Monday, August 16, 2010

The Carol Brady Experiment: Laura Petrie, Part 2

8:00 AM
Well. I’ve already messed it up. I know I should have gotten up earlier to take a shower before I made breakfast. But I just couldn’t.

“Who’s serving me breakfast?” Ryan asked when he came in the kitchen.

“Laura Petrie from ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ But I already messed it up. I should be all cute while I’m cooking.”

“I think you look cute,” he said. But I’m pretty sure he was just saying this because he thought it was the right thing to say. Because I did not. “Are you going to be really upset if it’s too early for me to eat breakfast?”

“Nope. I’m making it for you to take with you. I know you don’t eat this early.”

“Oh. Are you making something for yourself?”


“OK. Is this my coffee, or yours?”

“Yours of course. I wouldn’t serve myself before serving you.”

“Ah. I forgot. We’re pretending to be in an era when men still had an opinion.” I gave him the breakfast and lunch I had packed, (although Rob Petrie went out to lunch. But since Ryan is not a comedy writer, his sandwich and cookies will have to do.) he gave me a kiss, thanked me for the food, and was out the door, not knowing what to make of all this.

Now I’m up far earlier than I normally would be, and Lily won’t be up for a few hours. I think I’ll spend some time with Laura on hulu to learn more about her. If I could only find my glasses…

10:45 AM
I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I’ve been able to get a good read on Laura’s personality and style, but I haven’t determined how she spent her time during the day. But what I do know is this. Being a wife and mother were very important to her, and she did everything with flair. So I have decided to feel glamorous, and to love what I’m doing. I played with Lily for a while- it’s easy enough to love that. As for the glamour, that will be easier after I’ve had a shower. Which will be easier after I’ve had a nap.

12:15 PM
I think my body must be very committed to living in a sitcom, because I just managed to cut my big toe on a safety razor while shaving my legs in the shower. I dropped it, and then I stepped on it. So if anyone ever writes this into a scene and you say to yourself “that could never happen,” it could.

1:15 PM
I just spent about 45 minutes doing my hair, and I never really got it. It’s not bad, but it’s not perfect. And Laura’s was always perfect. Although Ryan stopped by to drop of the stroller that was in the car and he smiled and said I looked cute. So it must not be all bad.

2:30 PM
Lily and I had lunch together at the dining room table. I talked to her, and the strangest thing happened. She answered me. I’m not sure what language she was speaking, but she definitely had things to say- with varied inflection and gestures and all. We WILL be eating at the table more often.

9:04 PM
So even the glamorous get depressed. Nearly ever day during the late afternoon, I struggle. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting bored and lonely, or if- and this is a genuine possibility- it has to do with my blood sugar… But regardless of the reason, it makes me want to go back to bed for several hours. I’m not sure if this is a problem Laura Petrie faced, but today it became too much for me, I put Lily down with a bottle, and I took a nap. Of course, this messed up my hair. I wanted to give up on the project. I even reached for a ponytail holder. And then I thought, “What would Laura Petrie do?” She wouldn’t have a choice. She would have to continue. So, I did the only thing I could. I picked up my curling iron and I fixed it. And you know what? I felt better.

Lily and I walked to Starbucks and to Whole Foods looking very cute, and when we got home, it was nearly time for the man of the house to return. He was early, so I didn’t get a chance to meet him at the door, (it’s a good thing he didn’t trip over the ottoman…) but I did have a cocktail chilling for him. Ryan and Lily played in the living room while I made dinner- Portobello mushrooms with mozzarella and homemade pesto sauce, and spinach and pasta salad. I wanted to serve it on fancy plates with flowers in a vase and appropriate lighting, but we’re lucky to have a table set up. And no one seemed to mind- everyone ate every bite.

I gave Lily a bath and put her to bed, then made some coffee for Ryan.

“What, no bundt cake?” he teased.

“Aren’t you going back to the office for a couple hours?”

“Well, yes.”

“Right. There will be cake. You can have it when you get home.”

And there will be cake. There was always going to be cake. It will be from a box, but there will be cake. I don’t know if cake mixes were available for Laura Petrie. But I’m sure she would have used them if she could have. So, I’ll make the cake, and I’ll finish the dishes (the dishwasher is running, but I still have to wash the pots and pans), and I’ll straighten the house. And when Ryan gets home, we’ll have cake. And then we’ll go to our side-by-side twin beds. And the rest of the evening will be none of your business.


  1. I have to tell you, I loved the Dick Van Dyke Show. Thanks for some great memories. Love your writing, you make me laugh.

  2. One person must have at least one foot on the floor at all times whilst in the bedroom!

  3. I, too, remember, clearly, the Dick Van Dyke show and loved them...her...him...just all of it! Thanks for sharing your made all of us feel better...I love your experiment...and I think it made you feel better, was the cake?