Today, Yesterday

There are certain places that New Yorkers are absolutely not allowed to go lest someone accidentally mistake us for Nebraskans.

1. Times Square. You are only permitted to go there if you have a meeting at MTV, or if you’re taking out-of-towners to a show–which must be the original cast, ideally still in previews. In other words, not Phantom. In fact, even calling it Phantom is a little uncomfortable.

2. The Olive Garden. Unless you’re drunk, it’s a dare, and there is money on the line.

3. A taping of Regis and Kelly. You are able to say you saw Kelly at the playground. Or at the salon. Or at the gym. That’s as far as contact with them can go. No eye contact either, especially not with Regis.

4. The Today Show Plaza. The people waving signs? Yelling for Al? Proposing on TV? It’s all just too much perkiness. Not to mention all the individuals wearing turquoise. In fact, it’s been whispered that you have to hand over your 212 area code if ever you find yourself within one block of 30 Rock between 7 and 10 in the morning. The Today show, in other words, is the ultimate New Yorker no-no.

So guess where Nate and Thalia and I went yesterday!

Oh yes we did.

Because we thought hey, we’re already up at 6:30 am with the baby anyway. So what’s the difference if we’re home or at this Justin Roberts kids’ concert were invited to, right? Thalia will love it and we’ll have her home in time for her morning nap.

I’ll tell you the difference – making bottles at 7:30 am is not the same as making conversation with well-groomed NYC mommies and their awesome shoes and their kids in their own awesome shoes at 7:30 am. That’s for sure.

Thalia models her free but somewhat ill-fitting Justin Roberts Meltdown tee.

Of course not all the mommies we met were as awesome as their shoes and their kids’ shoes. Okay, all except one.

Enter (cue the scary music) Me Me Me Mommy.

Expensive skirt. Expensive pedicure. Expensive nose. And the tightly-held belief that the she is the axis upon which this fair planet spins.

Hey, it’s that guy! You know, that guy, who’s always on Today!

There were about thirty of us, plus kids, spread out picnic style on the cordonned-off red carpet in front of the stage. There’s plenty of room, certainly enough for the kids to crawl around and gnaw on each other’s free Putamayo CDs. And despite the early-morning fatigue that’s hanging over the lot of us, the vibe is pleasant and extremely friendly.

Suddenly the fashionably late Me Me Me Mommy stomps through the seated crowd like Godzilla and stakes out a small spot for herself. And her kid. And her sister. And her sister’s kid. Of course this small spot just so happens to be right in front of me.

Actually, right in front of me doesn’t quite describe it. The spot was me.

“Oh you don’t mind do you,” she says without actually waiting for an answer. Then she plops her bag down practically in my lap and sits her kid on my foot. She looks down, sees him sitting on my foot, smiles at me. And then she plants her own ass down, right against my other foot. And despite the disingenuous smiles that she flashed me every few seconds, she made it perfectly clear that she was not going to budge.

Let’s not forget now that Me Me Me Mom’s sister is also there, dragging her own preschooler behind her.

Me Me Me Mom waves her over, and then points to a convenient three inches of available space. And by available, I mean the space right in between Nate and I.

Oh yes. She broke up my family.

Nate and I looked disbelievingly at each other, then did the only thing we could do: we moved our stuff over and slid back a few feet.

It became abundantly clear that it was not a seat near the stage that Me Me Me Mom and her sister were looking for; it was a seat near the cameras. Every time those things were pointed her way, she forced her kid up to standing and told him to dance. You would have thought she was auctioning him off, the way she was turning him to face forward and wiggling his limp little body around. But at least it got him off my foot.

What does one throw towards the stage at a kiddie concert anyway? A nursing bra?

Of course Me Me Me Mom’s behavior violated yet another New Yorker rule: Pretend you don’t care about the cameras. Also: Stay the hell out of people’s personal space because you never know who’s carrying a knife.

But since Nate and I are too non-confrontational to actually bring the situation to some sort of satisfying resolution, we handled it the way adults do: We made passive-aggressive jokes about them, loud enough to hope they’d hear us.

Then we enjoyed the song Justin Roberts played.

It was a good song.

Sometimes in life–not always, but sometimes–the good guys come out ahead. Guess who ended up on camera without any position-jostling, foot-sitting, cameraman-flirting, or family-dividing:

T-Bone! Accompanied by Ezekiel, whose resolution not to shave for weeks nicely coincided with his appearance on national television

And wait! I was there too!


There we go. In the black. Clapping NOT to the beat.
Also there’s a nice view of Me Me Me Mom’s sister’s enormous back pressed against my nose.

I would say that when it came down to it, it was a very New York day after all.


83 thoughts on “Today, Yesterday”

  1. My daughter and I were watching tv saw that!! She’s eleven and was having FITS that she couldn’t get the M-E-L-T DOWN song out of her head! I laughed and laughed! Would be fun to see this in replay to see you staring at Me Me Me Mom in disbelief. What a turd.

  2. I am so miffed that for once I did not watch the Today show yesterday. I, like, always watch the Today show, even though it sucks, because it sucks no more than the other morning news shows I can get on basic non-digital cable.Seeing Thalia would have made the Today show 100% better.

  3. do you ever get tired of me saying the SAME THING EVERY TIME b/c geez i wish i lived in new york…and that i would’ve watched the today show yesterday.

  4. Way to go! Even if you are doing a non-New Yorker thing, at least you are wearing black. Thalia is adorable! That cameraman obviously knows talent, despite 20 years of Katie Couric.

  5. That’s so cute! But I know what you mean about being touristy in your own city. I wouldn’t be caught dead at a tv taping out here but yet I’ve attended many of them. Plus, when you have a kid it seems like all bets are off. But I would’ve punched the me me me Mom for sure!

  6. Your daughter is the most beautiful child EVER!And I love the way you described that day.I thought New Yorkers were the ultimate aggressive folks – my husband actually says I should move there because I’m exactly the type who would say, “excuse me, could you please move your butt?!” Not really a question but a you-better-move-or-else!Thanks for the laugh!

  7. WOW! Thalia is gorgeous! And is she going to be on the cover of “Parenting” magazine? or “Baby Talk”? Glad you had a good time despite “big white glob” in front of you.

  8. I always watch Today, so the next time you’re not going and not going to be on — wouldja tell me?

  9. During the miserable half-year I worked around the corner from Rockefeller Center, the Today Show concerts were the bane of my existence.Except if you had been there, then I wouldn’t have minded. And it would have given me the perfect opportunity to tackle your daughter with neck zerberts.(sniff, sniff) (misses city, especially with autumn upon us)

  10. Holy mole … Thalia is A-dorable. That picture in the meltdown shirt makes me melt. And you are so brave for braving that circus.

  11. Sucks to her. I hate her.I also do the passive-aggressive thing when dealt with same.And she’s fat. Nyah !

  12. Thailia is the cutest. baby. ever. The concert looked like fun! :o) Oy. I can’t believe that woman had the gall to just take your space and then invite her sister to plop down between you and your hubby! Then again, it IS New York, so yeah. I can believe it.

  13. Many years ago, I brought the future Southern husband up to NYC to meet the ‘rents. First, though, I took him to Times Square to show him hookers and peep shows. Apparently, I had been gone too long b/c Times Square was clean with lots of bike patrol cops. Such a shame.

  14. face time is always the sweetest revenge, best served up *close* and in focus.and it’s not so hard to see why the camera found Thalia, because she is <>just<> that adorable!!remind me to tell you sometime about the various asses my sis and i kicked once while watching Tom Selleck play volleyball. it was a thing of beauty to betold. come to think of it, i’m going to put you in touch with my sister, because i am absolutely certain she can help you with that lack of assertiveness thing! (and you call yourself a New Yorker…) xox

  15. Toyfoto: No circus at all! You think we would have gone there if we had to fight our way through the tourists waving signs? Pffft. This was a guest list thingie. Strictly VIP. Because, you know, I’m fancy that way.

  16. I hate it when people with bad manners almost DARE you to confront them with evidence of their bad manners. Then, the passive-aggressive way of saying “you don’t mind, do you?” really means, “tough shit if you mind, lady, make a big fuss if you want me to move and they YOU’LL be the one who looks like a boor”.My blood pressure just went up reading that paragraph.

  17. Ha. How cute are you guys? And seriously, don’t they know you’re New Yorkers? No one fucks with New Yorkers!

  18. I think if one was to break New Yorker rules, if one does it for one’s kid to see a concert it is forgivable…the Me Me Me Mom …. looooossssssaaaarrr!Looks like you all had a fantastic time!

  19. I LOVE that! New Yorkers sound a lot like Torontonians. I can’t tell you the number of passive-aggressive jokes we’ve made behind people who have plopped themselves down in front of my daughter at our annual Santa Clause parade – loud enough so that they couldn’t NOT have hard us. Good on ya’!

  20. i have to agree my blood pressure crept up reading about this camera whore. I hope her child ends up a stripper (a really bad cheesy one) and mortifies her daily

  21. Nice to hear that all that poor behavior didn’t get her anywhere. Reminds me of the glee I feel when a driver who passes me like I’m in reverse suddenly gets pulled for speeding.

  22. Dude….Thalia was born for television! She’s a natural. Someone get that girl an agent! As for Me Me Me Mom? You should have given her an old-school Brooklyn shove and tossed her kid into the mosh pit. Next time we hang out, we’re definitely going to the Olive Garden in Times Square. I hear it’s some of the best Italian food in New York!

  23. So cool!!! Love the pics. I hope the Me Me Me Mom Tivo’d the show so she could see your beautiful little girl on TV.

  24. Your daughter is beautiful! Though Boston is no NYC in regards to tourism (or much else!), I often take my children to local no-nos because it is those no-no places that can be so much fun– and it is why the tourists go there! Who know how long you will live in NYC, but at least now you can say you saw the Today Show live (and were ON TV) while your chewing a piece of straw on your farm in Piedmont, Oklahoma.

  25. MD: I will take you up on that. You know, I do hear that when you’re there, you’re family. How could that be bad?

  26. See, Karma always gets her way in the end. Well, that and the fact that Thalia is too adorable for the camera to NOT gravitate towards!

  27. Um, excuse me.When did Thalia, your <>baby<>, become that little girl with the standing and the inside-joke look in her eye? Ack.

  28. OMG! I’m jealous (that you saw the concert–I love Justin Roberts; sadly, I only try to find kids’ performers coming to my area anymore—no more Reverend Horton Heat shows—unless they start at 5pm!). But, I’m thrilled about Thalia being on TV! Oh, she looks adorable!!!! And, oh dear, should I hide my turquoise? You know, I have quite a bit! The suburbs are a bit more forgiving! Or, clueless; you choose.

  29. Dear God, I’m a country mouse. But I HEART New York!I wish you’d have stretched your legs a little harder than entirely necessary and sent me-me-me-mommy and her asshat sister sprawling on the floor in front of the stage while their beloved cameras were rolling. Fucktards. Your girl is lovely. The Today Show will never be the same.

  30. SO adorable! Me Me Me Mom lives in every city and her back gets uglier every time, doesnt it?! 🙂 Thalia is gorgeous!!!

  31. Yeah – the guy in the red shirt! There was a newspaper article about him – was it the Post or the Times? Anyway, that was great fun and I am happy to have passed the test to make me a New Yorker (albeit not Manhattanite). Olive Garden – is being drunk really an excuse?

  32. Oh by the way, Thalia is gorgeous no wonder the camera found her. I have a daughter named Tali, she is 8.

  33. Oh by the way, Thalia is gorgeous no wonder the camera found her. I have a daughter named Tali, she is 8.

  34. Too bad it wasn’t Me Me Me Mom’s butt on your foot. At least that way, when she’d kneel up to get her boy on TV, you could’ve pointed your toes so when she sat back down it would’ve been like kicking her in the ass. Then you could’ve given her a smile to show you weren’t moving your foot. I hate people like her.Glad the camera people saw through her straight to Thalia, who DESERVES camera time. That’s one very pretty girl you’ve got there.

  35. That is the COOLEST! You all look great.You are definitely allowed to be in the vicinity of 30 Rock if you’re on a guest list. Bonus points if you’re only a year old and ALREADY on a guest list. Does Thalia know that she is New York royalty?

  36. Famousness is awesome. GO YOU! I’m surprised Me Me Me Mommy didn’t toss her child at the camera. Aren’t New Yorkers prohibited from ice skating at Rock and attending any outdoors NYE events? That said, we’re taking my Husband to see the tree this December. 🙂

  37. Ack, what the heck is that guy’s name? Eddie? It is driving me crazy!I never did that (I’m a real NYer), but I don’t begrudge you it :))I used to be so aggressive, I’d have chewed her out, but now? Not so sure.My brother and SIL sat with Kelly and Mark at the Scotto’s party in the Hamptons (I’m saying that through clenched teeth). I’m pretty sure that is allowed, and maybe even cool.

  38. Back in my pre-baby days, when I was still a city mouse, I ventured to a Today show concert. One that featured lots of stuffed animals, funny hats, colorful clothes, and silly lyrics. That’s right, I went to see Jimmy Buffet. But I have never ever gone to the Olive Garden, although I did once go to happy hour at Appleby’s. Hey, I was with co-workers from Jersey. They forced me.Glad you had a good time despite a certain Mememe Mom.

  39. How awesome is that!My husband has an office at Rockefeller Center and I always ask him about the Today show crowd. I want him to go and wave to me one morning through the tv…but he refuses. I told him as long as he doesn’t wear white Reeboks no one will mistake him for a tourist 😉

  40. True Confessions:1)I´ve never been to New York. I´ve always assumed that I don´t own enough black clothing.2)I´ve been to Olive Garden in Minnesota. In my defense, we don´t have family in Minnesota and the Olive Garden is about the only place open on Christmas Eve. Oh, that only makes it sound worse. At least I recognize it though. Counts for something doesn´t it?I´m glad justice prevailed at the concert!

  41. Me Me Me Mom needs a blog. That’s where it is expected that it will be me, me, me all the time. She’s so last century.

  42. Hehe. That passive aggressive song and dance is <>exactly<> what me and my husband would have done (although I would have also found a way to inadvertently “bump” her at some juncture. With like my elbow or heel).

  43. Sweet. I watched Today this morning, but I sort of tuned out (and by tuned out I mean went into the kitchen to make a snack) when the kid stuff segment came on so I missed you. PS I don’t go to Olive Garden either or most other chain restaurants for that matter. It’s making it a little harder to dine out now that we live in the land of strip malls, but I have my principles.

  44. It’s OK, you’re still cool…!Seriously, I would love to go to the Today Show even though I am not from Nebraska. Preferably, this coming Friday, when John Mayer is supposed to be there to play a few songs.As if I’m not revolting enough to you now, I actually used to work at the Olive Garden like 100 years ago….

  45. Seriously. As I said to HBM – Pasties, baby pasties would have put her on the show for good….

  46. I have to say that when you first started out this post I was completely thinking, “WHAT…New Yorkers can’t do that…what about the Jude Law thing…was that breaking a New Yorker rule.”OBVIOUSLY because there you were on the Today show, and I missed it! DANG IT!! I’m still recovering from you posting about the John Cusak thing, because he IS my guy!! (well except for my hubbie…he’s more my guy then John but I love John.

  47. Movin Mom: You’re right! I totally broke two rules in one week. One more and they’re going to banish me to Jersey.

  48. I am cracking up. SHe does look like she is sitting on your foot. Of course Thalia ended up on camera. She is too dam cute, not to.The things we do for our kids…

  49. Tonight I ate at the Olive Garden. I wasn’t drunk. It wasn’t a dare. And I enjoyed it. I’m going to hell. At least my mom picked up the tab.

  50. yikes, I think I need to clarify here: New Yorkers may eat at the Olive Garden anywhere in the United States EXCEPT New York City limits. I in fact enjoyed a lovely neverending salad bowl in St George Utah only several years ago. Sorry for the confusion. My bad: I didn’t read the bylaws closely enough.

  51. I can’t believe that I, the one who watches the Today show religiously (shut up) missed that one day that you were there listening to Justin Roberts.Damn.I hope you left a shoe print on Me Me Mommy’s precious little tots behind.

  52. HEY! I saw this show, and I remember the baby! I remember thinking how cute she was. I love his music – I downloaded a bunch of it today. Wow. I (kind of) know a celebrity.

  53. Liz, you are too much. And thank goodness for that.Jason and I love to duck confrontation in favor of semi-loud passive-aggressive jokes about those who tick us off. This actually happened recently in a check-out line at Shopko. All I could do was huff and make astonished faces at J, like, “Can you believe this woman?” Of course, it had no effect at all.Love those photos, too!!!

  54. Hubs and I can count on our Olive Garden visit once a year after we receive our gift certificate from Grandma at Xmas. Free wine and breadsticks works for me!You guys are too funny..the Today show!! Ha. Great photos though!

  55. Great photo of you! Well, okay, blurry, but you look like you’re having a great time and lots of fun with your girl. And she got on TV! Cool! I promise I won’t tell any New Yorkers about this.

  56. Oh, how cool is that! That’s a great shot of Thalia! Since I’m from Florida it’s probably okay to get excited about all of this, right?

  57. I’m in Manhattan for business every couple of months, and I’m usually all “ooooh, ahhh, wow” in Times Square. However, the last time I was there, some teeny bopper was doing his/her thing at MTV, and I got all grumpy pushing through the crowd, “Darn &*$%@ tourists!” I felt very much like a local for a moment. 🙂Thanks for the link to the cute sealife spoons the other day! Awwww.

  58. Gosh, some people are soooo rude! Look at Thalia though – she made national tv because she’s so darn cute.

  59. Thalia the supa star!Oh I know those Me me me Mommies. They are not just in NY. I think I would have reacted just as you did though … in disbelief. Ug.

  60. LOL! It’s nice to see the good guys (and the good mommies) win out once in a while. And Thalia…what a cutie!

  61. OMG! You were on TV.And I would have totally punched that woman in the vagina.Or at least TOLD her that she was lucky that I didn’t punch her in the vagina.(p.s. I’m jealous of people who live in NY. So.Very.Jealous.)

  62. I love this story! Plus, sweet justice. Doesn’t she know they NEVER want the people pandering to the camera? Maybe she hasn’t been in NYC that long…

  63. Oh my! I used to live in New York(and hopefully will again in January…omg, um, hi rent crisis going on there right now) and I had to laugh at your 5 things you never do as a New Yorker. Two places I try to never return to: Times Square and Macys on 34th between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can’t believe you went to Today and were on it. That rocks.

  64. Yo – is it me or does the mom to the right of you have her ass hanging out on TV? I’m hoping that in 82 comments before me I was the only one who got that?Thalia is star material.

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