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  • Ode To Mary Tyler Moore

    June 20, 2006

    A Perfect Post

    I left the house feeling quite pleased with myself. I was having a Mary Tyler Moore day. I had on a pair of jeans that didn’t require me to hold my breath and a brand new blouse — sunny summer yellow with snap buttons up the front. My pedicured toes were showcased in my favorite pair of black Cole Haan sandals, my one summer splurge item. And? I was having a good hair day. It was 82 degrees and the sun was spilling in through the sunroof of the car. I put on my sunglasses and checked my look in the rearview mirror. Dang! I looked pretty good, not a day over 45. If I’d had a beret, I would have thrown it in the air.

    After I dropped Sean off at school, I continued my mission to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. First stop, Starbucks. As I was celebrating my splendid-ness with a refreshing Frappuccino, I noticed a man over in the corner checking me out over the screen of his laptop. I acted like I didn’t notice because I am just that cool. In what was supposed to be a sexy Sharon Stone-style move, I tipped the cup upwards to drain what was left of the sweet brown liquid. But. The ice broke loose from the bottom of the cup like a calving iceberg, smashing me in the face and gushing down my pretty yellow shirt and into my cleavage. I screamed. The man in the corner hid behind his laptop and chortled. He chortled! That is one small step above snorting. You have not been humiliated until you have been the object of a public chortling.

    I stood and gathered up my dignity. I did a little side-to-side head move and flipped my good hair over my shoulders and then I put on my sunglasses and walked out of there like a model on a runway. Except that I was dabbing at my boobs with a wad of environmentally friendly Starbucks napkins which you should know, will disintegrate at the sight of liquid and leave behind what looks like spit up or oatmeal or spit up oatmeal on your shirt. When I thought I could plumb the depths of humiliation no further, I caught sight of my reflection in the door on my way out. I not only had an icy drink in my bra, I had a whipped cream mustache.

    I was not going to let a little Frappuccino down my shirt ruin my Mary Tyler Moore day. I still had on a fabulous pair of sandals. I still had on a sexy pair of jeans. I could still make it afterall! I arrived at my next stop, my doctor’s office, for some routine blood work. As I sat in the blood drawing chair, I noticed the lab technician eyeing my sunny yellow oatmeal shirt. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer.

    On the way out of the doctor’s office, I decided to use the restroom before I continued turning the world on with my smile at TJMaxx. As I raised my pretty little pink painted tootsie to flush, the slick sole of my chic sandal slipped and I baptized my foot in the flushing toilet. I screamed for the second time that morning. I pulled my wet foot out and stood there like a flamingo helplessly watching Cole Haan go around and around. At the last moment, I reached in and made the rescue.

    My Mary Tyler Moore day was literally going down the toilet. I stood dejected at the sink, on one foot, washing my sandal. The bathroom door opened and I looked in the mirror to see the lab technician. She stopped when she recognized it was me, oatmeal girl. She didn’t make eye contact with me, but rather raised her eyebrows with an expression of amusement and pity, as though she had finally seen it all. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer. I slogged out of the doctors office, past the nurse and the non-Mary Tyler Moore patients wearing my one leg wet jeans, one shoe, a shirt covered in what looks like oatmeal and carrying a shoe wrapped in a paper towel.

    When I picked Sean up from school he was demanding to go to Old McDonald’s and since I already smelled like Frappuccino and urine, I gave in. It wasn’t long before I spied him in the corner of the play yard in the poop pose, the one that looks like he is about to lift off wearing a silver space age jet pack on his back — knees slightly bent, clenched fists out front. He was also wearing the red-faced, eyes glazed over poop expression. Great. Not exactly the finale I had in mind for my Mary Tyler Moore day, but at the same time, it seemed fitting. I called him over and gave him the news that we needed to go home. Given the day’s track record, the last thing I was up for was changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom. He was not very happy about this decision, so I had to carry him to the car, kicking and screaming and flailing.

    With a “fully loaded” boy under one arm and my purse, keys, his shoes and our drinks under my other three arms, I exited the restaurant. As I was leaving I noticed that everyone was looking at me. My spirits were buoyed. I started thinking, wow, even after the day I’ve had, I still look pretty good.

    That’s when I looked down to see that in the course of all the thrashing about, Sean had unsnapped my shirt down to my navel. And I had not one free arm to do anything about it.

    So much for my Mary Tyler Moore day. If I’d had a beret, I would have just pulled it completely over my head.


    1. owlhaven says:

      OH MY. HIL AIR EEE OUS!!!!!!!!

      (I mean– you poor girl!)

      Hope tomorrow is better. if not, you better blog about it.


      June 20th, 2006 at 1:23 am

    2. meredith says:

      Chortling, I am definitely chortling over here 🙂
      May your ice cubes stay put and shoes stay on in the tomorrows to come.

      June 20th, 2006 at 6:10 am

    3. Terri says:

      Sounds a little more like Rhoda!

      June 20th, 2006 at 6:20 am

    4. Kvetch says:

      I laughed out loud, A.M., and the references to MTM just made me chuckle. Which, by the way, is no relation to a chortle.

      Seems like Sean was going for the Barbara Eden look. The little darling needs to get his classic sitcoms straight.

      June 20th, 2006 at 6:41 am

    5. Code Yellow Mom says:

      This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time…A terrific tribute to all of “those days.” Makes me want to send you a beret.

      Um, you might want to button your shirt…

      June 20th, 2006 at 7:26 am

    6. veronica says:

      “the poop pose, the one that looks like he is about to lift off wearing a silver space age jet pack on his back”

      I could see that perfectly. Excellent description.

      And good for you for reliving it all in a post for our amusement. Whatever doesn’t kill you… makes a really good story.

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:22 am

    7. Jennifer R. in MS says:

      Okay, am laughing SO hard- sorry, it IS at your expense, but MAN! I’ve so so been there- and can relate b/c I have a 2 (2 1/2) year old little man too- Thanks for the laugh.

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:27 am

    8. Tess says:

      *snorting* the whipped cream moustache

      you are one brave woman, whew, those kind of days makes you want to just crawl back in bed and start over.

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:40 am

    9. KL says:

      Ah the poop pose about to lift off- hysterical stuff!
      I also flush public toilets with my foot!

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:49 am

    10. Rabbit says:

      I’m weak from chortling. Sorry, I did indeed chortle. Came close to guffawing at the poop pose. You started out Mary Tyler Moore, so you got a bit disheveled along the way. At least you got out the gate. 🙂

      June 20th, 2006 at 9:23 am

    11. Susan says:

      Forget chortling, I was laughing out loud. Even MTM had her bad days. Thanks for shring this one.

      June 20th, 2006 at 9:43 am

    12. Melanie says:

      Oh, my! What a day! I’m so sorry that all happened to you, but thanks for the laugh! I hope you can laugh about it, too, in the near (or not so near) future!

      June 20th, 2006 at 10:53 am

    13. Julie says:

      Came here via Toddled Dredge and I never want to leave. What a hilarious story! No offense or anything, but oh ha ha!

      June 20th, 2006 at 11:12 am

    14. Fraulein says:

      Oh man. At least you got a good story out of that miserable day! Did the Cole Haan shoe survive the bath in the toilet?

      June 20th, 2006 at 11:49 am

    15. abogada says:

      What a perfectly AWFUL day. Sorry to hear about it, but at least you were able to tell it in a hilarious way. Especially the part about the poop pose. Hope tomorrow is better.

      June 20th, 2006 at 11:57 am

    16. Shalee says:

      Can’t. Type… because.. tears… in my… eyes… That is so perfect. Oh man… Whew. What a good laugh I needed today!

      (Slightly trying to stifle laugh) Poor AM. I sincerely your days are better this week. If not, please don’t pass it on to the rest of us when you come up to KC.

      Oh, and wear the blouse and sexy jeans and those fabulous shoes for the lunch. I would so love to see the real deal.

      June 20th, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    17. Binky says:

      Hey, you can laugh about it, we can laugh about it, and everyone’s happy. If one must have a bad day, that’s the kind to have!

      June 20th, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    18. Mrs T says:

      I recently had a similar experience, wearing a fun, cute bouncy skirt, out with my husband, just like grownups. Until a gust of wind caught it, exposing my ass to the car of the guy that I’d just made a snarky comment about.

      June 20th, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    19. Gwen says:

      I’ll never again feel as bad about the time I ran my Cole-Haan loafer through the washing machine!

      And only this morning I was dabbing my freshly coffee-stained shirt with a Tide pen while driving the car…

      Thanks for putting such entertaining words to all of our daily, humbling experiences!

      June 20th, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    20. Kim says:

      This post was so funny!!!! I actually get the lol thing now because I did laugh out loud. Roy calls these “Lucy” moments. It’s nice not to be the only one.

      June 20th, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    21. Mary says:

      I’m sorry you had one of ‘those’ days but I am glad that you posted about it because I needed a good giggle. Hope your tomorrow is better!

      June 20th, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    22. Wander says:

      Oh my goodness, the way you wrote this post I could see it all in my head. Sorry to laugh at your misery but obviously you saw the humor in it too.
      Now I must go and get something to wipe the monitor that I spit cola all over while reading this entry. Way too funny!

      June 20th, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    23. edj says:

      I’d say you definitely took a nothing day and made it all worthwhile! Now I need to go clean up the iced coffee I just snorted all over myself.

      June 20th, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    24. fstopsteve says:

      I can’t beleive you had a day like that and I wasn’t there with a camera. There is no justice.
      I did not chortle but I admit to a good guffaw. Great story! Thanks Mary.

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    25. Pammer says:

      um…there are no words.

      June 20th, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    26. Pieces says:


      Funny, funny, funny.

      I mean, I’m sorry you had such a day. Thank you for making it all worthwhile (for us) by blogging it.

      June 20th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    27. Perri says:

      Oh what a joyous first visit to your blog.

      So glad you are able to see the humor in the day — because I sure did.

      June 20th, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    28. Sarah says:

      I’m another first-time reader, and I’m glad I picked today to stop by. The whip-cream mustache really got me going, then “wearing my one leg wet jeans, one shoe, a shirt covered in what looks like oatmeal and carrying a shoe wrapped in a paper towel” just about put me over the edge. By the time I got to “the poop pose” I was laughing so hard I was crying. Whew, I needed a good laugh today. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope your next Mary Tyler Moore day ends as fabulously as this one started.

      June 20th, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    29. mama speak says:

      why i buy all my shoes at tar-jay & payless

      how come I have a day like that & i just b****, you have one & it’s stand up material?

      June 21st, 2006 at 8:39 am

    30. Wendy Boucher says:

      I am not kidding. THis is the first time that somebody’s blog post has made me laugh so hard I cried. You need to serve up a kleenex with your posts if you’re going to be so damn funny!

      June 21st, 2006 at 8:47 am

    31. June Cleaver Diaries says:

      Best. Post. EVAH!!!!!

      Hilarious!!!!! I love the flamingo image!!!!

      June 21st, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    32. chelle says:

      awww ok sorry but you just made me feel better about my bad day!!!!! Now I can say at least I did not flush my foot!!! Hope tomorrow truly is your Mary Tyler Moore Day!

      June 21st, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    33. Jules @ Everyday Mommy says:

      Well, it’s you Girl and you should know it…with each glance and every little movement you show it!

      June 21st, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    34. kj's muse says:

      You ARE one funny writer, and I’m so glad I finally checked out your blog more thoroughly. What took me so long?

      June 21st, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    35. Shannon says:

      what a scream. i think i may have wet myself (not that unsual really after the second child, but still).

      June 21st, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    36. Tasra Dawson says:

      Too good to be fiction. Fabulous writing. You’ve made a fan out of me!

      June 22nd, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    37. Darlene says:

      I’ve been wondering what the Mary Tyler Moore post was about. I’m so glad I read it–you made me smirk.

      June 24th, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    38. LammyAnn says:

      K… the picture of shalee smelling your shoes makes so much more sense now that I’ve read this post!
      Glad to have met ya

      June 24th, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    39. Belle says:

      OMG…I never knew I was supposed to call those days “Mary Tyler Moore” Days. Thanks for giving me a name for them!!! You aren’t alone.

      Have a wonder filled day!

      June 25th, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    40. chilihead says:

      I was told I must come IMMEDIATELY and read this post. And they were so right! You are absolutely hilarious!

      BTW, you were definitely having a MTM day on Saturday. You looked fabulous and it was a pleasure to meet you.

      June 25th, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    41. Adventures in Babywearing says:

      What an entertaining post! My first read here and I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve and on your shirt…

      June 25th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    42. Paulette Williams says:

      LOL I am like sooo chorting as well, now my daughter is reading. I am going to put the flushing the toilet with my foot on my things to try when I am skinny enough to lift my foot that high. Tooo funny.

      June 25th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    43. Aunt Murry says:

      This story is just that much more precious after meeting you.

      June 26th, 2006 at 10:58 am

    44. Robin says:

      I’m here from, well, I can’t remember now, but this story is hysterical. I’m trying not to laugh as I have a split lip and that just makes it worse. None the less, I’m glad I read it. Just. too. funny.

      June 26th, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    45. Liesl says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many responses to one post – but I’m still new at the blogging thing! You are a Brilliant Writer! Thank you for a laugh out loud – couldn’t see the page for the tears in my eyes – Great Piece! My two-year old keeps me right there with you, Sister! I have been there!!! But, oh, you say it so well!

      June 26th, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    46. Kathryn, dym says:

      Oh, that is too great… I mean, “man… sorry about that.” Your description of it is just so funny. There will be other MTM days and other memorable ways to flush them.

      June 27th, 2006 at 1:37 am

    47. Tim Arensmeier says:

      As a husband of one, and a father of four, much of what was written is refreshing as well as reminiscent of those “early days.” We’ve endured and enjoyed some delightful experiences (I’d relate the evening of three daughters and their . . . “pooping,” but I shant.) Suffice it to say, “Go, Girl!” It does get better. And, surviving the teens is truly worth it!

      June 27th, 2006 at 1:47 am

    48. Katherine says:

      I can’t believe I missed this (bloglines was giving me the (!) message for a week…now I know that means “Nothing from Antique Mommy!”)

      Hilarious post! Oh how many times have I had my shirt “unbuttoned to my navel.” Usually the straw that breaks me. Oh, for a beret, huh?

      June 27th, 2006 at 7:44 am

    49. Stacey says:

      My friend Julie at Desert Diva sent me over to check this post out. She told me about it and you over coffee last night at Starbucks. Sounds like you had a rough day!! Hope it’s been going better for you!!

      I’ll be back by another day : )

      June 27th, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    50. Tammy says:

      After all the comments, all I can say is…TOO Harlious. I grew up watching MTM and remember almost all of those great episodes…thanks for the wonderful laugh! “…a little song, a little dance…a little selzer down your pants…” 🙂

      June 28th, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    51. Betsy says:

      Thank you for this!

      Was just sitting here feeling 2 inches tall from an embarrassing situation yesterday and you’ve reminded me that these kind of things happen to everyone! (We’re just not all as adept when blogging it!!!)

      Great post!

      June 30th, 2006 at 2:05 am

    52. Betsy says:

      Of course I meant “We’re just not all as adept as you are when blogging it.”

      Geez. need more coffee…

      thanks again!

      June 30th, 2006 at 2:07 am

    53. kristin says:

      ok, that was just too funny… for me. for you, not so much!

      congratulations on your perfect post!

      June 30th, 2006 at 8:22 am

    54. PaintingChef says:

      That is just too fantastic! And I so sympathize although I manage to have those days without caring for a child so I really have no excuse.

      Congratlations on your Perfect Post! You definitely deserved it!

      June 30th, 2006 at 9:56 am

    55. grafted branch says:

      Oh! oh! I haven’t laughed like this in months! You know the kind…starts with a giggle of anticipation, simmers to a chuckle, cackles to a boil and then percolates to a full-blown roar of laughter and tears!

      My 11 year old wants to know, “who let a monkey in the house?” because I guess I sound that bad.

      June 30th, 2006 at 10:26 am

    56. Jules says:

      Hilarious. And I can so remember the days of little ones. Mine pulled my skirt completely down to the floor once when he slipped, hanging on to the hem. Fortunately I was at the bank, so it was sure to be caught on camera for future disgrace.

      June 30th, 2006 at 10:53 am

    57. Mom101 says:

      I can’t believe I missed this one – so wonderful! Perfect post for sure. Meanwhile, if you smelled like Starbucks + urine I’d have felt very comfortable with you. That pretty much describes the NYC subway system.

      June 30th, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    58. momteacherfriend says:

      Came over by way of Owlhaven…pretty funny stuff. So what else do you got?

      June 30th, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    59. ccap says:

      De-lightful! Congrats on the Perfect Post.

      June 30th, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    60. Diane J. says:

      So bad for you…so GREAT for us!! This was LOL funny, and congrats on your perfect post. I’m new here, but I’m adding you to my bloglines so I’ll be a repeat visitor. 🙂

      June 30th, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    61. PastorMac's Ann says:

      This post is amazingly funny. So descriptive, I could just picture you – and chortle.

      Thanks for sharing at your own expense!

      June 30th, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    62. Sarah says:

      This is the hardest I’ve laughed in 8 weeks. Seriously. I’m still laughing, even as I type this. Wow. That’s all I can say, wow.

      June 30th, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    63. Suburban Turmoil says:

      So funny! Congrats on your Perfect Post Award!

      July 1st, 2006 at 9:07 am

    64. But Momma says:

      Well deserved Perfect-Post! I laughed, I cried, two thumbs WAY UP!

      July 1st, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    65. jouette says:

      congrats! i’m glad you got the award because it led me to your blog, it’s great.

      July 1st, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    66. jody says:

      That is hilarious!

      “Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
      Well it’s you, girl, and you should know it
      With each glance and every little movement you show it”

      July 1st, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    67. MommaK says:

      Wow…that got better and better. The shoe in the toilet would have been the last straw for me. Congrats on the award!

      July 1st, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    68. Renee says:

      Oh.My.Stars. A very perfect post to end a very unperfect day!

      July 1st, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    69. Janice says:

      I am wiping the tears – that was a great laugh – thank you. I am so sorry for your suffering. But really – God give those moments with the blog in mind. Really he is being quite generous. A perfect post award is worth it – and think of how much laughter you brought into the world.

      loved the chortle! incredible writing. so well done – but now I have a new fear – falling into the toilet as i flush.

      July 2nd, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    70. Morning Glory says:

      I’m laughing so hard the tears are flowing, my nose is running and I can barely catch my breath long enough to type this. That could never have been fiction. No one could have made that up. Oh you poor thing, but what terrific blog fodder!

      July 2nd, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    71. boomama says:

      Well that’s funny. Sweet mercy that’s funny.

      My favorite line? “She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer.” Brilliant.

      I keep reading / seeing your name…now that I’ve visited, I have no choice but to put you in my Bloglines. Unbuttoned shirt and all.


      July 2nd, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    72. 5 Minutes For Mom says:

      This Weekend in the Blogosphere

      If you manage to steal a few moments away from weekend activities and to make it to your computer, theres some great stuff going on.
      I know many bloggers are screen free this weekend, but if you can’t make it a whole long weekend without a hit…

      July 3rd, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    73. SarahWalston says:

      AHHHH! That’s HILARIOUS! Grafted told me to come read this post – and I’m glad I did! HILARIOUS! Can’t stop laughing. So funny!!

      July 3rd, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    74. Jeff says:

      Good grief, that’s hysterical! Thank you Wendy for sending me over!

      July 21st, 2006 at 11:30 am

    75. RLGelber says:

      Hilarious! Love your masthead too.

      August 2nd, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    76. Nancy says:

      Yeah, I am still wading through history here…

      Too funny.
      You started out Mary Tyler Moore and ended up I Love Lucy….classic!

      January 21st, 2007 at 11:16 am

    77. Grace says:

      i dont think i’ve laughed so hard in a long time. funny story, keep up the good work AM

      March 6th, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    78. just like that says:

      Giffawed out LOUD and made my colleagues look up curiously. But just couldn’t help myself, especially at the second ‘she didn’t ask and I didn’t offer’.
      Oh AM, you are truly matchless.

      August 23rd, 2007 at 6:56 am

    79. Barbara A says:

      My daughter gave me your Blog site and said you were a must. I carried it for a week before arriving here today. She was right! Your story was so funny and I don’t laugh out loud very often. You go girl!

      February 5th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    80. carrie-the gremlin wrangler says:

      Ok, I know this is an old post, but a friend just emailed the link to me.

      I have to say that this is EXACTLY what happens to me when I think I’m having an extra cool day. Well, maybe not exactly, but equally humiliating and with four kids following me and the action.

      I don’t know when I’m going to accept that my cool days are OVER.

      thanks for the laugh!

      June 8th, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    81. veereg says:

      I am sure this was one of those posts you got the maximum comments for. It was hilarious….especially the description to the poop pose…..haha..
      Keep up the Good writing.thanks

      September 23rd, 2008 at 4:10 am

    82. Shannon says:

      I think this might be the funniest Mommy post I have ever read. Thanks so much for the laugh – I was crying. 🙂

      November 2nd, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    83. Mary says:

      This was the first post of yours that I read, and I was hooked! When you went off line, I thought I would never again be able to read “the Mary Tyler Moore” post. This is so funny!

      December 10th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    84. garrett says:

      you are freaking hilarious! Really!!

      January 5th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    85. Jenny says:

      Thank you for letting that day make mine!! GRRReat writing. When I grow up can I be you?

      March 2nd, 2009 at 4:39 pm

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