[5:56am Sunday morning. Gave up on trying to sleep: 4:52am. Time spent on Effbook and Instagram: let’s not talk about it.]
I know. Stand-up comic and shy? Oh dear God, yes. Wanting to say words into a microphone in front of complete strangers is not remotely indicative of social grace or any desire to have day-to-day conversation. Some stand-ups are outgoing. I just don’t know many of them. Here’s a short list of some shy funny folks, including Jim Carrey.
One wonderful and unforeseen benefit of being pregnant – especially 8ish months pregnant – is that I now have something to talk about, something to contribute to a given conversation. My massive stomach is unavoidable. I don’t even have to initiate. People talk to me!
“You must get so sick of people asking you how you’re feeling and about your due date.”
“No, it’s great. Really.”
Is this your first? What are you having? How far along are you?
Much like when I first got engaged, I now have something in common with most of my coworkers and, let’s be honest, most of humanity in my age group and older folks. But unlike getting engaged, being heavily pregnant is clearly visible to absolutely everyone I come into contact with and gives them an in to talking to me. Throughout my life, I’ve gotten into so many elevators, stood in countless lines, used so many bathrooms in complete silence. I’ve avoided most interaction beyond a perfunctory “good morning.” I can’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve said “good morning” and have been completely ignored. Oh, New York.
I don’t hate people. I don’t hate talking to people. I’ve just never considered myself very good at it. I’ve always had shitty eye contact, which I work on diligently, using such exercises as the inverted triangle. In an effort to be less self-conscious, I try to gently put the focus on the other person (to quote the “repetition” exercise I learned at The Atlantic Acting School), ask open ended questions, listen and look for facial and physical cues all the while hating myself because for most people, a simple “How was your weekend?” on a Monday morning is NOT A BIG FUCKING DEAL.
So, thank you, little girl growing inside of me. Thank you for giving me a chance to interact with the world. I suspect you’ll help me even more once you’re out here with me.
This past Wednesday marked the first hot day in Manhattan. Watching men ogle women was especially comical. They didn’t know where to look. But it also dug deep into some of my most powerful insecurities. I look totally unfuckable at this point. And I certainly feel this way. Asexual, almost. Coinciding almost exactly with my eighth month of pregnancy, the young women of New York have stopped wearing clothing. It’s legs, ass and tits as far as the eye can see.
I’m trying to keep it together as best I can. Wore what I thought was a flattering black tank maxi with a statement necklace to dinner last night. I had my hair up in a bun because it was 90 degrees. Felt like I looked like a pretty pregnant lady. We got to our favorite Mexican spot and there was a table full of young drunk women talking about something VERY PASSIONATELY. And two of the three women were smoking hot and one had super short jean shorts with banging legs, which I wouldn’t have noticed except that I saw my husband look at them. [I do not expect my husband to avoid looking at banging legs, by the way. They were fantastic.]
And I hated myself in that moment. And I was filled with fear.
Even on my best, non-pregnant days, I still feel some of this inadequacy. Whatever beauty I have as well as all my non-physical assets pale wildly in comparison to a young oblivious woman walking around looking decidedly more sexually attractive than I.
Then I thought to myself: “Katherine, you’re having a girl. You have to got to get this shit sorted out. You cannot let her know about this. Get this locked down NOW. P.S. you’re turning forty in September. Do you need to compete with 23-year-olds?”
I don’t know how my mom felt about her looks. I know she dyed her hair once it began graying. She didn’t wear much makeup beyond lipsticks in the red family. She, unlike her daughters, had borderline olive skin, a product of her Slovenian heritage. She definitely could’ve used more supportive bras and maybe could’ve lost about fifteen pounds but she was an attractive lady, for sure. Pictures of her before marriage and children in her late twenties depict a happy, short-haired, very pretty woman. The type of girl my college guy friends would’ve referred to as “cute.”
Was she ever insecure? I could see her being too busy to care about competing with other women. My parents’ marriage began to fall apart at least a year if not a few years before she died. I somehow doubt keeping my dad’s interest was a priority for her. I’ll never know.
I write this at 1:37am because I woke up from an anxiety dream about this very topic. My looks, my sex appeal, my comfort in my own skin. I know I won’t be pregnant in a matter of weeks but I fear these self-doubts will remain.
This past Saturday, my sister and her daughter, my in-laws, and my sister-in-law’s family threw Steve and me a lovely brunch (for many reasons – not the least of which was my mom’s absence – the traditional all-female at-home baby shower didn’t make sense for us) at 44 1/2 in Hells Kitchen. Almost all of Steve’s family attended, as well as my dad, my sister and niece and around 20 of our closest friends. It was such a lovely event. Below please find some of our favorite moments and details from the day. Because I don’t like to assume that folks are comfortable with pictures of themselves or their children on the internet, I’ve focused on including elements here while respecting folks’ privacy. Thank you so much to our families and friends for their generosity and helping us prepare for this huge milestone!
Holy hell. We are at 7 months. Some new things I’ve tried in this stage of pregnancy:
- Prenatal Yoga. I’ve been going to Pure Yoga West. I haven’t done yoga in years. Probably about 15 years. We did a ton of sun salutations and such in acting school and I took a few classes here and there after but suffice it to say, I was a little nervous. It was great. Not easy but great. Our instructor starts and ends each class with “put one hand on your heart and one hand on your baby.” I got really choked up during my first class when we did this. I thought on it afterwards. Because I’ve never met this little alien growing inside of me, I don’t know her yet. I don’t really feel connected to her. I love her. I’m desperately, forever attached to her but, because she still feels like a separate entity, albeit one that has taken up residence in my previously-flat stomach, this idea of “sending a message to your baby” at the end of class hit me in all my soft, gooey places.
- Knife skills class. I’ve cooked sporadically over the years. When I worked at the Food Network, a couple years before I started doing stand-up, I cooked all the time (not as part of my job, I was a home cook) but I’ve never been able to do figure out that rocking knife motion all of the TV chefs do while staring straight at the camera, a growing pile of perfectly diced onions growing on their butcher blocks before them. I love Sur La Table’s products so I gave their class a whirl. It was fantastic. I’m no master and oranges really gave me a run for my money but I can now cut a pepper without one dropped seed. I have a lovely new Global chef’s knife and an Epicurean wooden cutting board. I certainly feel more efficient.
- The New York Times. Many moons ago, I used to get the Sunday Times delivered. Recently, I started doing the Times crossword again. I can do Monday in pen quite quickly and then my skills rapidly deteriorate as the week continues. I started reading the articles again and now I’m hooked. I suspect Trump and Hilary are largely to blame for this but I find myself, as I continue growing a new human being, wanted to be more informed. London just elected its first Muslim mayor? Harvard is now accepting women into its previously all-male clubs? Tell me more!
- Drake. I can now say I tried. The kids are always talking about Drake during the open mics. So I caved and purchased his latest album, Views, on the iTunes. Perhaps his previous works were stronger but I’m not a fan. I do, however, like Wizkid, who I discovered through this album so thanks, Drake.
- The Snoogle. Got myself a full-body pillow that curves on each end. Steve calls it the lizard. I love it, though shifting sides and getting out of bed in the middle of the night is a challenge.
In an effort to make some space in our one-bedroom apartment before our little lady arrives, the husband has been researching storage facilities. We loathe throwing money away like that so, after sleeping upon it, I did yet another purge of our apartment. We schlepped a few bags down to Salvation Army (again) and I took everything out of my dresser. If I couldn’t wear a given item RIGHT NOW, it went into one of two suitcases I store in our closet. Sadly, that included my favorite bras but mission accomplished. I now had a ton of space for maternity clothes as well as the various maternity-friendly gear I can wear post-baby.
To be honest, it’s not super easy feeling sexy right now. Feminine, yes, but more like the way a female cow is feminine. I had a leftover Victoria’s Secret gift card from my bachelorette party and bought some new thongs (yep, I still wear them through pregnancy, they naturally ride low and are thus super comfy) and a couple of sassy black bras in my new size (34DD) and added them to my rather basic maternity lingerie collection. It’s not much but it’s something.
My friend and fellow stand-up comic Raquel D’Apice is currently pregnant with her second child and wrote this piece about pregnancy that captures so many feelings that I have right now: how much I loathe being pregnant sometimes while feeling guilty because some women would love to be pregnant and cannot. My daughter’s movements sometimes feel more like an alien’s jerky demands than sweet reminders of the magical female body and the tiny person my husband and I have created. And so many other things.
Read the piece. Follow her on the social medias. You’ll be glad you did.
Technically, our anniversary is Tuesday, 4/12; however, Steve left for a business trip yesterday so we celebrated Saturday night. I love Eataly and had been meaning to go there with Steve for years. He remembered and off we went.
Before I get to a few food snaps, I have to say the following:
Steve is wonderful. He is everlastingly patient with me when I have almost no patience these days. He sings silly songs (on key, no less) and changes the words so that they’re about me. When I have insomnia, he says “Make your brain stop moving. Dream of cheese.” He has organically, generously taken on the role of planner of all travel and logistics in our marriage, resulting in fantastic trips to South Africa, Costa Rica, Montreal, New Orleans, Portland, Arizona. He makes my life – and our shared life – easier and more fun in so many ways. And to top it all off, his shoulders. Man, his shoulders.
In one year, we’ve had a wedding, a honeymoon, a move (Steve’s into my/ now our apartment), two pregnancies, one miscarriage, a co-headlining show, a job change (his), and a babymoon. As soon as I get a drink in my hand again (August, maybe?), I will toast him and our many adventures.
Until then, some shots from Eataly:
Once Steve suggested we go to Eataly, I immediately began dreaming of their pasta with cacio and pepe. So simple so wonderful.
Steve had the lasagna. He gave me a bite. Also delightful.
And then we had gelato. But there was no time for pictures then. One must destroy one’s gelato immediately, which is what we did. We each had one scoop of tiramisu gelato and one scoop of salted caramel. A wonderful anniversary meal.