Parenting is one of those gigs where you frequently end up laughing. If you’re like me, that’s either to keep yourself from crying, or because you’ve lost your grip on sanity. And if you’re like me, one go-to resource for comic relief is often The Science of Parenthood. So I gleefully jumped at the opportunity to interview the creative ladies behind the cartoons we all love.
In an effort to keep it real, or really random, I decided to toss a few of our FIQs (Frequently Imagined Questions) their way, and see if their lives have been shaped by some very happy accidents.
Possibly the most important question I can ask you both: Pirates or ninjas? Or fairies?
Norine: I’m a total ninja fairy, able to swoop in fast and stealthy, especially when the Tooth Fairy “forgets” to drop by.
Jessica:Ninja, for sure. In fact, I told my son I was a ninja before I had him. He believed me for a while!
On a slightly more relevant note, what were your favorite cartoons (or comics) growing up?
Norine: Doonesbury, Bloom County (SO glad it’s back!), The Far Side, Life in Hell, Bugs Bunny. I’m totally indebted to Bugs for my early classical music education. To this day, I can’t hear Wagner without thinking, Kill the wabbit! Kill the rabbit!
Jessica:I was surrounded my New Yorker cartoon collections and cartoonist’s books as a kid. Some of them were baffling! I’m pretty sure I really learned to read via Peanuts cartoon books from my elementary school library. Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes were big favorites as I got older.
Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures? Would you wear it if someone gave it to you for free?
Norine: I absolutely adore cats. There are three vying for sprawl space on my desk right now. But I would have to wake up naked … with amnesia … in Times Square before putting a kitten sweater on.
Jessica:I would buy it for a costume, but not for any other reason. I also would wear it if it were given to me as part of a costume. Other than that? Nah.
Do you swear in front of your parents? What is your favorite expletive?
I do! Usually around my dad. But sometimes the four-letter words slip out in front of my son. Like the time I got out of the car at a friend’
s house … and walked right into a fire ant mound. Oh, there was some very loud swearing! My son learned the correct context and many grammatical variations of the word Fuck
. So, I’
d have to say that’
s a favorite. And I do like Bullshit
, though I have a very low tolerance for actual bullshit.
Jessica: Oh sure. My parents are pretty liberal. I probably don’t let the Fucks fly as often in front of my mom. Motherfuckeris probably the one that trips off my tongue quickest if I’m pissed.
Have you ever experienced “serendipity” in action? In other words, what is the most randomly wonderful thing that has ever happened to/for you?
Norine: The most randomly wonderful thing? I’d have to say running into a former flame at our 10-year college reunion. We couldn’t quite make it work at school, and I’d always regretted that. Seeing him at our reunion rekindled all of those romantic feelings. We started dating again, long distance too, because I lived in New York City and he lived in Las Vegas. But now it’s nearly 20 years later and we’re married with a 9-year-old son. So that’s pretty wonderful. Who knows how my life would have turned out if we hadn’t both shown up on that Memorial Day weekend in 1998.
I guess I would have to say meeting various people who have ended up playing a major role in my life. Sometimes you look at certain relationships and you wonder if you ever would have gotten where you currently are had you not met them. There’
s no way I’
d be doing Science of Parenthood right now if I hadn’
t met Norine in Vegas all those years ago. Also my friend Lisa, we grew up in the same town but she was 13 years older. I went to school with her youngest sister. We met in a post-grad art education class in the 90’
s and ended up starting an art school together.