What can I tell you?
The world turned upside down this week.
Someone said, “I can’t wait to see the Talking Shrimp post about all this!”
But there’s too much to say about it, and nothing feels adequate. And: when is it appropriate to write something that’s not about “all this”?
Maybe now’s OK.
Today, I see irrelevant, everyday dumb stuff creeping back into my Facebook feed.
Some of it, you could tell, was on autopilot on Tuesday night and Wednesday. So I’d scroll through the horror show and see a jarring ad for a mustard-suede handbag I’d been eyeing back when I thought we wouldn’t have an orange president.
…Or a sponsored post with a video of a wormy “guru” standing in front of a private plane with wind-whipped, chesty models pouting behind him. “I just flew private to Warren Buffet’s annual investor meeting. I used to have $47 in my checking account and now I invite catalog models to glorious Omaha — and so can you!”
Or maybe that is relevant.
Anyway, because I don’t have it in me to write an epic think-piece, here’s an unconnected-thought piece. Some of it’s loosely about “all this,” and some is about socks.
1) The soul demands meaningless and stupid.
Both on 9/11 and the other night, I had the thought, “What I do is meaningless and stupid.”
But you know what? Even if it is, we need meaningless and stupid. We need lots of it.
I finally turned the channel today from MSNBC to Vanderpump Rules on demand. Because my soul demands it.
It’s so comforting to hear Jax’s girlfriend Brittany, the newest server at Sur, struggle to pronounce “Sauvignon Blanc.” And what a nice break from talk of which alt-right psycho has just been appointed to the next White House cabinet, to hear that Jax came home from and caught Kristen kissing Brittany “down south.”
ps – I don’t really think what I do is meaningless and stupid, but big events make the everyday feel laughable.
2) We need a Disappointment Matrix
We’ve got this official Stages of Grief thing. But we could also use a hierarchy of disappointment, accounting for different levels of personal rejection, shock, and consequence. Maybe we need a matrix. Something to give a ranking to experiences like:
Our favorite hotel is booked.
“We think highly of your work, but we’re going a different direction.”
The game was rained out.
We lost the game.
“A few changes to our menu tonight: we’re out of all our pastas, and the chef’s famous roasted half chicken is now a skinless breast.”
This is a letdown, but we’ve known for months it was coming.
WTF is happening right now, an hour ago we thought we’d be popping champagne and now we’re facing a world reality we’d only joked about. (And why is Dad putting on his Hillary t-shirt NOW?)
I’d say that last one is at the extreme right of the gut-punch scale.
2b) I might be missing a chip
I was going to leave this one out, but I squeezed it in – hence the “2b.” I hate adding one in and having to reorder everything.
My dirty secret: I don’t get sad when I’m supposed to. When everyone else is crying their eyes out, I feel numbness or, weirder, a rush of adrenaline. Kind of like the inappropriate smile I had when my dad told me my grandmother had died. I remember covering my mouth to look like I was shocked.
I feel actual, teary sadness mostly when it’s about me. If someone’s mean to me, or confronts me, or doesn’t like something I wrote, or breaks up with me: that’s when I cry, or cry for days. Not when it’s something that affects the whole world.
I was slightly sick to my stomach the other night, like on 9/11. And then I couldn’t sleep. But the next day, while my husband cried in the shower and on the treadmill, I felt blandly OK.
I’m telling you this in case you’re a weirdo too.
If I go up to my parents’ house and ask my mom to make cookies, she will make cookies. The universe exploded in our faces the other night, but I got to go home with a batch of Nestle’s Toll House no one but my dad had the appetite for once they’d cooled (at around 10:30 pm). My mom also packed me a ball of raw cookie dough, in a baby Tupperware container that seemed made specifically for a ball of raw cookie dough.
4) Hey, I manifested!
The other day, I found a dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill. On different blocks. On the same day. On Tuesday, I was thinking about Alec Baldwin and then a minute later, I saw him rounding the corner of University and 8th. (He was looking trim, wearing gym shorts.) I thought maybe I was becoming a “master manifestor” – but Tuesday night proved I am a total amateur.
Also, I admit I was thinking of Alec Baldwin because I was on his block, so it’s not that weird that he appeared in front of CVS.
5) What worked on The Apprentice worked on America
There are so many people who speak more smartly and coherently to what happened in this election. I’m not great at politics. But I am equipped to draw parallels between life and reality TV.
On every season of The Apprentice, both celebrity and the original no-name edition, weak contestants like Omarosa and Gary Busey could save themselves from being fired after a challenge by claiming, “I said all along that our creative direction was a terrible idea.” Really? Just saying that an idea is dumb, but not offering a solution, gets you off the hook?
Cut to, “Obamacare is a disaster. I’ll replace it with something terrific.”
6) Socks wreck the house
Don’t tell Steven this, because he’ll complain that we live in a crack house: The other day, I found a piece of dental floss on the rug by the sofa. Nobody in this house flosses by the sofa. I guess a piece escaped from the garbage and got stuck to my sock. Same thing has happened with raisins.
I can’t answer political stuff now. Done. I can’t “respectfully disagree” because I find I’m mostly lying about the respectfully part.
But: If you’ve got something personal to add, go for it!
Where were you?
How you doing?
Do your parents still live where you grew up? If so, how do you fall into old patterns there? Does your mom slip you cab money to go home? (Mine still does, sometimes, when she hands me the bag with the cookies.)
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.