It’s 1:30 in the morning and I am wide awake because HolyCrapIt’sAugust Insomnia has struck early this year. I mentally organized my attic, planned how I will cultivate a white stripe of hair along the front of my head a la Kitty Carlisle, and had a few arguments with people I don’t like (I won them all), but I still couldn’t sleep.
Only one thing left to do: it’s story time.
Gather close, kiddies, and I’ll spin you a yarn.
Once upon a time in a town that may or may not be somewhere in southeastern Pennsylvania, a leggy blond started writing a blog. And it was good. She worked hard, collected a gaggle of followers, traveled far and wide doing her leggy bloggy thang, and when she wasn’t being Bloggy Lady, she was sometimes Mommy Lady. She raised her up some kids – well, some are pretty much mostly raised and some are still in the raising process, but you get the idea.
One of these kids, and I forgot this until my history teacher friend a) reminded me of the event and b) told me who the principal players in said event were because I had no idea, got in trouble one day in health class for popping off to his teacher about something, I think it was ipod related isn’t it always? or something like that. I was toiling away in my “office” and heard this big blowout as it unfolded. He was Sent Out Into the Hall and while he was Out In The Hall he said a bad word or seven and I heard him. Either I was having a craptastic day and was in foul mood which isn’t that surprising given that I heard him from my office which was actually a closet because I had no classroom of my own and my
closet office had no heat or phone or let’s just say ROOM to breathe in it or, and this is my option of choice in this story, I was trying to stop this kid from digging himself into an even deeper hole than he was already in. Either way, I got all up in his grill about his potty mouth and stomped off back to my closet office. At which point I’m pretty sure I heard another word from this kid and it sounded something like “itch,” because maybe he had a bug bite or something? I honestly don’t remember what happened next but probably the kid found me in the cafeteria later in the week and said, “You are an admirable and hardworking public school teacher and I have nothing but the utmost respect for you. Also, you have excellent fashion sense and a dazzling personality.” Or something like that.
Enough about this kid, back to me.
About a year and a half ago my brother and I were having a conversation about writing and blah blah why don’t I write something because I like to write and wahhhh what I am I going to write? I have nothing to write about…whine whine Don’t be a wimp, just try it you should start with a blog. That’s so lame blah blah it sounds so idiotic and no and then I dare YOU. Next thing you know, baby brother has purchased me my very own domain name. Ta da.
I write a bunch of random shizz and dribble and I don’t really admit to anyone that I’m doing the not-a-blog thing, but then I tell my neighbor because she is so cool and supportive and I like her. And she says, “HEY. My friend writes a blog. She’s like. Famous.” So I go home and check out this friend’s blog at www.iambossy.com and then I stick my head in the oven because holy blogginess I can’t compete with this! After I pulled my head out of the oven, probably because I noticed it was really dirty and became embarrassed looking at my own oven filth, I further explored the world of Bossy and got myself invited to her road trip send off bowling party. After I accidentally drove to New Jersey because I was thinking about Dubai, hilarity ensued, and I met lots of nice chicks.
A month or so ago, I went with the friend who had introduced me to the world of Bossy and my husband and her husband to a party at Bossy’s house. Before I had imbibed my annual quota of red wine
and mojitos also and perhaps possibly something with gin in it but honestly, I can’t really remember all I know is the next morning my hair smelled distinctly of juniper berries I had a conversation with the oft-photographed Son of Bossy. I was trying to figure out what book to choose for Virtually Well Read – and let’s take a minute here so I can clarify the fact that a virtual book club is just like a real book club in that people go, “Yeah! I’m totally in! I can’t wait to read that and I promise I’ll say things!” and then they’re all, “OH, right. I had a plantar’s wart, and then I lost my car keys for like a week,” or “My cousin from Spain was here and also I had a problem with nearsightedness that day.” - Son of Bossy suggested Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, which I didn’t choose but borrowed anyway because he said it was really good.
So I read Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, which you should read because it is excellent and exciting in this very “oh my god I can’t look” kind of way and not what you expect at all from one bit to the next.
But then it occurs to me. S.O.B. has recommended a book to me about an English teacher in disgrace. Is this a message? What is the subtext here? I AM a disgrace? I should live in disgrace? What have I done?
Is it that I write about obsessively reading Janet Evanovich novels – and yeah, thanks Janet for getting me addicted to really expensive perfume and bath gel which has completely replaced my cheap-ass CVS bath stuff and my reasonably priced Philosophy Pure Grace - and he’s reading intense and highly sophisticated prose by a Nobel Prize winner, and while I’m sniffing my own forearm for traces of the scent of a fictional Cuban American bounty hunter and wondering when the next In Touch magazine hits the stands, he’s writing things like, “Irony. Reversal. Bourgeois comedy” in the margins? Is this a not-so-subtle reminder that even though I might be good, HIS ninth grade English teacher taught him more grammar than I’ll ever know in my lifetime and he’s not afraid to use it? I’m a disgrace to the blogging world? No matter how much red wine
and mojito and also possibly gin I consume, I’ll forever be eating Bossy’s dust? His mama is the real deal and ain’t no upstart like me going to try to put myself in her league? Hell…I don’t even know how to use Photoshop!
Or is it even more than that…is this seemingly innocuous and friendly literary recommendation a warning shot across the bow: I yelled at him in the hallway five years ago and he’s never going to forget it. I’m the itch. Itch in disgrace. Oh the irony.
Either that or he really liked the book and was so excited about it that he shared with someone he knew would probably love it, also. Which is pretty cool of him, don’t you think?