Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Day At A Time

As a child, I loved One Day At A Time. (For proof, reference Dear Daddy letter of former blog post.) Most girls wanted to be Barbara, played by Valerie Bertinelli, the cute younger sister, the sweet pretty daughter. Not me. I liked the MacKenzie Phillips character better, the boy-crazy Julie who was always full of wild dreams and self-deprecation. I didn't have it in me to be the perfect one; people would describe me as skinny and gawky, much like Julie. Now it comes to pass that MacKenzie Phillips has written a book about a ten year affair with her father, the famous John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Weirdly, I did always aspire to be Michelle Phillips, if not with singing talent, having all that sex appeal and dramatic band drama. Looking back, it's strange to think that MacKenzie and Michelle had so much in common.

High On Arrival is not the first memoir about consensual incest (an interesting term -- can incest between a father and daughter ever be consensual given the power dynamic?). I remember Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss which covered similar ground. But even famous writers aren't as famous as singers and actresses. And truth is, I've always liked MacKenzie Phillips, even and maybe especially because of her life's struggles. A lot of people seem quick to judge this situation and even I admit it does boggle the mind when she admits to having an abortion because her child might have been her father's. Such sadness in a life! Her iconic show's title seems apt here. When things are difficult, I often fall back to this old AA chestnut because it can be overwhelming to project too far into the future, that everchanging mirage. Even the Bible encourages us to only worry about today because today's trouble is sufficient. But I'll go one step further. Sometimes I long for a thirty minute sitcom life, the kind where the troubles are cleared up by the end of the half hour and rarely bleed into the next episode.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew, Chapter Six

Cocktail Hour
Drinking cocktail suggestion:
Devil's Night Kiss
one part Godiva chocolate
one part Vanilla vodka
one part Frangelico
splash of cherry vodka

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Scott said...


Didn't Mackenzie Phillips play a Kiss-style rocker on an episode of The Incredible Hulk? I seem to remember that. I remember that stcom, and yes, it'd be great if all problems were resolved in a half-hour, or Hell, even a season.

Hope you've had a good week, and that your weekend is even better, Darlin'! :)

the walking man said...

Heroin, cocaine, and alcohol are not quite the clothes Mathew related that Jesus was referring to.

Once her old man shot her up for the first time how could it not go even more wrong from there?

I wonder what old rubber lip Mick has to say about his portion in the sitdrama of her life?

Anonymous said...

I like the name "Bijou Phillips." She must be quite a show.--Oscar Winner

Brian in Mpls said...

I want to move to Detriot for some reason after reading this

Charles Gramlich said...

I heard about this on the readio the other day but haven't seen the book. I typically don't read many celebrity biographies. Many of them just seem so sad to me.

jodi said...

Michelle a Bell, Personally I was always attracted to that janitor dude. I saw the Oprah interview. It was shocking but believable. Hope this book proves to be the therapy she needs. xo

I Learned All I Know From TV said...

You know, Michelle, we must remember that this is it. This is life. It's the one you get so we mught as well go and have a ball!

We must remember to go straight ahead and rest assured we can't be sure at all.

So while we're here enjoy the view, keep on doing what we do.
We must hold on tight, so that we’ll muddle through one day at a time

We'll just take it like it comes.

Jason said...

Great photograph! the red tint job was very well done.

I've watched an episode of that show. It just always looked awful.