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Got inner critics? Bill Belichick can help.

The next time I’m called to answer for my sins as a mom and as a person, I’m going to channel the Patriots coach’s gruff manner.

Photo Jim Davis/Globe Staff, Adobe, Globe Staff Illustration

If the Brady-less Patriots manage to beat the Bills on Saturday it will prove that Bill Belichick’s reign of terror over the AFC is far from over. But if he loses? You can already imagine reporters grilling him on his every failed play. Sure Belichick is ... um ... prickly, but watching him face the mob after the sloppy loss in Miami last weekend I found myself wondering how I would feel if my every mistake was picked apart.

And now, please join me at today’s fantasy press conference, going on inside my head ...

Reporter with My Mother’s Voice Gazette: “Beth, you know when you put a white towel in with the darks it’s going to turn gray, but you did it anyway. What was the strategy there?”

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Me: “A lot of the clothes got clean, the white towel obviously didn’t turn out as well as we wanted. Clearly we had problems with the dark jeans and the new maroon sweat shirt.

Death stare.

Reporter with Spousal News Network: “You’ve vowed that you’re going to start shopping with a grocery list. But yesterday when you darted out specifically for buttermilk, insisting you would remember it, you got sidetracked in produce and left without the buttermilk (but with brownies), and the family pancake breakfast was thrown into crisis. How are you going to adjust going forward?”

Me: “You sure that’s the question you want to ask?”

Reporter with Jeans!: “Speaking of brownies, I know you don’t want to share your New Year’s resolutions, but you have spoken about your goal of staying away from sugar before noon, but you were spotted crouching in front of the refrigerator at 7 a.m. obviously stuffing a brownie into your mouth out of sight of your children. What were —”

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Me: “We’re focused on grocery lists.”

Reporter: “So does this mean that you are —”

Me: “Grocery lists.”

Reporter: “Sticking with your intentions to be a better person, and —”

Me (cracking a very brief smile): “Are you saying I need to be a better person?”

Ambient nervous laughter.

Reporter with Masks Today: “You’ve been boasting that you’ve started spending more time with books and less time reading essentially the same COVID story on an endless loop. But last night you quickly put down ‘The Lincoln Highway’ and clicked on a story about the COVID count in Boston’s waste water, and —”

Me (snarling): “I’ve already covered this.”

Reporter with Hypocrisy Now: Citing the Delta and Omicron surges and before that just basic COVID, you have put off going to the eye doctor, your OBGYN, and your internist. Yet you seem to feel safe going to the hair and nail salons. May I ask — "

Me: “I’m on to Cincinnati.”

Reporter: “— But you regularly talk about the consequences of delaying health care and now you’re the one doing it.”

Me: “Nothing about the past, nothing about the future.”

Reporter with Mom Guilt Minutely: “When your kids asked what was for dinner you thought about the salmon and root vegetables you were so proud to have purchased, but also how much effort it would take to actually cook them, and you said, as if for the first time, ‘Why don’t you guys do Uber Eats tonight.’”

Me: “You get the job done or you don’t.”

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Reporter with the Mattress Insider: “You seem to be leading a bed-based lifestyle. You work there, lunch there, take calls, etc. What about the ergonomic keyboard, new mousepad, lumbar support cushion, and laptop stand your husband got you?”

Me (closing my eyes and shaking my head in disgust): “Are you seriously asking that question?”

Reporter with Vogue: I don’t know where to begin.

Me: Then don’t, it’s a pandemic.


Beth Teitell can be reached at beth.teitell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethteitell.