Feb 23, 2009 Memories
As a young married couple the purchase of our first house was a time to celebrate. As part of the ceremony of the purchase I was expected to entertain the in-laws. In fact the order in which the first visitors were invited was something of major politics. To keep the peace one of the first to visit us for dinner was a relative of my husband who I shall call Mabel.
To get the house ready to entertain I started cleaning a few days prior to the dinner date. I cleaned the house top to bottom and side to side. Mabel was a judgmental person and I wanted to her to see the flawless perfection that was me as a housewife.
As I arrived home that afternoon I worried that I may have missed a detail and a flaw would be discovered. On my way to my back door I saw and greeted my neighbor. I told her that I had work to do. I explained the guest that I was about to face and how I was pre-occupied with details. She told me she had just read I’m Ok, You’re Ok, and in an attempt to simply Transactional Analysis she told me, “If a person needs to find your flaw they will look until they discover it, so the best thing to do is to put the flaw on the front doorstep so that they see it immediately. They will stop the search before they enter the house.”
Making dinner I pondered the advice. It made sense and knowing Mabel she would look until she found it. However, at that point the house was clean and perfect and flawless…except… in the laundry room in the dryer was a load of clothes that I had yet to fold. I could have left the kitchen and folded and put away the clothes, but I have never had a guest go into the laundry room, let alone look into the machines
You know where this story goes. We had a nice dinner and as I was doing the dishes after dinner I hear a voice coming from the laundry room “oh look you still have clothes in the dryer.”
The next time Mabel came to dinner she ate in the laundry room.
Why did I do this? Why did I take the photo of the “Octomom” (the lady who recently gave birth to octuplets) posted and watermarked by TMZ.com and remove the watermark and put hippie flowers and a peace sign on it? Why did I do this? I obviously had some soul searching to do.
I don’t hate on this lady. We are fellow mothers. I truly wish her and her kids well. A child is a blessing, and she has been blessed BIG time. What bothers me is the circus that was created by this extraordinary multi-birth event. If this had been a headline in the 60’s there would have been acceptance of her by the masses, not the ridicule and judgment that she endures today. Maybe I put the flowers on her belly because I long for the 60’s and universal love.
Hippies were all about love, and live and let live, and everyone is beautiful in their own way. The best part of the hippie movement was the flowers and love beads. Nothing brightened up a day more than handing a complete stranger a flower. The flower children accepted everyone as a brother or sister. If “Octomom” had delivered in the 60’s there would have been an outpouring of love. It was her misfortune to deliver during a time of “war and hate” instead of “peace and love.”
Now that I think about it I may have put the hippie flowers and peace sign on her because her pregnant belly reminds me of the VW bug I had in college, although my VW only had room for four.
Fame can be very intoxicating. When you make celebrity status you are the center of attention and that can be quite thrilling. People send a car for you and hold the door open. You are invited to the parties, you are showered with gifts and the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Everyone wants to be seen with you hoping that the spotlight that is on you will shine a bit on them. You make money just being you. You get paid to make an appearance, to give an interview, to let the photographers follow you. It doesn’t take long for you feel on top of the heap, king of the universe. Maybe you are king, but your reign is very short. The people who put you on the throne soon give you a push and you fall to village idiot.
There is a very human characteristic that makes fame dangerous. People like seeing the exalted fall. In fact sometimes it seems that the human thirst for the blood that is the fall from fame is what motivates the populace to bestow the fame in the first place. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we see another’s life became a train wreck. A crotch flash of a socialite makes our mundane life more bearable because for that moment it isn’t our crotch flash. To keep the pool of fools that we can ridicule and laugh at full we have to restock it.
Recently a new member joined the ranks of the famous. She gave birth to 8 children in one pregnancy. But instead of going home to take care of the kids she decided to except the Faustian offer of fame. This case though is remarkable in how fast the fall happened. When she should have been home with the kids she was out negotiating the rights to a photo of her pregnant belly with TMZ.com.
Thus it is that fame, in time, inevitably results in shame. One day you are King the next you are the village fool.
Feb 13, 2009 iThoughts
Since I was a teenager I have had the habit of reading the morning newspaper cover to cover. There have been some days when I have read two and three newspapers. In an attempt to establish my expertise I did some math. I have read easily over 20,000 newspapers. I have the ink stained finger pads to prove it. Every day the news should be different. However soon after I made reading the paper a daily event I began to have the feeling that some articles were being reprinted.
Early on I came to the realization that most of the articles were the same in that they evoke the same emotions in the reader. In the news sections, international, national and local, the editors are out to scare the reader. In fact you can replace most of the headlines in the news sections with this universal headline, “It’s not safe out there.” Try it. Take your favorite newspaper and change to the headline of the lead article to “It’s not safe out there.”
It is not only the news sections where the stories are all the same. The editors have a different message in the remaining sections. Thus many of the articles in the Sports, Entertainment and Business sections all could have the same headline, “Look Who Just F**ked up”
So this is how to read the newspaper. Start with the news sections. After you have gotten a good dose of “it’s not safe out there” and you are left depressed and overwhelmed by pessimism you go to the remaining sections and make yourself feel better knowing that some rich and successful person just screwed up. I learned schadenfreude from the newspaper.
Feb 5, 2009 iRant
It rained today and it was lovely. Why do people always complain about the weather? And why should we expect weather forecasters to be ultimately accurate? Weather remains beyond our control and beyond our understanding, which brings me to the issue of “Global Warming.” I put the words in quotes, and when I speak the words I get to use my fingers to make “air quotes”. And I use my fingers to make “air quotes” when I say “air quotes”. Sorry to digress.
I don’t think “Global Warming” is as much a planetary phenomenon as it is a business idea. The earth is dynamic. It is constantly in flux. Today in the paper on the front page was an article about a nearly discovered fossilized snake. It is estimated that it slithered on this earth over 2 million years ago and was so big it could down a whole cow. That had to be one magnificent reptile. You could probably fill Zappos warehouse with shoes using the skin from just one of those snakes. Anyway, that snake is extinct, and not by the actions of man. The extinction was something planet earth did.
As we observe the temperatures on earth change I don’t know if we are seeing a long term warming trend. And if there is a warming trend I don’t know how much, if any, man contributes. But what I do know is that it has become a big enterprise with people making lots of money. What is a carbon credit, where can I buy some? My friend’s birthday is coming up and she is so hard to shop for. I know that Al Gore sells them. Now isn’t that CONVENIENT.
PS: A shout out to the church lady.
Feb 2, 2009 iThoughts
Just recently I celebrated another birthday. I am at the age where I have celebrated more birthdays than I have left. But I am not only running out of birthdays. As we age we lose things along the way like a car worse warranty has run out and is dropping parts one by one along the road. One day in the very, very, very distant future I hope to make it to 80 and beyond. So I ponder can 80 years old be sexy? I imagine if you are 90 years old 80 looks sexy.