If you understand that title you have been reading me too much.
I DVR’d The 40 year old virgin. It was as funny as people said, but I related a bit too much. Not to the virgin part but to the shutting off emotionally. Something I did and didn’t do when I was young. Andy, the virgins boss was a woman in her 50’s. I took stock of her subconsciously: well maintained, attractive, not pretty, a bit hard.
Then the credits came on. Julie Budd. Damn, it’s been a long time, but that sure was her. She was going to be the next Barbra.
When I was a teenager I had a very distorted sense of self. I saw myself as reflected through my boyfriend and other boys eyes. My boyfriend and I broke up constantly, I didn’t exactly go to classes freshman year of college and had much time to establish both sexual and platonic relationships. I wouldn’t sleep with the boys I wanted to remain friends with or the ones I just wasn’t into.
Honestly, I couldn’t understand what people saw in me. I thought that even my face was unformed. It was a collection of good features, even I could see that, but they didn’t gel.
Though I have never thought of myself as having many girlfriends that year, I was the girl the WASP girls would bring to tea at The Plaza when they were meeting their mothers. “Look mother, I have a Jewish friend, and she has good manners, and wears expensive hippie clothes.”
I’m not sure why I spent the night at Jill’s parents house in Flatbush. I remember being awed by how large and beautiful the house was. Jill’s sister, Julie, was a singer and an emancipated minor who lived with their grandmother, but came home often.
Before she said hello to me, she said:
“You’re not wearing any makeup.”
“Well lip gloss.”
I was too well mannered and too shy to ask her why she had asked that question, but we found ourselves talking and I finally asked. She looked at me as if I were crazy:
“Because you don’t need make-up to look pretty. That’s so unfair.”
I wish I could say that a light bulb went off. The next Streisand had just said that I was pretty. I kind of knew that.
I used my looks as a shield to get me places that my personality wouldn’t let me go, but I never felt normal pretty. I felt like an object that people could look at and make into anybody they wanted me to be. I so so badly wanted a personality, and didn’t realize how strong mine was
I was too young and way too immature to understand how much looks are a function of personality, and the opposite
I did wear a lot of makeup in the 70’s. Beyonce, as Deena, in Dreamgirls gets it so right. All that damn lavender. I then went into a long brown and beige eye make stage. I was in my late 20’s and was kind of almost sure that I had something special.
This wasn’t easy to write. I feel as if I have tipped the confessional. I would call it fiction, but it’s not.
I wish that I could go back in time and say “thank you, Julie,” and have forever after understood.
I think that I shall make my wishes a bit more in the moment. In 23 posts I will have written 2000. I’m not sure how many are in draft and have never been posted.
What would you do if discovered somethings about yourself this past year that has unwillingly forced you to reexamine your entire adult life? Therapy’s the obvious answer but you know more about the reasons you’re reexamining things than most therapists and lost faith in the therapeutic model of anything but cognitive therapy, for you, a long time ago.
What if you had have been revealing some of this in your blog? Much of your life has never seen the blogs posts and pages. Your experiences can stand on their own or be seen in light of your new discoveries. You wake up in mild panic attacks trying both to assimilate the information you have learned, and wondering if you will ever live up to the potential you know you have.
You understand that most publishing houses are just looking for writers who fit in molds–look at Nora Roberts writing as JD Robbs–those novels read as if computer generated. Interesting content for the first one or two but then, like Janet Evanovich, they become all formula. Do people really want to read about Stephanie Plum, not growing, forever?
I love mysteries, true confession number one, of the new year, but I like ones with some complexity in them, and the main character or characters grow with each book. Off the top of my head: Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson, Marcia Muller, and Laura Lippman are some I like the best. Rankin’s the most famous “edgy Scottish mystery writer,” and I keep meaning to Google that phrase because I’m looking for some with even more of an edge.
I could never be a mystery writer, but I’m a good interesting writer that many people like and many people don’t. The first group should carry more weight because they actually buy books, and it’s the second day of a year that ends in a “7.” That has always meant the beginning of a cycle where my ambitions have been fulfilled. Coincidence? How am I supposed to know.
This stays within my here and now rule, I think. It’s difficult to understand rules I make when I can’t even understand society’s rules that have actually changed and continued to change so much throughout my lifetime I don’t think that anybody can understand them.
That video played in so many blogs this past weekend went beyond boundaries of civilized behavior. He was evil. There are many more people even more evil. Cooper and Sage both said it with more depth than I feel capable of giving it right now.
They’re bloggers who think and have a true moral core. Something increasingly lacking in this world. In March it will be four years since we invaded Iraq.
I didn’t like President Ford. He didn’t really say: “Ford to city: drop dead,” a headline writer wrote that. But he said something similiar. How did he heal a broken nation when he left out a major city? That said I did grow to respect him but only if I compare him to other Republican presidents.
When people talk about the so-called moral superiority and elitism of the New Yorker, they might begin to think that we had to re-create New York without much outside help in the 70’s and 80’s, and again after 9/11. We weren’t being morally superior. We were being pragmatic. I do like, admire and respect Betty Ford very much. But why does New York always have to remake itself without federal government help. People scream and assume that we get so much help. No we pay taxes, we have conservatoires and private foundations. Other places gets federal help and screams if New York gets a dime. Any federal budget cut hits New York especially hard, but I guess since we’re morally superior….Sorry, but if would have been nice if in all the homages to Ford healing a divided country, they would have brought how he didn’t think that New York counted, up.
t’s the second day of the new year and I haven’t accomplished anything of note. I’m in an especially bad mood, and looked at my Technorati A list ranking to cheer me up. Only all the blogs listed as examples are marketing and tech blogs with a few exceptions. Blogging is too new to have such entrenched systems. They all know how to make money off their blogs. I don’t, other than doing ads or accepting sponsorship. I have some problems with both which I won’t go into now.
But I put in as much work or more work. Grass roots personal blogging means spending much time writing posts that people will hopefully read. It means reading other blogs, building blogging friendships which is the joy and seems to be the sole reward.
I never expected my blog to be anything other than a place where I would write stories and look at them unedited in print. It became something despite me, and I do dare dream that it will bring me something other than some recognition which is priceless–in all senses. But why have an “A” list blog, if the names on the examples are stagnant?
Being me I did speak to Terri from Kineda who was very nice, and said the widgets wouldn’t allow daily changes, but maybe weekly. I don’t care if I’m not on it as long as a personal blogger who isn’t Jessica Cutler is.
Blogging’s too young to have an entrenched system where the same people reap the rewards. I understand that I’m not supposed to expect more than I have, but I have worked on this blog for over two years without being away from it for more than two days. I’m working on a memoir, a novel and articles to sell. The only “success” my blog brings is some recognition, and maybe I do think that it should show on a list that seems to promote marketing and tech above everything.
Those blogs tell you how to increase your traffic, how to get more links, how to make money, how to be a great marketing person through asking the right questions. Some have giant posts trying to sell a product, and not in the “cute” prod placement way–not that I believe in that–but these are ads for products without content, though they have other posts telling you how you can become them. When I read this, I begin to wonder if they’re real blogs in any sense. Some even give word count and tell you how long it should take you to read. Just doesn’t seem in the spirit of blogging to me.
Two weeks from today I will be going away without my laptop. I probably will leave three word Wednesday posts self-timed to go off, even if I have to make up the words. Then again, maybe I will just leave one post up for ten days.