Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…. Come sit down next to me, girl. Put those aching feet up and have a glass of wine, ‘cause I’ve brought a big ole box for you and me to share. You need a drink, and probably some laughing gas as well, but wine will have to do for now. I’ve crossed state lines, so alcohol is the best I can offer today.
So yeah, let’s chat! Sip on that Pinot while I tell you a little bit about myself. You’ll probably think this hilarious, but there was actually a time, back in the day, when I thought being a Presidential press secretary would be a fun job. Fast-paced, never a dull-moment, hobnobbing with the big whigs kind of gig. Drinks at night with the DC press corps, roaming the halls of the White House, trips on Air Force One – fun AF, right?
Amazingly, I once had a private tour of the West Wing, about 13 years ago, when a friend of a friend worked on the Vice President’s staff. She got us in on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, when everyone was miraculously gone – or napping. I think George W. was overseas, so it was super chill that day.
In awed silence, we stood in the doorway peering into the Oval Office, and then took a stroll through the Rose Garden (full of tulips) and down to the press briefing room. I had my picture taken at that podium where you stand now, and I thought, “Wow, this room is so tiny!”
So, I wonder what it is that goes through your head as you walk out in front of that fancy, blue backdrop day after day. I’m imagining it’s something along the lines of “FML, FML, FML.”
How do you do it? I am entirely serious here – HOW? Oh, you can’t answer right now, as you gulp down that wine. It’s OK – here’s a napkin.
But really, I’m guessing you kinda knew what you were getting into? You were raised in a political household. You had an inkling of the shitstorm you were tiptoeing into, right? But hey, I do get it. I walked into life as a military wife thinking I knew what I was getting into. I was raised by a veteran of two wars, I had heard stories, I thought I could handle it all easily. Yeah, that was naïve and rather foolish of me, but I persevered and did my best, realizing quickly I had absolutely NO idea of what the hell I was getting into.
So, I give you enormous props for persevering. We are all impressed with your commitment. Amazed actually, that you’ve hung in this long. What the hell is your secret? Just whisper to me that you are getting paid a boatload of money – like, never have to work another day in your life when this job is over – money.
And I hear you’re a Mom of three kids – THREE KIDS! How, just how, do you pull that off? You have to deal with a boss from hell, chaos that’s off the charts every freaking day, a revolving door of co-workers, and then go home to deal with three kids? ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?
Blink 3 times quickly if you want me to sneak you out the back door after we’ve swapped clothes in the bathroom and you’ve put on the baseball cap and dark glasses that I thought ahead to cram into my bag.
Please tell me you have a nanny, or a cook, or a tutor, or ALL OF THE ABOVE to assist you in getting through your days without harming someone. You must have all of the patience- or be a robot. Are you a robot, dear?
Sometimes, it appears that you are. Repeating the same phrases over and over ad nauseum. But, that is the essence of motherhood, so you were prepared for that aspect of the job. I can tell that sometimes you really just want to laugh, or curse, or fling your sheets of paper high into the air and run screaming from the room, but you remain composed and keep breathing – again, motherhood has prepared you well.
I’m also guessing you go home at night, put on your yoga pants, make sure your kids do all the things they need to do, then you sit on the couch, zombie-like, eating ice cream straight from the container, while tears roll slowly down your cheeks. We’ve all been there at one time or another honey, but unlike you, we don’t have to soldier on in front of cameras with the entire world watching us.
So, Sarah, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day, because I cannot imagine doing the job you do, and doing all the Mom crap as well. If you wake up one day soon and can’t even anymore, we all get it. We’re here for you, and we have wine. You don’t have to stay, no matter what they tell you, or pay you. It’s your choice. I’m thinking PTA meetings and Team Snack Mom duty sound pretty good right about now.
Of course, you can keep the rest of that box. Cheers.