For Valentine’s Day this year, I finally got the gift I had been dreaming of for years. That’s right, ladies. I got myself some Howard Stern. Because if I have to spend half of my life in a fucking minivan, I want to be able to listen to the one person who really and truly tells it like it is.
Howard is blunt and honest. He does not feel the need to impress anyone. He asks celebrities the exact questions that I would ask if I could. If he says something that he know will be unpopular, he tops it off by pointing out that he is only saying it “with peace and love.” (ie “If you are an adult, please don’t ask me for my autograph. I won’t sign it. It’s ridiculous for me to write my name down on a napkin for a 50 year old man. And I say this with peace and love. Peace and love.) I think he got this from a rap star or something, but I am not hip enough to know where it came from. I just think it’s awesome.
My closest friends know one thing to be true about me: do not ask me for advice unless you want to know exactly how I feel. There was a point that I told you that I liked your boyfriend because I didn’t want you to be mad at me if I said anything else. But now, if you call me to complain about your husband, I’m going to tell you that I think he’s being an asshole. Or that I think it’s all your fault and that you are the one being ridiculous.
I have always been unafraid to speak my mind, but as I get older I realize there is no use in trying to sugarcoat anything. Not only do I not care about being falsely polite, but I don’t think I am genetically able to filter out my true feelings. (Anyone who has ever met my father will understand. He made no secret of the fact that he wished my sister Emily and I were boys growing up. He renamed us “Albert” and “Edward” and would greet us by saying “Hello boys!” He is also no longer allowed to hang out with my children unless he agrees in advance not to discuss politics around them.)
I am here this summer in my childhood home state of Michigan. I have not spent more than a weekend here in almost 20 years. In a town in which I used to make a point of being seen at every hip venue in town, I am finding that I am trying to make myself less and less visible. The best part about this is that I now travel around the state with a built-in disguise all day long: my older, wrinkled, tired face. When I want to say hello to someone who appears to be squinting at me trying to place who I am, I can choose to symbolically lift my “42 year old Allyson Primack” mask and say, “It’s me! Allyson Ochs! From your childhood!”
The best part of this experience is that with Sam & Lauren both away at camp, I’m spending enormous amounts of alone time with Aidan. What I have realized is that he is more like me than any of my kids. The only problem is that he is exactly like I am today at 42. Not me as a kid. He cannot stand people who are happy twirling around and playing. He likes his friends to have serious interests. Like the Roman Empire or the Revolutionary War. He has no interest in hanging out with anyone unless they “get” his humor. (He was introduced to a kid at camp today named Dakota. Aidan said, “Which one are you, North or South?” And when the kid looked at him with a blank stare, he stormed away, mad that Dakota didn’t get the joke.) He has no patience for stupidity, and I totally get that. I just don’t think I got it at age 6.
But this past week, he found a connection with the one person in particular. A female. And when I say female, I mean an 18 year old counselor, not a 6 year old girl (because they are only interested in coloring.) But Aidan and his counselor got onto the topic of musicals, and she told him her favorite was Les Mis. He was so excited that he wrote her a note and put it in her counselor cubby. You can read it below. Now he chooses to hang with the staff, and I suppose that’s fine. They “get” him in a way that the other kids don’t. He is not into being someone he is not & that makes me proud.
While researching the best way to turn a blog into a book, I came upon an article that suggested the blogging author begin by writing something they feel they know a lot about. The article suggested it is a great precursor to your memoir, and will help set up the topic you have been blogging about. And so, I have spent the last week writing my very first “E-Book.” It’s tentatively titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about show business for your child but had no one to ask (because all the other stage moms are too competitive.)” The other working title is “What to Expect When You Expect Your Child Will Be Famous.”
In any case, I have spent 5 hours a day for the last 2 weeks writing down what I have learned over the last 9 years as a non-show business person in a show-business world. It has been the easiest thing I have ever written, and I have surprised even myself as to how much I have learned. I do not understand my laptop, but if I had to guess, I think it’s about 40 pages long. It will be ready for purchase within the next week, and I think everyone will like it. It is honest, real, and I don’t sugarcoat a thing. It may not be exactly what you want to hear, but it’s all true.
And if you read something in there that may sound harsh or too brutally honest for you, remember: I say it all with Peace and Love. Peace and Love.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.