There’s a disgusting commercial on the television. They keep flashing photographs of some unfortunate woman’s foot – she appears to have a lot of trouble keeping the skin on her heels healthy. They’re yellow and cracked, and frankly, they look diseased. But then, the product the commercial is pushing came into her life and now she has happy feet and she could maybe even be a foot model, and everyone knows that men want to date models, so she’s pretty set. She doesn’t have to worry about anything anymore, unless, of course, she doesn’t want to be a foot model. Not every girl would want to spend the working hours having her feet photographed, day in and day out. Maybe she wanted to become an accountant. She might just really like numbers, you never know, not all girls are bad at math. If she were educated at a Montessori school in her formative years, the educators would have encouraged her to develop her natural skill set – they would have nurtured her true, instinctual interests by removing any road blocks standing between her and her professional destiny. I guess this would mean the teacher would give the kid a calculator or an abacus or something and tell her to go nuts. If the woman really did always want to be a foot model, I suppose the obstacle standing in the way between her and her dream job would be this nauseating foot disease, so the teacher would probably have given her the product in the commercial and maybe shown her how to apply it. “Do it in little circles. No, smaller. Smaller. Smaller.” I don’t really know what I’m talking about; I’m not a teacher.


I went to a Montessori school. The different wooden farm animals outside the door distinguished the classrooms from one another. There was a sheep and a cow and a duck – I’m pretty sure I have a memory of wanting to be in the duck room, and looking forward to the day that would happen. I don’t remember doing any work while I was in the Montessori school. Unless I’ve imagined it, I don’t think I did anything there but peel carrots and oranges. All day long, that’s what I did in school. It makes me wonder what the hell my natural skill set is, if this is what I did while the teachers removed the obstacles that might stand in the way of my professional development. I suppose I was preparing diligently to obtain employment at Jamba Juice – and hey, that job might actually pay me more than what I’m doing now, if I worked my way up to becoming manager. And most people who go to Jamba Juice are in a really good mood because they’re about to get some juice, and everyone likes juice. It’s nice to work in a friendly environment.


My parents took me out of Montessori – or maybe I graduated from Montessori, I don’t remember – and then I went to University Primary School, which was called Uni-Pri. It was the school associated with the University of Illinois, and I’m assuming it was also the school responsible for derailing me from my goals of becoming an orange and carrot peeler. Probably, because my interest in carrots and oranges was discouraged upon leaving Montessori, I repressed this urge to be active in food-related activities. This repression spawned an unconscious obsession with food, which would explain why I began sneaking extra fruit snacks (it’s no coincidence I preferred the artificial orange flavor) when my parents weren’t looking, and it would also explain why I’m unable to go more than five minutes without my brain screaming to me about food food food FOOD FOOD FOOD! I mean, what the hell do you people who don’t think about food think about? Please tell me, maybe I can train myself to be like you. I’m so tired of thinking about food, and really, I’m tired of thinking about most of the crap I think about. Why does my hand feel dirty? I was petting the cat. Is the cat dirty? Cats clean themselves, so you’re not supposed to wash them. But they clean themselves with their fucking tongues, and they stick their tongues in their assholes. Is there cat shit on my hand? Should I go buy some food? No one is looking, it’s okay, I can have more food. You can confess to facebook tomorrow if you feel guilty. Am I special? Do people think I’m special?


Meanwhile, as I was damaging my psyche with this repression, I was being changed. Uni-Pri, the school I actually remember quite fondly, was offering me up as a participant in psychological studies measuring child development and the like. I didn’t know about this until I took a class in cognitive development, and we watched a video about object permanence. Object permanence is a concept children achieve at some early age – I’d tell you which age, but I can’t remember because it’s not that important to me. If I ever get pregnant, I’m sure I’ll suddenly care, and then I’ll think it’s the most important information in the world and I won’t believe that some people out there don’t care! What it is, is when a kid realizes that just because he can’t see an object, doesn’t mean it ceases to exist. So if you show him a toy, and he’s all happy, then you hide the toy, a child who has achieved object permanence will cry and reach for the hidden toy and etcetera, while a child who has not achieved object permanence will be all “woah, that thing is just fucking gone now, it’s just gone.” It’s easy to fool kids because their brains aren’t fully developed yet. They can’t be, otherwise they’d be so big that they’d destroy a woman’s vagina on their way out. In any event, I was enrolled in a cognitive development class, and we watched a video about object permanence, and, to my surprise, I was in that video. “Lenore, can you find the Snoopie doll?” they were asking me, and there I was, in a really cute little dress, representing, thank god, the kid who had achieved object permanence. How humiliating it would have been to be the slow kid in the educational video. “Did you ever involve me in any psychological studies?” I asked my father, and he said: “I don’t know.” It’s okay with me, really. It’s not like it’s upsetting – all they were doing was having me locate a stupid doll.


But I do wonder if maybe this is why I ended up getting my doctorate in psychology. Because at the same time I was being deterred from developing and nurturing my natural skill set of peeling oranges and carrots, I was compelled to take part in psychological studies. I was young, my brain wasn’t fully developed – it couldn’t have been difficult to confuse me and replace “carrot peeling” with “psychology.” I really don’t know what I’m talking about. What the hell am I doing? It’s 2:10 AM between Friday and Saturday and I’m just sitting around. I haven’t even read a book or anything tonight, I’ve just been sitting here, and my neighbor is serenading me with his loud burping. I don’t know why he isn’t asleep. I can see a number of lights on and televisions flickering in the neighborhood. The middle of the night used to be so peaceful and quiet – it used to be my time, this was my fucking time, and now everyone’s wide awake, burping out of their windows at me. I should really get a boyfriend or something, this is getting really fucking boring. I guess I can read a book and stop all this complaining, do something proactive about my lassitude – I mean, I’m a doctor of psychology for crying out loud, but Jesus Christ, I just looked up and that diseased foot commercial is on again. It must be cheap to buy air time in the middle of the night between a Friday and a Saturday, and those foot people are smart, because the only people who would see it are the other slobs who didn’t do anything at all other than sit around in their pajamas from the night before, and those are the people who probably get skin diseases on their feet. I hope I don’t get one, but hey, at least now I know what number to call if I do.

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Lenore Zion's first book, "My Dead Pets are Interesting," was published by TNB Books in 2011. She was an original contributor to The Nervous Breakdown. Zion's second book, "Stupid Children," was published by Emergency Press in February of 2013. Zion has a doctorate in clinical psychology, a degree which spawned her interest in psychological abnormalities. Her specialty is the treatment of sexual pathology and her dissertation focused on the paraphilias - sexual impulse disorders that include exhibitionism, pedophilia, fetishism, sadism, masochism, and frotteurism, among others. She lives in Los Angeles.

100 responses to “I Don’t Know What This is About”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    You know, if you get a gross foot disease.. you can always go to that foot doctor with the happy foot/sad foot sign.
    I hope you show me your talent for carrot peeling when I’m with you.. You are fucking hilarious. And hot. And a doctor for crissakes. Men should not be burping at you, they should be worshipping your very pretty feet.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i LOVE the happy foot/sad foot clinic. i’m sure i went out of my way to show it to you guys last time you were here and that’s how you know about it. but i would never go there. that place is not for people like me.

      • I once stuck my feet in a river and hundreds of little fish started biting them. It was a horrible sensation, but when someone saw me pull them out, they explained that it’s actually good for you. They’re just eating the dead skin.

        Later, I found a cafe where you sit and drink coffee with your feet in a bowl of water. Little fish just chomp away at your feet while you drink, and apparently all your feet problems go away.

  2. Dana says:

    I don’t know what this was about either, but I still enjoyed reading it. I wonder if you really only peeled oranges (no apples or potatoes?) or if there’s something about the color orange that you relate to childhood. Could be a bit of synesthesia? I was recently talking to some friends about that phenomena and it turns out that of the 5 of us in the room two of us had some mild form and one had it rather strikingly. Don’t I recall that you have some sort of obsession with Cheetos? Psychologist heal thyself. 😉

    • Judy Prince says:

      ” Don’t I recall that you have some sort of obsession with Cheetos? Psychologist heal thyself.” HA—-good one, Dana!

    • Lenore Zion says:

      while i do like cheetos, the obsession is with white cheddar popcorn – BUT, the fact that cheddar tends to be orange, and i go out of my way to get the *white* cheddar might mean something. something very…inconsequential.

      synesthesia is one of the cooler things that happen in brains. i’m glad you were having a conversation about it.

  3. Ryan Day says:

    I went to a Montesorri school in Georgia. I just remember counting beans and opening tins of peaches. Maybe that’s a thing with them. Get kids to do light food related tasks until they are forced to seek other schools.

    I really enjoyed reading about your gaseous neighbor and rotting foot commercials. Upon finishing that sentence I realize it sounds ironic, but I really didn’t mean it to be.

    I’m thinking of doing a study on non-object permanence based on all of the crappy and useless food stuffs I am sent via facebook. Are you available?

    • Lenore Zion says:

      oh my god, they had you opening cans of peaches? isn’t that dangerous? like, can’t you cut yourself on the metal? you should sue them. and isn’t bean-counting one of those tasks that people were made to do in old-timey prisons? or am i making that up entirely? your Montessori school was scary.

  4. Tawni says:

    Feet are disgusting, diseased or not, and I do not want to see them on my television set. Ever. Thanks for the heads-up on that commercial.

    The Montessori math at my son’s school involves the kids counting with sugary food, like Fruit Loops and Skittles. It drives me crazy. They could use nuts (no allergies there) or Cheerios, but no. At least you got healthy foods for your child labor/future Jamba Juice employee training.

    Maybe you should tape some Gas-X to the apartment door of the loud burping guy as a hint?

    Congratulations on your doctorate in psychology. Way to go, Lenore!

    • Lenore Zion says:

      can’t you go in there and give them a box of cheerios and tell them that you’d prefer they use those? or do they insist on junk food? i’m sorta surprised they get away with that, what with all the government pushing to obsessively warn us about unhealthy foods or even eliminate our junk food options entirely.

      i’m not really grossed out by feet. but it bothers me when people don’t wear shoes outside.

      • Zara Potts says:

        I promise to keep my shoes on this time when I’m there.

        • Lenore Zion says:

          you are allowed to have your shoes off outside. i love you either way. but remember how much your feet hurt after you stepped on all those AIDS needles.

  5. Lorna says:

    You are special, Lenore. You are. And funny too.

  6. Slade Ham says:

    Not everyone likes juice. I don’t. I mean, I don’t dislike juice. I’m not all, “Hey. Fuck juice.”

    But I don;t particularly like it either.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      what about a smoothie? smoothies are delicious. you can put whatever you want into a smoothie.

      • Slade Ham says:

        I’ve never put the thought into smoothies. I think a chocolate one sounds wonderful right now. Chocolate and rock and roll and a little bit of that part of the day where the sun has gone down but it’s still not dark yet… I want all of that in a smoothie.

  7. Infomercials. How I love them. Have you ever seen “Dual Action Cleanse” with Klee Irwin?

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i very well may have seen it, but i don’t know for sure because i never take the television off mute. i hate hearing television. i just like seeing the pictures, and i make up my own stories to go along with them, because i think i’m really funny.

  8. Jessica Blau says:

    Dr. Zion, This is so funny and smart and clever. And if you truly wrote this in one sitting, one draft, while sitting in front of fungi foot infomercials listening to your neighbor burp out the window, sometime in the zone when Friday turns into Saturday, then I am terribly, terribly jealous of your talents.

    I love that YOU were the kid in the movie. I love that you imagine pre-object permanence kids (0-3 year olds) saying things like, “Woah, that thing is just fucking gone now. it’s gone.”

    I want to write a movie with you. It is a movie like that dumbass Kirstie Alley/John Travolta thing where the babies talk. Only the babies in our movie will be pre-object permanence and will give each other the finger and say things like, “that shit’s so fucked up.” You can write the kids. I’ll write the adults. We can write it at 2:00 a.m., if you want. That’s clearly a great creative time for you.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      oh geez, i loved those movies. they were such an unconventional family. and when they got that talking poodle, i nearly flipped my shit. i’m down to write a movie with you. i should warn you that i’m a terrible screenwriter and i don’t work well with others, though. but you’re pretty so i’d probably just sit there and watch you work while i ate lots of food.

  9. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Lenore, if I were afraid of Virginian Woolf, I sure as hell am not any more 😀

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i don’t get it, because you’re like a hundred times smarter than i am.

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        Once again I get caught out being overly laconical. Oh well.

        OK, so your piece is caught up in stream-of-consciousness and the psychological interior landscape, which were techniques that Virginia Woolf was famous for pioneering in English fiction. She is also known for her complicated personal life.

        Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” really had nothing to do with Virginia Woolf, but for me, it’s a very ugly exposé of lives whose complexity is hidden behind a veneer of false simplicity.

        I love the way you play your internal complexities straight, and so in some ways your writing has carries a touch of Virginia Woolf while serving as the utter anti-“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

  10. I still have trouble with objective permanence, but that’s only because Schrodinger’s cat fucked me up, yo. When I was really young, I used to think I could turn invisible by closing my eyes, because if I couldn’t see people, logic told me, they couldn’t see me.

    I mean really young, like three.

    Or maybe I just saw that on television.

    Who knows?

    • Slade Ham says:

      You’re like an ostrich, Will.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      god, i wish we could go invisible when we closed our eyes. if i could have one superpower, it would be invisibility. i have always wanted that power. always always. and then someone could make the joke, “hey lenore, you ARE invisible, you loser!” and i would cry. woah, tense problems.

  11. Judy Prince says:

    “I suppose I was preparing diligently to obtain employment at Jamba Juice”–hahahahahah!!! Loved your descrips of Montessori and Uni-Pri—-hoot’ly hot stuff, Lenore.

    Yeah, maybe that job at Jamba Juice would be like your saviour or something, what with the healthy and friendly environment and all. Just make sure you wash your hands (all that cat-petting, you know, before you leave for work, etc).

    Here’s what people who don’t think about food think about:

    Single men think about sex.

    Married men think about and they also think about their wives (ok, more like terror/worry/angst/insanity than “think”).

    Singed I mean single women think about sex.

    Married women think about sex.

    Children think about guppies, hamsters and sex.

    • Judy Prince says:

      Oh, Lenore, it must’ve been that Evil Comment Robot experiencing Tea Party moments—–it left out the word “sex” from my comment!!!~!

      SEX! How can the Evil Comment Robot leave out SEX!

      Now to put it—-sex I mean—-in its proper place did I say that no I actually mean to put the word “sex” into the context I’d intended it before the Evil Comment Robot left it out and therefore totally somethinged-up my comment to you here is where “sex” SHOULD have been—-well it could be anywhere I suppose as sex is considered universal amongst most plants and animals and even people who are especially religious and are not allowed to do anything else and likely they have chosen those religions for that very purpose.

      Here’s the unsexed sentence as it SHOULD have been printed before the ECR censored it: “Married men think about sex, and they think about their wives (ok, more like terror/worry/angst/insanity than “think”)”.

      [yeah, I blamed ECR for my own omission]

      • Lenore Zion says:

        you know what, whenever there’s a word left out of a sentence, i ALWAYS fill it in with “sex.” so you were golden. the evil comment robot can’t do a thing.

        but yes, sex does seem to be a popular topic. i hope men don’t really think so poorly of their wives. that’s sad. the wives are the ones who let the husbands buy them jewels. who else would let them do that?

        • Judy Prince says:

          Oh way cool—-YOU, Lenore *must* be our Comment Robot, filling in all the words left out with “sex”! Brilliant!

          I was of course being imaginatively free (i.e., totally lying) with my married-men-not-so-much-thinking-about-sex-with-their-wives statement. They absolutely think about their wives and sex—-and how much it’s gonna cost them.

          You’re quite right about wives letting husbands buy them jewels and such. In fact, wives are sooooo unhappy about it, but having husbands buy jewels for them is a biological imperative. Hence, females are compelled, DNA and so on, to get jewels bought for them as well as to get the garbage taken out. Sometimes the two tasks seem related which is always a boon for the garbage pickup folks.

          I digress.

          Your Montessori training had numerous profound influences on you that you of course cannot recall. For example, the teachers, if Properly Trained, are nearly invisible unlike most teachers who you wish would shut up. Well, the Montessori teachers are *almost* always nearly invisible unless of course a kid is bleeding profusely from opening a can of peaches, in which case the teacher solemnly notes that fact in a notebook. The teachers are trained to constant alertness, noting every each child’s response to their environment, citing every “toy” choice and manipulation thereof, in that ubiquitous notebook. And most often this was extremely helpful to you and the other children who benefited from their teachers’ sensitivity and dedication to their every move. It also helped the teachers side-step a bloody can of peaches when they ate lunch.

          Oh, here’s a missing word coming up: this is a that you can’t see.

          Now you can fill in the missing word’s space!

  12. J.M. Blaine says:

    I don’t know what this is about
    either & I’m no MFA
    but I think it’s symbolism
    for how Lenore
    detests/resents/feels a gnawing apathy
    for getting a PhD
    when really she just wishes
    she was the assistant
    manager at the
    Juice Shack/Bake & Shake Tanning Beds & Pedicure Palace/DVD Bungalow.

    I could be wrong.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      ewww, i would never work at a tanning salon. i like being pale. although, i like that you are orange in your gravatar. just like the people at tanning salons, and also carrots and oranges.

  13. Irene Zion says:

    Lenore, my dove,

    All of you went to one Montessori or another.
    Sara’s favorite activity was the bird flash cards. ( And now she’s an avid birdwatcher!)
    Lonny liked to put the right number of metal nuts into the metal tray with a number painted on it. (But his favorite thing was practicing flying like Superman. He flew off a trashcan once and needed stitches.)
    Timothy was a carrot peeler too, I’m not sure about oranges. (I don’t think he eats anything orange anymore.)
    Lenore, you really only wanted to peel carrots and oranges. The teachers really did try to redirect you. You were, (HA!,) somewhat stubborn.
    Benjamin is the only one who refused to leave Montessori for Uni Pri. He played non-stop with the number rods doing math in his head. He was really, really happy thinking about math problems at Montessori.

    Just as a suggestion, you could turn off the TV if the infomercials make you feel icky.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i don’t remember the bird flash card activity option. did they not have that activity at my Montessori? what the hell are number rods?

      • Jeanna Bonello says:

        I just remember doing a lot of painting at Uni Pri and having them keep asking me questions about what I was thinking about?? Weird! I am so excited to read your book Lenore. Do you remember that aweful trip my dad took us on to Branson Missouri??

  14. Mende says:

    Lenore, Congrats on your degree. That is awesome and one day I will be awesome with my degree too. In the meantime, boyfriends are only unboring if they give a shit about being healthy and staying alive and undepressed…blessed psych-maven, Get a boyfriend who has a practical mind and who likes to have fun and also have great sex, and you are all in for bliss. do not fix them like old T.V sets or digital radios. You are a good read, doll. Nice work, Montessori girl.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      thank you! while getting a healthy boyfriend might work for some people, i think i need one who is a little fucked up, otherwise i’ll spend too much time thinking about how he has to put up with my obsessions and etc. little bit of damage can be a good thing. i don’t know how to talk to people who are totally emotionally healthy.

      • Mende says:

        Ok, I will give you that. A little fucked up can be enlightening, but now that you have actually obtained a degree in Pscyhology it is going to be a little easier to filter the rubble of sort of fucked up prospective partners and the other smartish fellows that really do care to ponder the bizarre ‘deets of late night T.V (and he may even crave tiny foily bags of junk food and a latent cotton candy binge at all hours at the 7 11) AND still find you absolutely fabulous with all of the sort of fucked up montessori habits and phobias…the smartish guy and the bookish guy and even the badd-assish guy will delight in YOU and your boredom. 🙂

  15. Marni Grossman says:

    One of my childhood friends went to a Montessori school. We had Hebrew School together three days a week. I thought she was the shit. Everything she did was pretty much the coolest thing ever if you asked me. And, at Montessori, she got to call her teachers by their first names. I found that deeply, deeply impressive.

    I’ll have to ask her if she too was a carrot peeler…

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i’ve always been shocked by people who call adults by their first names. it always seemed profoundly disrespectful to me. when my friends call my dad Victor and not Dr. Zion, i get offended on his behalf. meanwhile, he doesn’t give a shit.

  16. Greg Olear says:

    You may not know this: not only is there a video of you being tested as a child, but in ten years, when you’re at some Psych PhD wingding, it will be revealed that there is also a video of you watching the video of you as a child. It’s all part of a larger study, you see, which is itself part of an even larger study.

    Wait, someone is rapping at my door…should I not have told her? Should I keep my…..glprrrrp…..sghsgh…..AHHHHHHHH….

    [cut to: foot commercial]

    • Lenore Zion says:

      hahaha. maybe you should write the screenplay with JAB.

      that would be a pretty good study, actually. and it would make me feel very special. i sorta hope you’re right. did you know that a couple of weeks ago, i realized that i can recite The Raven from memory with total accuracy? no, of course you didn’t know that. how would you know that. anyway, i was really pleased with myself. you should record yourself reading The Raven and put it up on the podcast thingy here. you’ve got a great expressive voice for it.

      • Greg Olear says:

        I always loved that Halloween episode of The Simpsons. When I was in college, I painted the two-canvased Marge-as-Lenore and hung it on our wall. When I read that poem, I’m basically trying to sound like James Earl Jones.

        Yes, yes, I want in on the screenwriting team!

        • Lenore Zion says:

          when that episode came on, i felt like GOD. for people who don’t have common names, it’s a real thrill to hear them on television. and of course you’re on the screenwriting team. you do know we’re remaking Look Who’s Talking, right?

        • Greg Olear says:

          It’s like so weird, you know, it’s like, there’s a baby, you know, and he’s talking, but it’s not the baby, you know, it’s like, Bruce Willis. It’s, like, so weird.

          [It’s better when I do the Carvey-doing-Travolta out loud than in print]

          Not Look Who’s Talking. We’re doing Look Who’s Taking…The Toy Away From You, You Silly Kid With No Understanding of Object Impermanence. But whatever. if you and JAB are in, I’m there.

  17. Jude says:

    “It’s easy to fool kids because their brains aren’t fully developed yet. They can’t be, otherwise they’d be so big that they’d destroy a woman’s vagina on their way out.”

    This line just cracked me up! Laughed out loud! (Hate the LOL and refuse to use it ‘cept in this context…)

    You’re one hell of a funny writer Lenore…

    • Lenore Zion says:

      yeah, the word “vagina” almost invariably makes me laugh. and then “destroy” is a great word, and if you combine the two, you can rule the world.

  18. Matt says:

    Hey Doc,

    I don’t think I’ve figured this “object permanence” thing out yet, actually. No one’s looking at me right now, and I’m pretty sure I’ve ceased to exist.


    • Lenore Zion says:

      i frequently feel that way too. i suggest flailing around and screaming. or call 911. then they have to pay attention to you.

  19. Tim says:

    Those bastards at Montessori made us take naps. I usually stayed up to destroy the cots with the pocket knife Dad gave me.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      they let you take a pocket knife to Montessori? man, times have changed. though, i can’t imagine you taking issue with nap time. you’ve changed, too, man.

    • Irene Zion says:

      You must have been very slick about it, Tim, because they never suspected.
      Plus they adored you & were broken-hearted when you left for Uni Pri.

  20. Don Mitchell says:

    Lenore, welcome to “terminal degree” world. I always disliked that particular academicspeak phrase. But welcome, anyway.

    Speaking of academicspeak, at my college (which I fondly refer to as an “urban cow college”) we over in liberal arts referred to the home economics/consumer studies folks as “carrot peelers.”

    And finally, dear Lenore, don’t you think that this sentence

    it used to be my time, this was my fucking time,

    would have been clearer had you maybe italicized one word? I had to read it two or three times to be sure just what that time of yours was really for.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      as it is my fucking time, i am free to use it any way i please – fucking included. but i don’t let boys into my apartment because i’m not married and i’m no tramp. but yeah, you’re right, i suppose i could have italicized the “my.” or, the “fucking,” if i wanted it read that way.

      i’m surprised you don’t like the term “terminal degree.” i sorta love it. “congratulations on your Ph.D. now, death.”

      • Don Mitchell says:

        but tenure, academic glory, and retirement with a whopping pension come before death, right? Or that’s what they told us.

      • Jessica Hand says:

        No no, after Ph.D. you can either Marry a Good Man and Have Children or Devote Yourself to Your Career. Or you can Be the Woman Who Has It All and try to do both.

        Good luck! =D

        Oh, and I guess your stories are the best stories and they always make me laugh. Out loud. You’re doing a great job, etc etc.

        • Lenore Zion says:

          i think you guys are both wrong. i’m pretty sure it’s just death.

          but if i had to choose, i’d really like to be the The Woman Who Has It All, Including A Surrogate Mother Willing To Get Fat For Me, a Nanny, and a Butler. i think i deserve it. i’m a fucking doctor, after all. and Don, i mean to use the word “fucking” for emphasis in this case.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          and the endless coconut cheddar popcorn. don’t forget that.

  21. Oh my god – I just love you – you’re my hero.
    Can’t wait to hang with you in a mere few weeks.
    We’ll have to tell you the story of when we almost
    got Dominick into a Montessori school here. It’s not fit for comment consumption.
    Wait, unless Greg already told you above (i’ll go look)
    (ok – I’m back – he didn’t) – it’s quite…crrrraaazzzeee.
    But, when we went there for the interview – the kids
    were all ensconced in making sunshine burgers from scratch and sunshine.
    So, I laughed alot when you describe your peeling oranges and carrots all day.
    One kid was in a corner doing nothing for what seems like more than an hour
    and she told us that they were letting him bottom out on his boredom.
    I thought to myself,”Not for $1,100 a month you’re not.”

    Anyway – thanks for the laugh – you’re my favorite doctor. Congrats, btw!!

    • Lenore Zion says:

      have you ever heard of Waldorf schools? we will discuss when i’m there. which i can’t wait for. i am so excited to meet you guys. until then, i guess i’ll just sit here until i hit bottom with my boredom. oh wait, my cat just threw up, so i can clean that up.

      • There’s a popular Waldorf school up here.
        I brought Dom to their “mommy and me” program when he was two
        after Prue was born, because I thought he would want something just for him and me.
        (He didn’t). He did end up burning his mouth on the very hot apple sauce we made there
        and never wanted to go back, oh well.
        I like the Montessori better than the Waldorf, at least up here.
        Though now there is no Montessori school and we will tell you why they had to close, while we have our drinks on the porch – can’t wait can’t wait.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Stephanie, I’m laughing about Dom *not* wanting a “Mommy and me” thing!! HA! Ya gotta love the little buggers. And I’m laughing at your reaction to the Waldorfian saying they were letting a kid bottom out on his boredom. You thought: ”Not for $1,100 a month you’re not.” 😉

          I keep telling young friends to get their kids in Montessori schools and they of course ignore me.

          But I did do a week-long voluntary stint as a “teacher’s aide” in a southside Chicago Montessori school as prep for deciding if it was where I wanted my son to go. That’s where I found out about the “making things available” to kids to choose what they wanted to work with, and the “teacher noting down each kid’s choices and how they dealt with them” practice. I thought these practices were the greatest thing since sliced bread! But, after my son started attending, he got bad colds, and the pediatrician said he’d continue to get them bcuz the pre-class meetingplace hallway would just keep infection spreading amongst the kids. Unbelievable. We moved after that and he attended the nearest public school.

          Which brings me to the topic I’d wanted to bring up: charter schools. There’s been a huge debate about the pros and cons of charter schools which I won’t address here. From my son’s and wife’s experiences with an L.A. charter school I know that the school’s nearly everything they’d wanted for their two boys (now 6 1/2 years old, just finishing their second year at the school).

          It began as a geographically local (to them) school, and thru a series of incredible situations the school ended up high up in beautiful Beverly Hills! Quite a bus trip for the kids each day, but they’ve loved their teachers and principal (a female), and they seem to be blossoming. I went up for a Hallowe’en costume party event, loved the beauty of the surroundings, chatted with parents and grandparents, enjoyed the kids’ doings and costumes and reactions. Parents are wonderfully united behind the principal and teachers, and I was also heartened by the racial mix of kids in the classes.

  22. Jim says:

    What now?

    (Why am I always late to these fun things people post?)

  23. Gloria says:

    I read. I laughed – especially about the way you describe parents who care about an issue judging other people who don’t care about the same issue, even though those parents didn’t know squat about it prior to becoming a parent. That’s a lot of responsibility. It’ll make you hyper-vigilant. And hyper-annoying. I’m not sure there’s a way around it.

    Congrats on your PhD!

    • Lenore Zion says:

      yeah. i look forward to becoming very smug when i am a parent. but i’ll probably have no one to be smug around, cause i’m sure my friends will all have kids before i do. i’ll have to make some really young friends.

  24. angela says:

    montesorri schools sound like the weirdest fucking things ever.

    • Lenore Zion says:

      i’m sure some of them are.

    • Irene Zion says:


      They are über- structured. That’s a fact, but all my kids learned a ton in them, and since we were always moving, the five of them went to Montessoris in three different states. You knew what you were getting, because they were all basically run by the same philosophy with the same equipment.

  25. Andrew Nonadetti says:

    Lenore, I apologize for not replying sooner and clearing all this up for you. This is about me, of course. Everything is. I determined this around the age of six (without benefit of Maria I’m-so-good-with-kids-but-can’t-make-a-bracciole-to save-my-life Montessori, thank you very much) and it’s been borne out my entire life, empirical evidence and logic notwithstanding. I’m sorry you wasted your time pondering it, as well as with the psyche degree. Just remember, the answer to “Doc, I don’t understand [why this happened\how I got this way\what it all means])” is “Andrew Nonadetti. Now… who is your insurance carrier?”

    Can’t help you with the foot thing, though. That’s just too gross. I’m fragile.

  26. Simon Smithson says:

    I’m busy indulging the fantasy that a Montessori school is actually a school for animals, and you went to school with a bunch of sheep, cows, and ducks.

    I’m sure they discriminated against you.

    • Lenore says:

      i did grow up in a farming town, simon. but farm animals don’t discriminate. they are good people.

  27. simply scott says:

    Hilarious!!! I’m not really that into feet, but I may make an exception now!

    • Lenore says:

      i would not recommend making an exception for disease feet, though. i know i make diseased feet seem glamorous in this, but it’s misleading. they’re actually really gross.

  28. Jordan Ancel says:

    At least you weren’t involved in the experiments where they hook you up to a wall socket and make someone else flip a switch to see if your screaming would make them turn it off or laugh.

    Have you every though about getting into a burping contest with your neighbor?

  29. I chortled out loud at this one. You’re hilarious, Lenore. =)

    ॐ Gaurav.

  30. Sara Sullivan says:

    1) I spent most of my time at Montessori crushing eggshells in one of those medicine smashers.
    2) I just bought my first juicer.
    3) Your writing never ceases to amaze, amuse, and inspire me.

    • Lenore says:

      i am desperate for a juicer. and a servant who will clean it for me. and buy all the fruit and vegetables for the juice.

  31. Irene Zion says:

    You’re all screwed up cause we lied to you about being a foundling.
    You were under the bushes and we took you in.
    You just never fit in, eh?

  32. No matter what it is about. What matters is that you get yourself expressed what you want to say.

  33. You’re the next mad scientist. I just know it. But it’s a good thing. You’ll invent some kind of confidence-building hand cream or a T-shirt that smells like lost childhood memories the more you wash it.

  34. Tom Hansen says:

    Brilliant piece Lenore. I love the voice, reminded me a bit of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. I can’t wait for your “twisted exploration of her internal world that she has cleverly masked as a “story.”

    Now that sounds cool

  35. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    I’m so glad to have found your work. I can see how the details and depth of your vast education, aside from making you really smart and employable, amount to a pretty hefty load of ammunition for your sense of humor. Your work really moves, I love the strength of your voice – you obviously know what you’re talking about. Good stuff, I look forward to reading more. And very cool to meet you, Doc! You have excellent taste in local music.

  36. Erika Rae says:

    This post just made me ridiculously happy. Thank you, Lenore.

  37. I am very impressed by all the schools you went to. WOW.

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