Life After Labor

July 27th, 2009

Yes! I’ve got deadlines!

I know, I know, who doesn’t?

At least, all my writer friends do. We’ve been burning up the Internet, going:

“How many words do you have left? What chapter are you on? Do you think I can get away with a fifty page flashback? What about a two hundred page flashback? Should I just make the whole book a flashback? Do vampires poop? Will you write my sex scene for me? Do vampires wear underwear? If they don’t poop, then why do they wear underwear? Isn’t underwear to protect your clothes from…you know? I need a name for my fictional hair styling salon. What do you mean, Wrapsody is a bad name for a hair styling salon? My cat sat on my computer and I lost three pages!” etc.

Yeah. Writers are weird.

Rachel Vail and I have even come up with our new, patented Deadline Diet™. I can’t tell you what’s in it because it’s extremely unhealthy and I don’t want to encourage any of you to follow our lead (hint: ice cream for breakfast is involved).

I haven’t left my house in so long I don’t know what air feels like on my skin anymore.

I watched the movie Stepbrothers and I cried because it seemed like such a moving triumph of the human spirit.

I watched this Taylor Swift video and I cried because it seemed like such a moving triumph of the human spirit.

I watched this video of the wedding party making their big joyous entrance to the church and I cried because it seemed like such a moving triumph of the human spirit.

I woke my husband’s cat Gem up to give her breakfast and she meowed three times in confusion and I cried because it seemed like such a moving triumph of the human spirit.

I can’t stop watching the trailer for District 9 because I want to see the movie so badly! I hope it will be a moving triumph of the human spirit.

Oh, yeah, and at lunch when I take breaks from writing, I’ve been watching recorded episodes of Sixteen and Pregnant (including “Life After Labor” with Dr. Drew. I love him so much. Did you see him talk about how hard breast feeding is? WOW. I mean I knew because friends have told me, but I didn’t KNOW).

I’m sure there are some people who will see this show and come away just going, “Babeeez! So cute!!!”

That’s why I think this is such an important show for parents and educators to watch and then discuss with their tweens/teens!

Since eight out of ten baby daddies never marry the mothers of their children, it needs to be pointed out that Sixteen and Pregnant is kind of an unrealistic portrayal of teen pregnancy….

…especially since five out of the six dads on this show have stuck with the mothers of their kid…at least for now! One of the baby daddies got dumped before the baby was ever born.

And I suspect that a couple of the baby daddies on this show stuck around because of fan pressure after the show aired.

What I thought the show did a good job of portraying was: These are kids having kids and the reason they had kids was because they did not use birth control. At. All (it didn’t fail. They just didn’t use it, period).

And the kids themselves sat there on “Life After Labor” and were like, “Yeah. Please don’t be like us. Use birth control.” And, “We could never go to our parents about things like birth control. It won’t be like that with our kid.”

So I thought it was a really good series for parents and their kids (and teachers) to discuss, since it could lead to some valuable sex ed talks at the dinner table or riding home from soccer practice or in class or whatever.

Here is an example of how my fantasy sex talk with my imaginary kids (whom someone will foolishly leave me in their will, since I’m never having kids) will go (PS this talk will occur right before I stick all the kids in boarding school until they’re 18):

Mom, while driving to soccer practice: “Who wants to go on the pill? Not that you’re having sex now, or are even thinking about it, and of course if you were, you’d use a condom too because the pill doesn’t protect you from STD’s. But maybe you just want to clear up your skin, have less cramps, decrease your chances of developing ovarian cysts and fibroids, and lower your risk of getting endometrial and ovarian cancer by as much as seventy percent*! Shall we schedule an appointment with Dr. Hall?”

Girls: “OMG Mom you’re embarrassing us!”

Mom: “You know, they have a new pill now that helps with PMS. I really think you could all use it, because there’s some real mood swings going on in this house during certain times of the month, let me tell you.”

Girls: “Mo-om! Seriously. What do you know? You don’t even know how to drive. Why are you behind the wheel anyway?”

Mom: “That’s it. We’re all going on Yaz! Someone call Dr. Hall. I don’t know how to use my new iPhone, either.”

Thank you. No applause please.

(* Statistically proven benefits of the pill. It’s true, I’m biased. I’m one of the people who’ve enjoyed all these benefits since I was teenager…just like Serena van der Woodsen! She and I have so much in common. Well, actually, now that I think about it, that’s the only thing we have in common. Ooh, except that I love shopping. And Chuck! Oh, wait, that’s Blair….)

Okay, but not joking at all, some of those kids on “Sixteen and Pregnant” really are examples of moving triumphs of the human spirit (watch “Life After Labor” to see how much some of them have had to grow up just in the short time since the series ended). I can’t tell you how much I cry every time I see the Tyler and Catelynn episode, where they give their baby up for adoption. Seriously, Juno has nothing on that episode.

OK, have to get back to work. DEADLINES are calling.

Someday I will have a Life After Labor, but what’s going to come out will be a book.

Which is good because I won’t have to change any diapers or worry about it getting pregnant.

More later.

Much love,

Meg