Category Archives: Wonderful surprises

Three’s Company

**I am a regular contributor to the It Builds Character parenting site. (Yeah, I know – they let me write about parenting! Whaa?)  Anyway, this was one of mine originally published there in March 2011.  I thought it might be worthy of share on (Love) Notes because I feel too lazy to write something new today . **

When I had my first baby 6 years ago, everything, including the baby, was perfect. I got pregnant about six seconds after going off birth control, and the baby held off entering this world until I could graduate from business school the day earlier. He slept a lot and ate a lot. I sat around my house watching Oprah and Dr. Phil and everything else on daytime TV wondering, “What is everyone complaining about? Babies are easy!” When he was awake, my kid was always smiling and he was cute too. He didn’t have any health issues, allergy issues, sleep issues – nothing. My husband I brought him out to dinner with friends, baseball games, the grocery store, and he just sat there content the whole time. He was so good, there was an uneasy part of me that thought maybe he was the second coming of Christ, which would mean my husband wasn’t his biological father, and that could make things awkward if anyone ever found out. I eventually decided that since no wise men came to the hospital when he was born, I probably wasn’t the mother of God, but then again, maybe they just got lost – that place was really confusing.

The point is, having a baby didn’t really change our lives at all. We were well rested and had no reason to fight because our baby was perfect and so were our lives.

So when my son was 18 months old, I was all about having Number Two because kids were so easy and all those other parents were kind of whiners. Maybe they just weren’t doing everything right like I was – even though what I was doing I just made up everyday and my kid turned out totally perfect and above-average, which kind of proved that I just have a really natural penchant for child-rearing and really great genes. Man, was my son lucky I was so full of Awesome.

But when it was time for Number Two, things didn’t go exactly like Number One. Getting pregnant? Not so easy this time. And I don’t tolerate failure well, so I was naturally a joy to live with from the time I didn’t get pregnant immediately to the almost year later it took to conceive. I am kind of surprised my husband ever consented to sex after that again, because I regularly screeched things like, “We need to have sex precisely between 8:03pm and 8:11pm today or else I won’t get pregnant for yet another month!” and “I hope you have been following Section 3.1.2 of the Conception Rule Book I authored which states no alcohol, loose underwear and no masturbation. Be showered, shaved and ready to perform when I beckon. Failure is not an option.” So, needless to say, our sex life was truly awe-inspiring – not in a good way.

Eventually he finally did it right and I finally got pregnant with Number Two, who would surely turn out to be as perfect as Number One. Because after all, past performance is the best predictor of future performance, right? Number Two was born two days after Number One’s third birthday. I didn’t really prepare all that much because babies were easy and he could wear all his brother’s old clothes and he would like all the same stuff as Number One and this would be even simpler than Number One, so what was the point? My in-laws came into town a couple of weeks after the baby was born and we decided now would be a great time for my father-in-law and husband to renovate the family room by themselves. Because kids were easy, so I wouldn’t really need much help and who needs a family room in tact anyway?

Weeell, so Number Two wasn’t a clone of Number One. He cried a little more. He was gassy. After a few weeks, he began to projectile vomit. And then suddenly Perfect Number One was whiny and withdrawn and seemed to want constant attention as if that was what he was used to before this baby was born. Oh wait….right. And then on top of that, I was the lucky winner of a little bout of postpartum depression, so one of my favorite activities was sitting in my room crying for no reason. Nice. Within no time at all our perfect family of three became a sad, dysfunctional family of four. It turned out Number Two had a rare condition that required surgery to fix and without going into all the gory details, Year One of having two kids sucked. Really sucked hard.

And, I had to deal with the realization that I actually wasn’t the best parent ever, because Number One and Number Two were hard to deal with individually, and collectively. They drove my husband and I insane more than a few times and Wally and the Beav never did that to June and Ward. Perhaps we all weren’t as perfect as I had imagined. We had all we could handle with two kids and two full-time jobs and keeping our marriage out of the Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger range, so we decided we were all finished with kids. After surviving that first year, it looked like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Our sons were healthy and happy and we were sleeping again. We were done. Thank God.

That was until about 15 months ago when I miraculously got pregnant again. Maybe I was to be the virgin mother of God after all. I mean, the odds of me getting pregnant were about equal to the odds of Oprah and Gayle breaking up – which has miracle written all over it. I’m still confused how you can try for a year and have no luck and then when you are doing your best not to, you get pregnant. I guess stuff happens. Well, to us at least.

I wasn’t thrilled. I was scared. We just barely made it through two – how on earth was I going to make it through another? This time my depression started immediately upon the discovery of pregnancy of Number Three. We had to move from the city to the suburbs. We had to get rid of the sedan and find a car that could fit three car seats. We had to become just like “real” parents and real adults that shuttle a bunch of kids around all weekend long. We had to change everything. And I wasn’t happy about it. I had gone from The Best Mother of All Time just six short years before to The Worst Mother of All Time Because I’m Really Super Not Excited About Another Baby.

And then we found out Number Three was a girl. Everyone delighted in exclaiming “You got your girl!” like I was going to keep having kids until I had a girl. I knew boys. I like boys. What on earth was I going to do with a girl? I spent most of the pregnancy disturbed and in denial as we sold our house, moved to the suburbs and turned into the nuclear family cliché. I thought I outsmarted the suburban gods by saying no to the minivan, but then I realized my gas guzzling, insanely huge SUV I had to buy to fit my entire litter was about as original as any Nickelback song you can think of. I would have saved some face buying the minivan.

But then a funny thing happened. Number Three was born and the world didn’t crumble. My life didn’t end. In fact, it got richer. I was in love with my daughter the second I held her. I can’t believe I spent so much time pissed off I was pregnant when I look at those three kids playing together. Having three kids is actually better than having two. Number One and Number Two keep each other busy and they are turning out to be insanely great big brothers and Number Three is not only the cutest kid in the universe, but she started sleeping through the night at three weeks. It makes me think – “Hey, this is easy!! What is everyone complaining about? Maybe we should have a couple more!?”

I think I just heard my husband smash his head into the counter and then chug his glass of wine.

Is that a no?

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Did I mention I’m a life coach?

This is me coming out to you, Internet.  Over the past year I’ve been cooking up my next move because even though I finally got a job with an awesome company (for now), I still cannot depend on corporate America to satisfy my emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs, even if it does take pretty good care of my financial ones.  Also, my brand of Awesomeness cannot be safely contained within the confines of any public company. It’s kind of like trying to fit Pamela Anderson’s boobs in my little training bra.  It is extremely unsafe and ill-advised.

So, in addition to my corporate sales responsibilities, mothering three children and a dog, being my husband’s dream come true, and writing random blog posts wherever I’m allowed,  I am now also a practicing life coach.  I even have clients to prove it.  They call me and we talk and hopefully when they get off the phone they feel better and they become insanely productive, joyful and successful.  Usually because they had the Awesome to begin with, and then they somehow forgot it or lost it and then I reminded them and helped them pull that shit out! Well, and then they got off their ass and did something about it. Unlike writing this blog, I get paid for this, people.  Pretty sweet, right?

So if you regularly read (Love) Notes,  you might be wondering how a person like me winds up as somebody’s life coach.  Well, because none of them are aware of this blog.  That is probably the first and most important reason that I have clients, so don’t tell them or I am ruined.  They might actually read this or this and beg PayPal to get their money back.  Secondly, people who are Awesome like other people who aren’t afraid to tell them something straight up.  I’m good at that. Like the way I tell Oprah on this blog just what I think in a way her sycophant producers aren’t capable of because they are under O’s magical Harpo spell. I’m not like that at all.  See, I was born with a condition where I can’t not tell somebody what I really think, and that happens to be extremely helpful in life coaching, and not as much in corporate America which I have learned the hard way, over and over and over.   Finally, inspiration fuels my life. My clients inspire me. Sometimes even more than Oprah and Take 5 bars and those little blue papers you put on your face to get the oil off, which is kind of huge.

But I have chosen my clients wisely.  I don’t have time to help the masses, so they have to be special. Here is the criteria:  they know they have the Awesome in them.  They know the life they are living is not honoring their Awesome.  They need someone to help them tell their current life to fuck off and to start a new life of delirious joyfulness.   And they would like me to be that helper because sometimes being able to drop F-bombs about what is holding you back feels great.  These people? Are going to make a big difference in this world and I get a front row seat, which is amazing.

So I know what you’re thinking: “What gives anybody the right to call themselves a life coach – especially you, Love?” Well, the answer is that anybody has the right at any given moment right now since the practice is not actually regulated in any of the 50 states, so if you feel like a life coach and you have the wherewithall to print up some business cards that say so – viola! – you’re a life coach.  And a lot of people do that.  But not me. I’m a little more legit than that because I also built a very shitty website and I have a special email address with my own company name on the end of it, so I can command much higher prices.  Okay, and yes, I did actually get trained by Oprah’s life coach (I KNOW, RIGHT?!)  but the point is that you don’t have to.  Which is why you should be very careful when you hire a life coach.  It could be Lindsay Lohan working under a pseudonym. Or an anonymous blogger who has had very strange and wonderful things happen to her that she likes to swear about.

Speaking of LiLo, the other thing people usually go off on about life coaches is about how every life coach they’ve ever met is the most fucked up person they know, like they are some big joke.  Like if Kim Kardashian all of a sudden announced that she was a life coach. Actually, that would make for some great television… but  I don’t understand this mentality.  We elect people to Congress all the time who are more fucked up than anybody we know.  So why do people discriminate against life coaches?  If you’re one of these people, go call up whoever is ‘representing you’ in Congress and once they get done uploading pictures of themselves naked to a porn site, they may give you a call back.  What they are charged with is kind of a big deal, so get mad at them for not being perfect.  Leave your judgement of your local neighborhood “life coach” at the door.  Sure, some of them are really fucked up, but there is a market for that! Some people will feel better if they can feel superior to their life coach. They’ll finish every sessions saying,  “Hell! If this crazy bitch who kisses her dogs full on the mouth with her delinquent kids and her drug addiction can be a coach, maybe I should too!” and that is inspiration right there. A win-win if you ask me.

So anyway, now you’re in on my Second Act.  I’m still getting a corporate paycheck, but my practice is going to grow and soon Oprah will be calling me up to have my own show on OWN and dole out advice with Suze, Mehmet, Phil, Nate and the sex doctor lady.  Actually, I don’t want my own show, so I’ll have to turn her down, but I hope that later she’ll describe it as one of her most profound a-ha  moments.  All I want is to be known as the coach behind some of the most incredible transformations the world has ever seen and who also writes F-bomb laced self-important stories about herself on this website. Okay and I also want Oprah to validate me by offering me a show I need to turn down because like she always says, “What I know for sure is that all people want is VAL-EH-DAY-SHUN”.  And also I would like Tina Fey to subscribe to this blog and not because she is making fun of it. So I mean, that’s all.

Dream big, I say! (That’s what I tell my clients.)

My day will come. I can feel it. (That’s what I tell myself.)

Happy Thanksgiving, bitches! (That’s what I tell my best friends. You’re welcome.)

So um, can I come back?

This question is as much for the 1-2 people that might see this as it is for me.  I stopped writing Love Notes about 18 months ago, and I blamed it on an unplanned pregnancy and a new job and Oprah’s 25th and last season and that was that. I just lost the will/time to write.  And since then I have even a newer job and now three kids and I live in the suburbs and I’ll be damned if there aren’t some stories to tell about that.  I lost something important to me when I stopped writing my blog.  But I’d like to find it again, I think.  And I’d like to do it here on Love Notes. So I think maybe I’m going to stage a comeback.  No idea when or if I’ll post weekly, but as long as I can tell my stories when my stories are ready to be told, I’ll be good.  And maybe so will you because you’ll laugh at how retarded I am on a daily basis.  Although I think ‘retarded’ is poor word choice. Lets just you and me call it ’emotional intelligence’.

But I guess I was wondering if any of my old readers/compatriots still have me on Google Reader or will find me again.  I guess it isn’t all that important because the important often retarded stories I have to tell will find an audience somewhere, right?

Holla back if you’re still out there.  I missed you.

The gods must be crazy…

Okay. So I’m back. Hopefully for good, but you know I’ve found out that god has a sense of humor recently, so you never know.

So where have I been? What have I been doing?

Remember all my posts that detail what a good mother I am? Like the one about how I didn’t breastfeed and the one about how I feed my kids McDonalds once a week and how my two year old feels me up in Target?

And then remember how I had that really mind bending post entitled, “Hellz Yaz” about whether its better to have huge puss-filled zits all over my chin or have a sex drive? And everyone voted that I remain a sex kitten with zits? And my big-boobed sister warned me that natural family planning was a very bad idea?

And then remember when I told you the story about when I had to tell Professor Bourbon I was pregnant after they let me into the PhD program?

Do you see where this is going? Yeah. Surprise!! I’m preggers. Not really what I was planning for 2010, or 2011 – 2050.  And my angel didn’t even have the balls to warn me this time. The news hit right after New Years Day (same day I got my new job offer, so my new boss got to be the second to know) and I don’t think I’ve been quite the same since. I can’t figure out whether the nausea is from the pregnancy hormones or the idea that the gods thought it would be a good idea to put another human on this earth who has me for its mother. When I found out, BD was so worried about my mental state (probably because he’d never seen anybody catatonic before) he promised to stay sober with me this whole pregnancy, which is awesome. The other two times I was the designated driver and it was not awesome. It actually does make me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who will be suffering the next nine months, which I think is what makes BD love me so much.

So I won’t lie – the change of plans has had me in a tail spin for the last two months, which I probably could have recovered from in a week if wine could have been involved, but without alcohol, and with nausea and a new job and exhaustion, I could sum up my life perfectly in one non-word: “meh”. Which is why you haven’t heard from me. The juice has been gone.

However…the good news is that I’m over it now. I’m going to be a mother yet again, and red wine no longer calls to me during my long, sleepless nights and now I have a third chance to make a first impression. Maybe I’ll try breastfeeding this time. Or maybe I’ll freak out and change my mind a month before like I did the last time. No promises there.

And maybe this kid will be the one who winds up changing my diapers when I’m 92 and I’ll be like “Oh, now I get it, God. You’re the best!” And lets not forget about the nightly “happiness” I have to look forward to in the coming months. This time I will make buying porn a part of the getting ready for baby checklist, just so we don’t have to go through the histrionics of yesteryear.

So I’m psyched. I didn’t think we’d have any more kids but now that it has been determined that we will indeed, I’m stoked. And I haven’t seen an episode of Oprah in two months, and its given me a strength I didn’t know I had. I think I might be okay when she stops the show now. I think I might survive. And that goes for everything – the pregnancy, the delivery, the new job, the new house we’ll have to buy and even the…GULP…minivan? (okay, that last one was really hard for me to say)

It’s a new world order.

Welcome back to my life. I’ve missed you guys.

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.

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

I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad…

My husband just passed me the Kaukauna port wine spreadable cheese and I find myself strangely overcome with lust and desire.  For the cheese.  And as I skimmed a little of it off the top with a fresh Wheat Thin (BAKED! Not fried!) just now and savored its pure awesomeness,  suddenly my head heard the lyrics to  “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music.  And I thought, hell, I haven’t written on my blog recently. I shall post about my favorite things.  Because everybody totally cares about them.

Which naturally led me to think of Oprah, and her favorite things.  Remember when she would do that Oprah’s Favorite Things show where she would just talk about products the whole time while her audience members got all the stuff?  The first couple of years she did that show, it was off the hook.  I would watch and lust after all the stuff she picked out, in awe that the whole audience got to take it all home.  But by year three, that show just pissed me off.  All those screaming, fainting whores audience members got thousands of dollars worth of stuff for being a damn teacher or because someone wrote Oprah a note and said they helped an orphan escape from Russia or they just showed up on the right day. I’d feel like crap, because  the only time I got tickets for Oprah was immediately following 9/11 and hurricane Katrina. I shit you not. Anyway, I just got to the point where I stopped watching that show every year because it would just make me angry that I wasn’t there while all those lucky ass bitches jumped around with their heads turning around 360 degrees and popping off (which mine would have as well, no doubt).

Jealousy is a bitch. Sometimes I would tell myself that she picked out all lame stuff I wouldn’t want or know what to do with anyway – like soaps that are like $13 and refrigerators with built-in TVs that would probably only fit into 5% of the kitchens in this great nation. And I couldn’t help but wonder if a cable or satellite hookup was necessary and who the hell has that stuff in the kitchen? See? So who would want to win that on Oprah’s Favorite Things?  Me. ME, DAMMIT!! That show made me hate myself. Thanks, Oprah.

Then one year Oprah decided instead of giving away an obscene amount of shit to people, she would give everybody $100, and then they’d have to go out and give it to someone else and whoever was the most creative or made the most out of that $100 got to come back at a later show.  Ha ha Bit-chez! That put a smile on my face because I knew as the cameras panned the crowd of pleasantly smiling faces, those women and their mothers were secretly thinking: “God DAMN you, OPRAH! I got a ticket for your Favorite Things show and all I’m taking away is this punk-ass gift card and a mandate to give it to someone else?  I fucking hate you. And your dogs too.”  But I’m sure in the end, giving away that $100 made them feel so good and warm and nice inside that they didn’t hold a grudge. Or tell everyone they knew how they got screwed and wanted to die.  Which would totally have been my — I mean, a healthy reaction. I’m pretty sure.

Anyway, I digress.  It’s just that I can’t think about Oprah’s Favorite Things without wonder, fascination and pure snarkiness.  On to revealing my majestic list of favorite things.  If I had a blog wherein I could name all my favorite things and give them to those of you that regularly comment, this is what you would get:

1) One year’s worth of Kaukauna port wine spreadable cheese and Wheat Thins.

2) A Mac.

3) A subscription to “O” and “Us Weekly” — the only publications with real import these days.

4) Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, a gallon of skim milk and a martini shaker.  Equal parts of these ingredients shaken with ice makes me incredibly happy. I think it would make you happy too.

5) Take 5 bars. A lifetime supply. Proof that God loves us.

6) TiVo. I honestly don’t have the words to explain my love, devotion and adoration for TiVo.

7) Counting Crows “August and Everything After”. Best album ever.

8.) Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning lotion.  I suppose it’s a good moisturizer, but more importantly it somehow captures “new baby smell” like you’re within a few inches of a newborn’s little head at all times. I get high off the fumes on a pretty regular basis.  SO much easier than having to give birth again.

9) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  Funniest book of all time.  All time.

10) Tickets to Oprah’s show.  If you get them, be sure to let me know. We can go together and hope that my attendance doesn’t mark the end of the world. Oh yeah, and did I ever tell you about the time BD turned down a job at Harpo? She brings everybody and their families on these really swank all-expenses paid vacations every year. I would have hunted her down and convinced her by now of our destiny if he’d just taken it. But he didn’t.  And we’re still married. That’s love.

11) Josh Groban’s “Noel”. Shut up. Wipe the smirk off your face, because I’m giving it to you for free, bitch.

12) McDonald’s gift certificates. Enough to buy a Value Meal #2 with Diet Crack Coke and two happy meals with apple dippers twice weekly.

Okay, and go to this post to see the Oprah Favorite Things SNL skit, along with all my favorite YouTube stuff…

So I feel like if you got those 12 things today, you probably wouldn’t have a need for anything else. Ever.  Feel free to print and substitute for your Christmas/ Hanukkah / Kwanzaa/ Festivus list.  One day when I am rich and famous and lunching regularly with Oprah, I will make sure that my commenters do receive all of these things, making your friends seethe with jealousy and rage.

‘Tis the season, after all.