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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« I seem to be rather angry these days. | Main | Judge, Internets! Judge! »

You are good. Yes, you.

You are, all of you, delightful. You are. You humor me when I hit you up for compliments, and you clamor for vengeance against the Weird Soliciting Physical Therapist. (Dear baffled and/or disturbed p.t.’s out there: I don’t know what my audience has against all of you, either! I suspect they’ve only been swept along in my madness. Most physical therapists are lovely people who only wish to help those who are suffering. A small percentage are pure, liquid evil stuffed into a human-shaped skin sack. A tiny percentage.)

As for ruining the career and the life of the aforementioned therapist, I particularly enjoyed your pleas for mercy. Of course it was all for naught, as she crossed me and now I must destroy her. She will rue the day she ever licked that stamp.

Seriously, do you think I’m that nefarious? Don’t you think I have better things to do with my time, like ingest too much caffeine and wheel my kid around Park Slope trying to strike up conversations with strangers because god I’m so lonely?

Actually I’m not lonely, but the coffee, it makes me garrulous. It garrulates me. It causes me to make up words. And then Henry gets sick of my mindless chatter and my friends are all honest working folks, not layabout breeders (except for Sarah—hi, Sarah! Everyone look at Sarah’s cute daughter as she dances!) and I’m forced to harass sales clerks and fellow mothers and anyone who looks at me, because I’m So Hyper! And Isn’t It Hot Out! And Hi Your Kid is Cute, OH GOD TALK TO ME. (NB: the caps are meant to denote a kind of screaming inside the head. I employ caps for specific reasons, not just because I have ovaries. The ovaries are what lead me to dot my I’s with smiley faces and to adorn the ends of my y’s with flowers and shit.)

Wait. What? Oh, right. Coffee! Medical professionals have instructed me—more precisely, pleaded with me—to give up caffeine. Which I did, sort of, in that actually I didn’t at all. But I did limit myself to one cup of tea in the morning. I did this for a while. I was so good! And then the hot weather came, and I am weak and I love iced coffee more than any other liquid. At first I was just drinking decaf. Then I moved on to half decaf, half caf. But today I weakened even further and I purchased this incredible beverage, this slushy espresso drink that probably has more 23 tablespoons of sugar in it. And it doesn’t come in any form other than Highly Caffeinated. Even though I bought the thimble-sized version, I am now more juiced up than I have been in a long time. I have been more comfortable.

Returning to the original subject: the letter from my p.t. I emailed Randy Cohen, aka The Ethicist of New York Times fame, to ask him what he thought. His response: “It does seem out of line to use a client list for some other purpose. But more disturbing: who'd seek financial advice from a physical therapist? What if it contradicts the stock tips you get from your butcher?” And there you have it.

Reader Comments (37)

That video is too cute! I love it!

I'm with you on the caffeine. I have no addiction problems to any other substance, but I am WEAK when it comes to coffee. I managed to cut down from a 12-cups-of-coffee-plus-two-or-three-cups-of-tea-and-maybe-a-few-diet-cokes-a day habit down to a four-or-five-cups-of-coffee-a day habit, but I know that's still a LOT of coffee by most people's standards.
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLucy
If anyone knows about stock, it's your butcher!

*ba dump bump*

I'm here all week, folks!
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca
That's funny, I've e-mailed Randy Cohen too, about some really not-hilarious coworker stuff, and I was surprised to get a reply right away. I thought he'd be more Ann Landers about it, only rendering judgment from on high in the Sunday paper, but apparently he's one of those touchy-feely ethicists.
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
Hey- I hear you about the caffeine, I'm on it, I'm off it, I try to do the tea thing, but when you're in need a little boost there's cocaine and then there's caffeine. I'd say the lesser of two evils, don't ya think?

By the way, YOU ROCK! (all capitals, tee hee)
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
Hey- I hear you about the caffeine, I'm on it, I'm off it, I try to do the tea thing, but when you're in need a little boost there's cocaine and then there's caffeine. I'd say the lesser of two evils, don't ya think?

By the way, YOU ROCK! (all capitals, tee hee)
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
I always say if you cut me, iced coffee would come out. Welcome to the dark side.
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I only drink decaf, also for annoying health reasons. I occasionally splurge on caffeine to help get rid of a headache. Someday, I'm going to open up a decaf store. Should anyone have huge sums of cash and want to do all of the hard work while I consult, feel free to contact me. Er, CONTACT.ME.OKAY?

So, what is this incredible slushy beverage that you speak of?

The dancing baby is great. It makes me a big sad to see a baby whose dancing skills far exceed my own. Kudos to "Sarah's cute daughter."
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterFlippy
Delurking to say, amen to the caffeine thing, yes oh heavens yes. See, I'm like a mathematician, sort of, only I like to think that I'm like a cool mathematician with Matching Socks and Social Skills. (Some days, not so much, but I try, you know?) So anyway, there was this guy- one of Our Kind named Paul Erdos- who said "A Mathematician is a Machine for turning Coffee into Theorems." You see how it is?! And I keep trying to tell my husband that my Habit is occupationally induced and sustained, but he's not buying it. (For some strange reason, he doesn't seem to like it when I Imbibe late at night and then thrash and turn and moan for 6 hours beside him in the bed. Go figure!)

So I try to get psychospiritually high on Decaf, but, you know? Sometimes it just doesn't cut it?

And then I go into Withdrawal and get all whiny/cranky/psychotic. Like, *BACK AWAY, I HAVE A FINITE DIMENSIONAL VECTOR SPACE AND I KNOW HOW TO USE IT!!!!*

(Oops. I try to keep Her locked up. Forget you heard that...)


PS I (and the rest of the free world) LOVE FINSLIPPY~!!
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNEB
hmmmm.....guessing you're hooked on Ozzie's granita.mmmmm.....good!

June 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjt
ps. my son is henry too!i've 'heard' that's a very popular name 'right now'

June 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjt
Ever since I had my children I've been addicted to coffee! Iced coffee EVEN BETTER.I've tried so many times to get off and cannot STOP. It's good stuff and I am able to take good care of my kids all day--what's the harm, really? RIGHT? RIGHT? RIGHT? ( oh yeah, it makes me a tad hyped up too)
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I'm a new(er) reader but loving your site. When you smite said physical therapist for the unethical and plain odd behavior, dot ALL your i's with hearts and smiley faces and create the frilliest y's EVER (even though it pains me to say that). A nice drip o' caffeine will expedite this process. I'd love to know what iced wonder you have found!
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I had to stop reading mid-sentence after clicking on the dancing baby link to tell you that that is, without a doubt, the single cutest thing I have seen in my entire life. No joke. I have never seen a baby boogie like that. I don't usually laugh out loud at work, but that had me smiling and even chuckling. I'm going to have to watch it again after I finish reading your post.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjomama
I cannot see the dancing baby because this here computer is being a pain in my ass. I may weep.

Also I now require a slushy coffee drink because there is nothing better on a hot day even if you're so anxious that you know that caffeine will send you right over the cliff. But it'll be worth it. Right? Right.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMir
i find myself quasi-envious at all you coffee drinkers. you go to work and there's free coffee for you, you go out to a restaurant and you don't have to think about what you could drink besides water: there's coffee! me? i drink coffee and i get a splitting headache and then the hypochondriac in me says 'oooh. now your tummy hurts doesn't it? thanks a lot dick!'

i wouldn't go to her office with a pitchfork and torch, but i still think her supervisors, if she has any, should be contacted and, failing that, any local phsyciatrist board.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermathew
Hmmm... Maybe it's the coffee. I thought it was just the oxytocin or whatever it's called after giving birth 6 mos ago. I have been spontaneously talking to people on the street too. My husband says i truly scare people with babies and small dogs. Apparantly i block them with the stroller, stare wide-eyed and garrulate all over them. But other times, i swear, I am so shy I can't even look at other moms and/or dogowners. I never made the caffeine connection but that must be it. Unfortunately that means I won't be able to stop this behavior any time soon.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLetterB
caffeine has been my friend since i got pregnant with my second child. i just could not get it together if i didn't have that little boost. never wholey caffeinated coffee, but never completely decaf.

the second child has now turned one year old, but have i gone back to my 100% decaf ways? NO WAY JOSE. not gonna do it.

oh, and by the way, randy cohen is god.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterelaine
You have beautiful eyes. They're like aquamarines.

--some random college student girl who just found your site yesterday
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
I have a list of my favorite things, and iced coffee is in the top 5 best things in the WHOLE WORLD.

Love the caps for women thing here.

I suspect it is because we are more evolved emotionally than men, and so wish to express ourselves more clearly as usual, and thus is why we employ caps.

This does not apply to any male readers who might leave me occasional comments. You are fabulous and perfect.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterhalloweenlover
Coffee is EVIL. EVIL I tell ya!
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTorrie
coffee! lets judge! and talk to strangers!! coffee! letters!!! pretty pretty hair!!!!
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastic Journalist
Torrie, why must you be like that?
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercoffee
I love coffee; unfortunately I'm caffiene-sensitive so I have to limit my intake to about 2 cups per day and only before 12 noon. Otherwise I'd drink it all day.

And that dancing baby? Too. Cute.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterwarcrygirl
You are hilarious.

So, is that weird? Stopping strangers to chat? I have a 16-month-old and am moving from Prospect Heights to Maine (gulp!) next month. I was fully planning on employing the Stop-n-Chat to make friends. Will I be the town crazy? Nuts. Literally.

June 10, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermadgelove
I used to de-tox myself from coffee now and then but I've long since decided not to do that anymore. I packed cans of Starbucks Double Shot Espresso with Cream in my cooler when I went camping last weekend, just so I could have delicious iced coffee in the wilderness. Some might find that sad, but I think it's only practical.
June 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJane

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