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.


  1. When Virginia Woolf talked about A Room Of One's Own, it was the laundry room? Wow.

  2. My Mom said it was the bathroom that had a lock on the door.

  3. There are lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics, and after statistics there's memoir. "Every word she writes is a lie including 'and' and 'the'" -- that was an attack on memoir, right? Memoir is supposed to free you to make everything more interesting. "Truth is stranger than fiction"...but seldom more entertaining, and often not as enlightening. Go for it. Be fuzzy in your recollections. Or not. Succumb to the 140-character outburst. It's sad that even the best tweets are so forgettable. Re-tweets ("what She said.") are also helping us let go of each other, in a tweet-by-tweet severing of connection. Soon we'll all be alone with our cool stuff. We'll have lots of time to write then.