I’m sorry that I haven’t written for a while. Between what’s happening in the Middle East, the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor catastrophes in Japan, and the fact that my house sold last week, I haven’t been able to hold a thought long enough to finish a sentence let alone a paragraph or a blog post. So, forgive me. That said - I also want to be honest. I haven’t known what to say… With so much horror happening to so many people in so many places, it somehow seemed wrong to write about myself.
At any rate… whatever the rhyme or reason, for the last two weeks, I’ve been “blog challenged”… until this morning, when I remembered something that Steve Martin once said about Writer’s Block, “When you’re stuck staring at a flashing cursor, get a book you love and steal your favorite sentence. That will get you started. The odds of being found out are very slim, and even if you are… there's usually no jail time.” And so, literary loophole in hand, I’ve chosen to pilfer Ben Franklin’s adage, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Actually, scratch that. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to quote SNL’s Jack Handy instead, “My dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.”
Now… please let me clarify. I don’t think it’s OK to ignore or make fun of anyone’s suffering; however, given the current levels of chaos in our world, I firmly believe it’s alright to add some levity to each of our lives… And if I can make one person smile, then my work here is done. In other words, I shall attempt to be your karmic comic relief today, so please feel free to laugh at my expense as I catch you up on DB’s and my wedding plans...
Since this is our second marriage each, it’s been pretty easy to organize the event. We know When (this summer). We know Where (local). We know Who (family and close friends only). Hell, we even know How (Buddhist). The only things left to handle are the Whats (those miscellaneous and sundry details where the devil resides). This includes my dress, which I’m pleased to report I now have… regardless of how traumatic the process was for everyone involved (and believe me when I say that it was therapy-inducing).
However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.
You see, a few weeks ago, my best friend, her daughter, DB’s daughter, and I went shopping. We each picked two gowns for me to try on and the dress consultant picked three. And while this female rite-of-passage is fun when you’re twenty-one, in middle-age it falls squarely into Dante’s ninth level of hell: Sins of Betrayal. Seriously, at thirty-nine, your body begins to sabotage you in every way imaginable. In fact, I’d say that middle-age has shot me in the foot, but I think it’s more accurate to say that it's stabbing me in the back-fat. Because, honestly, when you spend less on the dress than you do the shit that goes UNDER it so the groom wants get you OUT of it, your dignity has been compromised.
But I digress, and for the men-folk who read mkromd and have never been through this, let me explain.
When buying the perfect wedding dress, the bride-to-be is:
1) Put into a room the size of a gym locker.
2) Handed a slip and a corset designed to “rearrange your figure into something more aesthetically appealing.”
3) Given one not-so-perfect dress after another to try on.
1) The room doesn’t have mirrors, so you can’t reject a dress until the world has seen and ridiculed you in it.
2) A corset is an extremely tight, Victorian-era torture device with fifty eyelets that has to be put on like a bra (think Hitchcock meets porn). You cannot put it on by yourself unless you turn it around… fasten every damn hook up the front… THEN turn it around AGAIN… so the eyelets are in the back… along with your breasts. And while that sounds horrifying… and it is… it HAS be better than having a complete stranger do it for you… which is the bride’s only other option… when her best friend says, “The group rate on therapy isn’t low enough for the two of us to try that together.”
Anyway, after navigating through that nightmare, I put on the first dress and walked out, only to hear DB’s sweet, beautiful, brilliant daughter whom I love to bits say, “mkromd, why is your boob under your armpit?” I wanted to explain the corset debacle, but I didn’t want to scar her for life, so I let it go. And, after doing this almost ten MORE times, the dress consultant said, “I think I have the right one for you… It screams East Coast WASP.” I’m not sure I know what that means, but I fell in love with the dress, as did DB’s daughter, my best friend, and her daughter. Now I have approximately one month to get into shape before the final fitting (yes, really), which leads me to another What (what music to play at the reception).
See, DB was a Blues Guitarist in Austin for a decade, so his tastes are pretty refined. He’s a purist who likes good Blues. Period. Me… my iPod is as schizophrenic as I am with playlists called things like:
Shout Out– Including The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash
Chill Out– Including Bob Marley, Elvis Costello, and Leonard Cohen
Work Out– Including P. Diddy, Timbaland, and Eminem
Go Out– Including Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Patti Smith’s, “Because the Night,” and The Weather Girls, "It's Raining Men." It should be noted that these three songs will turn me into a rock star inside my car faster than Lady Gaga can turn a homosexual man into diva at a gay club... in less than three snaps. But again, I digress.
My point is that it’s OK to laugh - even when CNN looks more like the Mayan Book of the Dead than it does the news. And so, as I was looking for books to pilfer sentences from (and help me shift some of my focus and energy towards something more positive and humorous), I stumbled across the Chick Lit Challenge. Here’s how it works, each participant has to read twelve books in this genre throughout 2011, two of which have to be from debut authors. It began in January, and the idea was one book per month; however, since I started late, I’m including Nora Ephron’s, “I Remember Nothing,” Elizabeth Gilbert’s, “Committed” and Meg Waite Clayton’s, “The Wednesday Sisters.” All of which I loved and would highly recommend. Next on my list, after Ekhart Tolle's, "A New Earth," is "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell. I'll be sure to let you know what I think (of both).
My sincere hope in sharing is that each one of us can laugh, even if it's just a little until it's a lot, and I think this challenge will help us find witty, sweet, female-oriented literature that may heal some of our sadness… Because if laughter really is the best medicine, then a spoonful of sugar has to make it go down all the easier.
Talk to you next week (I promise).