By Guest Blogger, Stephanie Blanton:
I have to admit that I feel a little Carrie Bradshaw-esque, sitting here clicking my keys. I’ve never written a “blog” before, and to be honest, I’m not even sure I knew what one was up until a year or so ago. I guess you could classify me as a “late adopter”. I certainly never saw myself writing a blog. Don’t get me wrong—I love to read and write (or, I love the idea of reading and writing if I only had the time), but I suppose I don’t think I have anything particularly interesting to share. And here I sit, channeling my inner Carrie. I can almost picture myself perched at my sleek desk, up on the 2nd story of my Manhattan brownstone (reality: I’m perched on a kitchen stool in my Cotswold ranch), my Manolos casually slipped off and sitting on the shiny parquet floor (reality: my 4 year old son’s sneakers have been tossed here on the kitchen floor, filled with sand from the playground, laces all knotted up—I’ve got to remember to untie them and strategically position them by the back door to facilitate an efficient morning departure), a glass of Italian wine and a half smoked French cigarette sitting beside my laptop (reality: smushed remnants of Uncle Bens rice to my left, casualties of my 1 year old daughter’s dinner—she insists on feeding herself—thank God for the dog whose highlight of the day is lapping up moist pellets of rice all over the floor- joyfully sniffing about, oblivious to the few additional pellets matted into her fur).
Surely any minute Mr. Big will pull up to the curb in his black town car — whisk me away into the night to an exclusive downtown bar where we’ll sip cosmos and laugh at the fabulous adventures of our day (reality: the only Mr. Big around here is the one sleeping behind me, stretched out in his leather recliner, while a DVR’d episode of CSI is barely audible over the sound of deep, guttural snorts coming through his nose). Ahhh…So, it’s certainly no Upper East Side big-city life, but it is my life. The reality is that I’ve never written any best-selling books, I don’t have a column in Vogue, I don’t flitter about the city with stunning friends to fashionable parties and important destinations. And I certainly am no size zero, wild maned beauty! I’m 38 years old and I feel like I’ve just sort of arrived where I am—at this brick ranch in the middle of a mid-sized Southern city (less than 150 miles from where I grew up), married to my college sweetheart, with two gorgeous babies, going about the routine of life. Wife, Mommy, Work. Day in. Day out . . .
I was recently reminding of the disappointing realization that I don’t have one single thing to say about myself that stands out among other people. It happened last week, while I sat in a team “offsite” at work. (Truth be told, it’s an “onsite” in one of our high-rise conference rooms, but they call it an “offsite” as if it might trick us into believing that we’ve actually been released from the confines of our cubicles for a day. But the reality is that we’re still sitting there under the same fluorescent lights, just in a different part of the building and perhaps with a better view of the city). All of our teammates were present, some of whom had traveled from far-off states like California and Arizona to be there. Since this was our first “offsite” where many of us were meeting the faces of those whose voices we only knew from hours of conference calls, we spent the better part of the morning doing the obligatory “getting to know you” routines, which included an exercise where we had to interview the person to our right, you know– find out all the juicy (corporate workplace appropriate) facts about their life, and then share what we learned with the rest of our group. Well, the guy to my right is a little South American firecracker chocked full of brains and energy. He’s was raised in Argentina, earned an MBA from a prestigious institution, after which he traveled around the world as a consultant before he landed here. Working a few cubicles away from me. Oh, and for fun, he runs 8 miles every morning before my alarm even sounds.
So, as we went around the room, I sat and listened as the credentials of my peers were touted. One guy grew up in Southern California and spent 3 years after college teaching English in a remote part of Europe. Another was born in India and raised in Hong Kong before coming to America to attend an elite Ivy League MBA program. One was from South Africa and grew up in France. And so on around the expansive conference room. Eight out of twelve of them are fluent in another language. Surely it’s forgivable that I can count the countries I’ve visited on one hand, that I only speak one language (and not even that well!), and that I never found the time or money for an executive MBA. (Perhaps the fluorescent lights are burning through my brain just enough to allow this expanse of knowledge to seep in for free…who needs student loans, anyway!)
And so there I sat…squirming in my seat, fighting the urge to chew my cuticles. The urge becoming harder to resist as the conversation moves around the room, each time coming closer to me. My turn…it’s coming…oh, won’t they be disappointed or at a minimum, just plain bored.
To be Continued . . .
Find out what happens to our Charlotte “Carrie Bradshaw” and learn if you can be a mommy, a wife, an employee, and be truly, “satisfied”?
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Love it. So true.
Can't wait to hear the rest! I can so relate. Somehow, I have started to think motherhood forces us to define ourselves by the internals rather than the externals… but maybe I am just defending my own lack of externals… 🙂 kln
What a real Blog! Something any mom can relate to! Can't wait to read what's next from Stephanie!!
I love this – this is my life!
Oh, I am laughing out loud and dying to read more! So witty and well written…I feel like I have a parallel life going on here…Can't wait to read more!
You guys are in for a treat! Stephanie will be guest blogging for us and has some upcoming hilarious gems!!!
Oh my gosh! Stephanie is a jewel! I LOVE (and sooooo relate to) what she has written. I can hardly wait for more!
Great Job!!! So true for so many mommies!!!
I was giggling the whole time… I could have replaced your name with mine and it would have been true… Steph – good for you for making the time to do this! Looking forward to more.
You are hysterical! Can't wait to read more….
I can feel your anxiety creeping as your turn nears. Oh, how I have felt this way on numerous occasions. It's time to give ourselves some credit for the talented balancing acts we do day in and day out. Not an easy task! Very well written Steph. Cant wait to hear how you handled the "sharks".
So funny…and SO true!
Love hearing your fun perspective for those of us with "boring" lives!! Can't wait for the next one.
Love this blog! Hilarious. Can't wait to read Part 2!
Hilarious!! Can't wait for part two!!
As usual, Steph, you keep us all laughing. Can't wait to hear your "tell us something about yourself" in your meeting. I can only guess what is to come!
Loved it! As many before me said, I, too, can so relate and will anxiously await part II! Way to go Steph!
Can't wait to keep reading…… this is great!
Michelle EhrlichSo funny, Stephanie how down to earth and modest you are, when the world (at least me and mine) think you are about the most amazing, smart, funny and accomplished young women we know! This is a great blog, and I can't wait for more from you. I loved Carrie, but how much more can one say about sex and the pursuit of sex? Keep it Real!
I love it. This is my life.
Amen sista! I cannot wait to hear the rest as I know it will be fascinating. As a thirty-something working mother of two, I have my own inner Carrie Bradshaw(Though truth be told, I would never be able to walk in Manolos). Bravo! Eagerly anticipating Part 2, and many more! It's always a pleasure to know others are going through the same thing as I do on a daily basis! To all those inner Carrie Bradshaw's, I toast my cosmo to you!
Ahhh, how most of us can relate – looking forward to part too!
LOVE it!! and can so relate :)Great to see you out here Steph!! Looking forward to more …
I am left needing to know the outcome! When will we hear the ending? Truth and vulnerability are the cornerstones to connection—something the new age we find ourselves in is very lacking—we may all be connected (blackberry, dvr, cell, text, etc) but very few of us are in connection with one another. Exposing truths like your reality(ies) gets most of us one step closer to being able to truly connect with one another—keep up the (connecting) blogging!
Thanks for all the great posts, everyone! Cokie B, that was really well said! You are so right. I am concerned that the world is on the doorstep of a real crisis in terms of our overconnecting and yet lack of a real connection.
While not a mom, I can certainly relate to the plight of a thirty-something female working in the corporate world with a snoring (albeit wonderful) husband on the couch. I look forward to reading more from Stephanie!
Oh this was great… I so enjoyed reading this and can't wait to read more. I can relate on so many levels. But particulary the part about not having anything to say about yourself. So true… Mommy hood means life on hold for the "woman" inside the Mommy. It is so good to know we are not alone. Can't wait to read the ending.
I can sooooooooo relate…this is my life! I am taking such comfort in the fact realizing that I am not alone!Although I do love my Cosmos 🙂
My life in a nutshell. It's amazing we've worked so hard to be so ordinary, isn't it?!?!? Yet, isn't that what mid-life is for…to look back, learn from our mistakes and then hopefully getter better (not bitter!). There's got to be life after 3 kids and a minivan. Can't wait for part II Steph!!!
Anyone who knows Steph knows she is Charlotte…in Charlotte…