"Any guy who’d date a single mother is pathetic." He said this, in part, because he was under the assumption that I was, in fact, a single mother. "I mean, really, what kind of guy would date a single mother when he can, instead, date a single woman without kids?"
How am I even supposed to respond to this? "We don’t necessarily choose who we love? Sometimes the kids are what attracts the guy? Maybe he’s nurturing and loves her completely, finding her even more alluring after seeing what a wonderful mother she is?" I’m not sure I said any of this. It was 6:15 this morning, and I was dialed in from home to the Chicago-based, national, Mancow Muller show, to plug the book, and my reading on Tuesday, at 7:30pm, Borders on N. Clark St., wondering why he was attacking single mothers. He was doing it because he assumed I was one of them, and he wanted a reaction out of me. He was being a shock-jock. What he got, though, was the truth. "I’m not a single mother." Knucklehead.
Obviously, he didn’t hear me. "What’s your baby daddy up to these days?"
"I don’t have a baby daddy. When I discovered my husband was off running around town with another woman while I was pregnant, I had an abortion and a divorce. That’s what the book is about, moving on when you find yourself in a situation you’d never imagined." DEAD AIR. He said nothing. I nearly said, "Hello?" to check if anyone was on the other end of the phone.
After a really long silence, he responded, "I don’t even know what to say to that." I’d shocked the shock-jock. I hadn’t meant to. It’s not my fault he didn’t bother to skim Straight Up And Dirty before plugging it on his show. Instead, he spent a good portion of air time talking about how much he favors a Grey Goose Dirty Martini. Then after more silent reflection, he added, "Did you know abortions can affect future pregnancies?" He said this to punish me, somehow. He wanted to make it clear that what I did was wrong, and that I would be punished. He didn’t discuss God or his beliefs, but I could tell, in the response he managed to muster, his God punished people.
It was an ignorant statement, assuming abortions lead to problems sometime down the line. "Well mine is progressing just fine," I responded. Fuck you very much.
"Yeah well, good luck with that." Then more silence. Then I heard music, which means they’ve cut to a commercial break. But I can still hear one of the participants of his morning show. It’s a woman, addressing me over the music.
"You know, I would have done the same thing. I don’t blame you at all." And before I had a chance to respond, they HUNG UP THE PHONE ON ME. I stood there, thinking maybe it was a technical glitch, alternating listening with staring at the phone, until it went busy, signaling I’d just been terminated for talking about terminating my pregnancy. Which I suppose, to him, was more pathetic than the men who date single mothers.
One of the more interesting pieces of information here is, they could have asked me anything. Weeks prior to today’s show, they had asked for a list of questions they could ask me that would appeal to their male audience. This is the list I provided:
1. You mention in Straight Up And Dirty how women should be leery of men who won’t eat carbs, insisting they won’t be any good in the bedroom. Are there any other telling behaviors women read into about men?
2. In your memoir you say, "It was a newsflash to me that dating as a pre-thirty divorcette was as bad as having herpes." Do divorced men have a stigma?
3. Who’s the "other woman?" His mother or his girlfriend/wife?
4. We’ve all heard that nice guys finish last, and in Straight Up And Dirty, you discard a relationship with Oliver–"Mr. Celery" you call him. What’s all this about celery and funnel cake? Can a guy be too nice? Can a nice guy get lucky?
5. What does the gift you receive from a guy say about them?
6. In Straight Up And Dirty, your father advises you that "men should treat women like the good china." What does this mean?
7. When a woman asks you to be her "and guest" at a wedding, what is really going through her head?
8. How does sex change after marriage? How does sex change after divorce?
9. Men have said, "Thank you for writing Straight Up And Dirty; it has made me be a better boyfriend." Why do you think this is so?
10. Your book is littered with your photography, and you write about following your passion instead of putting energy into dating. Do you think men should follow this advice, too?
11. Male or female, what’s the one message you hope people take away after reading Straight Up And Dirty?
Instead he approached me with, "For men, sex has nothing to do with love, and I don’t blame men for cheating. What do you have to say about that?" Perhaps I’ll answer some of these questions at my reading tomorrow:
TUESDAY, 7:30 PM, BORDERS BOOKS, N. CLARK ST. CHICAGO