Saturday, May 24, 2008

They Make Us Look Creepy

Here's another excerpt from Second Day Reported, my memoir in progress. Some of this material I first tried out on the blog, so please forgive any repetitions. I hope everyone will be watching the Detroit Pistons beat the Celtics tonight. The announcers, fair weather friends, have gone from singing the praises of the Celtics to talking about how they probably won't win in Detroit because the Palace is such a hard place to play given the hostility and force of the Detroit fans. Ha!

I loved to bury my dolls in the backyard. I'd make little paper tombstones for them until Mother got onto me, telling me there wasn't enough money to buy new dolls so I needed to dig the old ones out of their shallow graves and give them baths. "And get rid of the tombstones. They make us look creepy," she added. So I tried to convince my sister to pretend like her rat doll dressed in overalls named Missy had died of spinal meningitis. Beth cried, and I wasn't winning any mental health awards so I had to give that up as well.

A lot of people feared my mother because of all the snakes and spiders she handled and some people thought she might be an actual witch. Despite this fact, she cared deeply about appearances. "Don't act disturbed," she'd say. "And try and stay neat. You could be so pretty if . . . " That blank could be filled in with damn near anything. And "Are you trying to make yourself look bad?" Sometimes, I confess, I was. Beauty, like so many things, doesn't matter when you have some modicum of it and don't understand the power of it. Not until it starts to wane does one know how to use it. Up until a certain point, the way I looked used me.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars." Kris Kristofferson

Cocktail Hour
Drinking game suggestion: If your team lost to another wicked vile team in the Playoffs, start watching the Pistons. The underdog is always cool, yes?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!


JR's Thumbprints said...

Sometimes I wish I had a secret power where I could see other people's perceptions of me. Then again, that could be very frightening. Interesting detail for you memoir, Michelle (and totally you).

laughingwolf said...

another nice nugget, thank you....

Charles Gramlich said...

"the way I look used me," is a very strong insight and ending here. I was never quite as morbid as you were as a kid, although I had my moments.

Cheri said...

I wish I could have met your mother.

Lana Gramlich said...

I'm so glad I'm out of the "looks" game. That wasn't fun to play.

chris said...

Feminine Beauty, has been the dowm fall of many Men. Women can have the outside appearance,However when they possess the outside as well as an inner Beauty, anyone is susceptible to their Feminine charms !
If I worried what other peoples perceptions of me were,I guess you might say that I would not be Myself.

Be True to Thine own self, and never forget.

The hell with the rest of them !

I think Tom Petty said it well,

Take me as I am, Cause I can't stay long.

Live for today, For Tomorrow may never come