I Could Have Been Kerry Kennedy

February 28, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

sol-medications_300Not because my dad ever ran for president or, thank God, died when I was young. (My own father is very much alive and well and trying to boss me around every chance he gets. For which I am grateful. After all, consider the alternative.) Or because I had 38 siblings, which would have been fun. Or was married to a Cuomo, which would have had its moments (Note to real-life husband: Sorry, honey. I do really love you!).

No, I could have been Kerry Kennedy—who you all know by now was acquitted today—because I can’t even count on both hands the number of times that I have done something absent-minded and dumb like she apparently did. I have never taken Ambien when I meant to take my thyroid medication. But:

• I call my kids by the wrong names all the time (Note: By this I mean I call them by each other’s names. Not by, say, the names of our next-door neighbors. Yet.)

• I can never remember where I put my phone, even if my purse has a handy slot designed just for that purpose. And we’re not even going to talk about the remote, because it’s such a cliché.

• This year I threw out one of my son’s Christmas presents. It was the empty box you get at the Lego store that you then go back and fill up with their most boring and probably least-expensive-to-manufacture bricks, but still. Had to retrieve an actual Christmas present out of the garbage can, which was a first.

• Sometimes when I have a headache I take two aspirin and 20 minutes later can’t remember if I took any aspirin or not. And then when my headache doesn’t go away, I don’t know if it’s because a) I only thought about taking aspirin but never actually did it or b) I have a brain tumor.

• There was that time that my husband and I went to a Very Fancy Wedding and once I got to the reception I realized that the reason my arms smelled so weird was because I had put hair conditioner, not body lotion, on them after I stepped out of the shower. And I wondered why I was so sticky.

My list could go on and on. Perhaps you recognize some of your own lapses on my list. Or maybe you’ve even done the Ambien-thyroid med switcheroo. Luckily most of our mistakes don’t result in hitting a truck on I-684. But we can always dream!

If you (unlike my children) want to hear more from me, you can follow me
on Twitter @kvanogtrop.


  1. Larita Gibbs

    Ambien should be outlawed. I took it and walked in my sleep, even drove and didn’t remember it. Then one night, after I went to sleep I got up drink and drove. I hit a mail box and ended up getting an OWI. No one believed me that I’d gone to sleep and then done it all without knowing it. That’s when Ambien was new and no one knew it’s bad side, Yet!I I wouldn’t take it again if I never slept again. It isn’t worth it, and yes it does work quick just like Kerry Kennedy said. You “do not” know you are going ot sleep or getting sleepy.

    March 1, 2014 at 11:01 am
  2. Beth Marczynski

    I’m still chuckling I’ve this- we could all be Kerry- I’m just glad you could relate! I backed into our babysitter’s car…two different times! Threw ashes (that I thought were cooled) and nearly burned our house down…thought the corn starch was powdered sugar – baked AND SERVED butter buttons! We could all go on and on-I hate that they tried to make an example of her. Oh we’ll- I think it back-fired for the very reason that we have all had accidents or absent-mindedness. We didn’t have to go to trial for it! 💖 The magazine!

    March 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm
  3. Judy H.

    Beth, did you do all of those things when taking Ambien? I, just like you, hate that they are trying to make an example of Kerry. She made a mistake with her medication, a mistake any of us could and do make. I take nine medications every day to help me manage severe anxiety and depression. I have made many mistakes with medication over the years, serious mistakes.
    She should not be held to a higher standard than the rest of us because she is RFK’s daughter. But somehow I cannot find any humor in my mistakes or Kerry’s. I feel for her. She could have been terribly hurt or worse, injured another. She is a strong woman and she should not give a fig about anyone is trying to make an example of her. She is better than they are, even on her very worst day.

    March 2, 2014 at 1:06 am

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