A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

I listened to my mother.

Last April I had the privilege of participating in a national show called “Listen To Your Mother.” Being chosen for the inaugural Atlanta cast and getting to perform one of my original pieces in front of a live audience on stage in a beautiful theater was a dream come true and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day when I could share it with you…and see it myself.

(Emphasis on the word anxiously. Oy.)

Well the videos were released last week…aaaand now I remember why I specifically chose to NOT have my wedding video taped.

But I learned A LOT about myself and THE THEATAH throughout this process. For instance, when you’re on stage, you shouldn’t clap with your hands in front of your face. (One of these things is not like the other.)

via Lyssa Sahadevan

via Lyssa Sahadevan

Also, when your hands are not in front of your face, maybe oh—I don’t know—pretend like your face is made of human flesh instead of Silly Putty.

Leslie LTYM rubber face collage

“ACTING!” ~Jon Lovitz, SNL

I swear, the only thing missing from this performance is me saying, “Wokka wokka!”

Twenty-six years later, I finally understand why Mr. Altman cast me in the school play my senior year as the dead bank robber wearing a ski mask.

Live and learn, people. Live. And. Learn.

But all’s well that ends well, I say. I did not vomit on stage, fall down in my heels, or have a nip slip. Therefore, in the words of my new Taekwondo instructor, “TWO CLAPS—SUCCESS!”

(And that’s a story for another day, but yes, I just started taking Taekwondo and am now an official white belt. Shit just got real, bitches.)

If you weren’t able to come to the show and would like to see my performance, here you go.

(If you can’t see the video embedded here, this link will take you to it on YouTube.)

Many thanks to Jana Anthoine and Miranda Wicker for the incredible amount of work and dedication it took to coordinate, direct, and produce this event, and to Ann Imig for creating such a wonderful platform for women to share their stories of motherhood nationwide. (To see the entire 2014 playlist from all 32 Listen To Your Mother Show cities, click here.)

Most of all, thank you to my own children for being so damn funny and giving me so much material to write about. And to my husband for tolerating me even though I clearly “jumped the shark” about 26 years ago.


  1. Mama Donn

    Too funny! I almost lost a gaggle of urine!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Mama Donn! Glad you enjoyed it…urine and all.

  2. Lisa Hewitt

    I have already told you how wonderfully you did, but, it bears repeating, so You Are Wonderful. Orange is Your color. My entire family now “throws” gang signs, for lice. I am pretty sure my husband has a crush on you and my son would like for you to adopt him. I am a little concerned about this Tye-kwan-dough (don’t bother spell checking, southern phonetics). But, go ahead, I cannot wait to hear the stories.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yes, be concerned. Be very concerned. (Although, my kids and I get to legally kick and punch each other now, so there’s that.) Love the idea of you and your family throwin’ gang signs! Thank you so much for the sweet words, Lisa. Glad you like me in orange because I need to wear that dress at least 10 more times to get my money’s worth. Keep your husband and kid…I have enough of both.

  3. Snappy

    What a great performance! Ringworm – ack!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you Snappy! Meh…it’s not really a worm…just a fungus. I’d rather deal with that than another kid sticking gum down their pants. 😉

  4. Arnebya

    Pedialyte mojitos, yo!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Surprisingly refreshing!

  5. Jane

    I loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing- you are as hilarious and heartwarming as as always. Yeah I have a friend that is famous!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Ha! More like “infamous”…at my vet’s office. But thank you for watching it and being such a great friend for so many years, Janie!

  6. WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion

    You should be on stage ALWAYS. Period. And for what it’s worth, I DID have my wedding video taped and gah………………….

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yes – exactly! I always prefer my memories of something to the video or photo of it. I think as a writer/editor, I just have a knack for revising it in my brain the way I want it to be, which is usually better than reality. I’m so glad I don’t have a wedding video to pick apart and criticize! Although who knows, maybe in 30 years I’ll be sad I don’t have one to show my grandkids that their MeeMaw was skinny once.

  7. Kristen

    I’ve been looking forward to this post! You were AMAZING!

  8. julie gardner

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who huffed my babies or owned a Turdinator.

    I love this, Sir.
    And motherhood.

    In my opinion, it’s all “passing” too quickly.

  9. Allie

    I saw this live and you were fantastic!! You are too rough on yourself;). Everyone was laughing and cheering and I want to be you when I grow up!

  10. Amy

    You were fantastic! So funny and I agree with the chorus – you are a natural on stage. Can’t wait for a Taekwondo story.

  11. Carrie

    Well, it’s official: I love you even more now.

    I watched your video and acted like a fool. Flinching and clapping and whoo-hooing the whole time. Like I was there or something.

    You did supremely perfect. I kinda wanted to get a little weepy because I was just so proud but then I thought, “You don’t even know this woman, you just read and laugh at her and used to banter over The Bachelor with her on Twitter.”

    Then, I was all, “Yes…sometimes we know people better that way than we do when we are with them face to face.”

    And so it doesn’t feel so creepy to tell you I love you. I do, I do, I do.

    You’re a great inspiration and if I ever am half the blogger and writer and entertainer you are…I’ll be a happy girl.

  12. lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

    Wow, Leslie! You are amazing. How do you do it with a straight face? You tell the best stories and in such a great way. You ‘wouldn’t trade Motherhood for all the clorox wipes in Costco’. Hilarious! Thanks for sharing this. You’re so very inspiring!!

  13. Mallory

    You are a great storyteller! I think you should start reading all your posts out loud!

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