Carroll: Can Sarah do it all? You betcha!
For years, countless women have been faced with the classic dilemma: Can they have it all? After finally confronting it for the first time last week as I went back to work part-time following the birth of my daughter in August, my conclusion is no. There does seem to be one exception to the age-old quandary, though: Sarah Palin.
Less than six months after the birth of her fifth child, she’s earned the nickname Sexy Sarah. It could be because people imagine her gliding effortlessly across the Alaskan wilderness in 4-inch stilettos and a pencil skirt while hunting 900-pound moose with a shotgun or aiming a high-powered rifle at wolves from a helicopter.
On the other end of the spectrum, two months after the arrival of my little bundle of joy, the only thing people have taken to calling me is Mama Meredith. Earlier this week I twisted my ankle while pushing a stroller. Twice. While wearing clogs.
Palin probably sends her $2,500 shantung silk Valentino jacket to Joe Sixpack’s dry cleaner on Main Street in Wasilla each time after wearing it, while my laundry pile of two-for-one T-shirts from the Gap splattered with spit-up is like the salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden: endless.
I can barely manage to take a shower in between pumping the day’s milk (with the breast pump being the sole beneficiary of any glimpses of my cleavage) and giving the baby her two morning feedings before running out the door to work at the crack of noon. Sarah, on the other hand, manages to rouse four children (one with morning sickness to boot) and apply at least a pound-and-a-half of make-up and an entire can of hairspray prior to vying for the nation’s second most powerful job (third if you count Ryan Seacrest) each day. Somewhere in heaven, Tammy Faye Bakker is frowning at me but smiling down on and blessing Sexy Sarah.
Sarah often likens herself to a pit bull with lipstick and was called a “barracuda” in high school because of her prowess on the basketball court. QuizFarm.com revealed my personality most closely resembles that of a horse.
Not only is Sarah sexy, she’s an overachiever. She Super Sizes just about everything she does. Like, she attended five colleges in five years. I only managed to go to one college in four years. Her B.S. totally trumps my B.A.
Before this month’s issue arrived, I couldn’t find the time to finish last month’s O, The Oprah Magazine. But when pressed repeatedly during a recent interview with CBS’ Katie Couric to name exactly what she reads, Palin couldn’t name one thing in particular. “All of them,” she said. “Any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.”
Surely it’s that type of answer that won her the title of Miss Congeniality in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant (in which she placed an impressive third overall).
When my water broke this summer, I spent three hours trying to decide if I had actually just wet my pants. Then I went to the hospital and had an epidural before the onset of even a single contraction. But when Sarah’s water broke last spring, she still gave the keynote speech to an energy summit of governors ” while having contractions ” in Dallas and then hopped on a jet back to Alaska where she gave birth just a few hours later. Clearly it didn’t bother her that legions of doctors have issued strenuous, unequivocal warnings to women with complicated pregnancies to avoid air travel in the third trimester (not to mention the day they give birth).
“Maybe they shouldn’t have let me fly, but I wasn’t showing much so they didn’t know,” she said.
It’s that kind of maverick parenting that separates Sarah from me. My underage daughter, whom I almost didn’t bathe this week because there was seemingly no time to do it before or after work and while she was awake and not needing to be fed, has me searching every morning at 5 o’clock for the pacifier in her bassinet because she can’t keep it in her mouth for more than 45 seconds at a time (if only she’d realize that not 6 inches from her face is a perfectly suckable thumb). Meanwhile, Sarah’s underage kids are already starting to have kids themselves. If that’s not Super Sized maverick parenting, I simply don’t know what is.
In some ways it’s probably just as well Sarah’s the only one who has it all. I wouldn’t know what it looks like, where to put it and I definitely have no time to feed or clean it.
Aspen resident Meredith C. Carroll writes a Wednesday column. E-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
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