Pants on Fire Tour Day 6, 7, and 8

May 22nd, 2007

Pop quiz:

You have just come out of a successful business meeting and are hailing a cab. You are wearing a new dress and new shoes and you feel great. Just as a cab pulls up (at 5PM, the hardest time in the city in find cabs—how lucky are you?), a pretty girl with big earrings rushes up to you and says, apologetically, “Excuse me, miss, I know this is going to sound strange, and I never do this, but I am a psychic, and I am getting a very strong vibe from you. Can I please just tell you what I’m seeing?”

Do you:

A) Tell her to get lost and hop in the cab because she’s obviously a charlatan, and she’s just out for your money?

B) Politely decline and hop into the cab because you don’t want to know your future—who needs to hear bad news when things are going so great?

C) Let the cab go and stand on the street corner and listen to what she has to say, because the whole thing is so strange, it has to be something interesting. So what if she asks for twenty bucks when she’s through?

D) Politely decline and hop into the cab because you already know your future—and it’s going to be great…and you don’t need a psychic to tell you that?

This just happened to me yesterday. I know what I did. But I’m wondering what other people would have done (my answer is at the end of this blog).

Anyway, yesterday (before the psychic incident) I had another barium swallow, and did not barf. It helps, I find, if you pour half the barium in the trash can when the nurse isn’t looking.

Whatever! I said was a hypochondriac, not a masochist. Anyway, I have no ulcers or masses (although they did find scarring on my lungs from histoplasmosis, a disease caused by inhaling bat dung that I apparently had at one time and never even knew it, a missed opportunity I will go to my grave regretting), and my acid reflux should resolve itself on its own soon with proper treatment, i.e. small, low fat meals and Prilosec.

I celebrated with a two cheeseburger meal at McDonalds, accompanied by large fries with a Ding Dong for dessert. And I haven’t thrown up yet, so all must be well.

Many thanks to Monika from the signing in Madison for the Nutella! And to the lovely ladies in Rye who also gifted me with Nutella, and to Bethany for the awesome rap AND poem, and to Jocie for the cool photo album, awesome poster, fake magazine, and letter. And belated thanks to Suzi from Texas for the awesome T-shirt! I don’t know how I neglected to mention this sooner…except that I’ve been wearing it and somehow when you wear something you forget to actually look at it.

Well, we’ve been talking about lies I’ve told over the years—because the heroine of my new book Pants on Fire is a bit of a liar. And now it’s time for me to confess the truth about the biggest lie I’ve ever told (that I will admit publicly):

Lie #4: I love kids!

The truth is, I don’t love all kids. I love some kids. Let’s face it: Kids are just like adults. Some of them are great. Some of them are awful. You can’t go, “I love kids!” and be telling the truth because no one goes, “I love grown-ups!” That would just be absurd. No one loves Saddam Hussein. And very few people love George W. Bush (anymore).

Still, our society can make women who don’t have—or want—babies feel like biological freaks. But like I said to my cab driver today (yes, the same one who pulled over to pick me up just as I met the psychic), when he demanded to know why I’m forty and married but don’t have kids, it’s not that I hate babies: it’s just that I don’t want one living full time in my house. Breaking my stuff. Spitting up on my clothes. And wiping boogers on me (this was the root of the Hideous Booger Incident which has caused some of my in-laws not to speak to me. Apparently, when small children are wiping their boogers on you, you are just supposed to LET them, because “two year olds don’t know any better.”

I know I may be in the minority here, but I remain firm in my conviction that babies, especially two year olds, know more than they let on. This whole “wha-wha-I’m-just-a-baby” thing? It’s a ruse. This particular two year old knew exactly what she was doing. I don’t care what anybody says: Two year olds are as cunning as apes. Don’t let them fool you).

Anyway, here is what I told my cab driver, and I’ll tell it to you, too, so maybe you too can begin to understand how a girl like me can be Pro-Babies-In-General, but Anti-Babies-For-Myself.

Why I Have Never Had (Nor Ever Will Have) A Baby, By Meg Cabot:

1) Babies come out of your vagina.

2) Babies cry. Sometimes for hours. Often for no discernible reason.

3) Babies often do seemingly innocent yet ultimately destructive things, such as wipe boogers on your suede jacket. On purpose.

4) Babies are often incontinent for the first 3-7 years of life (this is an approximation. I am told it can vary from child to child).

5) Most children’s TV shows are v. boring; no room on TiVo to record them anyway.

6) Despite what many people think, babies can be easily avoided. A simple oral prescription, for instance, when followed as directed, is 99.9 effective against babies. It really works (and many brands have the added benefit of clearing up your skin)!

7) Babies get up way too early. Often before it is light out.

8) Did I mention babies come out of your vagina?

9) My cats don’t like babies.

10) The earth/humanity is on a downward spiral anyway, and a baby will just weigh me down as I run from the zombie hordes.

I admire the many, many men and women who DO want babies, and I am MORE than happy to pay taxes to educate and care for their babies.

But stating, as my cab driver did, “But you will never know what love is until you’ve looked into the eyes of your newborn,” is not a valid reason for having a baby. This is actually the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard (though other people, not just my cab driver, have said this to me before), because there are many other types of love besides the love a parent feels for a newborn that are just as legitimate.

Besides, I have looked into the one eye of my cat. I KNOW what love is.

And, because you’ve read this far, I will now confess that when confronted by the pretty young psychic yesterday, I chose D) Politely decline and hop into the cab, because I already know my future—and it’s going to be great….

Things were crappy in my teens and twenties, so I fully expect my thirties and forties to shine. After that, of course, it’s a crap shoot. But I don’t need a psychic to tell me that.

See you in Fairfield, CT and Naperville, IL!

Well, maybe not, now that you know the truth.

Perhaps I, like Katie, should just stick to lying.

More later.

Much love,

Meg