Living

Jessica Holmes: My Perfect Saturday

The comic chameleon and now mother of two small children, dreams of hotel rooms, movie theatre popcorn and martinis with the girls

By Tim Leyes

Not every memoir has to be a two-hankie read. Jessica Holmes’s new comic autobiography, I Love Your Laugh, puts a premium on the healing power of laughter. In the memoir, the Air Farce alum throws caution (and discretion) to the wind as she recounts how a peculiar upbringing at the hands of a strict Mormon father and strident feminist mother shaped her singular sense of humour. A mother of two small children now, the comic chameleon shares how she balances the challenges of motherhood with a flourishing career on stage and TV.

On a break from filming a new show, Holmes sat down with Chatelaine.com to share her Perfect Saturday.

I love waking up in a hotel anywhere—just a nice hotel, with the curtains open and the sun shining in. To sleep in, get room service and read the paper with the news playing in the background on TV—I don’t know why I like to get my news from two different sources simultaneously, but I like reading a paper and having the news on at the same time. 

There’s nothing like waking up when I want to wake up rather than being woken up by my wild and crazy kids. I have two little kids, a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, and a husband. In an ideal world I would just have a morning to myself! But the truth is that after that I would miss my kids, so let’s pretend that after the hotel I’m magically transported back to my house.

My favourite thing to play with my kids is talent show. We do one every day. My son who is two knows how to operate the stereo better than we do, and so he’s the deejay. He picks songs and then my daughter dances to them. Every so often she invites us up to do a solo, or to be her background dancers.

We’ll do that for about an hour every day. It’s crazy but it’s really fun and if it were my perfect Saturday we’d have some relatives over and they’d join in, too. It would be great because there’s no judgment when your family visits.

Usually on a Saturday I like to do an outdoorsy thing—it’s gorgeous right now with all the snow—so I’d go take my daughter ice-skating at an outdoor rink—Rennie Park.


 

Then I’d stop at Starbucks and get a decaf Americano. I’d come home and take my son out to a movie. He’s only two so the choice is completely limited. We’d have to see whatever is rated General. [My kids] even found Toy Story 3 terrifying. We just like sitting in a theatre eating popcorn so I’ll see anything. Wait, we saw Yogi Bear—so quite frankly, no, I won’t see just anything…anymore. That’s where I drew the line.

During this time, my husband, who is the world’s best husband, is cleaning. He’s a cleaner. Sometimes on a Saturday if I’m taking the kids out, he’s at home sorting bills or cleaning the kitchen.

After the kids are in bed we read them a bunch of stories, and then I love to just go out and meet my gal pals for a few drinks. We are a martini crew. We pretend we’re the girls from Sex and the City and have martinis. I love getting dressed up [for it]. I pull out the high heels. For me, Saturday nights are major glam. I grew up with a totally feminist mom. As a kid, there was no shaved legs, no makeup, and so I make up for that on Saturday nights.

I’ll be home and in bed by 10:30! I’ve always felt like an 87-year-old woman trapped in a young woman’s body because I’m usually ready for bed by 10. The rest of the gang stays and parties, but for me it’s lights out by 10:30. Before bed, I like to sit and watch TV with my husband to wind down. We’ll usually watch a comedy like The Big Bang Theory or The Office and then that’s it—off to bed!