I could be smug and say "Yeah, because I had a life." But, really, I had too much of one. I had a toddler at home and a more-than-full-time job an hour's commute away. Not a lot of discretionary time for cosmos or shoe-shopping. To top it off, we didn't even have HBO (despite many years working for the cable industry); we never sat down together, so it really wasn't worth it. But, that's okay.
The show eventually moved to basic cable (minus some of the nudity and language), and it wasn't hard to catch up. There was a while there, actually, when back-to-back episodes seemed to be playing non-stop on E! and the Style Network. I caught a few and caught the bug. The writing was clever, the girls' adventures were enjoyably over-the-top, and the whole series, all six seasons, was really an epic poem in honor of my beloved hometown.
Soon, my pre-teen daughter wanted to watch. I've always believed in speaking honestly about sex and sexuality. As you can imagine, the series gave us lots to talk about. (Before you call Social Services, remember we were watching the PG-13 version, not the original.)
My daughter had an interesting perspective:
"Which of the girls do you think you are, Mom?"
"I don't know. Which do you think I am?"
"Carrie because you're a writer ..."
"... and Miranda because you're a workaholic."
Let's stick with the writer part (although, to be honest, I always loved Cynthia Nixon's performance as the compulsive achieving lawyer turned single mom, and bonus: the talented actress went to my high school). When I started my blog nearly three years ago, some people joked about it. "You're the real-life — midlife — Carrie Bradshaw." Very funny. But, had the show been created 15 years later, I have no doubt that Carrie would have been a blogger.
Over the years, people also encouraged me to publish Lovin' the Alien as a book. At the end of 2013, I finally did. It was a bit of a dream come true. My first book, The New Marketing Conversation, was well-received, but not exactly light reading.
Lovin' the Alien, on the other hand, had everything you could possibly want: drama (oy! such drama!), romance, drama, timely topics, drama, sound advice. Oh, and did I mention drama? Successfully raising a tween girl (or trying to) clearly resonated with many moms. The response to the book, like the response to the blog before it, was terrific. Sales, yes, but even more exciting, I received fan mail. Most of it was very positive ("Your book is like a virtual support group."). Some ... um ... not so much. ("You are a pushover and you are spoiling your daughter.")
Hey, I never said I knew what I was doing. I just invited you along for the ride.
Nevertheless, my book is out (in three formats: hardcover, softcover, and for those of us with a pair of reading glasses stashed in every room, large print). And, this past month I reached another milestone.
My first bookstore reading.
Unlike Carrie (who, if you remember, had to share the podium with canine author Mr. Winkle), the whole event was about me, me, me. It was pretty cool, I have to admit. My daughter even attended and (despite genuine fears earlier in the day) didn't die of embarrassment. I welcomed people. I read three essays from the book. The store sold some copies and I signed them. That was about it. We would have had champagne afterwards, but there was homework to do. C'est la vie.
So, for one evening this month, I was Carrie Bradshaw. More or less. More less, I guess. Less hair, less lovers, less shoes.
Lovin' the Alien is my story and my daughter's. It's certainly not Carrie Bradshaw's. After all, there's no sex yet ...
And very little city.
If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com.