But Did You Die?

Ah, parental advice. We’ve given it, we’ve received it, we’ve fucked it right up on both ends.

Am I right?

I have been distinctly far less prolific on my blog over the last few months than I had hoped to be. And so, when my friend and self-publishing queen Jen Mann sent out a call for essays to include in her new anthology, I made it my mission to get my act together and produce a clearly uncrappy piece of writing for her on the topic of parental advice.

After all, I have given some truly bad advice. There were so many ways I could ridicule my own parenting mis-steps and properly chronicle them for my kids to have in print always and forever.

And then it hit me.

Why would I do that when I could instead throw my own mother under the bus?

OK, that wasn’t my exact thought.

I love my mom. She has been very good to me and has given me some very solid, lifelong advice. But I’d be lying if I said that one particular gem of wisdom didn’t continue to resurface as a family joke on a semi-regular basis. It’s the kind of thing that has taken on a life of its own over the years.

And since it was on topic for the new book, I went for it.

I typed it up, revised and re-edited it several times. I took some creative license (but not much) for dramatic effect. Once pleased with the final product — on the day of the submission deadline — I sent it to my mom with a quick message along the lines of “Please don’t  hate me but this is mostly true and by the way it’s not just for my blog but going in a book if Jen accepts it and I have like 12 minutes left before the deadline so please let me know if it’s no OK with you but honestly I might have to submit it anyway OK thanks love you talk to you later.”

Thankfully, she called me five minutes later and was laughing. She loved it and found, interestingly, that I didn’t even have to exaggerate the story very much.

And so goes the tale of how I embarrassed my mom in a book and she loves me anyway. Isn’t she a good sport?

So, what was this legendary, book-worthy advice she gave me? One hint: It has to do with the one place in New York City where she forbade my sisters and I to ever go, under any circumstances. To this day, the fear of this place remains with us.

Want to know more? There’s only one way to find out, my friends.


But Did You Die? is officially on sale today, and is the fifth in the NY Times best selling series, I Just Want to Pee Alone. I’m incredibly grateful to be included yet again with the fabulously funny writers who appear in this new anthology.

Here’s where you can buy this exceptional Father’s Day present, or your beach reading to make you feel like less of a parental failure:

Amazon paperback




Google Play

And because my mom cares about all of you, too, make sure you read and heed her advice before your next trip to Manhattan.


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  1. Your mom is one of my favorites.

  2. Congrats!

  3. I think this is my favorite book title ever.

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