The "Autograph" Edition
Today’s hot take: people be kray.
I am not famous. And having been out of the executive-in-the-news business for a little while, you’d think I’d be fairly low profile. Much as I love to believe that the LZSundayPaper is flooding people’s inboxes and phones like some kind of New York Times news alert, I honestly keep it kind of low key and generally go about my business like the invisible grey-haired middle aged lady that I am. But judging by the last two weeks, either I’m having a moment or I’m the only person who doesn’t Google absolutely every single person I come across and then confront them about it. In awkward-to-downright-inappropriate situations, depending how you look at it.
Which is what happened three times in the last two weeks. To me.
I guess we can start with the least inappropriate but still…I questioned it. My relatively new (couple of months) once-every-two-weeks-for-half-a-day housekeeper arrived on Wednesday. Right after she followed up to make sure I had completed the replenishment task she had set for me…
…she let me know in no uncertain terms that not only had she Googled me, she had watched my TED talk and thought it was very interesting. I mean, she really wanted to go deep on career and asked quite a few questions, but especially the TED talk. Not so much what it was about, but where it was (I can’t remember! not even the city!), who was in the audience (TEDWomen attendees, but I didn’t get into that), that sort of thing. Also she told me that it must have been from a long time ago (it was!) but I still look pretty good (thank you—but I’m not an objective observer).
Okay, I think that’s nice and all employees have the right to find out about their employers, I guess, but I’m just saying it was 9am and I was not only pre-street clothes, I was pre-yoga-clothes which, on Wednesday, precede street clothes. So I beelined to my room and no q&a’s came up for the rest of the day, except about the virtues of Soft Scrub with Bleach, as opposed to without it.
What do you want to hear next? Most weird/creepy or REALLY most weird/creepy. Let’s go with the mildly not appropriate one. Six days after my mother’s funeral, I was at another shiva. No, not my husband’s mother’s wake, which was just six weeks prior—but now I was at my brother-in-law’s mother’s shiva. Yes, we are aware that it has not been a good couple of months for grandmas in our house.
My husband, his sister, and I were sitting in a corner at shiva right after the funeral. A total stranger to the three of us pulled up a chair right next to me in that corner. That is not weird in and of itself. A shiva is indeed for people to come together to celebrate, in a way, the life of the person who died and part of that is to meet other people who had been in their lives. But honestly, we probably didn’t look that approachable what with grieving for another mother, huddled over our rugelach and all, so I kind of clocked that it was a bit odd that this gentleman sat right down. And sure enough, he immediately engaged in conversation. Pretty quickly he got to:
“so you’re Lauren Zalaznick?”
He paused ever so briefly and said, “don’t I see your name in the papers?”
“You might.” and somewhat icily bon-mot’d something lame like “depends which papers you read.”
And I got right up, muttering something about a search for more babka.
I mean— was it a weird thing to say? I mean—maybe you’re gonna write me and tell me it’s a compliment. And it might be! But— context? situation? maybe a little better phrasing or a warm up? Or better yet just…maybe don’t. When I feel like it’s something that I would tell my kids was not appropriate, I feel like I’m kind of correct. And boy would I have told them not to approach someone in that way maybe ever? But certainly not at a shiva! I don’t know. Maybe I am reacting that way because it was on the heels of…
…the winner for Most Weird/Creepy of the three encounters:
As I’ve mentioned for three weeks in a row, my mother just died. Well, when that happens, you go to a funeral home and do what you have to do. It was actually a fine process and everything was very nicely done and we did not feel ripped off by anything except the New York Times Obit service which they have nothing to do with.
A few— literally three— days after the funeral, the funeral home called and it was the mortician who met had originally with us. This was a day of death certificates being scanned and emailed to various agencies and entities. A day of phone calls to cancel this subscription and that insurance policy. And, in turn, the phone rang a lot and I answered this one. He said Hi, I’m so-and-so, remember me from the funeral home? I was thinking maybe there were some other steps we needed to do, but very quickly it appeared to be a courtesy call— was everything to your liking? Did the service go as planned? Yes, thank you so much, we really appreciated it, etc etc…And then…the dreaded…
”Um…I just wanted to tell you that…I Googled you.”
“My wife and I really…enjoyed…Project Runway when it was first on….”
“I mean she really watched every season, even when it moved to Lifetime, but I liked it better the first few years.”
Uh— thank you…?
And I swear to God he started to go on, really almost up to the Vanderpump Rules years, and I (also swear to God) that while I wasn’t rude, I was still like—um, is there something about my Mother’s account or funeral that we need to settle? Um, the answer was…no.
Okay well that’s enough about that. Next week I will share with you a great story where my name actually IS in the papers this week but you probably haven’t seen it because it depends…which papers you read.
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Hey— Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
See you next Sunday.
THE PIC(K) OF THE WEEK:
The Voices Of NPR: How Four Women Of Color See Their Roles As Hosts via The 19th
The Unexpected Women Blocking South Carolina’s Near Total Abortion Ban: Three Of Them Are Republicans The New York Times
Abortion Bans Could Drive Away Young Doctors, New Survey Finds via NBC News
The Problem With Planned Parenthood via The New Yorker
Flexible Work Is Feminist, and Women Won’t Return To A System That Hasn’t Served Them Well To Spare The Feelings Of Powerful Men via Fortune
When It Comes To Women’s Voices At Work, Authenticity Is What Matters via The Globe and Mail
CRIME & PUNISHMENT:
Why Is It So Hard For Us To Use The Word ‘Rape’? via Vox
HEALTH & WELLNESS:
Abortion Laws Triggered Dozens Of New Health Complications, New Study Says via The Washington Post
What To Know About The New Treatment For Hot Flashes via The New York Times
What Martin Luther King, Jr. Learned From Coretta Scott King via Time
CULTURE & THE ARTS:
We’re Watching The End Of A Digital Age. It All Started With Jezebel via The New York Times
The Divorce Novel That Captured The Mores Of Jazz Age New York via The New Yorker
The Taylor Swift Experience Made Me All Emotional via Stereogum
Gloria Molina, Chicana Who Blazed Paths Across L.A. Politics, Dies via The Los Angeles Times
Amy Silverstein, Who Chronicled A Life Of Three Hearts, Dies At 59 via The New York Times
AND WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT…?:
40 Legendary Female Artists—and The Younger Women Who Remind Them Why They Make Art via The New York Times