Archive | March, 2012

Dear Crazy Writer Person

28 Mar

Dear Crazy Writer Person,

So I’ve done this thing where I’ve spent the last three years studying and writing poetry. If you’re at UPenn getting a MBA, this makes me “crazy” and also “poor.” If you’re from my West Coast liberal academic family, this makes me “in California” and a “graduate student.” If you’re Liz Lemon or Jack Donaghy, this makes me “the worst.”

I’m not a crazy artist. Hell, I’m wearing boat shoes right now, and I just got out of the shower. (What I’m not telling is that I’m wearing only the boat shoes).

This is not to say that I don’t talk to myself. I live alone. If I didn’t talk to myself, nobody would.

I just don’t fulfill all the stereotypes, or even most of them, that people have for “artists.” For example, you should have seen the look this poet gave me when I told him I listen to “top 40” on the radio. It was a combination of “Who ARE you?” and “Back away, don’t you dare breathe Katy Perry on my shirt.” Because it’s catchy (catching?), and even he knows it. Then he sighed and I said girl look at that body. (That link leads to Barack Obama singing ‘Sexy and I Know It’. Click on it. Now.)

But neither do most artists fulfill the stereotypes. Them being stereotypes and all. Still– they exist, and what’s even better, people you wouldn’t expect hold them. Like your mom. (And I just laughed, because I said “your mom”. Oh, poets! We’re such a riot.)

Exhibit One:

My friend A, who is super responsible and reliable (except she’s decided she wants to be a writer of rewritten Greek mythologies that explore contemporary women’s struggles (I know, what a flake, right??)), ran into this at Thanksgiving. She’d called her parents and left a message telling them when to expect her for the holiday. They never received the voicemail. Instead of calling to ask her when she was coming home, her mom told a friend, “Oh, you know that A! She’s my bohemian daughter! Who knows when she’ll show up! Today, tomorrow, an hour before dinner…I just don’t even try to keep track anymore.” That’s basically what people say about drug addicts.

Exhibit Two:

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Dear Birthday

23 Mar

Dear Birthday,

So! It’s my birthday today, along with at least two people I went to school with and two grandpas of people I went to school with.

I try not to take birthdays as days of reflection and assessment. Why ruin a perfectly good cake day with all that thinking? Besides, being type-A, if I let myself think too long about what other people had done by the time they turned 26, I get all wound up and try to write an award-winning short story and cure cancer and run a marathon and create a media empire and generally kill myself with anxiety that I’m not taller, more baller.

It doesn’t help that one of the people I went to school with who was born on this day has been in Silicon Valley (or wherever those people who do these things go) inventing technology and designing things since he was 17 and was recently named on one of Forbes 30-under-30 people to watch lists and generally is making a lot of money doing something he appears to love and is very, very good at. I don’t think about that at all! Nope. Not for an instant. And I totally do not cling to the fact that when his mother made him invite me to his birthday party in kindergarten, he overhand threw a water balloon in my face from about five feet away. Ah, to be touched by greatness….or the snap of overextended rubber across the bridge of your nose [no jokes, please].

But like I said, I’m totally not thinking about that sort of thing today!

Or the fact that my parents got married at 26 and were buying their first house, which could put some sort of weird pressure on me to hurry up and find some guy to marry me. Stat. And by stat I mean that Vegas is five hours and 14 minutes away, so if you allow that extra 46 minutes to find a chapel and stand in line, and then subtract from 11 pm, I have until 6 pm to find the groom. EVERYBODY PANIC.

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Dear Friends

21 Mar

Dear Friends,

TV shows lie to us, which is fine.

But sometimes the myths become so pervasive they’re hard not to ignore. And sometimes they’re judgy. Like the myth about how we should all have a group of 5-6 friends, and all of us should live in awesome apartments, and date each other, and not really ever have to go to work, and if anyone breaks up, it’ll be awkward for approximately 8 minutes. At the most 20. Even if there’s a baby involved. Eventually somebody (well, 2 somebodies) will get married and everyone will apartment-swap and also hug.

For past examples see Friends, Party of Five, Friends, That 70’s Show, Dawson’s Creek, Friends, Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210. For current examples, see Happy Endings, Whitney, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, The League, 90210, etc, et al, ie, ergo, and so forth.

Forget the sweet apartments, the barely-present babies, the comic marriages, the impossibly high-paying jobs and low-rent living situations. Forget that no one ever grocery shops.

What if you don’t have the friends?

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Dear Casting Directors

14 Mar

Dear Casting Directors,

Please stop casting nearly 30-year-olds as high schoolers. I’m ready not to be attracted to “freshmen in high school” anymore. Or even seniors. Characters who are high schoolers at all, in fact. Just because they’re on my tv doesn’t make it not creepy.



Dear Facebook Divorce

12 Mar

Dear Facebook Divorce,

My first Facebook divorce happened on Friday. Which is to say, a person that I know updated their status from “married” to “single.” Then a bunch of people said really supportive things like, “This is a joke, right?” and “haha” and “this is a just-for-facebook thing, not a real life thing that you guys are doing?” Thus forcing the person to explain that no, this is also a real-life thing and it’s called a “divorce.” He very articulately expressed the nuanced, particular sadness of the taste of this non-celebratory cake via a frowny face. I’m not being sarcastic– this is just how Facebook works. What else are you supposed to say?

At least Facebook has stopped putting a broken heart next to your name when your relationship status downshifts to a lower gear (judgy assholes).

It’s crazy to me, though: this is a couple who I don’t keep in touch with, don’t know very well, never cross paths with in real life. I’m only FB friends with one person of the couple, in fact. But I saw them get married via FB. I looked at those wedding pictures. I read the status update that announced their one-year anniversary and the one that celebrated their pregnancy news, and then the birth of that child. I’ve watched that child get bigger in her father’s profile pictures. And now: snap. Fracture.

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