Jerry Mahoney's new book, "Mommy Man: From Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad" is slated for release on May 8. Mahoney cuts loose about April Fool's jokes, his husband Drew, and garbage plates in this second half of our exclusive interview.
Jokes and Fun
DN: I know that you like to play practical jokes. Did you play any pranks this past week?
JM: I did actually. (laughing) On my blog. I put up a picture. I very poorly put up a picture of Oprah, holding up my book. Like she was announcing it as her new book club selection and I was just thinking, like nobody is going to fall for it. Nobody is going to think that Oprah actually picked my book! First of all, does she even still do that? I know she has her show still on her network, but does she even do the book club anymore? And the photo shopping was just terrible. But you know, you put something on the internet and people believe it. I was amazed. So, I just put up the response today, in case anybody missed it.
DN: What’s your favorite joke that you’ve ever done?
JM: It’s gotta be Fu-Ling. The one where we pretended that we were adopting a baby. I still get a lot of shit for that from people. There were a lot of people who I had been friends with since back then who were commenting when I put up the Oprah thing. They were just like ‘Yeah, yeah, like you’re ever going to get me again after that. I will never fall for one of your jokes again! Um, this isn’t up to your standards.’ It’s so weird because you want people to fall for them. Then I feel so guilty when people fall for it. It’s like no, no we’re not really adopting a baby. I’m glad you’re so happy for us, but I’m just a terrible person that I made you believe that.
DN: What do you like to do for fun- when you’re not writing and parenting?
JM: I love playing video games, watching tv. I’m a real couch potato. I’m not super outdoorsy. I don’t think we’ll ever take our kids camping or anything. I like to travel though, but I like to stay in nice hotels. Um, but yeah that’s the kind of stuff. I like to a do a lot of reading. Nothing that requires a lot of physical exertion I guess.
The Writing Life
DN: Who do you like to read and chill out with?
JM: I love David Sedaris. He kind of created a whole genre that even I have tried to join into. One of my favorite books that I love is "The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-time." I read that a couple times. I rarely read a book more than once. I like Dan Savage. . . Those are the kind of people I read. Kids' authors. Mo Willems.
DN: Is it hard to find time to blog and write? Do you have a set schedule?
JM: It’s very hard to find time. That’s the hardest thing, finding the balance, because I love the blogging and it’s definitely a good platform and a good outlet. To write stuff and immediately get feedback, but it’s not something that I can make a career of so I’m definitely aware of trying to spend my time writing things that can potentially be published. . . You want to find that balance, and it’s very hard to do and given the immediate rewards of blogging. It’s very easy to do that when you should be doing other stuff.
DN: Do you have a future project in mind?
JM: I think the next thing I write is going to be fiction. I definitely want to write something for kids, whether it is young kids or a young adult kind of thing. I’m not totally sure yet, but I think that’s the direction I’m headed. I would love to write something that my kids can read.
DN: As parents, we sometimes fall into roles. Sometimes the dad will be the one who is the disciplinarian and the mom is the caretaker. Do you and Drew share roles?
JM: I think we do at times, and then we switch. It’s just not consistent. There are times when I’m the caretaker and comforter. There are times when I’m the disciplinarian and there are times when he is both of those things. Um, we try to stay on the same page definitely and try to stay in line with each other. The hardest thing to do as parents is to be consistent with each other. It’s really important for the kids, and we don’t always agree on what we should do with the kids, but we have to present a united front to them, so they don’t see any cracks.
I know Drew is from Rochester. Have you ever tried a garbage plate? (Laughing) I hear about the garbage plate every time I go back there. And I’ve had them explain it to me, and I still don’t see the appeal of that. I think it’s one of those things that you would have to have grown up in Rochester to understand. Why would anyone possibly put that in your mouth?
Advice for Gay Parents
DN: Do you have any advice for gay parents who are trying to have kids? Anything you’d like to share?
JM: I do. I think there’s so many ways to have kids these days as gay parents, as gay people. It’s a great, great thing. It’s also made it confusing and difficult in many ways. And that’s part of what my journey was, figuring out how we were going to go about it. I do think that everybody should just explore all the options and whatever you end up doing, you’re going to end up with the right kid for you. You’re not gonna wonder what would happen if you’ve done it a different way. Like I can’t imagine not having my kids now. So, yeah, good luck on the journey. It’s going to be long. It’s going to be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end. That would be my advice.
Jerry's Final Thoughts
JM: Just being a gay dad is awesome. I am happy-spoiler alert- that my book has a happy ending. Because along the way, I really didn’t know that it would. I wish that on other people who are hoping to have a family. It’s difficult for a lot of people straight or gay and my heart goes out for them. I hope other people have the good fortune that I have.
Discover more about Jerry Mahoney by visiting his blog at http://jerry-mahoney.com/. To order your advanced copy of “Mommy Man: From Mild Mannered Geek to Superdad,” click on http://www.amazon.com/Mommy-Man-Went-Mild-Mannered-Superdad/dp/1589799224.
Readers, are you a gay parent who wants to share your story? Please leave a comment down below.