I was reading an O Magazine that's been residing in my bathroom since 2011 or maybe 2009 -- yeah, it takes me that long to get through one. In it was an article entitled “Women on the Rise” that featured 10 up-and-coming women, everyone from a socially-conscious jewelry designer to a triathlete who survived cancer to an Academy Award-nominated actress. When asked, “What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you,” two of the 10 women (the social psychologist and college president) confessed to...wait for it...loving a reality TV show. Really? Why would that be surprising? Reality TV dominates the ratings — someone, actually a lot of someones are watching. Reality TV stars command headlines and are discussed everywhere from the stuffiest water-cooler to swankiest dinner parties; even the New York Times covers “The Biggest Loser” and “American Idol” in its Arts section. Nevertheless, these women felt compelled to keep that fact about themselves hidden…until now.
We all do it. We keep relatively innocuous foibles hidden. We are less than honest about rather innocent bits of ourselves. Why? We feel embarrassed? Perhaps. Fear of judgment? Of course. Afraid of ridicule? Definitely. Especially us parents, moms and dads who are juggling jobs and family and relationships, why do we spend so much energy — energy we don’t have — hiding certain things about ourselves?
Well, I am not going to do it anymore. Many, many lives ago, I did stand-up comedy. I was horrible. I bombed. On a nightly basis. Repeatedly. I guess, on some level, nothing will be as bad as that, so here I go. Honesty time.
Booyah, it's confession time! Feel free to pop some popcorn.
Confession #1: I believe everything sounds better with a British accent, including my child. I wanted Kiddo to have an English lilt. Short of moving to London, I had to figure out some way for her to hear British speech patterns. So, for 17 days, when she was learning to speak, I read to her with a British accent. Unfortunately, I sounded like Mrs. Doubtfire and Capt. Jack Sparrow’s love child. On Day 1, Kiddo thought it was fun. By Day 8, she began to squirm. Day 17, she broke into tears when I opened a book. Not wanting her to develop a fear of James Bond or the Queen, I stopped.
Confession #2: There is one thing I really, really want Kiddo to learn. It’s not how to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in Mandarin. Or how to serve a tennis ball or to master Beethoven's Fifth on the piano. Of course, I would love for her to do all of those things, but I really, really, really want her to learn to play poker. My grandfather taught me the basics of the game, how to play five-card stud at the age of six. I learned Texas Hold 'Em while dating my husband. Poker isn’t just a game of cards. It is a study in people, to pay attention to subtle, sometimes unconscious behavior, and how to handle pressure. People from all walks of life, in all parts of the world play poker. Plus, if she’s good at it, I won’t have to worry about her losing at the strip version.
Confession #3: I have a celebrity crush. Not on Brad, Gerard, or Clive. On Scott. Scott, the Imagination Mover. The one obsessed with burros.
Confession #4: I can’t wait for Kiddo to turn 12. Yes, 12. The terrifying middle school years. The onslaught of hormones, the run-ins with mean girls, the not-a-girl-but-not-a-teenager confusion that results in door-slamming attitude, silent sulkiness, and mommy-hatred. All of that I am dreading. But when she is 12, she will want to see movies — bad teenage dance movies. She will want to see bad teenage dance movies and need a chaperone. And I will go, sit three rows behind her and her friends, and love every minute of it. I am addicted to these celluloid disgraces. You can have “Argo.” Forget “Lincoln.” Give me “Step Up,” “You Got Served,” and “Stomp the Yard.”
There are more...oh, are there more...stay tuned.