Blog

A Humorous Story About An Actor

This one time in acting class I got paired with a male actor I didn’t know very well to work an assigned scene in which we played boyfriend and girlfriend dealing with an HIV diagnosis. I’ll name this young man Eric.

Eric and I had a great first week; we had effective rehearsals, we both got to know our characters, and we let ourselves play around with each other a little bit to get closer to a familiar girlfriend/boyfriend-like relationship. Here I’ll admit that acting is a little weird because to do a scene well you have to allow yourself to be incredibly, intimately vulnerable with your fellow actors. This builds trust and allows for true relating between characters – but (and it’s a big but) – actors usually want to keep any vulnerabilities within the context of character and scene.

By week two it was clear Eric was not one of those usual actors. Instead, Eric took the opportunity to force intimate, real-life conversations on me, his pretend girlfriend. I found myself talking Eric through drama he was having with his mom (she was mad at his sister for wanting to leave her abusive husband. What!) and reassuring him he would one day find a girl who loved him for him and not for his body (no joke). Often this would happen mid-rehearsal because talking about our lives helped Eric to “improvise” our bond.

Things really began to trend downhill during week three. Because we had a kiss during our scene, Eric liked to try to spring an improvised kiss on me “as the character” 2-3 times each time we ran our piece. Yet, he never liked to improvise fights even though our characters also yelled at and spat at each other in our scene. Convenient.

I knew Eric was bat shit crazy by week four. We had received a dismal review of “you’re making this too precious” and “stick to the text” from our acting coach the week prior, meaning we were being melodramatic (shocker!) and improvising too much. So, at rehearsal, Eric really wanted to improvise to make the scene feel more authentic to the text. Whatever Eric. So we improvised, and during the part where Eric’s character bares his soul and begs his love to stay, Eric dropped his pants and flopped his tiny, limp penis at me, in a completely serious, completely non-sexual attempt to be emotionally raw with me.

As most adults know, penis flopping ought to be a consensual and predetermined activity. I yelped at the horror of Eric’s skinny little trouser snake dancing around in his giant man bush and averted my eyes. Without skipping a beat, Eric pulled his pants up and continued the scene as though he hadn’t just flashed limp noodle dong at me. I yelled “STOP TALKING” and Eric laughed a bit too casually. I told him I wasn’t cool with the penis slinging and ended rehearsal, and Eric thanked me for my honesty and told me how much he appreciated my work ethic and passion as an actor. I threw up in my mouth a little bit and left, then called in sick for our final class performance. And now I get to tell the internet about his small weiner and even smaller mind.

The end.

Where Did All My Friends Go?

L I G H T B U L B ! Friendships don’t exist without boundaries. I’ll explain.

I went to the Chiropractor recently, while I was in the midst of an emotional shit storm. It went like this:

Chiro: Hi Shawna, how are you?

Me (through tears, too cheerfully): Hi! I’m good, I’m good! Sorry, I just got some bad news (indicating my phone), so I’m just kind of (wiggling fingers in front of eyes to indicate tears dropping.) Ahh! Ha ha!

Chiro: Oh. Well okay, but otherwise you’re…

Me (laughing manically): Yeah no, otherwise good! Things are good. All good. I’m sorry I’m all (wiggles fingers)… Ahh, crazy (sniff).

Chiro (averting eyes): OK well…

Me (pulling it together, realizing what the chiro is actually asking): Oh! But yes… ahem, I’m here because I’ve been experiencing some sciatic pain…

I hadn’t actually gotten any bad news. I lied to cover for the fact that I am a grown ass woman crying big tears – that I cannot control – in an inappropriate stetting. Before I got here, I confronted a loved one about what appears to me to be their lack of interest in our relationship. I did this OUT OF THE BLUE and OVER TEXT. It did not go well.

About a week ago I realized I was hurting pretty badly because I have been feeling this person slipping away for months, or maybe longer. She seemed to be uninterested in hanging out with me no matter how casual and easy I made it, no matter how much I insisted, no matter how many times I ignored how I felt and went along with something she wanted to do. And, from my vantage, she seemed to also be prioritizing spending time with other, newer friends. Ouch!

This is not the first time that I have felt like I don’t matter to someone. I grew up in an environment that demanded I ignore my own feelings and see things from my one parent’s perspective, and by the end of junior high, my other parent wasn’t even in the picture any more. Lesson there: you don’t matter, kid. As I entered adulthood, I began to lose close friends, one after another, and fast. First, it was my friend who got a new job and a new group of friends, and unceremoniously kicked me to the curb (literally, she pushed me out of the front door of a party with said new friends). Then, another friend chose new friends and a new boyfriend and completely stopped talking to me one day, ignoring my calls and texts and emails and stalker behavior until I got the point and gave up. Then a friend pledged a sorority and actually smacked me hard on the top of my head for embarrassing her in front of her new sisters. And now it seems to be happening again.

Something dawned on me after the chiropractor cracked my bones; the common denominator here is ME. What am I doing to push people away?

The answer is two-fold.

First, nothing. Good news! There is nothing that I am doing to force people to make choices for themselves that differ from what I want for myself. They are not me and I am not them. Friends will make choices for their own lives that (shocking, I know) have nothing to do with how they feel about me. However, I am making an egregious error in my reaction to those choices.

No matter what my friends do now, I cling to what once was like some kind of algae-starved sucker fish. I ignore my every instinct to say something about their treatment of me, to decline the half-hearted, obligatory invitations they extend to me, or to face how very different the dynamics of our friendship have become. In essence, I ignore how I feel in an effort to see things from their perspective, and I do it because I’m afraid that I don’t matter. Sounds familiar. I ignore the tension I feel until it all builds into something too hard for me to bear, then I force a confrontation or otherwise demand answers out of desperation, which is what has just happened via text message.

But no more. Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I am breaking this cycle right here. I have a little boy at home and a little girl on the way. There is N O W A Y I N H E L L they are going to learn from my example that we should continue to hang onto people who treat us like we don’t matter because we’re afraid that it’s true. I matter, no matter how anyone treats me, and I’m not a victim. A person’s treatment of me is about them, not me.

So, I’m unpacking the mistreatment of my past.

Growing up, my mother was so afraid she was unworthy of love that she used emotional manipulation to demand that I prove my love for her; this included denying me my own point of view. She did this out of her own fear, not because I didn’t matter. She learned she was unworthy of love much in the same way I learned I didn’t matter. It was just as untrue for her as it is for me.

Friend #1 filled some need for significance she had with her new group of friends. At the party I attended, one of the new friends flirted with me. She saw this happen, became fearful that her significance within her new friend group was threatened, and ousted me. She did this out of her own fear, not because I didn’t matter. She learned she was insignificant at some point just as I learned I didn’t matter. It was just as untrue for her as it is for me.

Friend #2 felt like she was a better person around her new boyfriend and new friends. She had cheated on the boyfriend a few weeks prior, telling him and the new friends that she was with me. She wasn’t, but when the cheating came to light, I was the friend who supported her. She feared she was a bad person and equated being bad with being around me. She cut me out in an attempt to stop being a bad person. She learned she was bad at some point in her life just as I learned I didn’t matter. It was just as untrue for her as it is for me.

Friend #3 was afraid she wasn’t good enough and she wanted really badly to belong. She was excited to have the college experience with her sorority sisters, so she did what she could to fit in. She tried to include me, but I had no intention of trying to impress her sorority, and my behavior was embarrassing for her. She learned she wasn’t good enough somewhere in life just as I had learned I didn’t matter. It was just as untrue for her as it is for me.

I can easily forgive the pain I’ve suffered when I pause like this to consider what someone else was going through. It makes everything less personal. And, given what I have discovered, I can assume that whatever is going on with the friend I feel pulling away now has nothing to do with whether or not I matter and probably everything to do with some feeling they have about their own worthiness, whether they realize it or not. I can easily forgive that, too.

Finally, I can set boundaries around what I’ll tolerate.

I matter. So, a good friend or loved one who consistently neglects to include me in their important life events (ones they once couldn’t have imagined without me), or who acts as if it’s odd that I have an emotional reaction to our sudden lack of closeness, or who uses unkind language, emotional manipulation, or even inappropriate physical contact (like the slapper) in their response to me, isn’t actually a friend any more. I will ask to be included. I will expect my feelings to be important. I will request kind language & treatment. If their behavior continues unchanged, I will move on. That’s that.

Healthy relationships don’t exist without boundaries. And I’m not here for unhealthy, babe, because I matter.

My Imagination Is Embarrassing

I am a bit of a dreamer. One of my favorite ways to dream is to imagine in my head how certain scenarios might play out if I were ever to live them. I might confront an ex best friend and demand to know why she did and said the things she did, imagining myself looking casually gorgeous and speaking with an eloquence I don’t normally posses. I would of course give her grace and forgiveness, but I wouldn’t be friends with her again, even if she begged (she did, it was my fantasy). Or, I would sit in a cafe, sipping a latte and typing on my laptop as Kathryn Bigelow or Sofia Coppola walked by (always an amazing female director in my inner world, because she’d want me for the talent dripping plainly from my bones but she’d still allow me to be the sexually magnetic creature that I am because she isn’t threatened by that sort of thing). She would stop in her tracks and apologize as she interrupted my obviously deep thoughts. She would tell me she had been looking for a certain type of lady: mid-30s but seems younger thanks to her joy for life, normal to plus-sized, and the very picture of elegant entrepreneur turned deadly assassin at night, which, she’d say, I happen to embody completely. We’d have a quick, witty conversation and then boom! She’d offer me the lead role in her new blockbuster film franchise.

This penchant of mine for getting deep into all-in-my head role-play is delightful when I’m home alone, or even in an acting class, but when I’m anywhere near other people and the least bit bored, it’s embarrassing AF.

And so, our story begins.

One day long ago, on a very long and boring car trip, I began to fantasize about what might happen if I were to see my ex boyfriend on a night out on the town. I would be with a group of girlfriends, I’d have lost 10 pounds, and, thanks to alcohol, I would be feeling flirty and talkative.

His friend would spot me from across the room. Excited to see someone he knew, the friend would shout out my name. I’d be slow-mo grinding with my friends when I casually looked up, tossing my hair over my shoulder with a sexy “oh hey” look on my face. The friend’s jaw would drop and he’d immediately alert his boi – the ex boyfriend.

Ex boyfriend would look up from his bottle of imported beer. He’d see me having the time of my life, but he would know that I knew he was there. And I’d know that he knew that I knew he was there. Finally, I’d look up and bite my bottom lip. Electricity would magnetize us from across the room. I’d stop what I was doing and he’d stop what he was doing, and then, suddenly, the crowd would begin to part as we took seductive, sauntering steps towards one another. We’d meet in the middle of the dance floor, and I’d let him look me up and down. He’d say, “Wanna go somewhere and talk?” And I’d grab the back of his head and stand on my tip toes to whisper into his ear, “Not yet.”

That’s when I would take a couple of steps back. I’d whip an eye back to my girls on the dance floor then start to circle him, creating space. My girls would get in formation, and then boom! E P I C D A N C E B A T T L E.

Suddenly, a gleeful voice cut in to my fantasy.

“What are you doing?” asked my sister, as she held her immense amusement at bay.

“Hmm?” was the only response I could muster as I came back to boring, car trip reality and the giant fantasy-induced grin faded from my face.

What were you doing?” she repeated, her delight evident.

“Umm…” I began… but I couldn’t very well explain to her the vivid scene I had just experienced: the pulsing of the house beats, the sweating of the bodies, the smell of man coming off of my ex.

“You were swaying and murmuring to yourself!” She burst into boisterous, guffawing laughter. “What were you doing?

“Um…” the jig was up. I had to confess. “I was… I was imagining seeing REDACTED at a club or something.”

My sister fell over in her seat. She laughed and laughed and laughed, and I turned bright red and died a little inside.

“But why… why were… what were you… S W A Y I N G for?” she managed, between laughing fits.

Deep breath Shawna.

“We were having a dance battle.” I whispered.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” came the response.

“What are you two giggling about?” asked my mom from the front seat.

“NOTHING!” I yelled, shooting my sister an I-will-kill-you-in-your-sleep look.

“Alright.” Mom said, “Anyone have to pee? We’re stopping.”

“YEP, I HAVE TO PEE,” I screamed too loudly.

“Whoa, OK. I guess Shawna has to pee.” Mom said with a laugh.

“Or she needs to express herself through the lost art of the dance battle,” said my sister shortly before I unbuckled my seat belt and launched myself at her face, claws out and teeth bared, devouring her flesh and crushing her stupid spying-on-me bones with my jaws. That’s it. Now you know. The end.

Trying New Things Is Brave

I took my son to story-time at the library today, which is something new for us, and I swear to God, I learn more from him than he ever learns from me when we try something new.

First of all, my kiddo is a master-negotiator. The moment I mentioned going to the library, he began to negotiate his way O U T of having to go.

“Mom,” he began, “There are too many people at the library and we have to wear pants, it’s better to stay home and maybe we can play in the back yard with trucks. Oh, do you think there are trucks in the back yard?”

There he stood, wearing dinosaur undies and an already-stained black t-shirt, trying to trick me into checking for toys in the backyard instead of packing up for our adventure. He didn’t want to go to the library and see new people, he likes it at home where he can do as he pleases. Same, child, same.

“Sweet babe,” I said, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the library? We’re going to a new part of the library to do circle time! And read a book! And sing songs! Doesn’t that sound fun? Why don’t we try going for a little bit, and if you aren’t having fun we can leave?” Notice how I put it up to him, as if he has the choice? This was perhaps a mistake. He sensed weakness.

“No! No! No!” he screamed, punctuating each “No” with a foot stomp. “I don’t want to go to the library,” he said, and then, as if remembering who he was speaking to, he took a deep, calming breath and exhaled, changed his tone and tilted his head up to look me in the eye. “Mama, you have to be quiet at the library, and you cannot run.”

What an adorable creature I’ve created. This was more than a statement of fact. That brilliant kid was using all the tools and words he had in his repertoire to communicate to me the reason he didn’t want to go to the library: he had some mid-morning energy he wanted to run and scream out, and quiet library rules weren’t going to cut it. But, I knew something my babe did not know, and that was that the library would use a separate room for story time, where little kids would be free to run and sing and dance undisturbed. I persevered by assuring him I understood about his energy needs and promising that this new program at the library would do the trick, or we’d come right home and play with trucks. Then, I stuck a tablet in his hands and out the door we went.

When we got to the library we headed for the story time room, where some other mamas, dadas, and bubbas sat waiting to begin. I pulled up a spot of carpet near enough to the reading action but not too close to anyone else, and patted the ground to get boo to sit. He didn’t sit. Instead, he counted the lily pad squares that littered the floor in front of the story time chair because clearly that’s what they were for. I smiled at the other parents but mostly avoided eye contact, not really knowing what to do. Since this was the story time room, and I wasn’t too sure of the rules, it embarrassed me that my kid was the only one making any noise. Satisfied that he had counted everything in sight, he made his way over to me and asked for a snack.

“Um,” I hesitated. “Actually babe, I’m not sure if we can eat snacks in here. Let’s wait a bit.”

“Here’s a snack!” He announced, pulling a granola bar out of my bag. “Mom, let’s just eat it.”

I looked around and saw a few amused faces just as the story time leader walked in, giving a loud hello to the room. I took the opportunity to open the snack. The leader settled into her chair and explained what was about to happen, looking at the excited children before her. She didn’t even flinch when she saw my kiddo eating his snack, so I took that as a sign that we were in the clear. Story time got underway and my kid mostly ignored everything. He smiled at the song singing for a moment then yelled at the crowd singing along that they needed to shush, since it’s the library. During the reading of the first book (one we’ve read a million times at home), he loudly and confidently recited the words along with the leader, to my embarrassment (again). It was then that I began to realize that he felt much more comfortable being in public than I felt.

After two books and three songs, the story time leader announced that it was time to make an Easter basket craft! I hadn’t known there would be an art activity, so I was pretty excited. We made our way to the arts and crafts table and grabbed a chair. Bubs commandeered the bin of crayons and seized a big, purple stick of glue with which to color. I explained he had grabbed glue and offered a crayon instead. He did a few scribbles and then exclaimed gleefully how much he wanted to play with the glue. Why not, I thought, and we set to gluing his Easter basket craft together. He giggled, I giggled, and then, the Easter bunny burst through the door to greet the children.

I thought my boy would cry, or run screaming in the opposite direction, but cry he did not. Instead, he ran directly up to the Easter bunny and poked him on the nose, like he does to our cats at home. I froze for a moment and thought about if I needed to correct my child’s curiosity, but the Easter bunny simply mimed laughter and allowed my boy to give him a big hug. I must have had the sappiest mom-grin on my face.

Easter bunny love

We left shortly after the Easter bunny made his appearance, and as we walked to the car I remarked, “Hey buddy, you seemed like you had fun at the library today. It was really brave of you to try something new.”

“You too, mama,” came the surprising reply. “That was a new library for booboo and a new library for mama!”

Wow, I thought. He was right. We both tried something new today; he as a courageous little kid learning what his world is all about, and me as a mom, toting along a loud and head-strong toddler, and trying to relearn what this world is all about. We both tried something new, we both navigated how to be in the moment, and we both settled in and enjoyed the experience. How very brave of us both.

I’m Awkward and Going In Public Is Dumb

One sunny and beautiful morning I found myself utterly kid-less! My husband had taken our three year old on a little nature hike, so I was free to do whatever I liked. F-you, pile of laundry, I thought, and headed out for some relaxing tunes, comfy chairs, and fancy coffee. I walked into my friendly, neighborhood coffee shop and immediately made a beeline for the back room. I had to pee, you see, and that’s where the bathrooms were located. The ladies’ was occupied so I pulled up a chair and set up my laptop and crossed my legs to keep from leaking.

I sat there for quite a while before I began to wonder if the bathroom might actually be unoccupied, the door simply closed but not locked. I thought about standing up to check, but 1) I hadn’t been siting there long enough for it to seem like I rushed to the back room to find a good spot to sit and not because I was about to explode, which was embarrassing, and 2) what if there was someone in there who was – oh, I don’t know – blowing their ass out because they drank too much coffee, and by my knocking on their door they’d have to confirm they were in there and had been for quite a while, which would be super embarrassing for them. I continued to sit and my mind began to shift focus.

A dude sitting nearby was doing a lot of coughing and sniffling. He was working on his laptop and in full concentration mode, but his damn nose was leaking. He kept coughing into his right hand then wiping the droplet of wet snot from the tip of his nose with his left sleeve. I wanted to get up and grab him a tissue, and perhaps kindly suggest that he and everyone else around him would be more comfortable if he went home, but my crossed leg had started to go numb and I knew I’d have to uncross it and live through pins and needles to be able to walk, and that then my bladder would make itself known again, so instead I kept sitting.

Another man came into the backroom and sat at a table across from sniffling guy. He plugged his laptop into the wall and typed for a minute, then got up and went to the restroom. I hated him.

A woman came to the back room and went straight for the bathroom door, the bitch. Boldly, she tried the handle, which was locked. Aha! I thought, So there is someone in there! Sensing the need to establish myself as first in line, I blurted out a quick Someone’s in there and blew my just-sitting-here cover. The lady nodded and murmured an ohokthanks kinda thing, and I felt satisfied that I’d be next to pee.

In the front room, a barista called out a drink that was ready and two people stood to claim it. A nonfat honey latte with extra foam. Two idiots (I wouldn’t normally call people idiots over their choice of drink because you gotta do you, but they became bigger idiots the longer I sat there trying to ignore the ocean inside my bladder) had actually ordered the same drink, hadn’t noticed each other, and were now trying to determine if another nonfat honey latte with extra foam was being prepared and, if so, what the wait time would be on that. The more unfortunate of the two patrons deferred, satisfied that he would be able to get his grubby hands on that sweet nectar soon enough.

A woman entered the coffee house with a toddler and a baby carrier, and I marveled at her bravery.

Finally, the ladies’ room door swung open. A middle aged dame of some size stood in the doorway, making no attempt to hide her discomfort. She puffed out her cheeks, pursed her lips to exhale, and rubbed her substantial tummy. Then, she hoisted her bag onto her shoulder, rocked back for a little momentum, and lurched forward, and when she did so, she moved out of the door frame and allowed the stench of whatever she did in there to waft through the backroom. Sniffles guy was immune, as his nostrils were clearly an exit-only orifice at this point. Pees-freely man took in a short, sharp breath then brought a clenched fist to his face. Bold lady muttered something like ewgodareyoukidding then promptly stood and went into the mens’ restroom, that brilliant bitch. In the front room, the barista called out another nonfat honey latte with extra foam and Unfortunate Patron finally got his drink. Supermom had managed to order a beverage and was now alternating between coloring with her toddler and cooing at her baby. And I continued to sit.

Then came a text from my husband: Fun hike! Headed home now. I took a mouth breath and nodded my head. Me time had ended and I would be needed at home. But first, I had to, had to, had to pee. I uncrossed my legs and shook the tingly one as the pins and needles worked themselves out. I sucked in my stomach to clench my pelvic floor so I wouldn’t pee myself and stood up, gathering my things. I shouldered my bag and took a few steps in the direction of the women’s restroom – just in time to watch Supermom usher her babies towards the potty. Ew, stinky. Breathe through your mouth, she said, and looked up to make eye contact with me. She paused for a moment. Oh… she said. I smiled. That’s alright, go ahead. I have one at home, I told her, crying on the inside. Embarrassed, I sat back down and buried myself in my phone. I text my husband: Yay! Any pics? See you soon. I took a selfie to document the moment. I tapped my foot and scrolled Instagram. I looked at the cute hiking photo my husband sent me. I willed my bladder to expand and swallow me whole.

Then, I looked up just in time to make awkward eye contact with Sniffles guy as he sneezed a snot rocket. I gave him a sympathetic half smile and looked away. Pees-freely man gave me a slight wave. My eyes narrowed quizzically and he leaned forward in his seat to quietly ask if I had the wifi password. He’d apparently been pretending to use his laptop and had finally plucked up the courage to ask someone. Supermom and company piled out of the bathroom and I immediately stood. Sorry, she offered, her cheeks flushed. One look at the bathroom and I understood what she meant. The toilet paper was gone, the sink was wet, and the toilet was clogged. C L O G G E D. I glanced towards the front room in time to watch Supermom escort her family the heck outta there. Jesus, said Bold lady, who had emerged from the men’s room and was now taking in the mess in ladies’. Just use that one, she offered, laughing breezily. I hated her, but as she walked towards the front to make her departure, she dragged a tiny bit of toilet paper stuck to her shoe along for the ride.

F-it, I thought. I stepped into the mens’, closed the door, dropped trou, and peed for approximately 45 minutes, wondering the entire time why I ever leave the house. I thought about the weirdos I had just encountered during my one hour alone outside of the house, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I have never felt more judgmental and more dumb all in the same moment, I thought. I guess we’re truly all a little awkward. With that epiphany, I wiped, flushed, and left, promising to be a little kinder to myself and to others the next time I’m out and about.

Motivational Monday

I clicked on a YouTube video today. The title was “Tony Robbins: How to Develop WINNING ATTITUDE | Motivational Video.” When I clicked play, an ad started. The ad was a survey asking me my sex & age range; it’s purpose was to help the YouTube algorithm select more relevant ad content for me. Who doesn’t want more relevant ads? So I read the options, which were as follows.

  • Female
  • Male
  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 45-54
  • Other
  • Or, prefer not to say

I feel like that’s not super fair. First of all, YouTube, does ad content stop after age 54? That’s ageist AF. Secondly, I don’t see how content meant for women aged 44 is relevant for me as a 35 year old. In fact, some days I feel like I have the maturity and self confidence of a mere girl, early-20s tops, and maybe I want to see that new trendy cosmetic ad to feel better. I’m a millenial, dammit, I can’t be pigeon-holed or generalized.

I took an angry sip of my latte and grabbed my iphone to scroll Instagram. That’s when I saw the following brilliance, screen captured and posted by Oprah Magazine:

Today’s Mantra: You are not too old and it is not too late. 💫— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) April 10, 2019

Reese, you beautiful sunshine dream. Thank you, mama, for being a beacon of kindness, for sharing your bright and shiny motivation. Even though I find your opportunistic drive and your cheery disposition a bit too salesy and inauthentic at times (your 30 years in show biz are showing), I believe you truly care. I also like to imagine that you were sitting in your Hollywood mansion in need of a pep talk yourself, and so tweeted that affirmation out to the world to motivate the masses and your own tired mama body. So I’ll take that love and say thank you.

I’m not too old & neither are you. It’s not too late. Let’s go, girl.

On Choosing a Baby Name

I’m pregnant with my second child, and from the moment our baby’s sex was revealed, my husband and I have have been bombarded with baby name ideas from strangers and acquaintances alike. Mostly of the suggestions we’ve received have been unsolicited and weird, but the sheer joy with which strangers heave their favorite names at us points to one fact: people love babies.

WHY WOULDN’T THEY (baby #1 pictured)

I get it. All of your hopes for a bright future, stunted for yourself if not dashed altogether as you age ever closer toward inevitable doom, can be loving transferred onto a precious new soul whose potential can’t yet begin to be quantified! So you’d better give that baby a damn good name, Shawna. But the choices are vast and there’s that whole other person who is (hopefully) a part of the baby making equation, so gets a say in what you name the kid, and that requires compromise. I don’t know man, picking a baby name is hard. Might as well laugh about it. So I made a video and we did.