Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Heidi Klum and Seal have decided to divorce. What can this possibly mean, what with their annual renewal of vows and constant talk of a super hot sex life? It can mean that showing the flag means the ship is in danger of sinking. Like the Titanic or that new Italian cruise ship. Like a punctured water wing. I know. I've showed the flag. Once. My early brief marriage was failing, failing, failing. It was once upon a time, many years ago. We didn't have four children, multiple houses, or extravagant Halloween parties. Okay, we did have Halloween parties in July in our two room apartment with decorations that I couldn't really afford from Michael's. I mean, I overspent to the tune of about twenty two dollars. This was in the 90s when twenty two dollars really meant something. But I digress. We, my ex-husband and I, were on the brink of splitsville. So I put a picture of us posed at a party on my desk at work. We looked good, perfect in fact. We smiled, all dressed in our party clothes. Dear gentle reader, I was wearing pearls. God help us all.
So the picture in a cheap frame from Pier One sat in view of all. My soon to be major ex-boyfriend (then only the wacky guy who had an office across from mine) put a post-it note on the picture that read "Quit flaunting your happy little love affair. It depresses the rest of us." This made me laugh so I kept the post-it note on the picture. It covered up our faces and made me feel oddly sane. My friend Hank grunted when he saw the picture and said, "The end is near." Hank, that motherfucker, could see some shit like an ancient Greek oracle. He was legally blind which makes the above sentence all the more strange and true. By the summer, his prediction had come to pass, and the picture went into the drawer along with the post-it note, a modern art statement. Hank always said when someone was really adamant about something, "Who are you trying to convince?" which is something I always consider. Unlike many internet commenters who act as if the Heidi/Seal break-up is shocking, I don't think so. Most people barely survive one wedding, much less annual vow renewals. And if you have to keep saying it, well, I channel my favorite Mineral Wells oracle -- who are you trying to convince?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The new year has begun in earnest. The Mayan calendar suggests this could be it, so I'd better get to work in doing whatever I need to do to as the great Tim Gunn says, to make it work. I just read my dear friend Laura's blog on her new year's resolutions (check it out -- http://laurabenedict.blogspot.com/) and got inspired in terms of thinking about change. Now I've always contended that change is difficult, Paul on the road to Damascus type stuff. The fact that the Bible itself posits change as a miracle gives me pause. Even so, I can say that time itself has changed me. Best changes over the last decade -- less worry, less guilt, better health habits, less concern over what people think about me. The last one is a great liberation. As Ray Drecker said on the great (now cancelled -- WAAH) Hung, "When you're young, you spend all your time worrying about what other people think about you. That's the great thing about getting older. You don't care what other people think about you. Fuck that. It's what you think of yourself that matters."
I used to be so afraid of looking stupid it was hard to actually learn anything. Do you know what I mean? I fooled myself into thinking I knew more than I did, that shallow knowledge was good enough, that if I admitted how little I understood about how certain things worked, I'd look foolish. Waste. Of. Time. Epic waste of time. Death to good writing. Now I start at the beginning. Beginnings are good. And you can begin anywhere. So this year I give myself permission to look stupid. I do it anyway so I might as well enjoy it. And I think I might actually get somewhere.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Thursday, January 05, 2012
My mother took down the Christmas tree every year on December 26th, early in the morning and spent the rest of the day eradicating any sign of the holidays. I've kind of inherited this way of being, but this year, I've been reluctant to let the holidays go. I formed a half-baked theory about this phenomenon which goes something like this -- when I've had a rough year, I get rid of the holiday stuff as soon as possible, start with the calendars and planning and make the Carver line (This time, next year, things will be better) my mantra. When I've had a pretty good year, I'm not as eager to be done with it. So by those signifiers, 2011 was a pretty good year.
I've always kind of hated New Year's Eve, but I didn't this year, another good sign. At the strike of midnight, I took to heart the feng-shui tip of saying something you want to usher in the new year, you know, the generic blessings of good health, money, love, and for us writers, publications! I felt strangely hopeful for someone who published two books about death, rape, incest, and other less cheerful subjects last year. I remembered my first New Year's Eve in Detroit, when I heard the guns going off all around me at the strike of midnight. I didn't know that happened, so it was quite a shock as I spent the night alphabetizing my books in the midst of periodic gunfire. I knew something was happening, but I didn't know what, just like now, but I'm a lot more comfortable with that emotion.
Movie suggestion: The Descendants
Benedictions and Maledictions