Due to the kind suggestion of former Chicago Parent blogger Cathy
Adams, an amazing thing happened this past weekend. I was
Bill Moller's WGN morning radio show. The possibilities were
endless! I could hype the upcoming book, Epic Mom,
(available this December on amazon.com)! I could talk about the new
Chicago Parent column, Failing with Gusto (appearing this January
in the magazine)! I could share my rare form of misguided genius
with the world! Or at least with all those who listen to talk radio
at 10:15 a.m. on a Saturday. It was a marketing dream come
But then I remembered something. Something that went all the way
back to 1993. Something so awful that I nearly blocked it out until
My complete and utter inability to speak publicly.
It occurred during my college days when I had to give a
presentation on Shakespeare's Globe Theater. My eyes never left my
notes. I rambled on at record pace. Then I got to the part about
the big fire that destroyed the structure.
And here is where I got the giggles.
As I detailed the reasons for the blaze, the narrow exits, and
all the hysteria involved, I couldn't control myself. I gasped for
breath. I wiped away tears of laughter as I recounted a TRAGEDY.
The harder I tried to pull it together, the worse it became. I was
practically on the floor by the time I finished.
With the scheduled WGN appearance drawing closer, I attempted to
get my recent bout of bronchitis under control. I had been hacking
up a lung for the better part of two weeks. Disaster was
You'd assume I would cancel?
If so, you have mistaken me for someone with sound judgment. A
couple of days prior to the interview, I spoke with Bill Moller
over the phone. I tried to feel him out. I suggested maybe I'd down
a couple shots of vodka in advance to help me relax.
Sadly, he strongly discouraged that.
Instead, I opted for the next best thing: NyQuil Cough.
By the time I arrived at the studio, I was really sleepy. My
father (and favorite part-time chauffeur) nudged me awake and
handed me the two dozen doughnuts I brought along to garner
goodwill. Of course the guest prior to me was a well-known
nutritionist and veggie lover.
The universe hates me.
Bill started out with a softball question. It might have been
"What is your name?"
And that's when I blanked. I filled a good 20 seconds of revered
WGN airspace with… well… AIR.
Bill tried again. He might have asked me "What is the name of
By the time I finally got rolling despite my NyQuil-induced
stupor, I was blithering on about my parenting techniques. I think
I alluded to Jesus. And wire hangers. And how playdates suck.
Now if that doesn't win over the moms of Chicago, I don't know
I suppose I should be grateful for yet another opportunity to
publicly humiliate myself. I am starting to get really good at it.
I'm thinking of turning pro.
So whenever you moms out there worry that everyone is watching
and judging, please know that I am here for you.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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