There’s an entire stream of life experiences that I categorize as Dirty Underwear. My grandmother and mother and aunts all instructed the little-kid me to wear clean underwear because I “might get hit by a car and have to go to the hospital.” The admonition has become cliche because no family wants to claim the kid with streaky Underoos.
The basic warning is the same as the Girl Scout motto: Be Prepared. Be ready for what you can’t predict, because you can’t predict a darned thing.
Right now, my Dirty Underwear concerns the famous NotMoms I’ve met since launching this site. Two, to be exact. Both women are honest-to-God celebrities, and BlogHer conferences provided the chance to meet. If I stay alert, there are lessons in those undies.
August 2012: TheNotMom.com was only three months old when I met comedian and actress Margaret Cho in the back of a Manhattan bar. A party sponsored by Harley Davidson was rocking and the rear seats were still unnoticed. I’ve been a fan of Margaret’s comedy and her style for years, so it was only after my brain processed that she was actually, somehow, sitting next to me, I remembered that I had a website with her on it.
I attempted to babble past the typical “ohmyGod I LOVE YOU!” gushing and tell her about this blog. I didn’t get around to asking for an interview, though I did have the presence of mind to snap a photo. The problem wasn’t my fan love. The real trouble was my altered state (three hours at an open bar can do that). Granted, it was nearly 11 pm, but still, the big moment came, and I was out of it.
Must I say good-bye to vodka and Skinny Girl? Not forever. But since anyone can be hiding in plain sight in really big cities, and always at BlogHer, a little temperance makes sense.
July 2013: The Chicago conference’s breakfast session starred Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Kicking off an intimate interview, Ms. Sandberg shared that her good friend, Mellody Hobson was in the audience. I stopped breathing.
I’m a fan of almost any woman in high-level finance, perhaps because I struggle with it at all levels. After watching her on Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, I cheered when she married Star Wars creator George Lucas last June. When the session ended, the ballroom emptied with 99% of the women swarming around Ms. Sandberg.
I approached Mellody as she was leaving, handed her some info and clearly described the website with her on it. She thanked me, hugged me, and posed for a photo. That was on July 27, 2013. Weeks later, on August 12th, news broke that Mellody, 49, and Lucas, 69, had welcomed a baby girl via surrogate.
I kinda think she knew when we met, don’t you? I totally understand why she couldn’t and wouldn’t say anything, but I feel weird for having thrust a promotional pitch on a woman about to be a Mom. Yeah, I know I didn’t know, but, still.
I always knew there would eventually be someone listed here as a Famous NotMom who would surprisingly become a Mom. It’s quite logical. Unless a very public advocate for childfree (by-choice) women turns into mass production mode, I don’t see it as a very big deal. Update the website and share the good news. In this case, I was as prepared as I could be, I suppose. But, I still wish I could send Mellody a note to let her know I’m happy for her.