The subtitle of your memoir
is, "A One Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made," which suggests that you are either a nut job, a hose bag, or at the very least, an over-sharer. Which is it?
A: Wow, this is like being interviewed by Deborah Solomon. I'm definitely not a hose bag. The one night stand in question, the one that left me pregnant at 39, was the only time I'd had sex in an 11-month period.
A: Tell me about it. It's not easy out there for 39 year-old single women. Anyway, I am sane, although I admit it still seems surreal when people ask, "What's your book about?" and I hear myself saying: "Err, having a baby after a one-night stand." I smile big, try not to seem slutty, and wonder what my father would think.
Q: I'd be hiding under a rock somewhere. Not blathering about it in a book.
A: For most of my pregnancy I figured I would want to be hiding under a rock. I assumed I'd be angry, broke, embroiled in hideous legal issues with the dad, and off my rocker with the stress of single motherhood. Instead, I've never been happier. Which is why I'm willing to overshare; I'm hoping that women who are in that place where I was, say, post-35, and fearful of their futures ? you know, where's my dreamboat? ? will find it helpful to see that someone who very much wanted the scenario of husband, house, dog, then baby, has actually found the non-traditional path to motherhood incredibly fulfilling. Accidentally on Purpose contains no helpful tips on potty training, but there may be guidance on such subjects as expectations, acceptance and love in there. Mixed in with comedy, tragedy, and sex.
Q: You were a movie critic for eight years. Is this just a rip-off of Knocked Up?
A: I was on the fifth draft of my manuscript when Knocked Up was released. And my son was already three years old, so no. I enjoyed that movie very much, although Superbad was both funnier and more profound. Also, I look nothing like Katherine Heigl and the father of my child doesn't look or act like Seth Rogen. Although he was only 29 and unemployed when he got me pregnant.
Q: What's up with the Dad? Did he hop a Greyhound out of town?
A: Matt lives about 15 minutes away from us. He's gainfully employed and totally responsible. He's over at our place for dinner usually three or four times a week. And from the beginning, we've co-parented our son. After I broke the news to him that I was pregnant, the first thing he said (once he was capable of speech) was, "Everyone wants a child." I'm still amazed by how accepting he was of this whole terrifying scenario.
Q: Doesn't he despise you? This book...
A: We're good. We've been through a lot together. The book is a snapshot of where we were. I'm a tough critic and I was hard on him. But we've both grown up a lot and we love each other. Not in "that" way, but in the way of family. Which is what we are.
Q: Aw, shucks. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: If you are in Portland, please take pity on a woman who is on a book tour the same month as David Sedaris and come to my reading tonight at Powell's on Hawthorne at 7:30 pm.