oh lord, what has amomamongmen done this time…

I’m gettin’ a purty dress, and shavin’ my legs, and wearin’ some fancy shoes, and gettin’ my hair cut and maybe even wearing some lip schitz.

The momamongmen has found a showcase for her verbal diarrhea. the momamongmen has found a stage and a microphone and will soon become amomamonghundreds and then when the video is posted to the world-wide webs, she’ll possibly be amomamongthousands. All because I love the sound of my voice amplified, the feel of hot lights on my skin, an excuse for a new dress and I’ve got an issue close to my heart that I feel like somebody should talk about. Oh, how about me?

It’s no secret amomamongmen loves to talk. Always has. This is the once upon a time girl whose fourth grade teacher tied her into her desk because she got up and chatted with all the students as they tried to finish their ditto sheets (touche Beaulah Seaman, touche.) I started taking drama classes in elementary school and had broken the glass ceiling for holiday plays by the fifth grade ( I made a damn fine Scrooge too, even if I couldn’t sing and they made me kind of say the lyrics to music, it was an early kind of rap. way ahead of my time.) I had a career in theater going throughout middle school and high school, but I never played a character like this. Me. I sailed through public speaking classes, practically begging for extra credit work, which in college is a little embarassing. Let me talk more! Me! Me!

These days my speaking skills are used mostly for encouraging Little to eat more than croutons for lunch, giving tours of his preschool to stunned parents (I’m sure they’re wondering, “my god, do all the mommies talk this much?”) and tossing out bon mots and generally giving unsolicited opinions at the Nursery School Board Meetings. My verbal diarrhea can be productive, it shares a razor-thin edge with annoying, but seldom do the twain mix (I’M SURE.) But this. This will be different.

You see on Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day: which you already knew, right?) at three o’clock, I am going to stand on the stage at the Barrymore theatre in Madison and spill my guts, there might be snot too; I wouldn’t be surprised. I am going to stand up on that stage in my new dress and strappy sandals and read a piece I wrote called “Mothering the Storm: Living, Loving and Parenting with Depression”. I’m going to pour out my heart and open myself up to judgement that I’ve never dared to tempt.

Last year I tried out for Listen to Your Mother too. I wrote a funny five-minute piece that was my heelariousest verbal diarrhea, basically one long string of bon mots called Making Peach with War about how to come to terms with my sons’ aggressions. I didn’t get in. I know now why. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t anything more than one long string of funny; which has it’s place. It wasn’t my story.

This is different. You see last year, this was the piece I wanted to write, the piece about depression, but I decided it was to hard, too Debbie Downerish and honestly… too honest. The story was rattling around in my head for almost a year; every once in a while a piece would surface and beg to be recorded and so over a long period it came together and to tell you the truth, when I read it, I still can’t believe it’s mine. These are my words. And they are haunting. I guess that when those words bubbled up and were recorded they were parts. Now, that it’s a whole, it’s far stronger, far bolder than the sum of all those little parts, phrases, sentences, words.

In both the books that I have written mental illness has either been a characteristic or plot point. Characters have either been fighting against or living with it. But it’s easy to draw characters with depression and anxiety; it’s much harder to draw yourself.

I have depression. I have for a long time. It sucks and I wish I didn’t but on May 13 at 3:00 I am going to get up on the stage at the Barrymore and talk about it, in my new dress and my strappy sandals (did I already mention those?) Even though as I do my stomach will be tied in knots as I worry that no one will understand. It’s my story, but I kind of think it must be someone else’s story too. I hope so or I’m going to look like some kind of asshole up there in my dress and new sandals (yes, those again.)

But I have to do it. My name’s on the poster. There’s no turning back. My hope is that somewhere out there in the audience is someone who’s been feeling alone and lost and as I sob my way through the end of my reading; they’ll feel just a little less lost. There’s that and I already bought the sandals.


Visit the website to find out how to get tickets (I know you’re curious about my sandals) and check out the bios for me and the rest of the cast, because yes it’s not just about me, like amomamongmen usually makes it.


4 Responses to “oh lord, what has amomamongmen done this time…”

  1. 1 Susan
    May 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Already bought my tickets! I’m so glad you’re taking the stage again. It has missed you.

  2. May 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Can’t wait to see you on stage again. Am trying to buy tickets online but started out with only one so went back changed it to two and then had three ordered. And so it went until I had 9 so I need to log out and try again. You will have a cheering section there to support you. Love, Mom

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now what’s that now?

what’s done is done


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