Friday, September 30, 2011


There are a few rules to “fitting in” in the cut-throat pre-school mommy world. Always act busier than you are. Always be in workout clothing. Buy organic and finally, volunteer to bring home the class pet on weekends and holidays. Van’s class pet is Dylan the Guinea Pig.

A guinea pig is neither pig nor fat person from the Republic of Guinea. A guinea pig is a giant, lazy rat that does absolutely nothing. Zero. Just lays there. Which sounds like a dream come true to me. In fact, in my next life I want to come back as a guinea pig. Sadly, with my luck I’ll come back as a fat person from the Republic of Guinea.

The other mommies at Van’s school have yet to catch on that I’m a complete mess on the verge of a total nervous breakdown the likes of which Anne Heche could not dream of. They think I’ve ”got my shit together” and am “the strongest woman they know.”

When life hands you lemons, say for example your husband leaves you out of the blue and tells you your whole marriage was a sham, you can do one of several things.

Chop off his penis and be hailed a hero by women around the world only to wind up in jail the rest of your life forced to turn lesbian with a cellmate named Rosie who treats you like a slave and cheats on you with a be-tattooed Latina inmate named Yessica who spits in your cornrows every time you walk past her.

Commit suicide but first buy a full page ad in Variety for your suicide note which is written to your ex explaining that your blood is on his hands. That your children are motherless because of his selfishness. Outline every embarrassing moment making it impossible for him to ever show his face in public without being ridiculed by the whole of humanity.

Take life’s shitty lemons and make some lemonade. Pretend that “everything happens for a reason” and “time heals all wounds” and “bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, be the bigger person, bullshit.”

I have chosen option three though contemplate one and two seven to eight times per hour.

Since choosing lemonade, I have a new life philosophy. Say yes to everything. But not really everything because if I said yes to everything I would be holed up in a motel with the skeevy Persian man who leased me my new car.

So, when asked if I would take Dylan the Guinea Pig Rat Monster for a few days I gave my new go-to answer. YES! Because that’s what healthy, well-adjusted, scorned moms do while drinking rancid lemonade.

When I was eight, I needed a bunny. It was all that I wanted in the whole world. I begged. I pleaded. And finally, I got my bunny. His name was Fluffy. Or Furry. Or something ridiculous and we were in love. For three days. Until he started to smell. So I put his cage behind the house and would bring him food and water once a day. For three more days. And then I kinda forgot that I had a bunny living behind the house. And when I remembered, he was gone. Not dead. Just missing. Fluffy, or Boots or What’s His Name was somewhere out in the cold mean world trying to survive. And it was all my fault. And then I realized that the disappearance of Mr. Fuzz was not my fault at all. It was my mom’s fault because I was too young to be responsible for a living creature. I forgave myself. I blamed my mom. As I do most things.

As I placed Dylan the Guinea Pig in my brand new car I cursed the “yes girl” I had become. He wreaked of urine, rat poo, hay and seaweed.

I zipped up my Lululemon uniform. Looked at my watch, which hasn’t worked for four years, and said, “I’m so late. Gotta run to Whole Foods then I have a conference call.” All lies. First clue? I’m too cheap to buy organic. Then I joked, “Say goodbye to Dylan. You know I’m gonna kill him. I’m so not an animal person.”

The mommies laughed. It wasn’t really funny but I find when you are going through a rough patch people laugh at anything you say. It’s the wrong approach with me because the sad, fat girl living inside me believes that I’m actually funny. Is this thing on?

My kids were moderately excited to see Dylan. Van waved at him through the cage then ran off to play with, “a weely verwy cwoss dinosaur in the wiving woom.” I smell speech therapy. Leo, however, jumped at the opportunity to hold Dylan, mostly because Leo thought that Dylan was food as he probably is in his ancestral home of the Republic of Guinea.

I went to bed longing for the controlling arms of Rosie my prison cellmate. When I woke the next morning, Dylan was dead.

And though I’m sure it was natural causes that took this creature out of our world, I felt responsible somehow. Am I so powerful that just me saying something makes it so? I've always suspected. I felt horribly guilty. It was Fluffy all over again. And then I thought about how Fluffy was certainly not my fault. In fact, I’m pretty sure nothing has ever been my fault in my whole life. Ever.

How irresponsible of the other mothers to allow Dylan to go home with me.

As Oprah always said, people tell you who they are. You just have to listen. These mommies didn’t listen. I told them all, “I’m going to kill Dylan.”

I forgive myself. I blame the mommies.

God I miss Oprah.