Skip to content

Defying gravity … and convention

December 5, 2011

The first time my writing was featured in Blogologues, a comedy show that turns web wackiness into theater, my mom, up to her frizzy brown curls in pride, called all of our blood relations, friends we hadn’t spoken to in years and probably random numbers in the phone book to broadcast the good news. She’d never before told them about my blog — for good reason. When they came here to see what Mom had been crowing about, they were met with a recent post in which I described my desire to engage in lesbian prison sex.

And that’s how my extended family found out I’m gay.

On a roll, Mom then insisted on trekking from Cleveland to New York City via Boston to see the show.

I had tried to talk her out of attending. It was, by all accounts, utterly ridiculous for her to drive more than 20 hours round trip to view my five-minute skit. “That’s four hours of traveling for every one minute of stage time,” I rationalized, mistakenly attempting to reach her with logic. Math was no match for her; she had science on her side. In keeping with Newton’s Law of Jewish Mothering, she already had set herself in motion and there was simply no stopping her.

With a mission in mind, like that crazed astronaut who drove from Houston to Orlando wearing adult diapers to cut out pesky bathroom breaks en route to pepper-spraying her ex-beau’s new lady, Mom packed her bags, loaded her Michael Buble collection into the CD changer and hit the road. She stayed with me in Boston for a whirlwind weekend before we continued on to Manhattan.

Although the performance wasn’t until evening, we arrived in the early afternoon to capitalize on our day in the city. After spending several hours marveling at the prehistoric lizards in the American Museum of Natural History, we crossed the street and transitioned from “Jurassic Park” to Central Park. “I’ve never been here before,” Mom said as we entered one of the world’s most beloved and picturesque urban green spaces. “It smells like urine.” 

She poses like this in photos because she knows it embarrasses me.

As Mom made a stink about the stench and I pissed around with my camera snapping photos of the skyline, she approached some nearby tourists and asked them to take our picture together. And because she cannot turn down an opportunity to tell the minutiae of our lives to strangers, she engaged them in discussion. “My daughter’s play is opening tonight on Broadway!” she boasted.

Almost every word in that last sentence is untrue. Except the part about being her “daughter.” Maternity test pending.

The cabbie ferrying us to 1st and St. Marks Place heard the same tall tale. As did the cashier at the museum. As did a promoter on the street who tried to hawk us tickets for another production nearby in the East Village. The incredulous look on their faces spoke volumes, but they all politely inquired, “Which show?”

“I didn’t wri- … there’s no … very off-Broadway … MOM!” I stammered.

I was stumped for a coherent response, too busy wondering whether, at age 31, the statute of limitations had expired for divorcing my parents.

“Next time, just say you wrote ‘Wicked,’ ” my actress/producer pal Alli, who has her own Jewish mother to contend with, advised over beers after my second beguiling Blogologues last week.

If only I’d thought of that conversation-ending comeback when Mom was telling everyone that I was on track to win a Tony.

Due to last-minute notice and the unpredictable nature of November weather, Mom wasn’t able to come out for my latest New York City showing. But I’d argue she did more than enough coming out for me that first time.

Here’s what she (and probably you) missed, with the lovely Jen Jamula of Lively Productions performing my post “Notes on a Scandal: How My Shameless Childhood Tattling Led Me to Pursue a Career in Journalism”:

27 Comments leave one →
  1. BattingZeroWithTheLadies permalink
    December 5, 2011 5:03 AM

    Dating site guy here, I’m happy that you’re writing more lately. It’s such a huge smile when I see “ARONE WIF CATS” on my blackberry.



  2. December 5, 2011 7:58 AM

    I love your mom. She’s a tiny, Jewish version of my Dear Sweet Mama.

  3. December 5, 2011 10:08 AM

    I think your Mum should have her own Broadway play. And you should write it.

    You’re welcome for the suggestion.

  4. December 5, 2011 10:37 AM

    awww. i so loved that! while we’re both jewish jessica journalists, i must say you were much more prolific than i ever was. maybe if i’d written down any of the two million times i tattled on my older brother, i’d be in the running. congrats on all this awesomeness! p.s. your mom is adorable. you should probably call her more 😉

  5. December 5, 2011 12:56 PM

    That was wonderful!! Might have made me tear up a little at the end… or that might have been because I threw out my back again yesterday and it really hurts to laugh 😉

  6. December 5, 2011 12:56 PM

    I soooo have to meet your Mom one day! Then we can BOTH publicly embarrass your excellence in taxi cabs, Central Park and HELL from the top of The Empire State Building!

    I sooo laughed at how Jen performed your post…she did a SUPERB job and if possible it made me laugh even more the second time around!

  7. That Girl permalink
    December 5, 2011 1:10 PM

    Watching your posts is amazing! I’m sad to have missed your Broadway debut, but your mom convinced me that this is just the beginning of your theatrical prowess.

  8. December 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    Damn… Broadway eh? Hehe, your mum rules! As always, a fab post that made me laugh on a day when I really needed it.

  9. December 5, 2011 4:22 PM

    Wait… you mean to say you *didn’t* write “Wicked”?

  10. December 5, 2011 4:42 PM

    Hilarious Jessica! The tattle tale is one of my favourite posts ever, great to see it performed so well

  11. December 5, 2011 6:54 PM

    Due to some genetic mutation, my father inherited the Extreme ‘Nachas’ Gloating Over Children syndrome and it is very dangerous for me to appear with him in public, as feats actual and mythical are ascribed to me. Kindly strangers affect a ‘wowed’ appearance. Congrats again on the fabulous blogaloguing!

  12. December 5, 2011 11:27 PM

    love love love

  13. December 6, 2011 11:43 AM

    Totally crushing on you right now….

  14. December 6, 2011 12:07 PM


    Love your mom.

    Love your play.

    Love you.


  15. December 6, 2011 2:48 PM

    I want your mom. Do you rent her out?

  16. December 6, 2011 8:32 PM

    Congratulations! I think “play on Broadway” is totes close enough! 😀

    PS I think my mom would drive all that way, too.

  17. December 7, 2011 1:49 AM

    everything about this is amazing.

    and your mom has every right to boast. you’re brilliant.

    i’m so glad you kept all of those notes. so cute. so dang cute.

  18. December 7, 2011 1:57 PM

    Your mom is too cute. She’s so proud.

  19. December 7, 2011 5:50 PM

    Your Mom is SO cute. I would have totally said you were on Broadway, too! Those letters to your Poppa? The best. LOVE!

  20. December 8, 2011 11:31 PM

    My mother tells everyone I’m the “sweet one” out of her three daughters. That’s how deranged she is. Or maybe how really awful my two sisters are.

    And that photo of your mom? She looks a lot like someone I know. Oh, wait, it’s ME.

    *sigh* Now I’m not only feeling unsweet, I’m feeling old.

    Happy for you though, with your writing that big Broadway show and all. Congrats.

  21. December 9, 2011 1:11 AM

    Your Mom rocks. Congrats on your impending Tony. I loved the post the first time and I liked the play version of it too. Well done.

  22. December 10, 2011 11:53 AM

    I’ve watched this three times. Still, my favorite post, like ever.

    Also, your mom is my favorite mom ever. Not counting my own, of course. (Only because I’m required by the law of genetics to say that.)

  23. Lori permalink
    December 11, 2011 7:13 PM

    I fully believe that if I ever end up on off Broadway that nimbus will end up mre famous than me.

    But still…this is very very cool.

    And my mom also poses that way for photos. Must be a mom-of-writers thing.

  24. December 11, 2011 8:32 PM

    She’s right, of course, Central Park does smell like urine.

    Congrats on the 2nd Blogologue!!! One of these damn days I will be able to come! Can a 3 1/2 year old stay by himself? I mean, obviously I would turn off all electricity so he won’t be able to burn down the house.

  25. December 12, 2011 2:02 PM

    I just thought you should know that this is one of the search strings used to find my blog today:

    “my miserable life overworked not dating cats”

    Are people getting our blogs mixed up now? 😉

    • December 13, 2011 12:07 AM

      That’s *so* me! I’m not dating cats, either. They keep thwarting my advances.

  26. January 2, 2012 10:32 PM

    This is amazing. I haven’t been to the blog world in a long time. New Year’s resolution to come back to it.

    I come here, read your post here and see … the video my mother sent me via e-mail several weeks ago. I kept wondering WHY she sent it to me. So out of character for her.

    I should actually send you an email about it because the full explanation is too long for a comment. Funny.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: