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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

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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.

Lets-Panic.com → 

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Wednesday
Apr042007

The story behind the picture.

So Isabel called me on Monday with a "crazy request." There's very little I wouldn't do for Isabel, so I said "Sure!" before she got out the words would you appear on national television? I thought she was going to ask me to streak the U.N. No such luck.

Apparently Good Morning, America is doing a segment on the Alpha Mom demographic (there's a demographic! Did you know?) and they wanted a "typical" Alpha Mom to interview. They specifically wanted someone with a house. I think they envisioned miles of granite countertops and adorable children skipping rope next to a Lexus SUV. Instead they got our (charmingly) decrepit Formica and Henry attempting to light-saber me on our (alarmingly) weed-choked lawn. Ha!

Minutes after Isabel and I hung up and I shelved away my body paint, a GMA producer called. She asked me what I thought an Alpha Mom was, and I attempted to answer. Then I got down to business."What should I wear?" I asked, and she laughed, like my outfit wasn't the most important thing on her mind. "Whatever you feel comfortable in," she said.

"I'll get my wedding dress out of storage," I told her.

"Ha, ha! No dressing up! Whatever you wear on a typical mom day!"

"My prom dress is really comfy. Does taffeta look okay on the air?"

"Ha, ha! You're funny! But hey, really!" I could tell she was rifling through her mental Rolodex of More Appropriate Mommies Who Wouldn't Make Tired Jokes About Prom Dresses, so I assured her I would wear my usual oversized sweatshirt. I have a new one adorned with a beadazzled Easter Bunny! Stylish and seasonal!

Scott and I stayed up all night tossing our crap into closets. Actually Scott did most of the work. I told him I had to do some research for the segment, and by the way, that stove wasn't going to clean itself. He wasn't too happy with me, frankly. No matter how frequently I observed how hot he looks while he's chiseling dried tomato sauce out of the oven controls.

The next morning I told Henry that some nice people with big cameras would be at our house when he got home from school. He looked at me, like, of course people are coming here to put me on television. What took them so long? On the ride to school, he told me, "I think they turn the cameras on, and then they throw them at you. And that's how they take the picture." I, for one, think this is an excellent idea. Just one shot after another of people ducking for cover, cameras clattering to the ground and going dead. All the producers wondering why no one wants to be on their shows.

After I dropped him off I did everything you'd expect a person who was waiting for a television crew to arrive would do: tried on different shirts, crammed more crap into closets, tried to use an eyelash curler without blinding myself. I decided on the shirt that Scott has dubbed the Rack Shirt, a dark-brown number that somehow gifts me with, well, a rack. I figured that in case I sounded like a feckless jerk, the audience would be distracted by my resplendent bosom swathed in a featherweight jersey.

Sadly, the producer's first words to me upon her arrival were, "Are you set on that shirt?" She was not sufficiently dazzled by my B-cups and wanted something brighter. She didn't like the fuschia body paint, either. Some people will never be satisfied.

The interview itself went surprisingly well. The lovely producer and her lovely cameramen (and I use the term "lovely" with no irony whatsoever—this is unusual for me, I know) were expert at putting me at ease, even after I responded to the first question with a gurgling noise and a slow slide off the chair. I regained my composure, thanks to them, and found myself expounding away. Apparently I made some kind of sense, because the producer nodded in approval and at one point reacted to my commentary with a quiet "wow." Which may have been short for, "Wow, are you sure you're not completely high?"

The point I tried to hammer home, and probably it will get completely lost in the final edit, is that I don't think the term "Alpha Mom" connotes some exclusive club. It's a term we can all own, and it's meant to indicate that it's important, this thing we do, this motherhood gig. In other words, it's supposed to be empowering, not intimidating. I said a bunch of other things too, but I can't remember, because I was so damn high.

The segment is set to air Monday. Be sure to tune in, if only to see Henry throwing a ball to me, and the ball sailing right past my outstretched hands. It's not easy to miss an underhand lob from a four-year-old, but I'm going to do it on national television, folks. Enjoy.

Reader Comments (46)

Congrats on doing a good interview. Love your egalitarian view on Alpha Momhood. I think I'm a Beta Mom though. Or maybe a Gamma. Where's my Soma?
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterozma
I am grateful Good Morning America is on one of the two channels we can actually see on our television. YAY!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercoolbeans
"resplendent bosom swathed in a featherweight jersey" - ahhhh you're killing me!!! Jesus, but you're funny.

April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBertha
You are brave. Can't wait to see you and your second-choice shirt!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjuliloquy
Your house looks very comfortable; the color in the living room is really quite nice. Very relaxing. What a lovely place for an interview. I just took some demerol for a wisdom tooth and, gosh, everything is great. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. High-five on the interview, homegirl. You're super.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterYou can call me, 'Sir'
That's the best comment I've ever received.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
OK, I'll tape it, even though I was looking forward to the rack shirt.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I'm glad I'm not the only one who responds to uncomfortable situations by slowly slumping out of my chair. Congrats on keeping it real!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
Awesome and now my cube mates are wondering what is wrong with me because this was laugh out loud funny. Can't wait to DVR it!!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
Nothing like missing an easy catch on national TV! :) I'm sure that your second choice shirt was just lovely!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKait
Beadazzled Easter Bunny shirt...hee. Would've probably paid cash money to see the producer's face if you'd actually met her at the door with that on. As it is, I'll tune in, but I'll still be a little disappointed that you aren't garbed in said shirt or a prom dress.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSara
No TV, just computers. Hope someone can YouTube it for us

I'm sure you were fabulous. It sounds like it went swimmingly.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlyce
Dude. Alice. I just shot one of these for the Today Show and I tell you, the what to wear issue really was the thing that had me breaking out in hives. My wedding dress was in the shop, you see...

Oh, and NBC wasn't into the body paint either. Maybe when you get interviewed on Fox...
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdaring one
Hey that's awesome! Much more high profile than my bit on CNN a couple years ago. Can't wait to see it!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJaynee
How exciting! I'm going to tape it! I don't want to miss it!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Hey! I'm a Dana as well. And I'm going to DVR it. Take that other Dana with the really cool blog name that I am going to have to check out now.

Meanwhile, Alice, thrilled for you. Yay!
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDM
I would love to see a pic of the rack shirt! Not that I want to see your rack, but that I don't have any rack and need all the help I can get.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEvie
I should know better than to try to read this site at work. The imagery your idea about picture-taking called to mind made me hold in a laugh and my eyeballs almost popped out.:)
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Sweet! Can't wait to see it!

(And I'm already sure you were awesome.)
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I would like to come live inside your house.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B.
Yay for you! I can't wait to watch it.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMo
I'm looking forward to putting a face to the name Finslippy. This is break out of genre exciting. Maybe they'll ask you to some host a Mommy segment regularly. I'm sure your shirt selection was fine and the President of the United States can't throw a ball across home plate, so don't worry about it.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercce
Among the commenters, one has been on CNN, one on NBC, and now Alice on ABC?

Damn. Y'all are successful.

At least I can watch TV, even if I'll never be on TV (or in the TV, as my five-year-old puts it. Quite accurately, I might add.
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterslouching mom
KABOOM!

(That was the sound of my head exploding at the mere thought of having to clean up my house in preparation for a last-minute "GMA" interview.)
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVelma
It's funny, I always thought of Alpha Mom (the AlphaMom site nonwithstanding) as one of those mothers who approaches motherhood like a career: who can evaluate the merits of every Gymboree class within a fifty-mile radius; who uses flashcards to brush up her kid's letter-recognition skills; whose kid is always decked out as a perfect, complementary accessory to her outfit; etc. And I have never thought of you as that type (and I mean that in the nicest possible way, although I know one person who is that type and I like her just fine too).
April 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

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