Outspoken writer/performer Loh tells all about being an industrious minivan-driving mom during a particularly brutal midlife crisis: “the year I exploded into flames.”
At 42, living in Southern California and the mother of two young daughters, the author spent many nights fretting about how “unbelievably complicated” maternity had become in the modern world. During a woman’s 40-something years, she explains with wry candor, a molting process occurs whereby females cast off the wilting skins of their former selves and attempt to silence the “ceaseless drumbeat of domestic tedium.” But domestic issues reasserted their importance when older daughter Hannah reached kindergarten age and Loh realized that exclusive private institutions like Wonder Canyon or The Coleman School were completely beyond her means. Enrollment in the Los Angeles Unified School District was free, of course, but horrifying theories about the social stigma of public school swirled around the author as her devoted, tolerant musician husband Mike did his best to placate her fears. She contemplated placing Hannah in a Lutheran school, fraternized with a few of the moms, and soon playdates were materializing in abundance. Then came the devastating news of Hannah’s poor kindergarten testing results, which ended her chances for the Lutheran School. Loh experienced other traumas: After forgetting to tell her engineer to bleep out a casual use of the F word, she was unceremoniously fired from her public-radio program; then she gave the boot to her longtime feminist therapist. Never one to become unmoored by strife or circumstance, the author managed to land on her feet. She chronicles her panic-stricken neuroses in a relentlessly frenetic, blog-like narrative. It’s all about capitalized key words, hyperactive hysteria and…reestablishing a firm grip on motherhood.
Like a long dinner date with that melodramatic, motor-mouthed best friend you can’t imagine life without.