Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm that one girl

I don’t want to be famous, really, but I’d like to be marginally famous. Like when people saw me they’d think I look familiar, but they can’t place my name. Or they interchange me with someone else. They’d say “Oh, aren’t you that girl from. . .um. . .that one thing?” and I’d nod, say yes, and go on with my business. They wouldn’t want my autograph, but I wouldn’t blame them. I would be protective of my anonymity because it would encourage me to get the role of “quirky best friend” or “outlandish shop keeper.”

I think it’s funny that early in my brother’s career as a rockstar a group of girls chased him down, screaming for an autograph and it turned out they thought he was Beck. That’s funny and humbling. But now they recognize him. I wonder how you ever get used to that.

I’d like to have a little more money, but what I really crave is power. Most days I am putting out little fires and trying to maintain the minimum glamour which is my life. I’m not even in control of when I will eat, sleep, or use the bathroom (sorry, but I hope I made my point). It would be nice to have to make really important decisions that seem important. I realize that raising children is really the ultimate power–”the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” kind of thing, but it doesn’t always feel like power. Usually it feels like servitude. I guess I’m a little dramatic and part of me wants to storm into a board meeting wearing a designer power suit, throw a briefcase down on the table and yell, “We’ve been going about this all wrong! We’re going in another direction! We’re changing everything!”

I know raising children will pay off to those who matter most to me in the most significant ways, of course, or I wouldn’t be doing it. But sometimes when my kids look at me I get a creepy suspicion that they see right through me and have me figured out: that I don’t really know what I’m doing. Sometimes that feeling is overwhelmingly tragic, and sometimes it’s funny. Usually it’s funny.

And in those moments, like today, when I'm vacuuming up tortilla chips from under the area rugs for the second time of the day, or wiping off bubblegum shake off the walls from three days ago, and I think about how I was a "featured extra" in a movie, but just got a call to find out my scene found its way on the cutting room floor, I look at my beautiful son Hugh and my adorable toddler Margaret drawing with marker on the family room couch, and I smile, drinking it all in and I know it's all worth it.

Just kidding! I tell them to knock it off, that we don't draw on the furniture forcryingoutloud, and I clean it up and weep softly.

(It's worth it, my beautiful darlings, but my parenting isn't directly proportionate to my ability to clean FORCRYING OUTLOUD!)


  1. Seriously. Let's talk SPECIFICALLY about what is fun/good about being a mom. I know the value of it, but it's hard for me to believe the old ladies who tell me I will miss cleaning feces off a wall. Because I won't.

  2. I don't want to be famous, because then you get haters, and I am a delicate flower. But I want to be rich and powerful. And attractive. And telepathic.

  3. Ahh, the grass is always greener. I have don't have power suits, but I get to make a lot of decisions and work in an office, and all I want to do is stay home :)

    My job also consists of herding cats and cleaning up messes. At least at home you are doing those things with/for the folks you love!

    If you want, you could come to my office and storm into a meeting...

  4. Oh, how I adore you. I too have NO desire to be famous, but sometimes I wish I could do one movie - ONE great role where I could go on Jimmy Fallon's talk show and gush about what a whirlwind it's been. Go to one premiere where ET wants to know what I'm wearing. Then after my great, funny movie has had it's run...things slowly fade away and I can go back to my life with a little more security and a sense of accomplishment. And also back to cleaning peanut butter of the wall (seriously, I'm about to go do that right now).

  5. Lisa... I love you!
    BTW... I think I was one of those girls chasing the Rock Star.... creepy, don't ya think?

  6. Lisa if it makes you feel any better, I think you're much cooler than anyone you listed. Though if your brother had gone on 30 Rock instead of Adam, then things might be different.

    I always thought that being a soap star would be the life. You're famous enough that you might get recognized every now and then, but you'd most likely be able to live a 'normal' life. You'd get paid well, get to act for a living, and have your controlled fame.

  7. I love my anonymity! But I could do without cleaning up all the "FORCRYINGOUTLOUD" messes. Sometimes the messes, the gum stuck in the strangest places, the feces on the wall, the pee in the corner, etc, etc, push me to the edge of my sanity! Really??? Seriously??????????????????????????????? What was the need to do such a thing? is what I think sometimes when I find such absurdities. I thought I'd seen it all since my oldest 4 are teenagers but my younger 2 keep coming up with surprises!
    Well I'm sad about Light Refreshments but I'm glad I got to read this post today! I can so relate!

  8. I will not miss being woken up at 5:30 in the morning just because someone else FELT like waking up.

    Power yes, famous no.

  9. Why did I just find out about this new blog - we need to connect. What is going on in your blog world?

  10. I like being anonymous cause then I can go to the store in my sweats.

    However, I wouldn't mind being rich. Then I would hire someone to clean up all the messes. That I just cleaned up. Again.

    {Sue sent me.}

  11. I can totally and completely identify with this post. And I hope it's okay that I am now stalking--I mean "following" you. I made my way over from another blog.

    I will not miss getting bodily fluids out of children's laundry. Are we supposed to only stop after one thing?

  12. For me, the trick is to see every stage or station of life as a coin with two sides, good and bad. For maximum happiness, persist (even against all evidence) in seeing the good side of the coin.

  13. I don't want to be famous, I just want all the girls who work at swanky shops to pay attention to me.

    Such a small desire.

  14. The worst kind of "famous"...being a teacher. As if children didn't know that teachers don't sleep at school, look "different" at the store, etc. Awe...but the best kind of famous is way-to-cool teens giving me a big hug and asking to see my socks.

  15. Here at the hospital, we operate by the code:

    Code Red: Fire!
    Code Blue: Respiratory/cardiac arrest
    Code Pink: Child Abduction
    Code Green: SECURITY!!
    Code Brown: Somebody pooped, gown-glove-mask and bring a chux and a mop and friends and get in here!
    Code Maroon: Jimmy Valentine in da house!

  16. Wait, did I miss the point of the post?

    I appreciate your wit and wisdom, can I have your autograph?
    And will you please use my full name when you personalize it?

  17. You're pretty famous around my house. When the Princess saw you at Brick Oven she came home and told me she saw "the really pretty girl from Saving Santa" there.

    And you know I'm a fan.

  18. Ha. Lisa its heidi stjulien of the david saintjulian household:) stumbled onto your blog and glad i did! it feels good to know other moms feel like i do most days of the week. the other night i fell asleep dreaming that i became the next american idol...that would be enough fame for me...maybe even just top 24. you are fun.

  19. The embedded comment form doesn't work with Firefox--if you choose a different commenting format I'll be most grateful, 'cause I won't have to open up the dreaded Internet Explorer. I did, just this once, but next time I'll be too lazy and will just stare and wish I could comment.

    I'm always throwing things down on the table and yelling, “We’ve been going about this all wrong! We’re going in another direction! We’re changing everything!” But my family never seem very impressed.

    Hi, I'm Zina and for a while in my youth I was in a homeschool co-op with one of your famous blogging sister-in-laws' childhood friends. How's that for degrees of separation? (I actually have a few more distant connections with you (like, Kacy's parents-in-law let me stay with them once when I backpacked in Europe while they were on sabbatical there and Kacy's sister-in-law taught me to play "Spite and Malice") but it would be too tedious to list them all. I'm another who followed Sue's link over here.)

  20. I think this was the most poetic peice of literature I have ever read! I felt deeply the things you were saying and giggled at the complexity of the ultimatly selfless decision that is MOTHER HOOD! I love it so entirely but have a hard time finding myself and most importanly, my famous self! I want to feel famous to most people including my kids. I remember my mom used to wear HAT! RED HATS! I thought she was so beautiful and classy. I hope my kids appreciate my baggy tops and ill fitted jeans! I hope they think I'm classy! Thanks Lisa for writing this it TRULY made my day!

  21. I think we should all write and say "Forcryingoutloud!" more. I knew I would enjoy coming over here. :)