I’m always taken aback when someone recognizes me in public from my blog. It doesn’t happen every day, but it happens often enough that I now have to wear a bra when I go to Wal-Mart. Which makes the people there think I’m a snob and I can’t get anyone to show me where the light bulbs are.
The things I do for you people.
Some prefer to skip the formal introductions and just come right up and launch into how one of their kids has two butt holes too, which leads me to think either they recognize me from my blog or they are schizophrenic. Some stand in the check out line and stare at me, only to whisper “I love your blog!” as I’m leaving. This is after I’ve spent 10 minutes wondering how I can discreetly wipe the booger their unwavering stare has convinced me is on my cheek.
My heart races and I get a huge surge of adrenalin because it’s such a rush to realize that there are, in fact, actual human beings out there reading my work. Yes, I check my Google Analytics and I see that there are at least twelve people reading this every day, but in my mind when I hit the ‘publish’ button the words float into oblivion.
There is no one out there laughing, crying, wincing, or just plain pissed off because they Googled something pervy and they landed on a Mommy blog.
I started working on my Listen To Your Mother essay the minute I heard the show was coming to St. Louis. The thought of having the same rush of a complete stranger connecting with something I’ve written multiplied by 550 times was something I’d dreamed about since I was a girl and wanted to grow up to be Dolly Parton.
For two weeks straight I locked myself in our office and poured my heart and soul into my keyboard. I carried a notebook around with me 24/7, jotting down raw thoughts at stoplights and when I woke up with an idea at 3am and when I got bored during my pap smear.
Finally, nervously, I was ready to read it to Nick.
“It’s good…” he said, his voice trailing off. “But it could be better.” I cursed at him inside my head and I slinked back into the office.
Revising, giving concentrated thought to each sentence. Reading Erma Bombeck and Chelsea Handler morning noon and night to get my brain into funny mode. Two weeks later I read it again for him.
“It’s good… but you can do better.” I imagined kicking him in the nuts as I stormed back into the office.
Combing combing combing until it was strong and lean. Two weeks later I read it to Nick for the final time. I knew from the look on his face it was ready.
As frustrated as I was with him each time he sent me back, I was that happy with him because I knew he forced me to bring the full ass. I submitted it two weeks before the deadline because I felt like it was begging to jump out of my computer and be read.
About a third of the essays were picked to audition, and I was one of about half of the auditions who had the honor of being selected for the show.
The day of the show I put on my game face.
I sat in the wings and listened to Kim, the speaker before me. I heard her talking but I couldn’t process her words. My Spanx pushing my small intestine into my spine, my hot as anything shoes demons of torture on my toes. But I didn’t feel any of it.
I heard my heart beating in my ears and it sounded like it was saying, “you’re screwed you’re screwed you’re screwed.” I could feel the blood circulating from my hair to my toenails. My stomach was generating its own electricity. My knees felt weak but my head felt strong. I felt ready and unprepared at the same time.
I was genuinely shocked when I heard laughter after my first joke. I looked into the crowd, trying to spot familiar faces, but the spotlights blacked everything out. Only faceless dark shadows sitting in chairs. Which is enough to freak a girl out. I squinted and saw my friend Melinda. Then I realized there were actual people in the seats, which is way freakier than shadow ghost people. I felt another lightning bolt shoot to my brain and I was no longer a blogger; I was a rock star. The instant gratification from someone’s reaction to what I’d written gave me a rush like anything I’d ever experienced. And I’ve had three kids.
It was awesome. I could have flown off of the stage. People asked to have their picture taken with me. I was ready to hire a tour bus and demand only green M&Ms in my dressing room.
It was amazing and I want to do it every day. Which is why I’ve decided to leave my family and become a singer.