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I Tell Myself I Don’t Want to be Mad

Thursday morning we’re almost out the door for school when I see Jane standing at the kitchen sink dumping salt into a glass. She explains that she has a sore throat and I remind her that independence is a wonderful thing but she should tell me when she doesn’t feel well. I can help.

We pack the dog and the kids into the car and head off to school. The dog doesn’t actually require packing, he just hops in the car and waits for us. He loves a drive to nowhere.


I glance at my daughter who is quiet. Since turning 13 she is seldom quiet. Her eyes are heavy and glassy. I ask her if she needs to go to the doctor. She does. It’s a 12 minute drive to school and about 15 minutes back to the house, we drop the dog off and it’s another twenty to the doctor. I am dressed for driving, not for getting out the car and I arrive at the pediatrician wearing workout clothes and crocs. I’m not ready to guarantee that I’ve brushed my teeth, certainly not my hair. It is the second time in a short window of time that I’m taking the mom walk of shame.

The pediatrician is a friend and we spend too much time chatting. It’s good to see her and even better to confirm that Jane doesn’t have strep throat and that a lot of kids have had this lately with most of them missing just one day of school.

We return home just at 9.50 and I have a conference call at 10. I call the number and they want to skype. I’m irritated. I download skype and then start walking all over the house with it so that a producer could pick a good spot for morning light.

It was overcast yesterday morning and it my house was a mess. Figures.

The internet cuts out. It’s just gone. There’s red blinking light where there should be green and I’m hitting reset and unplugging and maybe cursing under my breath a little. I email my contact at AT&T Uverse and I know from experience that I either get an email back immediately or never. I got an email this morning, 20 hours later. Not exactly helpful.

Mercifully I have a Clear connection so I used that with a laptop. I taped a few seconds for the producers and then went to upload the video at 10.30. I needed to leave the house by 10.35 so I’m yelling instructions for Jane about what she can and cannot do while I’m gone.

I take the laptop with me and decide to work while my friend is at his appointment. I pick him up and as he’s at the plastic surgeon having his wounds examined, taped into place and moved around his head I’m in a stunning waiting room in my outfit of defeat with my cell phone in one hand and my laptop groaning to upload 20 seconds of video at .5 mbps an hour.

After endless tweets to @ATTCustomerService I get a phone call. He assures me he will take care of this and then wants to put me through to someone else from repairs. I explain to him that I’m not home to troubleshoot. I don’t tell him that I’m next to a woman in a turban of white gauze and that it’s clearly the day after facelift day. The drain on her neck makes me want to vomit.

He promises to follow up, he assures me that things will be taken care of. I don’t believe him but I’ve got stuff to do and I’m trying to get through my emails while my friend is seeing the doctor.

I call home to chat with Jane and the home phone just rings and rings. I think that’s odd and I try her cell phone. It goes straight to voicemail and I remember that she’d forgotten it in her locker the day before. I shrug because she’s a competent child and the neighbors are home and know she’s there.

Two emails catch my eye. One is a congratulations you are the #1 mom blogger and they have some questions for me. I can’t even answer them, but I flag it for follow up. The other is from HLN and they want me to go on Prime News again to talk about tweens and facebook. I pick up my cell phone and confirm with HLN because I want good hair and makeup.

It’s a 3.10 hit (that’s TV speak for when you have to be on camera) which means I need to be there by 2.30. I have an appointment with the trainer at 1, so I text Loren and ask him if he’s free at 12.30. I bring my friend home from his appointment and  I get home  at 11.55, check on Jane who appears to be just fine and ask her why she didn’t answer the phone. “It didn’t ring.” She told me.  I checked every phone in the house. No dial tone. My home phone is a landline and my internet is Uverse. They aren’t even on the same bill. This is not supposed to happen. I am frustrated and I’m running out of time.

Loren has agreed to train me at 12.30 and I’m trying to keep my cool. I’m still tweeting, emailing and calling AT&T. The phone calls are useless. A recording gives me an appointment for Saturday from 8am to 6pm, an angry woman in Florida keeps me on the phone for 13 minutes before transferring me to a phone tree. I am defeated. I should have hung up with her after the fourth minute. I throw some pasta into Tupperware, grab my TV clothes and some shampoo and drive to the gym eating penne along the way.

Jane promises to keep Alexander’s cell phone at her side and I try Lamaze breathing. I am not going to get mad. I’m just not.

The workout is amazing. Loren puts me through the paces. This was the eighth session and I feel like we’re getting our groove. I know a few of the exercises well and we’re doing circuit training so the better I know them the faster we go. I’m winded and having a great time. My body is getting stronger and my head is clear. I’m not ready to end after an hour of circuit training but I force myself to the locker room where I shower and start to get dressed in my TV clothes.

I have no bra.

I have a bra but it’s the bra I just worked out it. It’s positively drenched. Now I’m half naked with my hair in a towel blow drying my workout bra so that I can wear it under my new silk shirt. I cannot catch a break. The smell of warm workout sweat makes me queasy.

I get to CNN just in time and Judy and Michelle are the only women I need. I just fall into the chair like a puddle and I know they’re going to make my outside not match my inside.

the makeup chair

Vinny Guadagnino was there taping with Dr. Drew. It looks like it was a good episode, I guess he wrote a book. Well, if Snookie can be a bestseller why not Vinnie?

I got the good camera this time and I think the segments were some of the best I’ve done. I had a few stutters though because when Vinnie Politan asked me about cell phones and kids at night I wanted to say:

Just get them AT&T cell phones and there will be such craptastic service that the kids can’t possibly use them at night.

But then I thought better of it and talked about the fact that every major cell carrier has some sort of parental controls available for nominal fees.

I tried calling my guy at AT&T. It went straight to voicemail. I sent Direct Messages to the customer care account and there was no reply.

AT&T was going to ignore me. They were going to teach me a lesson.

I left the CNN building and picked Alexander up at school just ten minutes later and he was engrossed in a game of Pokemon. “Mom,” he said to me in a conspiratorial tone, “I’m not proud of this, but the guys got me really into Pokemon.”

“Weren’t they playing Pokemon in the 2nd grade?” I asked.

“That’s why I’m not proud of it.” He said. And we both had a chuckle.

I got home and called the phone number from the social media guy who had called me in the morning while I was at the plastic surgeon’s office. It goes straight to voicemail. There is no chance that I’ll have internet service or a home telephone.

Then I go nuts. I’m spamming the hell out of twitter and if you follow me there this is my apology to you for flooding you with AT&T messages. But only after asking people to retweet me was I able to get a response that worked.

I ended up with phone calls from people who sounded less like receptionists and more like executives and shortly thereafter a tech came to the house who was breezy and competent and I was ready to set him a place at the dinner table.

Oh and did I mention that I also managed to get to Whole Foods and the drycleaner. I put together a perfectly lovely dinner and then after dinner I ran to Pavillions to stock up on paper goods and Tide.

I am SuperMom hear me snore.