Because GEM Isn’t Taking It Anymore!

GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER was rushing around yesterday, having been called into CNN at the last minute. That meant I had about 30 minutes to shower, change out of my sweaty workout clothes, slap on some make-up and get behind the wheel of my car and point it toward the big city.

I made it, like I always do and as I was walking into the studio, I caught my reflection in the building’s large window. My hair was wild and untamed, a perfect reflection of my personality as it is now – and my clothes, easy and carefree, a reflection of what I want my personality to ultimately be. I am about 180 degrees from what I was when I left the world of TV news behind four years ago. Gone is the timid woman I used to be, trying to please corporate bosses who didn’t understand me or really want to for that matter.

CNN had asked me to come on and talk about a blog post I wrote on Rod Stewart becoming a dad once again. I used that news as a jumping off point to talk about my own life being married and having children with an older man.

I had a great time explaining the issues I face in my own life with my husband who is about 14 years older than me. When I got home and logged on to my site, I saw this comment from some guy named Homer:

As I watched you on CNN I was wondering what makes you an authority on anything and why wouldn’t you do something with that awful looking mange of an afro hair do. Disgusting!

So this is an open letter to him:

Dear Homer:

I debated whether to answer publicly, if at all but I do think it’s important that people get a chance to see the comments we in the public eye are subjected to from people with a little of what I call “keyboard courage”.

Really Homer, mange? That’s the best you could come up with? And why is that? Because of what my natural hair looks like as it grows out of my head? Perhaps you, like so many of the news executives I worked for in the past would rather my locks be straight, achieved through chemicals that burn the skin and scalp and damage the hair.  No thanks, been there, done that. But the part of your comment that was side splittingly comical was this:

“As I watched you on CNN I was wondering what makes you an authority on anything…”

Now that you ask, Homer I am an authority on quite a few things. I know first hand what it’s like to lose your hair, since that happened to me while I was trying to fit into the narrow standard of beauty that those aforementioned news executives were most comfortable with. I know what it’s like to have to make the agonizing decision to removes one’s diseased breasts so that I can be around a long, long time for my children and husband.

And speaking of them, if there is an authority on this household and how it runs, the people in it and what makes them tick, that person is me. You were thinking of someone else perhaps?

And damn straight, I am an authority on being Good Enough. I know what it’s like to work and plan for months for your kid’s birthday party only to have something go wrong, through not fault of your own. I know what it’s like to try to soothe a broken heart, crushed by a big fight with a best friend. I know what it’s like to cry with the man you love the night before a life-altering surgery. And I know what it’s like to have to take potshots, complete with racist undertones, from people protected by the anonymity of their laptops. Because of that, I also know one of the most important things of all, to keep my eyes on the prize.

So in short, I thank you. Thank you for watching the whole CNN segment and for being hacked off enough to write. You have helped to remind me that I am an expert, in several things, including how to be gracious and kind even to those who may not deserve it.