She's charming, honest, self deprecating and totally bad ass. Plus, she rarely farts and habitually sweats out toxins with hard core yoga, so she probably smells like a field of lavender and daisies... or some bullshit like that.
|I'm fairly certain when I say that your average American cannot do this...|
Just like I tend to do with many seemingly enchanting celebrities that I have never actually met in person, I like to imagine that Bethany and I have a lot in common, therefore making us immediate friends for life. For instance, we both believe in cursing on the Internet, but not around our spawn. We are surrounded by penises. We also are married to men who make us laugh, which is good since we are also both still residing in our "starter homes" and living life on the edge (Translation: having virtually no savings.) We were both raised Catholic and are all too familiar with our old friend, Guilt. Lastly, we both believe that the best hot-man crushes are the kind when we never actually hear them speak.
I think I like you. Shhhh. No talking. I want that feeling to last.
See? We're like... twins. Perhaps we are the Wakefield Twins. Maybe we're even soul mates.
Bethany doesn't know it yet, but we are totally going to be pen pals.
I hope Bethany likes unicorns.
Bethany is a co-author in the hilarious anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. She penned the much-loved essay "Parenting is Taboo" about a series of passive-aggressive parental-judgmental emails. Bethany is a writer, a blogger, an athlete, a mother of four handsome boys ranging in age from almost 5 to almost 12 and a wife in one successful marriage. She has spent close to 19 years with the same person and she stills thinks he is funny. That's what I call "successful". After using her husband as fodder for many a blog post, he once said to her, "I'm guess I'm your Homer Simpson."
Bethany and I ate up well over an hour of time chatting. Like a typical woman, she was multitasking as we talked. Bethany loves to cook and was making candied pecans while I peppered her with questions and scribbled sloppy notes in my Target notebook. As we both were busy, we discussed the importance of down time to counterbalance the American epidemic of chronic busy-ness. The first step to recovery is admitting our problem, right?
Bethany's popular blog, I Love Them the Most When They're Sleeping, and writing style is all about connecting humor with the poignant. She finds inspiration from her boys, her marriage, current events and PMS. She said, "There are certain times during my cycle when I am raging with sarcasm."
I responded, "That's me pretty much all the time. It's like I'm always PMSing. My husband is a very lucky man."
In short, Bethany is the cat's meow.
And not one of those annoying Siamese cat's meows that sounds like it's been smoking a pack of unfiltered Camels every day for 45 years. A cool cat. Like a lion...
or a liger.
Johi: When did you become a writer?
Bethany: I never thought about being a writer. I initially wanted to be a teacher, but my dad told me that I had "a great head for business". I was raised Catholic so I take direction well. I didn't want to disappoint my dad so I went into business, but I always wanted to be a mom. I met my husband, we got married and bought our starter home. 19 years later, we have four kids and are still living in our starter home.
In school, English was my favorite subject. I was always a huge reader. I should say that I loved Little House on the Prairie but I really liked Beverly Cleary, V.C. Andrews and the Sweet Valley High series. By the way, you look like the Wakefield twins.
In high school, I was on student council. I wrote good speeches. I communicate best through writing.
When my kids were born, I asked myself, "So what now?" My kids are the best thing in my life, but they are not the only thing in my life, nor are they how I define myself. With my blog, every time I hit publish, I am reclaiming a bit of myself.
Johi: Amen. Who is your hero?
Bethany: I love Ellen Degeneres. She is funny, real and honest. She can get a laugh without putting other people down. I know that I should say someone like Michelle Obama, but I adore Ellen.
Johi: Who is your superhero alto-ego?
Bethany: I wanted to be Scarlett Johanson in Avengers because she is hot. Or maybe Hermoine. She is a good, honest, fearless witch.
Johi: I believe that everyone has a superpower. What is your superpower?
Bethany: I can handle a huge load on my shoulders with a smile on my face so that no one knows how stressed I am. It's as if I can juggle. It's all an optical illusion.
Johi: What do you think is the strangest thing a person can collect?
Bethany: My oldest child collects aluminum foil hot dog wrappers. He makes them into balls then lines them up on a shelf in his closet. It's disgusting. I throw them all away. I think he's a hoarder.
Johi: At least it isn't toe nail clippings in a jar. I know that I said in my Pee Alone essay that I collect air sickness bags, but I don't. Like virtually every other American, I collect junk mail on my kitchen counter.
Other than junk mail, what do you collect?
Bethany: I keep anything with my kids' handprints. I also save artwork done by my second son; he is a talented artist. Even my oldest son will find and bring me his brother's art to save. I love that he appreciates his brother's talent. He will even bring me pictures that he finds in the trashcan. Neither my husband or I are artistic and I love the things that my kids do that have nothing to do with either of us. Other than that, I throw everything away.
Johi: If you could live in another time and/or place, when and/or where would it be and why?
Bethany: I like where I am right now. I don't think that I could have been a writer, or had a voice, if I wasn't where I am now. In the past, women weren't as well-respected. I feel lucky to live in this day. Even as chaotic as my life is, I'm really at peace. I have so many connections with the Internet.
Johi: What is the one thing that you do for yourself- your guilty pleasure?
Bethany: Yoga. Is that pathetic?
Johi: Quite the opposite.
Bethany: I exercise. I also watch the Food Network. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is my favorite. I would love to own a diner and have Guy Fieri praise my sandwiches.
Johi: *mind in the gutter*
Bethany: When we travel, I use Guy's recommendations. We will drive an hour out of our way to eat somewhere that he has approved. I trust Guy and I go where he tells me to go.
Johi: How could you NOT trust a guy named Guy? Also, I don't fuck around with food so I totally understand.
Who is your celebrity free- pass? Please don't say Guy Fieri, because... no.
|Food? Yes. Naked pillow fights? Not so much.|
Bethany: Blake Shelton. I think my husband would be okay with it. My husband has a little man crush on him.
Johi: So does mine. He's hilarious. And he is so tall and has nice thighs. That's what Brock tells me anyway. Not really.
What is the ONE THING that your husband still doesn't know about you?
Bethany: Sometimes I do have gas when I'm awake. He has never heard me fart when I'm awake, but I do.
Johi: *silence* Um....You're body must process things differently than mine. After my husband had spent a considerable amount of time around me and some of my closest girlfriends, he said, "I never knew that women farted as much as you and your friends!"
What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why?
Bethany: Nicole Leigh Shaw's "The Other Mommy War". Particularly the part about having only one child. When I only had one, I was a psycho. I was going to be the BEST MOM EVER to the BEST CHILD EVER. If I could go back and punch myself, I would. Now, with four kids, I have a built in excuse to mess up because I have SO MANY. I have taken the pressure off myself; for him and with him.
Read more of Bethany and her awesomeness on her blog, facebook, twitter and a bunch of other really important places on the Internet! Be sure and pick up your copy of I Just Want to Pee Alone!