I’ve got this fabulously funny blog reader in Ontario, Canada. Her name is Sara (from My Mother’s Daughter) and she’s been a loyal reader pretty much since I launched the Lance five years ago. Our relationship began over a boob cake, but more on that later.
We didn’t know each other prior to blogging. She simply started reading my stuff and I started reading her stuff. From there we became good ‘ol fashioned internet friends bound by what I can only describe as identical sensibilities, a crude vocabulary, a compulsion to share crazy ass stories and a love of the song Shoop.
We’re goofballs separated at birth.
Mutual blog affection led to random email exchanges. Sara’s emails usually began with sentences like, “Warning: the following story is gross.” Or “My friend is going to be on TLC tonight with her daughter who has dwarfism.” Or “I dyed my hair really dark last night and a girl at work told me it gave me a crazy look in my eyes.” Or “My mom just told me old age is causing her to lose the ability to control her farts.” Or “You make my ovaries dance.”
Sometimes she’d write nothing and attach a red carpet photo of Tina Yothers, whom she resembles. The subject line: “Jennifer – Family Ties.”
For Christmas one year Sara mailed me my favorite Tim Horton’s coffee, complete with a Timmy Ho’s mug. The package arrived ON Christmas. (I still don’t know how this happened. The mail doesn’t come on Christmas.) And soon after Henry was born she mailed me a children’s book about a bear in tighty whities. Does she know me or what?
So when I learned that she and some friends were renting a vacation house this month in Palmetto, we immediately made plans to get together and meet face-to-face. Her friends thought this was nuts.
She arrived at my house on Friday the 13th – a fitting day for a blind blog date. She greeted me at the door with a bottle of Canadian maple syrup, and for Hank a little Canadian football.
I had planned to take her on a picnic along the waterfront, but torrential rainstorms killed that idea, so instead we ended up picnicking at my kitchen table, where we sat for HOURS shooting the bull while Hank napped.
Midway through our visit she got a text message from one of her friends.
We laughed heartily. Nothing about the visit felt weird or even slightly awkward. It was as if we’d gotten together for lunch every Friday for 15 years. As with all good visits, the time went by insanely fast and suddenly the rain had stopped and it was 5 o’clock. I felt a little like I was holding Sara hostage in my kitchen.
So we took Henry and Cubbie on a walk to the park near my house.
Well, first we cleaned raw egg off my living room floor after Henry rifled through half-a-dozen organic eggs I had yet to remove from my Friday co-op basket. (You know you’re in the company of a good gal when she helps you clean egg snot off your living room floor then offers to pull your kid in a wagon in 90-degree heat.)
Sara is as witty, fun-loving and open-minded as they come. Social media gets a lot of flack (especially from me), but without it I’d have never met this cool chick, who despite five hours of face time agreed to do this Q&A because I felt like we still had more ground to cover.
[10 Things I Forgot to Ask Sara]
Heidi: Maybe I’m the only one who does this, but after I hang with someone for the first time (or any time for that matter) I re-play the experience in my head and I always end up feeling like I did too much talking and too little listening.
Sara: I do this too! I also feel like I do most of the talking. Once I went to dinner at my friend Brian’s mom’s house. When we left he said, “Do you know you just talked for three hours straight?” Ha. Whoops.
Heidi: You’re a laid back blogger. You don’t keep track of stats or go above and beyond to snag readers, yet your blog is filled with so much genius content, most of it very funny. Why do you blog? And has blogging lost its luster over the years?
Sara: When I started this blog, I just did it because I enjoy writing. I figured maybe four people read it, you being one of them. I didn’t put much thought into what I wrote – just random nonsense. Then as time went on people started reading it. I would run into acquaintances I barely knew and they would bring up my blog. What? Where did these people come from? My friends told me their parents read it too. Then I started to feel self-conscious, like I had to re-think my nonsense because I had an actual audience (sort of). I felt like I had to filter things. I’d write every day if I had the time and the subject matter, but I’ve become my own worst enemy. I need to get back to not caring and just be me.
Heidi: The first post I ever read of yours was about a boob cake you made for a friend’s birthday. This was, what … four years ago? Have you made any other body part cakes since then?
Sara: I have not. But I feel confident I will someday make a dick cake. I have no reason to feel confident about this. I just do. Can you write dick on your blog? Maybe we should use the word wiener. I like that word. And FYI: my wiener cake? It will be awesome.
Heidi: You can say dick. Growing up in my warped household, we baked many inappropriate cakes. When I came across yours, we forged an immediate cosmic bond. Since then we’ve discovered we’ve got 500,000 other things in common, beginning with our use of the phrase “I pulled a boner.” When we finally met after several years of strange internet convos, did it feel weird or totally normal?
Sara: Don’t forget the phrase “sweat my petunia off.” I really love that you and your mom refer to people as “corkers.” I’m going to start staying that. But no, not even a little bit weird. It was totally normal, as though I had been to your house 25 times before that. You were exactly like I knew you would be. What WAS weird was explaining to other people what I was doing. “Yes, I’m going to my friend Heidi’s house, but she’s my internet friend and I’ve never actually met her.” Anyone who knows me and my antics was not surprised by this. Did I tell you that you kind of remind me of Toni Collete? I hope you think this is a compliment. I love her. She’s an amazing actress and United States of Tara is pure genius. Get on this show, if you haven’t already. Our 500,000 similarities continue to fascinate me and no longer surprise me in the least. The shower curtain that me, you and Cristina Yang (on Grey’s Anatomy) have is just one hilarious example.
Heidi: You’re a diehard hockey player who hails from a diehard hockey town. It is my personal belief that all female hockey players are badass. Is this true and why?
Sara: Of course we’re badass, but it’s not something we talk about. It’s like Fight Club. That’s just the way it is.
Heidi: What one person (dead or alive) do you wish read your blog and why?
Sara: Chris Farley for no real reason other than I love him and it may have prompted us to be friends.
Heidi: While you were at my place, you mentioned that you pay someone to cut your grass. I too used to pay someone to cut my grass – a dude (presumably homeless) would randomly show up every few weeks to ask if I’d like my grass cut for $20. He was nice and I didn’t have a mower, so I unofficially hired him. We have about 10 square feet of grass, which takes about 30 minutes to cut so he made about $40 an hour at my place. Eventually he stopped showing up, so we caved and bought a cheap mower. Now I task Joe with the chore. (He’s not a fan.) This is all unnecessary exposition for the question I really want to ask, which is: when you said you felt “kind of dumb” paying someone to cut your grass and I replied, “Don’t feel dumb. If you had a man, you wouldn’t have to hire a lawn guy.” I didn’t mean for that comment to come out like that. Were you insulted? Sometimes I have the social grace of a bullfrog.
Sara: I didn’t even notice. So no, I was not insulted. I agree with you. Deep down I am a 1950’s housewife who believes that girls do inside things and boys do outside things. Plain and simple. If Don Draper were cutting my lawn, I might even put on fresh lipstick.
Heidi: The house you were renting in Florida was robbed the night before our visit. To be specific, the boat at the house you were renting was robbed. Has this tarnished your image of Florida, or were you already well aware of the Sunshine State’s seedy underbelly?
Sara: Are you kidding? You guys have Casey Anthony on the loose and I still vacationed there. Perhaps I have a lesser perception of Palm-ghetto, but it’s less to do with the thieving and more to do with the people I met at Checkers. Also, Red from Orange is the New Black was on my flight from Tampa to Detroit, so that makes me think Florida is pretty cool.
Heidi: Did you think my house smelled bad? I lit a candle before you came over. I’m always afraid it smells like pug.
Sara: No it did not, but if it did I wouldn’t tell you. But it didn’t. I promise.
Heidi: You blog is called My Mother’s Daughter. The tagline is: “The trials of my life and my random thoughts as I slowly but surely turn into my mother.” How have you turned into your mother? Based up some of the things you’ve shared about her, she sounds pretty funny and awesome.
Sara: I’ve been turning into my mother long before I realized I was. It’s a good thing because she cracks me up. It took me far too long to realize how funny she is. Either that or she waited until I was an adult to be funny around me. I think perhaps she was filtering herself. She has quite the mouth on her. Last week I was eating supper with her and my sister. We were talking about people naming their kids. Her thoughts: “You have to picture your kid working for the Supreme Court. They can’t be up there sounding like an asshole with a stupid name.” And she’s right. The best thing I inherited from my mother is her ability to roll with the punches. She doesn’t get rattled about stupid things and she doesn’t get embarrassed when she finds herself in crazy situations. She just goes with it and moves on. Most importantly, she laughs … like when she filled her gas tank with diesel fuel. Expensive mistake? Yes. But seriously, how funny is that?
Heidi: If a Hollywood producer landed on your blog and decided to turn it into a movie, who would play YOU in the film and who would play your romantic interest?
Sara: Lena Dunham, who is quite possibly the coolest chick alive. Merritt Wever – except not her, but the character she plays on Nurse Jackie. That girl reminds me of me. Did you see her acceptance speech at the Emmy’s? Totally something I would do. My love interest? Oh boy. I’ve written multiple blogs about my crushes. I don’t think I can narrow this one down. I’m going to say Dax Sheppard. Maybe throw in a brief fling with Zac Brown then Billy Miller. Possibly John Corbett.
Editors note: I have not seen United States of Tara, but I believe Sara when she says it’s genius. It was created by one of my favorite screenwriters, Diablo Cody (Juno). And hell yeah Toni Collette is a compliment. I usually get Ellen DeGeneres. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s the hair.)