Wednesday, February 28, 2007

~ Dispatches from Me-Ville

Why would I want to write a blog? I’m nothing unusual. I’m the kind of person you see regularly in TV commercials: a white, moderately attractive female, decidedly middle-class. I suggest the person lingering on the periphery of Pottery Barn ads—the anonymous one smiling with nonchalant ease, gently gripping a wine glass filled with photo-shoot apple juice. In one such shot, I might be playing poker with other anonymous, comfortable-looking people. I might hold a faux cigar between my teeth.

I guess what’s nagging me is the following passage from an old diary:

“I’m only inches away from becoming what I hate: a slightly pudgy, very funny, single girl who’ll never get out of retail, or if she does get out of retail, she’ll get some insanely dull, middle-of-the-road career, and she’ll never write again.” ~ May 3, 1996

(One should never read old diary entries.)

Let’s consider this moody prophecy point by point:

° Well, I am pudgy—but in a cute way. People describe me as “healthy-looking.” I carry my proportions well.

° I’m still funny, but I can veer off into mawkish, melodramatic self-indulgence, and I have an annoying way of snapping, “that’s not funny!” when others laugh at something I say.

° I’m not single, but I’m still a girl. My husband deserves an Outstanding Spousal Tolerance Award. He could need a trophy—maybe with Bassett’s Licorice and Klonopin stuffed inside.

° Yes, I have gotten out of retail. It’s been a long time since I was part of Barnes and Noble, the Great Green and Beige. But, as it has been observed, you can leave the store, but the store can never leave you. If necessary, I could probably still load a v-cart.

° Insanely dull, middle-of-the-road career? Only a little bit true. For the past seven years, I’ve been teaching college writing. I’ve adjuncted at four schools, and I’ve worked with an astonishing array of students. Some have been gifted, some cursed, some largely forgettable and some capable of generating wholly impure thoughts. As a group, they’ve been delightful.

Unfortunately, I’m not really making a serviceable living doing this. I need to look into that.

Here’s the tough part:

° Still writing?

Sometimes. But not enough. Thus, the blog.