Sunday, January 20, 2013
31Ways2GetItStarted™!: January 19, 2013
Day 19: Get Over Yourself...Seriously.
I know, the 19th was yesterday was but yesterday was a "helluva" day as Rick James used to say, so stop giving me that look before we have to step outside and finish this? Ya feel me? Okay, I'm a little grumpy. But today's "hint" to get over yourself--and I include myself 100% in this--came to me after I re-read Joan Didion's wonderful, Play It As It Lays, http://amzn.com/0374529949, a exquisitely-written look at ennui in 1960s/70s Hollywood, and troubling (sexual) relationships between men and women, and primarily the extended nervous-breakdown of anti-heroine Maria Wyeth.
I read this book, originally, a few years ago, when I was going through a "rough time." At that point, the book really emotionally resonated with me, and I had tremendous sympathy for Maria. This time...well, this time I found myself wanting to smack quite a few characters and say, "GROW UP! Life's hard! You're sick of being treated as interchangeable sexual "talent" by the men in your lives? Finally, huh? Dump 'em! Get a job, volunteer, get a f**king skill and contribute to society and leave that wasteland!" (I told you I was grumpy.) I was especially impatient when one character, who is paid to remain married to her husband--a "fixer" type of person--gets into a fight with her husband over a girl they've both been "enjoying." Except, of course, the wife isn't enjoying any of this. She's doing this...oh, for a multitude of bad, cowardly reasons. And she says,"You started it." (Deep sigh.)
That exchange made me want to throw the book across the room. GROW UP!
Let me go on the record, again, and stress how highly I esteem Ms. Didion's prodigious talent, and her unrelenting emotional honesty: it's really an extraordinary book. Can't recommend it highly enough. But the more pragmatic part of my brain--programed by years of Chekhov, and ambition and feminism and you know, taking responsibility for how I feel and live--just can't have a ton of sympathy for people who choose to wallow in the "misery" of living in Hollywood, instead of changing their lives. You do only get this one life. Them's the rules. It does seem rather juvenile to waste it feeling bad and being unhappy so as to torment your husband/lover(s), when, you know, not to be corny, but you could cut your losses and try to be happy. You could try. Like the rest of us, honey. Personally, I'd always choose to be corny and happy, over being melodramatic. (Many former mens, were they to read that sentence, would simultaneously say,"...since when??" Luckily, they're too busy being committed to their stupidity and youporn.)
Such is my rant. *stepping down from soap box* Let me know what you think in the comments section, and, as always, email me @firstname.lastname@example.org!