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A Meaningful Life

Here’s a little back story on Lady G.

I went to a prestigious New England prep school for highschool, where my horizons were broadened and I found a great appreciation for learning.

I went on to college, various internships and jobs in television production, PR, marketing.  Ultimately, Mr. Gaga and I ended up in Connecticut. I worked for a nonprofit doing program development, fundraising and grant writing.

Doing good works was not part of my plan. It’s not exactly what I thought was my cup of tea.

I found it a challenge, yet also found it fulfilling and worthwhile.  I felt good about working a 12 hour day to benefit sick children.  I felt much better about that than I did working a 12 hour day for Viacom.

When I was pregnant with Sam, the nonprofit shut its doors and I ended up home with a one-year-old, by default.

Something else that was not part of my plan.

While also rewarding and fulfilling in some ways, I have struggled to find myself and find meaning in life as a stay-at-home mom.

I have found it difficult to consider my children my sole reason for being.  I have shuddered to think that I was put on this earth to raise 2 children, grocery shop and keep the toilets clean.

Very early on I started working a mindless part-time job just to keep myself sane.  Let’s say for the sake of anonymity I sell push-up bras.  I help women to look good and feel good.  It’s fun. It’s harmless. Meaningful? Not so much.

This week I went to the CT Forum to hear a panel discussion on leading a meaningful life.

The panel included smart important people who were doing great things in the world.  One of the panelists was Tim Shriver, who besides being the son of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, is the chairman of the Special Olympics.  He also went to Yale undergrad, and then to about 65 other schools to collect various degrees, and has 5 children, looks like a Kennedy, and is brother-in-laws with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Around the time that Tim racked up yet another degree, I could be found doing very important works like emptying the dishwasher twice a day and organizing Legos.

Around the time that Tim racked up yet another degree, I could be found doing very important works like emptying the dishwasher twice a day and organizing Legos.

He was so dynamic when he spoke about the meaning of life, and how important it is to give back and to be someone who makes change in the world.

He has done so much and in the midst of it all his hair is always that perfect Kennedy hair that gives you hope and makes you feel all is right with the world.

It made me think about what I do.

You know…sell push up bras….clean the occasional toilet…..make dinner.


Another panelist was a man named Larry Brilliant.  He has among other small tasks, headed the philanthropic arm of Google, cured 3 million people of blindness, and eradicated small pox.

The man is a genius, so I understand that I could never even dream of accomplishing anything that he has.

However the fact that while these people are changing the world, I am earnestly attempting to teach my husband and kids how to change the toilet paper, I literally cannot keep track of the socks of the 4 people who live in my house and  I have looked at my 2nd grader’s homework and found it overwhelming….probably indicates a slight problem.

“What am I going to do with my life?  You don’t understand because you have a purpose and your life has meaning….” I said to Mr. Gaga the next day with despair.

“Your life has meaning too, with your family.” he answered simply.

“That’s it? That’s my whole life? Just being a mom?” I asked incredulously.


“What? That can’t be it! I don’t even think I am doing a good job with that…they watch SpongeBob and swear.” I said throwing myself onto my bed with dramatics.

“What will my tombstone say? Here lies Lady G, she sold push-up bras and called kids assholes on her blog?  And what about when the kids leave? What will I do then??”

“It will be time for us to be together, and enjoy life.” he said with a smile, imagining us probably on a beach somewhere loving each other.

All I could see in my mind were the creepy old people in the Cymbalta ad.

“WHAT?? NO!!!! I hate that plan!!! That’s a horrible plan!!!!

I stayed home emptying the dishwasher for 20 years for this?

I stayed home emptying the dishwasher for 20 years for this?

“Ok, great!” Mr. Gaga answered sarcastically, “Then go get a job you crazy bitch!”

(He didn’t say “crazy bitch” but I could see it in his eyeballs that he wanted to. He generally is very nice and patient, but can only take so much.)

Well, you will probably be working and the kids will be gone, and I will be home with like 5 cats….I guess I will just stare out the window and pet the cats all day.” I said with disgust.

“We are not getting cats….I hate cats.” he said firmly.

“So do I!!! I would never want a cat…but I think that when you are alone all the time with nothing to do that’s what happens! That’s the point! Your life is so boring and empty that you forget that you hate cats and you turn into a crazy cat lady.”

He just stared at me.


How can I raise two children successfully and be fully invested in that, and still find a way to preserve a piece of myself, while simultaneously keeping Mr. Gaga around?

Does anyone have the answers??

This is probably why I have the tendency to be Lindsay Lohan…..just sayin.

It’s just not as easy as Tim Shriver’s hair makes it look.




“Having it All”

As the election approaches there is a lot of talk about the state of women in this country.  I was lucky enough to be invited by my mother last week to the CT Forum, which is an organization that hosts panelists to discuss topics and ideas in a live, unscripted venue.

The topic was “The State of Women,” and the panel included Ashley Judd and Gloria Steinem.  Besides just watching the event, my mother had gotten us seats at a pre-show cocktail party and dinner where we could mingle with the celebrity panelists.

Although we were supposed to be taking all of these women’s issues very seriously, I had watched enough Oprah shows to secretly hope to throw back a martini with Ashley Judd and get to the bottom of what it was like to grow up with Wynonna and Naomi.

Although I was looking forward to it, this Friday night excursion couldn’t happen on a worse week.  I had booked myself to work everyday for 6 straight days, and Michael’s Halloween birthday party was Saturday afternoon.

Oh yeah, and I was working all day Saturday and would get home an hour before the party begun.

I spent the weeknights leading up to the party at the grocery store, filling pinatas, decorating and making spider cookies so that come Saturday I would be somewhat prepared.

Listen, if anyone ever wants to argue the point that I am not a good mother, I think it’s fair to say that all I have to do is show them this photo of my tarantula cookies to prove otherwise……(thank you Rachael Ray)

Needless to say – as usual,whenever work takes over, my house was completely trashed and laundry was to the ceiling.  I would need to do some cleaning before the party, or parents would be afraid to leave their children at my house!

By Friday, I was completely exhausted and overwhelmed.  I had to leave the house early to drive to work over an hour away in Fairfield County. The people I was working for were not happy that I had to leave early to head back so that I could go to the CT Forum event in Hartford.

Now on top of party stress, the house stress, the work stress, the exhaustion…..add to that…….the MERRITT PARKWAY ON A FRIDAY AT 5 PM.

If you have not experienced the lovely travelling conditions in Connecticut consider yourself lucky.

Oh, did I mention I was on the second day of my period?  That’s the day where if I am not by a toilet on the hour – I look like I have been in a slasher film from the 80’s.

2 hours later, I missed the entire cocktail hour.  I was ready to cry.

I knew my mother was going to be disappointed/mad, and also I really had wanted to corner Ashley and stare at her.  I was beyond annoyed as I peeled into a parking lot and waddled out of my car.

The dinner party was held at the Wadsworth Atheneum, which is essentially a small museum that I didn’t know my way around.  I desperately needed a restroom.  I entered the building where the party was being held.  I ran through the lobby and an abandoned ballroom.  I saw people filing into two dining rooms getting seated for dinner.

I wanted to find my seat before everyone was seated but there was no way.  I needed to change my tampon ASAP.

I  turned down an empty corridor and saw a small little door with a “woman symbol” on it.  Thankfully, I shoved the door open and found myself in a very small little bathroom with just 2 tight little stalls in it.

As I looked into this small space this is what I saw:

Finally something fun happened in my life!!

I got to change my tampon next to Ashley Judd!!!

That made up for the fact that I didn’t get to drill her about her mother and sister like I had planned.

So after dinner we went to listen to these amazing women discuss many of the issues plaguing women today.

There was lots of great discussion, but in particular I was most interested in the topic of “women having it all.”

Here I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown from trying to DO IT ALL!  So I was interested in everyone’s answers to this question.

Can women today really have it all??

I don’t think so.

Mr. Gaga helped me incredibly, as usual, with the party.  On Saturday morning I left him home with a to-do list of things to do, which included cleaning up the house, putting up a tent outside and decorating it, setting up fog machines, tying up pinatas…..the list was endless.

He fully supports me going to work and takes the kids to their games and parties when I am not available.  I have even been known to dump them off at his workplace.

While I know I am lucky to have a supportive husband, it doesn’t mean I can “have it all.”

I am the one making the “to-do list.” I am the one going to the store at 10 PM buying 16 perfect pumpkins to decorate.  I am the one in the craft store looking for little skull candies to decorate 75 cake pops.

I am the one up all night worrying while Mr. Gaga snores.

I am the one envisioning this cake and wondering if Michael will like it, and how I will get the black frosting out of his white vampire shirt…..

So maybe I didn’t actually make this cake all by myself…..

But I had to think about it! I had to find it in a Halloween desserts book!! I had to hire someone to create it!!!

This is what mothers do!  Mr Gaga, God love him, would hand out Halloween Oreos and call it a day.

So can we have it all? Can we even do it all?

I know I can’t.

Or if I can I sure as hell don’t look good doing it.

Because guess what? If I go to work, and I make it to the CT Forum with my mother, and the party is a success, and my house is clean……chances are I have let my own needs go by the wayside.

This means I haven’t had time for the gym, sleep, dying my gray hair or waxing my moustache.

I sure am glad that everyone appreciated the Halloween party……                                                        This is what I look like as a result , so I hope you are all happy.

I feel a bit duped by my mother’s generation.

They said we could go to college. They said we could be “the boss.”

They said we were just as smart smarter than the boys.

They said we could have a career and a family.

They told us that we could do it all.

They were so high on marijuana excited about the new freedoms for women in the 1970’s, that they believed the sky was the limit!

They thought that the glass ceiling would be gone and everything would be perfect for us.

“You can have it all,” they would whisper in our ears, as they tucked us into bed.

And we believed them.

There was no doubt in my mind when I saw Geraldine Ferraro campaigning for vice-president that a woman would someday be president.

I absolutely believed that I would go to college, have a career and have a family.

That would be what I did.  It would just work.

But it really doesn’t always work!

And even if it looks like it’s working, we are filled with guilt and doubts.

These are feelings that men can never take over for us, no matter how much they are helping.

Let’s face it……even the best Dad in the world isn’t a mom.

I just don’t know if it’s possible.

But Gloria’s answer to this was perfect!

“I just want to say, why aren’t men asked about having it all?  Until men are asked about having it all, it will mean that women are doing it all….”

Ok Gloria, well-said but I still don’t know the answer.

Do any of you women out there feel like you can do it all or have it all??

If so, share your secrets with me!!!

And in the meantime – while we are all trying to conquer the world is it too much to ask for someone to make us a goddamn tampon that lasts more than an hour??



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