I know, I know, you’ve been asking yourself — where is that nice lady who gives that free “medical advice” on the Internet? Well, I’ve been really busy medical-ifying, that’s what. But I’m back now and I have a special announcement.
But first, I have to tell you something. I’ve researched what other people do after these long pauses, and here’s what I’ve found: after a period away, it’s good to come back with a redesign. It’s like getting your nose job over spring break. I know, I have spent all these years being your online “parenting expert,” and we have a really special bond, but you know what? I’ve changed. I’m at a higher place. You know what I am now?
Older. I’m an older mom with kids. I’m a grandma-mom.
Now, I know you guys are savvy, and you can’t just be expected to embrace this new/old me. You’ve got to be told what’s in it for you. So that’s what I’m going to do right now. See, I have a fresh, new look. I have an awesome campaign. I have a supercool logo, right here:
You don’t see it? Well, yeah, that’s the idea. It’s invisible, like I am now. And here’s what’s different about me. I am campaigning to be your new grandma-mom on my amazing platform of INVISIBILITY. Listen, invisibility is awesome. It’s like having a superpower. You will notice that no picture of me accompanies this article. That’s part one of my two-part, master plan. The other part is that I am going to get my sixth-grader to help me figure out how to erase that little photo of me that goes out with all my Gmails. No more sending out a bright, color picture of my actual, smiling self. Instead I’ll be a gray disembodied head floating over a pair of gray shoulders. You know, that feels really authentic to me these days. It’s much closer to who I am right now.
Now I know you guys don’t really care about what’s working for me, you care about what’s working for you. So let’s get to it. As your grandma mom, I promise you:
I’ll “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.”
Oh, wait. That’s not me. That’s something some other mature woman who’s running some kind of campaign said. Anyway, that’s a really nice sentence she wrote, isn’t it? I mean, she probably didn’t write it all, she probably had at least one Rotary Club intern to help her. Personally, I do all my writing myself, which I am beginning to suspect is the real source of my problems. But there is one promise I can make to you that I can write without any outside-intern help, and it is this: I am not going to carefully craft my speech, or writing, anymore. I am just going to say whatever the heck comes to mind, like real grandma-moms do.
You’ll know me when you see me — I mean, hear me — when I am in line at the deli in my housedress and my two-dollar slippers because I can, and you are there in your “work clothes” with your “baby in the stroller.” And I am going to get all up in your grill with a jar of taco sauce in my hand and I am going to ask you when you are going to give that baby a sibling, and I am going to ask it so it’s not even a question, which it’s not, it’s a command, and it’s going to freak you out because it’s a command that comes from nowhere and everywhere at once, it’s like the voice of God talking, because I am a grandma-mom and I am so invisibly powerful that I will be asking you a question and ordering you around in public in my muumuu while wielding my fiery hot, taco sauce/lightning bolt all at the same time.
But wait, there’s more. When I am not invisibly freaking you out, the other major part of my grandma-mom campaign — and I am pretty sure I am the only candidate running on this platform now — is that I am going to ignore you. Don’t take it personally. It’s just that I am at the elementary school bake sale because my youngest kid is a second grader, not my oldest one. My oldest kid is 105. And I am still worried about him. So when you come up and try to make small talk and you see me sitting there looking more or less catatonic, know that I really do care about you, it’s just that…
Old isn’t bad, though. Do you see where I am, sitting in my apartment with my beloved family? Well, this is what getting old teaches you: that’s all going to disintegrate, and morph into something else, and the good part about this situation is that it makes expressing love more urgent, and with that comes the revelation that love isn’t something that has to be done perfectly. It can’t be done perfectly, in fact, because it can’t be “done.” It’s not a task like putting on “work clothes.” It’s something that works you, like a lightning bolt connecting you to the earth, sky, and tacos. It’s something you decide you can bear, rather than control. Kind of like having kids.
So that’s my platform: invisibility, ignoring, and taco sauce. Which is pretty much what I was peddling when I was a fake doctor but whatever.
If there’s a topic you want me to address in this space go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime I am already working on my next column, in which I will offer beauty secrets from someone who is INVISIBLE.