in them.

I just hope when Eminem isn’t on the phone getting drug counseling from Elton John, he’ll reach out to Oprah to provide some support.

And I would ask that my loyal readers, though none of you like Oprah, light up your cell phones, wave them slowly in the air and watch Eminem’s “Cleaning out my Closet” video I’ve provided access to here:

Now you have just a little taste of the rage I have and the angry poetry that I’m about to write about this woman and her dumb book and send to Oprah and her producers in a beautiful laminated album. If you have any worthy submissions, I will consider them, but they have to be really good. I mean, really Oprah-worthy.

“That’s it. I’m done!” (Ben Affleck, Boiler Room)

Love’s PhD Trilogy: Numbers

I told you about how and why I came to the conclusion that I needed to be a business professor in the Genesis part of the story. That thinking deep thoughts all day and having the esteem of millions would beat working for a living any day of the week.  So I did everything necessary to get into the PhD program at the University where I was getting my MBA. I switched into their full-time program, I quit my sales job, I started having interviews with current faculty to talk about the process and the career AND I got pregnant.  YUP. Yup.  That last part wasn’t really what most aspiring PhDs do right away, but hey! Why not make it that much more difficult? You know, so when there is a movie made about my life, I’ll have even more adversity  to overcome (maybe I’m the only one who considers motherhood adversity?) on my quest to solve all of the worlds deepest, most elusive marketing questions. (And P.S., I vote for one of Gwen Stefani’s sons to play mine in the movie).  It makes a lot of sense if you think about it that way. No.  I know – it actually it doesn’t.

Okay, so I have to beat out a lot of people to get into this program.  So I sat in front of all my MBA classes and I talked to all of my marketing professors about their jobs and they all told me it was really weird for an MBA to want to be a professor.  And that it was a lot of hard work and would take a lot of dedication and yada, yada, yada. I’m all about hard work and dedication, so what is the issue? I got the feeling that they thought the Type A, overachiever, know-it-all MBA assholes they taught most of time wouldn’t have the patience or temperament to make it as a grad student.  I couldn’t really figure out why. I mean, I was an MBA student and I really wanted to do it.  I was good at school and I loved it in a fairly unnatural way, so I didn’t understand why they all said stuff like that.

But what they were getting at (that I found out only much, much later) is that being a PhD candidate is really best suited for Type A, overachiever, know-it-all assholes who will put up with getting emotionally, intellectually and financially bitch slapped on a daily, if not hourly, basis.  It’s for people who revel in being told they are a constant disappointment and that they can barely read or write or theorize better than a retarded goat.  It’s really great for people who don’t require sunlight, like to read journal articles for 15 hours each day, act as their advisor’s bitch for another 5 (including cleaning their office) and be publicly chastised for their work by faculty during the other four.   There isn’t a whole lot of time left over for any sort of healthy, normal relationships outside the four cinderblock, windowless walls of the PhD room.  No, they can’t have that or you might come to your senses and tell them to go to hell instead of respectfully listening when they maniacally laugh as they tear apart your precious ego and illusions of future grandeur. Yes, you get all that, plus paid less than a deformed hooker at the Greyhound station. That’s why MBAs should not become PhD candidates.  Because they are used to giving and getting ass kisses for 10 to 12 hours a day, sleeping for 6 and fucking around for the rest. Oh, and making 6 figures while doing so. Trust me on this one – I know.  So the two entail fairly different lifestyles, you see?

Okay, but I wasn’t aware of any of this at the time.  So I made it very clear to several marketing faculty members that I wanted to be in the program, I filled out my applications, wrote my essays, crossed my fingers and prayed like hell.  Meanwhile, I got pregnanter and pregnanter.

May I just say that being pregnant in an MBA school like the one I went to is about the same level of offense as raising a nine iron over your head and slamming it down into a green, creating gaping three inch crater only a foot away from the hole, for absolutely no reason at all.  It’s one of those things that say a few things about you: a) you’re a jackass, b) you’ve just proved you shouldn’t even be there in the first place, and c) you’re ruining it for everyone else.  That’s kind of the way I think most of my peers felt about it, but I’m probably projecting because nobody actually said that to me. I came to the party late, and they had their friends already, so people didn’t talk to me unless they had to. They mostly just looked at me with either pity, wonder or disdain, reactions which hit points a, b and c rather nicely.  I did not win the Most Popular prize for sure.  I couldn’t go out and get wasted with them and/or talk about how many consulting firms or investment banks would be begging me to work for them in 9 months, which is what I gathered were the most common social activities. So I was a bit of an outcast. But that’s okay because I was a rebel on a mission to pure intellectual awesomeness.

Then one day I get a call from the chair of the marketing department (one who I actually feared and adored at the same time and with equal intensity – lets call him Professor Bourbon) saying they were letting me in. AWESOME! SERIOUSLY? AWESOME. Because I was so close to getting my big wooden office with floor to ceiling bookshelves and those little ladders I would have to climb to get all the books off the high shelves. Big pimpin’.  If they made maternity twill jackets with corduroy patches on it, I so would have bought one at that moment.  But the joy was short-lived.  Now I realized that I probably sort of had to tell them I was pregnant and I was pretty sure this wasn’t news that would be particularly well received.

I told myself that it should be fine, because my son was due the day I graduated from MBA school (indeed, his birthday and the date on my diploma match perfectly), and I’d have the summer off before the PhD program started.  So it didn’t really affect them at all. I didn’t need to ask for special treatment or anything, but still…when they found out I was pregnant, I could imagine them likening my pregnancy to slamming my nine iron into their little academic green.

When I’m about 8 months along, Professor Bourbon invites everybody who was accepted into the program for a little orientation day.  I figure it is at this moment when all of the professors and my future mentors are going to see me and be thinking, “The fuck?! I already hate her bitch ass. Is it too late to rescind the offer and give the spot to someone who is serious about being an academic?”  So rather than have my big reveal on orientation day and have it be the big surprise of the day, I decided to call up Professor Bourbon and schedule a meeting with him beforehand and tell him my dirty little secret.  It was my intention to have him as my advisor, so I thought I should just get it out on the table and give him the option to kick me out in private, rather than in front of the group that would be my cohort. You know, all the Aspergers kids from China.

So that day, I don all black to make my big belly less noticeable and because I may be going to my newest, shiniest dream’s funeral and I have what I think is going to be one of the most awkward and hard conversations ever.  Something along the lines of , “so I got knocked up, but please don’t change your mind because I’m a total geek and if I can’t be a professor then you are shattering my dreams forever and I might go postal.”

But what I actually said was:

“Thank you so much for letting me in the program and I’m so excited and I’m ready to work really hard and I’m definitely going to accept the offer but I feel like I have to tell you something that you should know but I don’t know whether or not you care or if it affects your decision or what you think of me or whatever and it wasn’t like I planned it or anything but really I think you should know before the orientation that I’m…I’m….um….I’m….kind of….um….pregnant. BUT! I’m due in June and I’ll totally be back in September and ready for school and I’ll have a daycare and everything worked out and I’m very serious and I really want to do this and….are you still okay with me being in the program and working with you?”

Little beads of sweat had formed on my forehead and on my big belly under the big gross panels they put to cover your belly on those damn maternity pants.  All I wanted to do was take that fucking thing off my stomach and let it just cool in the breeze, but I think that would have been very unwise under the circumstances.  I was about to hear whether or not my questionable family planning was going to take away my chance to be one of the smartest, well-known, famous fucking people in the universe, or at least among the 1000 or so marketing professors in the US.

I put it all on the table and I held my breath for my fate to be revealed. And this is what he said:

“Congratulations! Of course we still want you. Having children is one of the greatest gifts in the world! I have three of my own.  On top of that, I would argue that you’ll have even greater marketing insights as a parent.  Never apologize for bringing another life into this world. This is great news and you should enjoy it. Congratulations!”

Um, whaaaaaaat?? May I just say I love you more than Angelina and Milo put together, Professor Bourbon? Will you marry me? For real? For really real? Oh wait, that is what got me into this predicament in the first place.  For the record, I should tell you that this was one of those pivotal conversations that I will remember my entire life and why I will love Professor Bourbon like Take 5 bars and TiVo forever.

Whew. So I was in. And my advisor was going to be kind of kick ass. He thought I was even cooler for having a kid.  So now I just had to meet my new classmates. I was pretty sure they’d probably all be a lot fucking smarter and less cool than me. But that would be okay because maybe I’d learn something.  I just hoped they weren’t d-bags. And that they were US Weekly subscribers.  And that some of them were Americans or Canadians, because my Mandarin really sucks. Oh yeah, and maybe someone there would also count Oprah as their personal savior too.

I actually think I got a little of everything…

To be continued in Love’s PhD Trilogy: Judges

Love’s PhD trilogy: Genesis (also, Why it’s just “Mrs.” instead of “Dr.”)

This is the story of how I was almost a doctor. Not the kind that actually helps people, but the kind that everybody listens to, because if you have PhD at the end of your name, people think you are an authority on any and all subjects.  Which is kind of my dream.  To have everybody listen to me and feel like I have some credibility, even if I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Do you know they give out PhD’s in marketing? They do.  I suppose a PhD in physics is probably higher on the totem pole than marketing, but I’m pretty sure you can’t have ADD and get a PhD in physics. I think you need to have Asperger’s for that.  So I’m S.O.L (does everybody learn that acronym from their dad at age 6?).  So marketing seemed like a reasonable alternative. Plus, after you get a PhD in anything, you’re a PhD. Nobody knows or cares after you get a PhD  what it is in, so I figured I could kind of be like Dr. Phil.  He has a PhD, albeit probably from an online university, but nobody questions his credentials any more. So what if it’s in marketing? I’d be Dr. Love and suddenly, the editors at O would be busting down my door begging me to write a monthly column. But instead, Oprah found Dr. Berman, PhD, a hot blond who loves to talk about sex and suddenly my dreams are shattered.

But I digress. Here is the story:

So I’m in this job that is kind of boring. And the people I work with are really nice, good people, but I had the suspicion that they weren’t as intellectually superior as I was.  So to stave off my boredom, I decided to go back to school part-time because my company would pay for it.  But it had to be something relevant to my job, which only gave me a single choice, which was MBA school.  So luckily I live in a city that has about 6 trillion universities/colleges that offer part-time MBAs.  But going to just any MBA school would have been too easy and wouldn’t have inflated my ego to the levels I crave.  I had to pick one that was prestigious and where I would meet a lot of intellectuals so I could have an intelligent conversation about the current events I read about in US Weekly.  And I am very lucky, because the top two MBA schools in the U.S. are right here in Chicago.

One has a reputation for being really fun and one has a reputation for being really not fun. So it was a really hard decision, but I eventually settled on fun.  I took the GMAT to prove to myself and the admissions group that I was as brilliant as I fancied myself.  I didn’t get a perfect score, but there is math on that test instead of celebrity trivia, so it doesn’t really test true genius. But I did alright. So I applied to the part-time program and they let me in and it lived up to its reputation. I was having a good time.  The people I was going to school with were very smart – maybe some were smarter than me — which then made me feel kind of average and inadequate, but that was probably good, because sometimes I need to be taken down a notch.

So while I’m in MBA school I decide that I need to get into health care sales, so I could do something that helps people and still make lots of money. (Please stop laughing — I was just very naive at that point. Who knew the health care industry is even shadier than the financial sector?).  So in order to network my way into the health care industry, I go to this health care conference being held by my business school.  And they have CEOs from some of the top pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers on this panel discussing sales strategy and management,  and the conversation is being led by this professor at my business school.  He keeps throwing out pretty good questions and the executives answer but they always finish up their answers by looking at the professor expectantly, like they needed his approval for what they just said.

And then it hits me.

OMG. I should be a professor. I want to get paid for thinking about whatever I want to think about!!  I want to facilitate discussions between people who work for a living and I’ll be the big PhD at the table who everybody listens to and respects even though all I do is teach a class here and there and maybe write some books and get quoted in the New York Times every other day. Yes! It is my calling. I’ve found my life’s work!! Elation!

I was a newlywed at the time. My husband asked me to marry him a couple of weeks before I started my MBA adventure. I have to assume he thought that I would pull my own weight in our marriage at least financially because I was going to a great school and that should guarantee me a solid place in the career world, right?  Maybe he could be a house husband if he felt like it because I would be making wads of cash as I scurried quickly up the corporate ladder. Because I was the very definition of a future baller and we’d be big pimpin’ (spending Gs).  So I run home from this conference and I announce to BD that I am going to be a business professor. Fuck sales. Fuck working for a living. It was so simple! Why hadn’t I thought of it before!! I’m going to be a professor. And now I could finally earn the right to wear cardigan sweaters with little patches on the elbows and start smoking a pipe. I already had the scholarly specs. All I had to do was get a PhD and how hard could that be, especially with me being such a genius and everything?

So that night I shattered BD’s illusion of having a responsible, rich, hard-working, baller wife.  I told him I was going to finish my MBA and apply to the PhD program.  I wasn’t really sure what PhD school was about, but it couldn’t be that different from MBA school, right? I mean, I knew what the 4 Ps of marketing were, so I was practically halfway there.  And in the PhD program, you don’t have to pay tuition and they even give you a stipend to live on while you think all your deep thoughts.  See?! They were already paying me to do what I loved doing anyway, which was being a geek and tricking people into thinking I wasn’t as clueless as I was and collecting degrees that I could hang in my future big office with leather chairs and floor to ceiling bookcases.

Since the PhD program wouldn’t cost anything and I would actually be bringing home some money, BD got on board and supported the decision.  So I quit my job and started going to school full-time so I could finish the MBA faster.  Of course, that blew up the whole plan where my employer pays for my education. I actually had to pay them back for everything so far and then shell out the money for the rest of the MBA, but no matter! I was on a mission. An intellectual journey. And what is money anyway? Bah! It is clearly only important to the bourgeois as a method to keep the peasants in their place (or something like that. All you need to remember is that I used the term “bourgeois” in a very dismissive and authoritative way, which is very academic of me, don’t you think?) As you can see, I was already starting to ask the deep questions required of a professor.

When you have a dream, you have to go for it, right? So now I just had to get into the PhD program. The odds were kind of bad. They accepted 8 people a year and there were probably close to a thousand applicants. And some of them were from China, where I think you need to know how to solve Rubik’s cubes in 14 moves, in 10 seconds or less just to pass 6th grade.  And they can do some fucking mad math, even without being Aspergers.  And all I have is ADD and a dream.

But when Love wants something, Love gets it.

That fall,  about six months after my epiphany at the healthcare conference,  I started MBA full-time and I started getting busy applying to the PhD program for the following fall.  Apparently that wasn’t the only thing I was getting busy at, because that’s also when I got preggers.  Awesome.

Another very well thought out plan by Love is put into motion…

Part II, Numbers is up next…

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I don’t know if I’ll get back before Christmas….so if I don’t, Merry Whatever-you-might-celebrate-at-the-end-of-December!