Kristen Hansen Brakeman

Kristen Hansen Brakeman writes humorous essays that have been published in the Washington Post, CS Monitor, Working Mother Magazine, LA Parent and the OC Register amongst others.  For actual bill-paying income, Kristen works behind the scenes on live variety shows such as the Comedy Central Roasts, The SAG Awards and the Oscars.

Why Do They Have To Call Me Ma'am?

 There is a single word in the English language that has the power to ruin my whole day.  That word is Ma’am.I could be having a perfectly fine day – a great day even – the kind of day where my car starts on the first try, my kids get off to school without a ton of screaming and, when I check myself in the mirror I actually think, “Hey, I don’t look half bad.”Then I stop by the local coffee place and the hipster barista dude, the one who wears the gross earring gauges, hands me my non-fat latte and says, “Here you go, Ma’am.”...more

Cosmetic Surgery for My Dog - I Just Had To Do It

 I’ve made light of people who get too much cosmetic surgery, so the idea of putting my own dog under the knife seemed completely out of the question.  But two years into owning Buddy, our German Shepherd/hound rescue dog, I noticed that his appearance had changed somehow.  He wasn’t the cute, curious looking dog he once was.  No, age had not been his friend....more

It's True: There Are Two Kinds of People in the World

 I’ve never liked the phrase, “There are two kinds of people in the world,” but when it comes to sports, I suspect it’s true.  There are jocks and non-jocks, and I’m definitely one of the latter.So when a couple of women on my husband’s rec league softball team canceled at the last minute and he asked me to fill in, I was not enthused.  As a kid I was always the “last pick,” and the idea of getting out on that field filled me with painful memories.  To make things even worse - I had no softball costume to wear....more

How to Annoy Your Teen:

Though I love my children dearly (even my two teenagers), their condescending tone can really get under my skin.  It’s like they think I’m an idiot, and they clearly find me embarrassing.  I don’t get it.  It’s not like I’m showing up at school in dirty sweatpants or revealing short skirts and high heels.  I’ve seen the other moms - I know there are many out there who are more embarrassing than me.  (Really.) ...more
As a mother of three teenage boys, I love your list. My personal favorite is "use their slang ...more

Things We Leave Behind

Chopper:  Our New One-Eyed Mutt...more
I think it is wonderful to provide chopper with a warm home and place to stay. It must have been ...more

My Mom is a "Heightist"

I think if we're really being honest, most of us harbor some form of prejudice.  I’m not saying deep down were all hate-mongering racists, but I think we tend to be suspicious of people who are different.  I, for example, am wary of the perfectly done-up mom who styles her hair and applies makeup before dropping her kids off at school at 8:00 o’clock in the morning.  Overachievers like these are surely of a different breed....more

The New Bizarre Online Security Questions

Blatant rip off of Jerry Seinfeld here, but what is the deal with those online security questions lately?They used to be so easy, so straightforward, like what’s your mother’s maiden name, high school mascot, or favorite pie?But now these questions have gotten strange.   Either the website designers are trying hard to foil the hackers or, as I suspect, they’re just really, really bored.  What else could account for these bizarre questions? ACTUAL SECURITY QUESTIONS:...more

85 YO Mom and BFF Lunch - Catfight Almost Ensues!

LUNCH WITH TWO WOMEN NAMED JOAN When she was ten, my mother met a girl who shared her first name. They quickly became best friends and stayed so for the next 73 years. Together they shared schoolyard memories, weddings, and years of family get-togethers. But in the year and a half since my father passed away, my mom had not been able to see her best friend, Joan, because they live an hour apart and neither could drive on the freeways. (Though unfortunate for them, likely countless lives have been saved by their motoring absence.)...more