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How to Succeed in America Without Really Trying

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I'm not famous enough, dammit. It's not for lack of trying, although I'm pretty sure I've been going about it the wrong way. I think the problem stems from my incredibly strong work ethic. See, I've been working real jobs since I was 15 (save for the stay-at-home mom years, which we all know is a whole other kind of full-time, unpaid, unappreciated gig), right up until May 2009. Since then, "work" has taken on a different connotation. My "job" has become looking for work, like so many of the unemployed masses. Still, I keep looking, because I have this crazy notion that hard work eventually pays off.

Here's the thing, though: in our country, it seems like you don't really have to do all that much to get wicked amounts of money and recognition. Clearly, there's a blueprint one might follow, if one has designs on gaining recognition for oneself -- without putting in all those pesky hours of actual hard labor. If I'm to copy the current business model of the recently successful celebrities, I'd better get cracking, so I can be world-famous within just a few weeks. There's a whole lot of nothing to accomplish before I can start raking in all that dough.

First of all, I need to get cast on a reality series. It doesn't really matter what for, because nowadays, people don't have to showcase any discernible talents to be on television. Since it's way too late for me to become a "Teen Mom," and I'm not desperately seeking a telegenic husband, I should probably do a show where people hang around and do nothing but talk and maybe go out once in a while. It would be just like "Jersey Shore"! Except these days, I'm usually in my jammies by 9 p.m., and if I have more than one beer, even sooner than that. Also, I don't have enough hair to bump it like Snooki, I would lose any dance battle at Karma, and the last time I was awake past 3 a.m., it was when my sons were newborns. So maybe a reality show isn't the right way for me to go.

Of course, there's always the good ol' sex tape route. Look how well it's gone for Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and every other starlet who's ever had their own show on the E! network. All I have to do is "accidentally leak it onto the internet" and I am golden. I'll have my own perfume, clothing line, a pink Barbie Lamborghini, a book deal and a boyfriend starring in a hit show on the CW in no time. You'll glimpse me in US Magazine's "Stars: They're Just Like Us" column with a photo of me in my Uggs and a hoodie, holding a venti chai at Safeway, with the headline, "They buy their own apple juice!"

The only problem (only?) here is that, well, I'm not exactly built like a Hollywood bimbette. I've had two kids, who are now 11 and seven. Things move on my body that probably don't yet on young Miss Hilton. As a Woman of a Certain Age (okay, 41), it's more about ducking quickly under the covers than letting it all hang out. Aside from the fact that I am a lady, I still operate under the wacky notion that bedroom antics should remain private and therefore not filmed. Also, I don't take criticism very well, and while I've never had a complaint from my darling boyfriend, I just can't let the entire world see how I do the do. We all know it ain't always pretty.

Well then. Now that a drunken reality show and amateur lovin' on film are both out, what's left for me? I have no intention of running for office. I'm not about to start burning religious books or hollering about the rent being too damn high. I'm not physically coordinated enough to do dumb "Jackass"-like stunts on YouTube, and I'm not going to be the "other woman" in a high-profile celebrity divorce. I suppose I could go to some sort of public gathering and cause a stir while yelling "Don't taze me, bro!" but that's really not my style.

So what options are left to me, a 41-year-old unemployed single mom with a great sense of humor and just enough morality to keep me from publicly humiliating myself? For now, I suppose I'll just have to keep my clothes on (which should bathe us all with relief), stay sober when out in public (ooh, toughie), and keep hoping I'll finally land an agent who will get my book published. Until then, I shall continue to keep plugging until I find something that will pay. I'm a tough broad like that.

Hold on a second. "Tough Broad"... a reality show about a girl from New Jersey who hopes to make it big in the publishing world! Somebody pitch that right now!

See? I never stop trying.

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