The other day after my Dallas book event, someone told me that I must feel so glamorous, having a book signing with a crowd coming out to you know, see me. I told her it didn’t feel all that glamorous, but when she challenged me with “Really?”, all I could come back with was a bunch of mumbo jumbo about the loads of anxiety that accompanies publication. This didn’t seem like an authentic answer, since technically I’m way less anxious now. And there’s something to be said for the fear of failing to meet your sales goals as opposed to the fear of failure all together.
This new fear is very specific and therefore attackable. The old fear had felt like it was crushing and choking the life out of me before I got my first full-time writing gig. I love the new fear way more. It makes me feel like a future titan with several thrilling challenges lying before me. The new fear actually makes me happy. So no, my “more success, more anxiety” didn’t really answer her question. As I go about my book tour, why don’t I feel glamorous?
Then my daughter Betty did me the favor of answering that question the very next day.
After we put Betty down for her nap, I was working hard to clear out my inbox before she woke up. But then she started crying again. I asked my nephew to mute his video game. Maybe it was keeping her up. But a few more minutes went by and she seemed to be getting more upset. I sighed. My husband offered to go pick her up for a few minutes and then put her right back down when she calmed down, as my most beloved baby-rearing book had advised me and I had advised him.
I went back to sorting out my inbox, only to hear, “Honey, I need your help!” less than a minute later.
How to explain? Well, upon arriving in Dallas, we were happy to discover the impossible-to-find in L.A. Huggies Denim diapers just hanging out at the local Krogers. We got a pack and had been pairing them with tops and simple muumuu-like dresses for a few days. After a lovely trip to the mall library (more on that later), Betty was tuckered out so we put her down in her pack n’ play crib with her security blanket. We were innocent. We assumed that she was innocent, too.
That was before.
After my husband called out to me, I walked into a now-smelly room to find that my daughter had torn off her clever denim diaper, pooped on the bed, peed on top of the poop, then had gotten upset, because what was she a Bangkok prisoner? Obviously she couldn’t sleep in these conditions. So she had called out to her servants parents.
And as I cleaned her up and put her in a new outfit, while my husband gave her pack n’ play the hazmat treatment, replacing her security blanket with it’s back-up, I thought, “This (literal) shit right here is why I don’t feel like a glamorous writer.”