Posts Under: DIARY


Bad Clown

image via

I've spent the past week trying to write a story about a shitty performer I saw at a fair, and somehow the post keeps turning into an analysis of systemic misogyny and Harvey Weinstein, and ultimately leads me to a story from my past I've always been afraid to tell. I'm having trouble getting to the root of why all of these things feel so tied up in a ugly little knot.

So - because I might as well start somewhere - let me start with the clown.


The House Booties That Died

Paws off, Virgil.

Everyone - and I believe this from the depths of my soul - should have a pair of house booties. I don't mean "slippers"...I mean house booties. 

It is vital that said house booties possess the following qualities:


Even Hospital Visits Have Silver Linings

Why Google when you can crowdsource advice on Insta?

I didn't know that it was possible to be mad at a piece of kitchen equipment, but it totally is. Right now I am so furious at my pan that I am may very well use a metal fork on it the next time I scramble my eggs (OH THAT'S RIGHT, YOU HEARD ME).

(Before I keep going, I think you should probably know that I am on a killer combo of narcotic pain medication and two and a half hours of sleep right now. Highly recommended.)


The Next One

At 8:45 this morning, I walked my kids to school in a daze, wet hair, an undrunk cup of coffee in my hand. I'd checked the news when I'd woken up - not the moment my eyes opened, because that's a promise I made to myself awhile back, but shortly afterwards - and wasn't surprised. I'm heartbroken for the victims, but not flooded with tears the way I was after Orlando, or Nice, or, god, Sandy Hook. This is normal now.

So I wake up, and it's just another morning reading about death, nothing to do but walk out into the kitchen and tell my husband the latest terrible news, hear him sigh, and then stand there with him in silence while we empty the dishwasher because there's nothing to say that we haven't already said.

I was planning to write something or other about loungewear this morning, but I don't want to anymore. On the walk back home from school dropoff I stopped next to a tree and reached out and held onto a leaf, then went up on my tiptoes and pressed it to my cheek so I could feel it against my skin. I wondered briefly whether a neighbor might be watching and whether I looked crazy, and then didn't care, and stopped thinking about that. A crow called out way above my head, and the sound was so loud it might have been cawing straight into my ear. I don't see or hear these things very often; I think that's why they struck me the way they did - it's just that I'd forgotten to bring my phone with me this morning, and I had nothing else to do.


Parenting On The Internet (And Why I Changed My Child’s Name)

It's tricky, this whole "writing about life as a parent online" thing. The subject of my kids' online presence is a topic I've discussed here ad nauseam - why I share some things about my children, but not others (the general rule of thumb being that I talk about them in the context of *my* experience as a mother, rather than their experiences as children), why I use pseudonyms for them (largely because I don't want to create a Google landscape for them that's based entirely on their mother's job), et cetera. It's tricky, and it's getting trickier as they get older, and start to wrap their minds around what, exactly, their mom is doing when she's jumping around in front of a camera or holding a product just-so for an Instagram or pecking away on her computer, the words interspersed with images of...them.

I've been talking about what I do with my son since he was two years old: I'm constantly explaining to him what I do for a living, why I do it, et cetera. I tell him that I write stories about my life, and that he and his sister are the biggest part of my life, so sometimes the stories include them, too. I try to explain why someone - especially someone who doesn't know us - might want to read these stories; how sometimes it feels good to know that other people are going through the same stuff that you are. I try to be extremely clear about the difference between photographs that are taken just for me, and photographs that are taken for work purposes - if Kendrick takes a picture of me that I intend to use online, I make sure the kids know what we're doing. I don't want them to confuse working with living, and the oddities of my job make that a complicated conversation to have.

And then there's taking photographs of them, which is even more complicated. I've explained to both of my kids that sometimes I'm being paid to take photographs of a kids' product, and I'd appreciate their help, but I try to be clear that they are helping me with my work, and they do not have to do this. It is not a five-year-old's obligation to contribute to the family coffers. If Indy wants to participate in a shoot that I'm being paid for, I pay him in turn - both through deposits into his college account and in a more tangible way for a kid his age, with a small toy or a treat, so he understands the difference between photographs taken for fun, and photographs taken because they're a part of my - again, not his - job.