Hey NSSMer’s I am so excited to bring to you our SECOND M.I.L.F., author Lori Campbell! If you’re new to the M.I.L.F. series then Click here to get fully caught up on my mission. Basically I’m taking back the “M word” and changing it to, “Mom I’d Like to Friend” in my new interview series, M.I.L.F.
This week I’m shining the spotlight on author Lori Campbell.
I love Lori because in one sentence we can chat about her fancy Fifth Avenue life and in the next talk about her son’s potty humor.
NSSM: Lori, you are living with two teenagers, tell me or warn me what I have to look forward to.
Lori: I live in New York City with my husband and our two teenagers, ages 14 and 16. They are fully in adolescent mode – which basically means I live with two people who disagree with almost everything I say! Really, I could point at a poodle and say “Cute dog,” and they will look at me with a little glare in their eyes and say, “That is not a dog.”
I’ve come to realize that with teenagers, you have to laugh, and not take things personally. It’s their job right now to separate from their mother. To become their own person. To not be me.
NSSM: You talk about your glamorous life in your serialization, Luckyish on medium.com. What the heck is a serialization and medium.com?
Medium.com is a new writers’ platform started by the founders of Twitter, and it’s awesome. Unlike Twitter, you are not limited to a number of characters, and most writers publish work that takes between three and ten minutes to read. Many stories on Medium are the personal experiences of writers with a unique voice.
Some writers, like myself, publish their stories in installments, or serials.
I’ve had such a great response to Luckyish, which received over 10,000 reads shortly after I posted it. (First up in the series was: Luckyish. I grew up hanging out behind a Burger King in New Jersey and ended up in the world of the Manhattan private school.
It’s a comedy about trying to fit into a new and rarefied world, one which I knew nothing about until I was in it. And while Luckyish is mostly about my failed attempts to try and fit in, it’s also about privilege, and what it means to suddenly have it.
NSSM: I’m going to be tacky here and ask how does a NJ–Burger-King-lovin-girl end up with a house in the Hamptons and where can I get me one?
Well the answer is you don’t! You blow past the Hamptons and go to the very eastern end of Long Island, to the scrappy town of Montauk, because those are your people.
My husband and I started going to Montauk many years ago for the fishing, the blue-collar atmosphere, and of course, the hot dog eating contest. If you are ever in Montauk in July, I highly recommend the annual hot dog eating contest in the parking lot at Gosman’s Dock. Contestants eat, like, forty-five hot dogs and buns so that they can win the grand prize – a Sabrett’s umbrella. People have died during hot dog eating contests, and yet there are those in Montauk every July who say, I must do it…for the umbrella…
Sadly, you can’t get to Montauk without having to drive through the Hamptons, and Luckyish talks a lot about how Montauk has become very Hamptons-y in the last few years. Montauk has become so sceney that my husband and I, like the Greeks, may have to look for an exit. Except instead of a Grexit I guess it would be a Montexit.
NSSM: I always say that I’m like a twelve year old boy who loves nothing more than the word terd. I can still laugh about a fart I blew in 7th grade. I love that your Cartboy book series is all about middle school boys and their farts, burps and smells. How did you research the series? Did you pick your nose and win farting contests?
Well, Carey, I love you. I love a woman who fully admits that farts are funny and doesn’t try to pretend otherwise. Because let’s face it, the people who think farts are immature, not funny, too broad, or beneath them, are always the first ones to fall out of their chair in an uncontrollable giggle fit during the bridal shop scene in the movie Bridesmaids.
The series was inspired by my son, Beau, who was always a good reader, but lost interest in books when he was about eight or nine years old. The Cartboy books weave potty humor and fun graphics into a story about a boy named Hal who doesn’t understand why he has to know History. I figured the farts and drawings and silly jokes would be a good way to keep Beau, and other kids like him, reading.
I would like to add here, Carey, that while I am a fan of farts, fart machines, and fart noises of all kinds, I am a lady, and I myself do not fart.
NSSM: What’s your most embarrassing situation preferably concerning farts – are you noticing a theme here?
I see what you are doing here, Carey and it’s working. Okay, yes, I fart!
And so now I’m going to tell you my most embarrassing story, but I’m going to fast- forward past farts and right to diarrhea. Yep. Believe me I wish it had just been a fart.
Here’s the thing. I am a very nervous person, who happens to have an overeager and hyperactive gastrointestinal system. Which is to say I get diarrhea. A lot.
I pretty much have diarrhea every time I do a reading of one my Cartboy books. It doesn’t matter if it’s in an auditorium that seats three hundred people or a classroom with a dozen nine-year-olds. I will, like clockwork, have a diarrhea attack of biblical proportions. When I plan a day with a book reading, I actually have to budget “diarrhea time” into my schedule. I’ve had diarrhea so many times, in so many places, I actually started keeping a Diarrhea Diary.
But the story that really stands out happened at a book reading at a middle school in New Jersey last year.
As usual, I parked my car, busted a move through the front door of the school, and ran to find the nearest bathroom. Only I couldn’t find it. So I charged into the first room I saw, which was the assistant principal’s office. “Hi,” I said, trying to hide the panic in my voice. “Can you please tell me where the bathroom is?”
I thought she’d point me down the hallway, but instead the assistant principal said, “Oh it’s right here. “ She pointed to a door no more than THREE FEET from her desk.
“Th-thanks. “ I tried to nonchalantly walk by, and give her my best “I’m only going number one” look, but when I opened the door to the bathroom it literally HIT THE SIDE of her desk.
“Damn it!” I practically cried out loud. And then I saw the bathroom had a CANDLE burning in it. As anyone knows, if there is one sure sign of an utter lack of bathroom ventilation, it is a candle.
Well, I came out about ten minutes later and ran straight out of the office without stopping once. I muttered a quick, “Thanks,” over my shoulder and headed toward the reading. On my way there, I consoled myself the way I do time and time again, when I have a diarrhea attack in an unfamiliar place. “Thank god, I’ll never see any of these people again!”
NSSM: What’s the food you most dream about while having sex? Fried Chicken.
NSSM: It had to be surreal to be profiled in Vogue magazine about a very personal story. Tell us why you publicly shared your story of loss.
Yes, it was surreal having so many people read about a very personal and painful part of my life. But I wanted to share my story about the late-term abortion of my first pregnancy because I believe it’s very important for women to have this choice, as painful as it is to make.
I think people fear what they don’t know, and I hoped that by explaining exactly why I had an abortion after my water broke at 21 weeks, they would understand. Vogue was kind enough to show me the many letters they received from people who read the piece, and I remember one woman said, “I used to be against this procedure, but after reading this story, I realized, who am I to judge?”
I am grateful to Vogue for publishing it.
NSSM: Lori, You are an amazing author and mother. I so am grateful to you for sharing such a personal story.