Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow is my Soul Sister

So you may know that I have recently become obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow. Not the Gwyneth Paltrow of "Shakespeare in Love" or that terrible, terrible dress she once wore with the see-through mesh bodice and no bra. (OMG. Awful.)

And not the Gwyneth Paltrow of the snobby, annoying Goop or the rumored stuck-up, smug, elitist personality.

I ignore all that. Because OMG the hair:

And OMG everything about her on the 2010 CMAs:

And OMG how she totally rocked her guest spot on "Glee" last fall:

Seriously, you all! Can't we forgive her just about anything after that? Oh sure, you have to get beyond your blinding jealousy over the fact that she is extraordinarily genetically gifted, the privileged daughter of two famed actors, richer than you can ever imagine, thinner than you could ever be, the owner of some drool-worthy long, blonde hair, married to a rock star, and the absolute definition of "willowy." I know. I've been there. But I've since moved beyond blinding jealousy into full-on girl-crush. I blame my tipping point on those recent appearances--on "Glee" and the CMAs, and her new movie "Country Strong"--but in truth the roots of my obsession go back 6-1/2 years.

You have to understand, I have a deep, eternal bond with Gwyneth Paltrow. One that goes beyond what may be your first thought: we're both thirtysomething moms of two, our children are both 6 and 4, we both have long blonde hair. (Don't worry, I'm stopping with the appearance-related similarities right there.)

No, no, I'm talking about a bond that can never be broken. One that transcends things like fame, riches, perfect hair and long legs. One involving--are you ready?--60 hours of labor. You heard me. SIXTY HOURS.

In late May, 2004, Gwyneth gave birth to her first baby, a daughter--who was born via an arduous delivery after something like 60 hours of labor--about two weeks before I gave birth to my first baby, a daughter...via an arduous delivery after 60 hours of labor. I found this out later that summer when I saw Gwyneth on Oprah. And I just about fell off the sofa in weeping gratitude that someone else--Gwyneth!--knew exactly what I had gone through (and was still recovering from. Hell, I think I'm still recovering from that one).

People, not many women have 60-hour labors. It's a rare thing to find someone else who understands what you really went through. I probably don't need to tell you that 60 hours of labor and 3-1/2 hours of pushing and a last-minute violent vacuum delivery takes its toll on one's body. As in, afterward you sort of don't think you'll ever be in one piece again. Other women, with their normal 12-hour or 8-hour or 10-hour labors, or their uncomplicated Cesarean sections, just don't know. It feels rather lonely, when you're just coming out of it.

So Gwyneth is my soul sister; she just doesn't know it. But that's OK; I can worship her from afar. And pretend that, since we're both blonde thirtysomething moms of 6- and 4-year-olds who have gone through 60 hours of labor, we're practically the same person.

So cut me some Gwyneth Paltrow slack, OK? Talk to me when you've birthed a baby after 60 hours. And go watch that clip from "Glee" again. She'll win you over.


Mommy Lisa said...

Remind me to NEVER tell you my birth story with Boo Boo.

Lori said...

"Top 40, sweetcheeks." I know, I love her too. She was SO GOOD on SNL!

BeePie Runs said...

I loved her in Glee, too! And whoa, you're my hero to go thru 60 hours of labor. Amazing!

Rita said...


I. Have. No. Words.

Anne said...

hey, we're soul sisters too: 64 hours of labor ... it all started on an early Friday 13th, and she was born late in the evening on a Father's day, Sunday 15th.