OPINION: Llama, Llama, Who’s Your Drama Mama?

I counted the minutes, which seemed preferable to sheep or counting crows (although I have always had a bit of a thing for Adam Durantz) but here I was waiting in line, online, like the rest of Connecticut, trying to book a vaccine appointment.

At a certain point I must have dozed off, phone in hand, baby in bed, when a sudden, looming apocalyptic light jolted me awake and lured my eyes toward the doorway.

“I’m on!” my older daughter announced in a voice projecting so arrestingly that people in Westport likely sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.

“What time is it?” I managed, sliding my numb arm from under the baby.

“For?” she asked.

I tapped on my phone but it was dead, along with any hope I had of getting back to sleep now.

“For what!?”  We weren’t getting anywhere.

She sat down on the edge of the bed, propping her glasses and laptop up. Sure, take a seat, I thought to myself.

Four. In the morning, ” she said. “Four fifteen, actually,” as if this extra quarter of an hour somehow excused the still unexplained interruption to the longest stretch of sleep I’d had since my water broke (almost) 17 years ago.

“VAMS, Mom,” she huffed. “Are you even listening? I’m online!”

Holy mother of zombies. She was trying to schedule her COVID vaccine.

“Where is General Hospital? I mean Greenwich Hospital? Is that in Greenwich? Where is Mansfield? Nevermind. Done. Booked!” she said, with a flourish.

I stared at the ceiling, eyes wide open, wondering when it was that everything became so dramatically urgent in this house. What season, what episode exactly, so I could make a mental footnote and kick myself in the head, did life became one long (loud) emergency?

And while I was charmed by her initiative, (seriously the Walgreen’s home page was about as far as I got that night), I couldn’t help but marvel at the theatrics with which both my daughters approached everything from COVID vaccines to crockpot cuisines. Such a clatter and over nonsense, (not the vaccine, that was important) but other feature attractions like:

  • “Gone Girl Leggings by Athleta that Must be Washed, Dried and Delivered Daily (Or Else).”
  • Or, “Big Little Lies We Tell Ourselves About When Dinner Will Be Served.” It’s 5 o’clock somewhere–like a retirement community in Florida.
  • Or my personal favorite, “Revolutionary Road to Grandma’s House,” aka “Are We There Yet?”

They’re young, they’re restless, they’re so episodic, I might need an epidural, especially when “Can I get a ride, Mom?” becomes “Pick me up NOW, Mom.”

No warning, just “NOW” because apparently, I’ve become an Uber without my knowledge. Everything is dire, imperative and with a tinge of “Let them eat cake.” They are the grand masters in the ring of dramatizing the ordinary, their antics so alarmist, their hysterics so hysterical, Sarah Bernhardt herself is likely rolling over in a grave somewhere, asking for earplugs.

Truly, a worthwhile item to invest in. Call 911, it’s a hangnail, someone needs a pencil, can’t find a fork…the possibilities are as endless as the screaming in this latest Shakespearian saga over why I can’t immediately solve the square root of an isosceles triangle as I’m (again) attempting to schedule my COVID vaccine. But John Wayne really does come to the rescue this time and within 10 short minutes of the Bernhardt Sisters taking their bows for the evening, my own Jon has booked me an appointment.

“This is why women get married,” I tell him, but he just shrugs as I sweep the stage, preparing for another day of comedic tragedy or tragic comedy, another day abundant with dramatic sighs and long gazes into nothing. It would bring even the best of “The Bold and the Beautiful” to its knees, another day of my ‘drama mamas’ upstaging each other for Best in Daytime Television in the category, “Taking the seemingly mundane and turning it into a cataclysmic catastrophe.” Life is just one big hysterical hyperbole around here. “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the daughters of our lives.”

I swear, I don’t know where they get it from.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.