Meet the Prof

ILI-Aidan-Headshot-2

Hi there. My name is Aidan Donnelley Rowley. Yes, I know that’s a mouthful. Not the book editor’s dream. But it’s my name. Given. Maiden. Married. And you will learn to like it. Or maybe not.

I am your Professor/Confessor of Insecurities. Here, there are no grades. There are very few requirements for enrollment. I don’t care if you are an Ivy Leaguer or a Little Leaguer or a Junior Leaguer. I don’t care if you hail from the city or the country or the ‘burbs. I don’t care if you are a man or a woman or a precocious and tech-savvy toddler. The only prerequisite here is old school, child-like curiosity. Class participation is highly encouraged, but hardly mandated. There is very little required reading. Just one book called LIFE AFTER YES. Beyond that, just one post per day. Not bad. Not bad at all.

A bit more about me. I am a writer. And lawyer of latter day. And wife. And mother of three impossibly cute and endlessly exhausting girls (Big Girl, Middle Girl, and Little Girl) who have blue eyes (I won’t show you) and boyish names (I won’t tell you) just like their mom.  Husband is a handsome and humble and happy soul who keeps me sane and smiling (which is no small feat).  I am the middle of five sisters.  I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I still (and venture to say will always) live.

I was lucky enough to attend three wonderful schools: The Dalton School here in Manhattan, Yale College and Columbia Law School. My resume, if I still had one, would have that Ivy League luster. But, alas, here I am in my blue jeans, a five second lawyer, a rookie novelist, a Manhattan mom of three, musing about everything from modern motherhood to metaphysical truth. Am I just another spoiled soul who is wasting an elite education? The jury is still out on that one. Could very well be.

The verdict is in on one thing though. My apparent need to announce my alma maters (and the cuteness of my kids) is hard evidence of deep and ever-evolving insecurities I have heretofore worked hard to hide.  I spend my days trying (and failing) to push my SUV of a stroller (so cliched! So Yuppie!) with one hand and work my beloved iPhone (so cliched! So Yuppie!) with the other, plucking stray Cheerios from the carpet, and lingering at Starbucks (so cliched! So Yuppie!) watching all of you order your coffees, worrying if I am a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, citizen of the world (oh, and writing too).

Some things I believe:

  • Life should be a tapestry of the serious and the silly.
  • We should never stop asking ourselves what we want to be when we grow up.
  • Anonymity is both amazing and alarming.
  • It is okay to spend our days talking about Plato AND Play-Doh.
  • Highly-accomplished people are almost always highly-insecure (which is not a bad thing).
  • Our society is obsessed with the Ivy League because it is the biggest, baddest brand of all.
  • No one should be 100% honest about her labor story.
  • Sugar and television, in moderation, are good for the child’s soul.
  • Pinot Grigio and coffee, in moderation, are good for the parent’s soul.
  • Finding a good nanny is almost as hard (and almost as important) as finding a good man.

Some things I love:

  • My family
  • Starbucks (with skim and Splenda)
  • Honesty
  • Pinot Grigio (the waterier (is that a word?), the better)
  • Nachos
  • My friends
  • Laughter
  • Broccoli
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • My nanny
  • Writing
  • Wallpaper
  • Good conversation
  • My cats
  • Preppy names
  • Pregnancy
  • Snow

Some things I don’t love at all:

  • Rhubarb (I’m allergic but no one believes me)
  • Pretentiousness
  • Lipstick
  • Dogmatism
  • Slugs
  • Corporate law
  • Beets
  • Bad grammar
  • Falsity
  • Subtitles
  • Lobster

Some things I want that I’ll never have:

  • Control
  • Time
  • Four kids
  • A PhD in Philosophy
  • Skin that tans
  • Culinary skills
  • Cocktails with Nietzsche
  • Patience

If you are looking for predictability, this is not the spot for you. If you are craving consistency, look elsewhere. If you have a taste for perfection, go bye bye. (And good luck with that one.) On this site, I will invariably contradict myself, make periodic typos, say things I don’t mean, offend, provoke, bore, embarrass and disappoint.

If you are looking to learn something silly or serious, to hear stories profound and perfunctory, to witness the maddening and miraculous gut renovation of my dream home, to ingest some honest and imperfect words, then stay put. If you believe that no league prepares you for life, stick around. If you are open to the idea that to live is to worry, that insecurities are very often inspirations, then this is the place for you.

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