Trust me when I tell you that you should buy the next issue of Bitch. Actually, you ought to be subscribing to Bitch, but if you’re not, you should buy the next issue, because I have a piece in it. It’s a Q&A with actress and writer Jamie Denbo, who is funny as hell onstage but over-the-top hilarious in an interview.
I loved doing the piece, not only because it gave me a chance to catch up with an old high school buddy, but because Denbo gives very good interview, and what she has to say is smart. The Q&A covers comedy, sex, and – of course – being a chick in a man’s world.
What did not, however, make the final draft were a couple of interruptions. First, my husband, exasperated at trying to get the kids to bed in the next room, decided to take Benjamin up to the attic to sleep. (Don’t worry – it’s a very nice, finished attic.)
“Hang on a second,” I told Denbo. “Honey, don’t take him up there. That’s what he’s trying to get you to do. He wants to go up there so he can stay up for two more hours and explore.” I went back to the interview. “Sorry.”
Denbo was laughing on the other end of the line. “Please, don’t apologize.”
Fifteen minutes later, she told me to hang on a second. “Hi, big girl,” she said to her toddler daughter, who launched into a description of a merry-go-round ride that her father had just taken her on. Denbo’s husband (actor John Bowie Ross) started up Hairspray for the little girl, but there were several more interruptions to come – Denbo’s cell phone, my toddler daughter needing a kiss, Denbo’s infant son waking up.
After every interruption, we picked right back up in the conversation. That’s just how we roll these days.
Several months later, I came downstairs at 5:30 AM to write. I was working on an article for an alumni magazine about an entrepreneur who started a fair trade company. (That interview was interrupted when Lilah got up early from her nap and then had a poopy diaper.) Now I was trying to transcribe the interview so I could start writing the article.
I had been aiming for 5:00, but Zach has been having trouble falling asleep lately as he often does during a cognitive burst, and he had kept me up late the night before. So, I only got in a half-hour of work before I had to shape a few cookies from the sun-butter, whole wheat dough I made the day before and put them on a cookie sheet.
While rolling the cookies, I noticed the sink was dirty. Part of the nighttime cleaning is to wipe down the sink and counters. Since I’ve been going to bed so early, I’ve left the evening cleaning to my husband, who both goes to bed and gets up later than I do. He is less committed to wiping down the sink than I am, and – feeling myself getting annoyed – I forcefully reminded myself that I am less committed to things like filling out school and camp forms than he is.
I emailed my husband with the subject header “Please”: “put cookies in oven for 11 minutes at 375 degrees. bring up laundry from cellar.” Then I stretched and left for a half-hour run.
When I came back, J had fed Lilah and changed her diaper. I fumed because J had not washed the tray from the cookies. He went to shower. Children were waking up all around us. The cookies had cooled so I packed lunches.
I went up to shower. When I came down, Benjamin had eaten, Lilah had yet another clean diaper, and the cookie tray was clean. J left for work while I started pulling clothes over children’s heads.
My Facebook status update read: “I blame Betty Friedan for my lack of free time. Also Gloria Steinem.” My inbox was suddenly flooded by comments from women who – despite being committed feminists – knew exactly what I was talking about.
We decided to blame Dr. Sears, as well.