Thursday, August 28, 2008


For the future president of the United States to come on t.v. and accept his nomination. I've found it hard to read the coverage this week without feeling teary and incredibly proud of this country. FWIW, I've always been a registered Independent and am a cynic, but I believe in this man and I believe we can change. Tonight is going to be awesome.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I Wrote En Route to San Francisco

I haven't really felt like blogging lately for good and bad reasons. The bad is that I have been a bit "in the crazy" of late. I'm feeling pretty stuck career wise and "life plan" for lack of a better expression wise, and I have dealt with this by bitching, eating and shopping. Not cool. Although yellow patent leather flats and John Fleuvogs are never technically not cool.

The good news is that my writing classes started up again so I've been devoting most of my extra writing time to that. It's a humorous writing class so I'm having a lot of fun with it. Last week's assignment was to tell a funny anecdote about yourself in 450 words or less. I wrote about the time I got a pushpin stuck in my ass at work. This week's assignment was to write a letter too honest to send in 500 words and make it funny. I tried multiple different pieces. One to the people at church telling them why I didn't want to teach Sunday school this year, but I felt too guilty about it. The next one I tried was a letter to the MG honestly answering her question, "do you like my mom?" but again, bitter and not too funny. I finally settled on one to my ex-husband that I'll be reading tomorrow night.

Anyway, in lieu of having to think about what I want to say about the Convention and Michelle's speech and the fantastic book I'm reading, I'm just going to copy what I wrote on the plane to San Francisco.


En route to San Francisco and I can't sleep. I just finished reading Marisa de los Santos' Love Walked In. I expected it to be light and breezy and parts of it were, but I couldn't stop crying near the end. I guess "heartwarming" would be the word if you could stomach it. It made me feel happy. But also teary because there's just so much STUFF churning beneath the surface that is me -- family, the babies I'm not pregnant with, work, purpose -- that I generally like to keep neat and contained. But then I read a book or hear somebody's sad story or even happy story, and I'm bursting open.

I've been sobbing -- SOBBING! -- at the Olympics because all that winning or achievement and that culmination of the practice and hard work -- it's something to watch. Even if it's something as mundane (to me) as being the best badminton player in the world, hey, at least you're the best at something and you picked a path and you worked hard and you achieved. My path or path(s) are all over the place. And this is usually around the time in my life that I go back to school because I know how to achieve on that path and the recognition is quick and simple. Nobody gives me straight As for showing up and trying at the rest of my life, ya know?

All this would make you think that I'm unhappy. But I'm not. Really. Just sort of ...full. I start writing classes again next week so that should help. Of course, it's humorous writing so the timing's off. I've been writing all these funny vignettes for all my other classes this past year, and now I want to write about my grandparents' dying and my divorce and the addiction and the self-loathing and it just doesn't seem to lend itself well to humor.

And I know me. I am not one to talk about important things with people that matter. I've been going to shrinks for years and I still make them drag "what's wrong?" out of me, fighting tool and nail. These are people that I PAY to talk to about important things. So when I feel the churn and the need to tell YG that I love him so much that it makes me cry sometimes and that I miss living near my family and that I love my friends and my cats and that I want to be somebody important, I want to seize on it and capitalize on it before it goes away and regular me comes back.

A friend at work called me a "m&m" and I didn't really get it, but as he explained, "hard and crunch on the outside, soft of the inside," I think it's probably about as apt a description as you're going to get. It's because I cried a little when our boss moved back to England. Not because we were great friends and not because I really know him at all, but because we had a "normal" going in our little group, and as dysfunctional as we can be, normal is comfortable. And nice. And these were the first people I "knew" when I moved to Boston so they're different than other work colleagues. So I cried a little. And then m&m. Appropriate.

The always question is why I feel the need to maintain this image of myself as cool and removed and sometimes fiery, but also unemotional. It's not like I think those are great things to strive for. They just are. I can watch somebody else have a total meltdown and really feel for them, but if I display even one tear, people will wonder why I am such an unglued mess, or worse, they will want to TALK or HUG. Ick.

Minor example. I lent YG's sister my copy of Eat, Pray, Love. Their other sister is reading it and loves it, and I loved it, even though, as a writer, I found it a bit unfinished or premature. But I found it relatable for precisely the reason most other people do -- you're in the middle of some fucked up self loathing and self doubt and you don't know what's what and here's this book written by somebody your age and you relate. Pretty much everyone I've talked to, even if they hated that book, found something to relate to. But when I saw my book walking out the door with my multiple underlines and stars and "Yes!'s, what did I think? I thought, "oh my god, I seriously hope I didn't write something totally retarded in the margins." Because I have no feelings. Or problems. Obviously.

So, we start our descent into the land of fruits and nuts, where everybody talks about their feelings. Seriously. There's something about this place. I talk to people here. On the street, in stores, in restaurants. OR they talk to me and I give something back in return, sometimes not grudgingly. I'm going to write out here, or at least be fully present with YG and MG. I am happy to be on my vacation.

And of course, San Francisco was wonderful. And of course, my verbal diarrhea disappeared in a few days and I'm back to being crotchety.