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:

My mother told my sister recently that she’s planning on giving her my grandmother’s engagement and wedding ring. My parents have a big thing about sibling equality– you should see the receipt-totaling that goes on at Christmas to make sure everyone gets a fair shake– so this means I’ll “get” something else, etc, whatever. Look, this is my family, so supposedly they know me. And me– well, I’m boring. No tattoos, no nomad lifestyle, no piercings anywhere but my ears. I really want to get those double-pierced but I’m worried I’ll regret it. Yeah. You heard me.

Arguments for and against:

Everyone: My sister’s the oldest. She’ll probably get married first, unless I pull an upset in the last quarter. (HAHAHA.) Whether or not this means she’ll use the ring is irrelevant. Gotta decide somehow. As youngest, I got to roll the dice first when we played board games, so.

My sister: “It makes sense because you’ll probably want a non-traditional wedding ring anyway, even if you do get married.”

Me: “What??? It’s not like I wear brass knuckles and earring gauges. I’m basically wearing a wedding ring right now. Except it’s some sort of fake gold that’s turning my finger green and there isn’t a diamond and it’s on the wrong hand.”

My sister: “Actually, maybe I’ll want a non-traditional wedding ring.”

Me: “Yeah! ….I’m planning on making whoever I marry wear an engagement ring. I’m not chattel.”

My sister: “Um, ok.”

Me: “Then again, I really do like jewelry, and he might not, and then my option would be to not wear an engagement ring…that might backfire. Better consider further. Shiny!” 

My sister: “Then again, you’ll probably marry a writer, who won’t be able to afford anything, so maybe you should be given the rings.”

Me: “What??? ….Writers have too many feelings. I DON’T WANT TO. You CAN’T MAKE ME.”

My mother: “I’m not dead yet.”

My sister and mother: “It’s possible you’ll never get married.” (I’m going to pretend this is because they think I’m a rebel and not because they think I’m unlovable.)

Me: “OH MY GOD I’M UNLOVABLE. I’m going to end up alone and penniless.”

I mean, seriously. Look at that list I just wrote from memory. I’m more lawyer than poet at this point, degree notwithstanding.

And yet. Yet my family is just waiting for me to announce that I’m moving to the mountains of Mexico with a bearded revolutionary to raise a family of little barefoot rebels in sin while painting poems on the walls of their nurseries, which will really be just the closet of our one-room shack.

I’m so charmed that I can’t even protest. His name will be Pedro and his beard will be soft and we’ll work the land with our hands…

Excuse me, I’ve got a genre-busting rom-com/dramedy to write starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Don’t expect me for dinner. I’ve got some mooning out the window to do with unwashed hair and visions of piles of money when Reese Witherspoon buys the movie rights. It’ll be called “The Woman in Drab Brown” and Dave Franco (because James is so passé) will play GGB’s rapscallion younger brother, one of the many men tempting the young, faithful wife while the husband is away…sort of like the Odyssey but different….set in Texas/Mexico…with some sort of game the children are forced by the rich ranch owner to play where only one can survive….think Sarah Plain and Tall (except Sarah’s not plain or tall and her name is…oh, I don’t know…something that begins with an M) meets All the Pretty Horses meets The Hunger Games meets Jane Eyre.

OK SERIOUSLY ALL RIGHTS COPYRIGHT TM PATENT ETC TO MM NO STEALSIES.

…What were we talking about?

MM


PS– What do you guys think of my pitch? Pls leave workshop comments below, will gladly offer you movie credit / a pile of my sure-to-be-many piles of money.

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