Britney, stop being a moron. I write this because I am profoundly, deeply, devotedly not interested in you, and I would like to return to a world where the story of your sad, pitiful life doesn’t chase me from television to laptop to magazine covers with the dedication of a maddened attack dog.
I want you to get better, partly because it just hurts to hear about yet another of your mistakes, partly because I wish you would go away.
So listen up, sweet pea. What follows is a practical guide. You follow these instructions and things will get better. Guaranteed.
- Stop thinking about yourself. You’re really not that interesting. And your poor mind needs something new to chew on after all this time. It’s bound to be like week-old gum in there by now. Think about someone else for a change. Like maybe your sons.
- Learn to be a mom. It’s okay. Lots of young parents start out scared and ignorant, making all kinds of mistakes. But you’re past your use-by date on that excuse and it’s time to do your job. No one forced you to have those babies but you did. And now they’re your responsibility no matter where they live. If for whatever reason you don’t feel like talking to your own mom about this, get help from another mom. The world is full of good moms. Sadly, they don’t get as much press as you do, but I guarantee that someone you know is, has or knows a good mom. Good moms love to share the wisdom. And girl, you are in dire need of someone’s wisdom, since you clearly have none of your own. It’s free. All you have to do is ask.
- Read a book this month. A real book. Go on. I dare you. It will be good exercise for your brain. Preferably a book about parenting.
- Move out of LA. You need to go somewhere without so many paparazzi, like
, Iowa or provincial South Dakota . Stop encouraging them. It’s like inviting ticks to feast on your blood. You need to recall a life lived unwitnessed and they need to get some other hamster wheel for their own entertainment. Portugal
- Take singing lessons. You were allegedly talented once, although it’s been a mighty long time since anyone heard you sing something properly. Invite some know-it-all super-duper voice teacher to give you lessons, even if you think it’s just to show off your fabulous voice and put him in his place. Try singing something hard, in a clear true voice, on key. No sex-kitten breathy moany business either. Real singing. (Re-)Learn to belt it out.
- Make something. Do something constructive. Paint, write, clean, plant, knit, bake, scrape, carve, tidy, scrub, cook, hoe, sew, vacuum, whatever. Even if it’s something you usually pay someone else to do. You need the benefit of seeing your own good intentions embodied in visible results.
- Dance. I hear you’re pretty good at it. It also makes you feel like a million bucks. Maybe learn a new routine or a new kind of dance. Dance hard.
- Stop shopping. Buying stuff is not going to make you feel better. And frankly, you’ve got enough.
- Wean yourself. From coffee, cigarettes, paparazzi and shiftless men. There are books, programs, clinics and counselors to help you with this. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, but you need to take steps.
- Look ahead. In a few years’ time (it’s shorter than you think), your sons will be old enough to think and talk for themselves. They will judge you more harshly than anyone else in the world, and they have the right to. Of all the people you’ve failed (except for yourself), those boys feel it the most. If you want to have even one leg to stand on in the pool of their good opinion, start acting like the mom they need you to be. Put down the cigarette, girl. You can do this.