Because I Live In An Asylum.

This morning I called into The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss my Etsy shop. The segment was called Checking In On the Maker Economy. Etsy was brought up and how they’re going public. So I figured what the hell? I make things and sell them on Etsy. I have a unique product. I am a “Maker”. Let’s do this!

So I called. The line was busy for a while, but I kept trying. After several attempts, a woman answered. She asked me my name, where I was calling from. She asked me what it is I make. I answered. She put me on hold.

Today is another snow day. Which means all three kids are home with me and they are all also completely insane. They are always completely insane, but throw in some cabin fever, the excitement of being home instead of at school, and Walter’s recent round of vaccinations, and we’ve reached asylum levels of insanity. Come to think of it, there are moments where I feel like I live in an actual asylum. It’s perfect madness. I live in a house surrounded by perfect madness, the madness of children.

As I sat on hold I began looking around the room, taking it all in. Walter was crying and drooling from underneath my desk. The other two were riding wheeled office chairs around the living room, dueling like they were on horseback. What had I been thinking? Calling into a radio station to talk about “making stuff”. What had I been thinking? I can’t have a conversation about my business right now, not one with any order or decency. How was I going to hold an adult conversation with another adult while on the radio as countless others listened in?

What the hell is wrong with you, Michele?

And then it happened. Brian Lehrer introduced “Michele from _______” and BAM! I was on the air.

I swooped down, picked up Walter and made a mad dash to the other side of the house, in search of the most quiet corner I could find. And I think I began to talk. I can’t remember what happened actually because I live in an asylum. But I think I mentioned that I make lollipops. That they are unique—blah blah blah. There is one called “The First Trimester” made from lemon and fresh ginger—blah blah blah. I think I mentioned “Rise ‘n Shine” and maybe a wine or two. I can’t remember what I said, really, because I live in an asylum.

What had I been thinking?

I think I kept talking and so did Walter, fussing in the background, endlessly whining from my right hip, directly into the telephone.

What had I been thinking?

And then without missing a beat (which is incidentally why I listen to him every day) Brian Lehrer quips, “Sounds to me like you’re in the fifth or sixth trimester right now!”

I think I laughed, but I’m not sure. But that doesn’t matter because the best part about this? The part that surprised me the most? I GOT IT. I got his joke, like, immediately. I didn’t have one of those parent moments where you’re like, “Uuuuhhhhh duhhhhhh, whaaaaaa?” No. I GOT IT. There wasn’t a brain delay at all.

I got it.

And then it was over. Just like that. Probably because he didn’t want to hear Walter fuss into the phone, or listen to my other two children beat the shit out of one another while riding around on office chairs. And I can’t say I blame him; that doesn’t make for very good radio. But it does make for a good asylum.

After I hung up, and then after some time went by (because of course it did), it occurred to me that I completely failed to mention the name of my shop. Because…


  1. Just think…if I had been able to get to your house today we wouldn’t be reading this great post. This had dad and I in tears. You will someday read this and remember it as “good times”. I promise!


  2. I heard you today on NPR! I’ve been reading you for a long long time. You are a smart and funny and thoughtful voice I like to check in with periodically. I was half-listening to the radio today while feeding my youngest kid lunch and immediately knew it was you. For what it’s worth, from a stranger: you sounded smart and friendly and not like you were hiding from some of your family while trying to pacify the baby. And even without mentioning your shop by name you were great. For real.


    1. Lauren! That means the WORLD TO ME. Your comment means the world to me. I’ve been replaying the BL conversation over again in my head and I just keep cringing. But I’m good at that so I wasn’t sure if it was me recreating it in a horrible light, enhancing the awkward/bad parts, or if it was really that bad. And since you have kids, you probably know how time can go by and events can happen and you’re foggy on the details. Because I’m honestly not sure what happened. I do know none of my kids were seriously injured today, and frankly, sometimes at the end of the day that’s all that matters. :]

      I just wish I could have spoken to him without the chaos. But then maybe I’d have totally screwed up. Who knows.

      Wow, what a convoluted comment I’ve left here. But thank you. Your comment means the world to me.


  3. Awesome. I love how genuine you are, it is so refreshing. I love and completely identify with the asylum. I dont have kids, but I was a nanny for many years. Now, I basically work in an asylum for neurotic, “professional” adults. I also have my own personal asylum in my head, where there lives a crazy monkey bouncing off the walls. I laughed and smiled Thank you for making my day.


  4. You may realize this already, but you can listen to your interview online at Your part starts about halfway through the segment, and you sound completely sane. :)


    1. I hadn’t realized that until a friend clued me in on Twitter and there’s no way I’m going to listen and cringe at the sound of my voice, but you rule for saying I sound sane. Thanks Liza.


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