No, I haven’t gone back to the comedy club for another night of humiliation (Public Humiliation). Since I’m not seeing Bennett anymore (Bennett Bites the Dust), who else would be up for this adventure with me?
Instead, I’m sharing bits of trivia with you that I’ve been saving for just such a night, starting with Oscar Wilde, my favorite Irish writer.
Everything is about sex, except sex, which is about power.
Oscar was the master at boiling the truths of life down to one or two pity sentences.
Nothing much has changed since Oscar Wilde’s time in Victorian Great Britain.
One of my best friends is at the wheel of her car, listening to my story of the end of my relationship with Bennett (Bennett Bites the Dust). Susie is a long-married woman who relishes all the diverting details of my single life. Every time we get together, she gets that gleam in her eye, the one that says, “Time for some vicarious pleasure.” Then she asks, “What’s up?”
She’s the friend who gave me the book, Getting Naked Again. This means she has insider information on my angst wrapped around that topic.
When I finish telling her about his last email, she turns her head away from the road, toward me, and says, “Why don’t you just…”
I spent the last two weeks immersing myself in the blogoshere. Know what I learned? If I want readers, I need to tell people what to do.
I need to tell you how to grow tomatoes, grind your own baby food, knit an afghan, photograph a field of sunflowers in southern France, start a new business, change the oil in your car.
How could I be so dense? All these postings I’ve sent off to you, and I’v never told you how to do anything.
Know what else I learned? If I want lots of readers, I need to tell you what to do in the kitchen. Not only what to cook and how to do it, but which specialty machines and rare utensils to use while you do it.
I need to morph into a combination of Julia Child and Martha Stewart.
“What’s the problem with that, Georgia?” you sensibly ask me. “You’re intelligent, aren’t you? You’ve proven to me that you’re adaptable,” you kindly add.
I like to think I’m both. What I’m not is a cook. I could not possibly be less interested in the process of changing raw food into anything edible.
But here it goes, here’s my effort to step on that path trodden so successfully by Julia and Martha.
Words that ring with such sweetness and light in the ears of any woman; “You’re so beautiful.”
Words that ring with particular sweetness and light when falling on the ears of a woman whose 60th birthday looms closer than she’d like to acknowledge.
That would be me.
The words only work their magic under two conditions. First, they need to be sincere. They can’t be lies or exaggerations. They certainly can’t be manipulative; spoken to achieve a desired result.
The contemplation of what activity clenches the jaws, contracts the abdominal muscles and furrows the brow of any woman of a certain age? Considering what action fills her brain with anxiety and her heart with trepidation? What thought incites a riot of classic avoidance behavior?
Buying a bathing suit.
My own avoidance behavior is such that my one bathing suit, purchased in 1995 in Kauai, bears the marks of several seams resewn and holes darned by my hand.
But I was heading off to California on vacation and had determined that the Vixen Divorcee deserved a fresher image. Too that end, on a rainy Saturday in early June I convinced my friend, Susie, that our time would be best spent shopping for beach wear.
By crossing the threshold of Nani Nalu Beachwear Boutique, we left behind the chilly, dreary midwestern day and plopped down in Aruba. Or Jamaica. Or Key Largo. Or anyplace with palm trees, exotic birds and bright colors.
That would be the Casino de Monte Carlo.
First, I studied the rules for all the games that we’d find at the Casino. I did it at the private beach after I shooed away the annoying British tourists (read Toying). I’d picked up a beautifully illustrated brochure, designed for novices like us, from the concierge at the Hotel de Paris.
Alan, my ex-husband, announced that he wanted to play roulette. The game spoke to his desire to appear worldly and debonair. Like a dutiful wife, I read the section on roulette carefully, concentrating on which bets were most lucrative, and studied the illustrations. I told Alan the points he most needed to know about the game, especially the etiquette of interactions with the other players and the croupier.
He nodded his head from behind his newspaper. “This can’t be too difficult, Georgia,” he finally said. “I’ll just watch a while and figure it out.”
- Me reading your comments, ala Vincent Van Gogh
I’m departing from my norm today. Instead of posting new thoughts, I’m inviting you all to go back to previous posts to read your thoughts. For the last two months, I’ve been reading the best of you with pleasure. The traces of yourselves that you leave in your comments are funny, thoughtful and insightful.
I savor them daily. I suspect most of you don’t go back to old postings to see what comments have shown up. Today, I invite you to do so. They are worth your time.