An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

In the running towards becoming

Now that I have picked myself up off the floor…

Yesterday I spent several hours at Canoe Studios on 26th street in Manhattan for a photo shoot that will appear in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It was straight out of a movie or television show, exactly what you’d think a bright New York loft studio would look and feel like, everyone running around with Very Important Things To Do. And then I walked into the room, no make-up on, no product in my frizzy hair as instructed by the stylist, and was like HEY, Y’ALL! Anybody got some pork rinds?!

Which reminds me. WARNING: TANGENT FORTHCOMING. So Marlo chipped her tooth, right? And she’s constantly crawling around mumbling, “Bobo. Bobo. Bobo.” At first we thought she picked that word up at my sister’s house because her Beagle’s name is Bo. But then Jon and I were going through a list of words with her — mama, dada, deeda, cuck, shithead — and when we got to Marlo she’d say, “BOBO!” My chipped-tooth baby calls herself Bobo.

It’s time to prop up a tire-less pick-up truck on cinder blocks in her bedroom. And over her crib we’ll hang a poster of Chuck Norris in a denim shirt with the sleeves ripped off.

Mornin’, Bobo!

I got to spend the first part of the day getting to know the editors and stylists and make-up artists while the the photographer shot the woman who will be featured in their November issue. And during that time I tried on the clothes I’d be wearing, eventually ending up in a giant white bathrobe and fluffy white slippers to wear until it was time for my shoot. And that was exactly what I was wearing when one of the editors came running in to tell me that Gwyneth Paltrow was filming something next door, that she was at the other side of the building about to come down the hall. We had just been talking about her, about how I had been featured in a newsletter about postpartum depression on her website, about the fact that Chris Martin is at the top of my list, followed very closely by Brad Pitt and David Beckham if he promised not to open his mouth and say anything.

Some people have very strong opinions about Gwyneth Paltrow, and you may think she is snooty and totally out of touch, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’ve been an admirer of her for years and probably have too much of my brain space occupied by facts about her life, her children, the loss of her father, and the fact that she openly admitted to feeling lost and confused after the birth of her son. For a celebrity of her magnitude, that’s huge. And so generous to women considering her platform.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s what went through my head as I ran out of the studio in my robe and slippers. I waited at the end of the hall for her to come around the corner, a jillion incoherent syllables jumping around in my brain, and when she appeared, when the blinding light from her blonde hair and towering frame came into view, I saw the terrified look on her face. Like: OH MY GOD. I AM ABOUT TO BE ASSAULTED BY PETER PAN IN A BATHROBE.

I must have looked like a complete idiot, like some crazed stalker with skinned rabbits on her feet. Can you even imagine what she was thinking? Because she was totally avoiding eye contact with me. I would have avoided eye contact with me. I’d have been like, Peter? Here, you can have my wallet! Here’s my watch! Just please don’t try to pick me up and fly out the window!

To stem any further awkward seconds of our life I quickly approached her and said, “I hate to inconvenience you, but I wanted you to know that I am the woman whose website you featured a couple of weeks ago in your newsletter, the one about postpartum depression.”

And it was like I had just doused a fire with a giant bucket of water. Her shoulders relaxed and she smiled like she does in the movies.

“You’re that woman?!” she asked excitedly. I wanted to tell her that if I had a dime for every time someone has asked me that exact question…

Then she asked if she could hug me.

Um, yeah.



Let’s just say that this hug made the act of teaching Kourtney Kardashian how to change a diaper seem very much like the act of teaching Kourtney Kardashian how to change a diaper.

And then we talked for a few minutes more about postpartum depression, how so much more needs to be done about it, how I successfully went on to have Marlo. And then we both thanked each other as we walked back to our respective studios. That’s when she said, “Life is kind of strange, isn’t it? That we’d both end up here on the same day? So good to meet you.”

I walked back into the studio where everyone was waiting to hear what had happened, and immediately my legs wobbled and I hit the floor: was she nice? Did you guys talk? Did she smell good? Did you tell her how you feel about Chris?

Yes, yes, yes, and are you out of your mind? Now that I’ve met Gwyneth I have to take Chris off of my list! THOSE ARE THE RULES. Brad moves to the top spot, now leaving room for Zac Efron in the top five. (He’s legal. I checked.)

The photo shoot? Let’s just say THANK GOD I haven’t ever missed an episode of America’s Next Top Model. I was smizing! I was fierce! I was remembering my neck! I was living a little girl’s dream standing there in designer clothes, a photographer shouting, “GOOD! GREAT! LOVE IT!” Never before have I had so much fun pretend-laughing over my shoulder!

This is going to get me in so much trouble, but the photographer David, he was incredible, had really great energy, treated me so kindly, and because of him I now have a new favorite joke: what do you call a lesbian dinosaur?


(Sorry, Dad!)

  • BookishPenguin

    I adore GP and love her Goop newsletter. And you clearly dropped enough lines to prove that you actually watch ANTM. GP AND ANTM all in one post?? This post certainly isn’t dreckitude!

  • swiftserenity

    I’ve always liked her…she’s a great actress and I like how candid she is with the press.

  • Cooky

    How fabulous for both of you. Can’t wait to see the results of the photo shoot.

    It’s so great to live vicariously through your wonderful experiences.

    All I can say is WOW!

  • AttyGirlTex

    I feel like GP is a lot like a lot of women — we’re not really (or haven’t traditionally been) “girls’ girls”. If that makes any sense. I think it makes her a little misunderstood. I, for one, think she’s a hoot. And I have totally developed a respect for her (as a mother and wife) after reading some of her things, seeing how she has attempted to provide normalcy for her family, made career decisions (that appear to have been) in the interest of her family, etc.

    Well, anyway, cool story!

  • RSMDianne

    GP is awesome and beautiful, and so very cool that she knows you! Coldplay is my very favorite band. I met Chris Martin last year at a Coldplay concert, and I shook his hand, and I drowned in those Caribbean Ocean blue eyes of his. Then I left him to go talk to Will Champion, who is at the top of my list – I have a thing for drummers. Yes, it was a meet and greet, but they were so genuine when meeting us. Then my knees wobbled and I died. And on the way to our seats, we walked right by GP.

  • Sneeka

    I read that Goop – I subscribe – and screamed when I saw that GP mentioned you – like Dooce is my blog or something.

    I like GP, always liked coldplay and therefore Chris. This sounds like an awesome chance meeting!

  • Sneeka

    oh and that joke? LOVING IT!!! Just called hubby to share.

  • AshesVonDust

    I have to agree with Truthful Mommy on the Alexander Skaarsgard front… HOT DIGGETY-DAMN. If I ever met him, I would probably end up in jail (or at least with a fine or something) because I literally would not be able to keep my clothes on in his presence. Never mind that stripping for him would probably send him running, but I don’t think I’d be able to help it, my clothes would just explode off of my body.

  • Owengirl79

    Did Marlo hear you saying boo boo about her chipped tooth and come out with Bobo?

  • dzymzlzy

    Is “smizing” an ANTM saying or a typo? I don’t watch that show so I’m not sure…

    And also, this captcha says “Likable Jews”. Umm… what is going on today?

  • MamaLana

    Could Bobo possibly be Marlo’s version of Baby? Mmmm?

  • JeannieNJ

    Okay, I have a good Gwyneth Paltrow story, pretty old, kind of long. I used to live on the Upper West Side, before I had a million kids and moved to the suburbs. There was this teeny-tiny hole-in-the-wall, not fancy-looking Italian restaurant right near my apartment that had recently-ish opened, and was a real gem. It was great Italian food from a real chef at reasonable prices. Someone who’d left a famous restaurant to start this one. Very hard to get in. No reservations.

    One cold, rainy weeknight, my husband and I and a few friends decided to give it a try since it was such a lousy night out. Still a line, but short. Friend looks in the window (we were waiting on the sidewalk) and says “the woman at that table looks a lot like Gwyneth Paltrow.” I look in the window, and say “well, since the guy at the other end of the table looks like Ben Affleck (I told you this story was old) it probably is Gwyneth Paltrow.” We are shortly seated inside this teeny-tiny restaurant, maybe ten tables, right next to Gwyneth. Gwyneth and her party are taking up almost half the restaurant. They have a bunch of tables pushed together, maybe 10-12 people. The only other person I recognize is Ben Affleck. It is clearly a family dinner (not Gywneth’s parents, I would have recognized them). It is right around the holidays.

    We try to act all cool and all, because we are New Yorkers, of course. But Gwyneth looks over at our table and smiles at us, and when she smiled, she lit up the room. It was incredible. But we went about our business. Anyway, they are ordering up a storm, appetizers, bottle after bottle of wine, huge entrees, desserts, the works. As the meal is winding up, Ben Affleck calls the waiter over and asks for the bill. Waiter brings the check, and Ben grabs it and says “I’ve got this” in a kind of pretentious, “aren’t I so great” way (he was still kind of a douche then, pre-Jennifer Garner, although not as much of a douche as he was with Jennifer Lopez). Hands the waiter a credit card without even looking at the check, which must have been huge. Waiter leans down and whispers in his ear “I’m sorry sir, we don’t take credit cards, cash only.” It says so on the menu, of course. We had our cash in our pockets. Ben gets this panicked, embarrassed look. Of course he doesn’t have enough cash to pay. So everyone at the table starts going through their wallets and purses, saying “I’ve got $30,” “here’s another $10.” Everyone except Gwyneth. I guess she didn’t carry money. She just sat back looking beautiful and golden and sunny and not the least bit concerned. Finally, Ben and someone else have to leave to go to an ATM. They finally get enough money to pay the bill, and they leave. The second they were gone, the whole restaurant, staff included, burst into shared conversations about this coolest of celebrity encounters. We’d all acted so cool while they were there, because we had to be cool just to be AT that restaurant, but we couldn’t wait to talk about what we’d just seen.

    Ben and Gwyneth broke up not long after. Maybe because he wasn’t cool enough to bring cash.

  • Missybeme

    (I had surgery to remove my gallbladder a week ago, it was a little rougher than normal, so it still hurts to laugh.)

    I should have totally known better than to read your blog. I was in tears from laughing so hard after reading the post. Between the Bobo and the joke at the end. Thanks for the laugh!

  • davedorr9

    I laughed until I cried. I AM SERIOUS ABOUT THAT. But I only laughed at the parts you intended to be funny. Mornin’, bobo!

  • bittybobo

    Oh, that is my daughter Molly’s nickname and she is not a hillbilly or anything. We still call her Bobo and she is seven years old now. I think it is a great name to go by!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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