Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The hook

I bet you thought I would blog about Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  And I will, but this post occurred to me at 30,000 feet and so I'm going with it first.  Might be good, might be oxygen deprived drivel.  I visited my friend's parents this past week in Florida and my friend's mom is a regular reader of my blog.  I do have a small but devoted following of about 20, mostly friends and family.  I'm OK with the fact that my blog never caught fire like The Huffington Post.  Really what would I do with 315 million dollars anyway?

She said, "You're a fantastic writer and you have a book already written.  Memoirs are in!"  And yet I still don't see it.  Maybe someday, but right now I prefer belly aching about the relevance of my blog in my post-apocalyptic "I have to get up and go to work again?" state of mind.  I'm hanging on by my fingernails to keep my life orderly and calm, which is how I like it these days.  Sunday nights not having done my homework yet...ugh, that lifestyle, while seemingly embraced by me at every stage of my life, has actually never made me happy.  I just can't go back to the seven foot high pile of laundry, the chore laden weekends and hot dogs twice a week for dinner as was customary of my family life coupled with a full time job ten years ago.  It was de rigueur when I was younger, skinnier and cuter but middle aged women who don't have their lives together is just tragic.  Must.maintain.order.

Qualifications for writing a memoir surely include some formal training somewhere.  I'll admit to higher education, good fundies from expert teachers, good instincts and a good sense of humor...those are scant credentials I've got to hang my writing hat on--ending a sentence with a preposition aside.  And unlike Sedaris, Burroughs, Wells, McCourt, I don't have the hook of an amazingly colorful past.  Sure I've got the alcoholics, the slightly checked out parents (benignly so), the seventies, the youthful indiscretions and the European travel stories.  I also have a firm grip on reality and the dynamic duo of my funniness, self loathing and sloth.  I know myself and I'm willing to talk truthfully about it.  That point alone seems valuable enough to keep blogging if only to help a friend take the pressure off of herself on a hard day. But reading blogs is a fading ritual for Internet readers, like waiting for holds at the library (really people?  have you heard of the Kindle?) and actually blogs were a dying bird even as I took mine up. Twitter is where it's at.  It's been fun and interesting being a part of a social media fad on the Internet and in the end maybe one of my grand kids will write a book report about her granny the blogger back in "aught 7".  Who knows if any of it will even be here in ten years and what will replace it?

So what would be the hook of my memoir if I wrote one?  As I sat on the beach this past week and my brain was re energized by Vitamin D, my muse finally came to me!  Because as I try to juggle work, kids growing up and going to college and the maintenance of my house and what little of my sanity remains, the one thing I am sure of is that I love to tell a story and edit it for the reader's pleasure but I simply cannot f*cking do this while my family peppers me on the quarter hour with inane questions like, "Did you wash my sliding shorts?"

This post is about a child so dear that it's going to take a little while to craft
It also occurred to me that nobody ever comes looking for me while I'm doing the wash.  My respite.  My haven.  My salvation.  I've blogged numerous times about it before.   The laundry is my muse.  Life as I know it from the subterranean recesses of my house--the underworld, Atlantis.  It is all finally coming together in an arc so mundane that it might make Erma Bombeck seem funny.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pushing through the pain

1981...not really sure what's going on here
2011...we don't lie together on the floor anymore, intentionally.
Although I only spent a year with them in high school this group of people has become more gracious and welcoming with each passing reunion.  But the one thing I can’t recreate with most of them is a history, because we have none. I haven’t met their parents or their siblings, we never played together once upon a time in pre-school, we weren’t ever best friends in the 4th grade. Those friends are in Philadelphia for me. The three friends I made my senior year in New Orleans, well, we've never lost touch. There’s lots of history but no need to catch up as we chat weekly at minimum. So this weekend was a bit like being a spouse at my own reunion. I watched as my classmates reconnected and delighted in their entwined childhoods and it was charming and beautiful to see.  And like a spouse, man, whatever!  It was a party.  The company was great, the food was great, the surroundings were lush...from a 44th floor view over the Mississippi to dancing the night away at a mansion in the Garden District.  It was all good.

two of the three dearest friends I'll ever have no matter how old I get
My gals and I dubbed the weekend Push Through the Pain 2011 for its late nights and early mornings (because, of course, we're women of a certain age) and doing it over and over again for four days straight.  Monday morning, I had to leave.  My life depended on it.

Debris with grits at Mothers...that's exactly what you need after a night out on the town.
It soaks up everything.
gittin' our mudbug on
Brennans' Eggs Shannon.  Trout and creamed spinach with a hint of nutmeg.  Now that's brunch

Positively N'Awlins.
oysters on the grill, as you do in new orleans
room with a view
hurricanes at 1am
beignets and coffee at 3am

The reunion continues on Facebook this week as we reminisce about our reminiscences.  Those who couldn’t attend post desperate entreaties to “tag” people because nobody’s recognizable in the pictures. Life has been good to most of us and we look durn good, but maybe not enough like our 18 year old selves to be easily identified in a still photo. In person it came slowly, but with animation we would break into smiles as the 18 year olds in us emerged and passed over our faces fleetingly.  A kiss on the cheek, a gentle embrace, kind words.  Smart, cultured, warm and genteel people. I am looking forward to the 35th already, but first I've got to see about getting rid of this pesky liver.

Mollie requests the waiter not set her hair on fire

He obliges...voila, bananas foster