Good Enough

“I’m ashamed of it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I’m sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a big splash.” - J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

A little background:

I always knew I would do something great with my life. I knew it. I remember thinking so when I looked in the full-length mirror on the back of my bedroom door. And it wasn’t my fault—there was the whole “I can do anything with Jesus” and dare to dream and “you can do anything you put your mind to.” Plus, I was an excelling third-grader; what could stand in my way?

I told Mitch, “I want to do something extraordinary with my life.” It was a kind of challenge—are you on the awesome train?

Pre-marital Counseling:

Mitch and I talked about conflict with Jerry. We (Mitch and I) had fought just the previous night, interactive learners. I mentioned that at one point in our conflict I got tired of fighting and just wanted to watch a movie. Jerry got excited—that’s exactly what I’m talking about, he said. You will have to navigate your spouse’s otherness the rest of your life and this means conflict. It’s unreasonable to expect to solve things, big things, like his addiction to FIFA, in one night. The trick is to get to a point that is good enough. The point where the pressure’s off and you can go watch a movie or something. Conflict is a matter of years, not days, and it doesn’t need to look perfect. Just good enough.

Rhetorical Questions (sorry):

And I’m like whoa. What if I took this “good enough” thing to more areas of life? What if I hoped that my life would be good enough instead of extraordinary? If I were satisfied with looking good enough instead of beautiful, making paintings that were good enough, living a story that was good enough?


Fifty-fucking Thousand

How can you not love this show? How can you not? Ahh!

Jon was saying the other day, dapper young man that one, that the movie betrayed the shows. The series is witty and unsentimental, and the movie is not. At least, that’s the essence of what he said... I’m not quoting directly.

And, you know, he’s right. I’ve been watching the commentaries to the episodes. I’m watching the one to the movie right now. And the show is a farce—if not at the core than at least somewhere. Michael Patrick King, his majesty director, talks many times in the show commentary about cream pie-ing. Whenever a character has got it figured out, is sure, is at the top of the world, she gets a cream pie in the face.

God, I love this movie. And I’ve had maybe a little too much beer to write this well. And of course it was supposed to be the blog of all blogs. Forget whatever happens in my life.

Stanford knows that Marcus is the perfect boyfriend, beautiful and young, and it turns out Marcus used to be a male escort. Splat.

Trey is the perfect prospect, rich, WASP, and mannered. Charlotte knows she’s finally found her perfect husband, and then there’s the flaccid penis problem (first time I’ve had to spell flaccid, I think) and the not wanting children thing. Splat. Cardboard baby, splat.

I read something on Focus on the Family’s blog about Sex and the City. It criticized the show in the following way: it’s a blah blah blah show blah blah blah desperate women (or women desperate for sex) and then something else. And I thought—exactly! The success of the show, in my mind, exists because these women are not the poised figures that women are supposed to be. They are a desperate deranged coping reactionary lively fabulous representation of what women are in real life. And anyway they laugh.

I was justifying my love of Sex and the City to Jon Fox, once, in the following way, “It’s way funnier than Gray’s Anatomy.” To which he responded, “Well, Sex and the City is a comedy and Gray’s Anatomy is a drama. So it had better be.”

So anyways, in the shows, for everything serious or sentimental there is a back cutting of a joke, a self-awareness, or a cream pie. MPK says that there were originally more jokes written in the movie. They were discarded in lieu of the pain of the plot—again would never have happened on the shows.

And here’s where I get to the point: the second movie’s coming out and we couldn’t be more excited here at Westover (or what’s left of it). What if the movie was a giant cream pie? How fabulous. The first movie set us up with marriage and children and Samantha being free to have sex like always. And what... what! if they had an existential crisis! What if the dresses, clothes, fashion weren’t good enough any more. Splat. What if they came out front with the theme of the show—not sex, but how to live life not alone. What if everyone gave in not to cosmos but to knitting?

Maybe the cream pie in all of our faces is that we die. Or finally, finally, get old enough that our bodies (trusty companions) betray us. Or we are no longer beautiful... except my friends, y’all will always be beautiful (until you’re not, of course. Splat.). And what we’ve really got isn’t the stuff that we’ve trumped up and gotten so happy and sure about; it’s, well, smaller and harder... it’s... it’s... aw, fuck if I know, I’m only 22.


The Word Itself Makes Some Men Uncomfortable. Vagina.

The vagina is a tulip, opening and closing and closing and opening, pink and fluffy, screaming obscenities or something like that, for some women, I learned from the Vagina Monologues. College women dressed in pink and black; they stood to read and then retired to arm chairs and bean bags – young goddesses. They read about old women and virgins, rape sanctioned by the Japanese government and sexual slavery, anatomic discovery and exploration, and a lesbian experience, and moaning, and one good experience with a man. Chuckles.

I have no desire to push further up and into the vagina metaphors or personification, but I would like to add a monologue – only tangentially related to vaginas.

Proceeds from a Bad Experience:

We talked about it later. It was the night that lead to a two-year-long breakdown, to counseling, to nightmares, to moving, to antidepressants, to a more liberal use of the word shit, to dropped classes, to meetings with lawyers, to a cruel letter from our landlord, to break-ups with Mitch, to a bad handle of rum, to going to Tonicx at 3 p.m. at 11 a.m….

And still she remembered it too: one of the cops that came to our house that night was cute. Young, blond, fit, clean-shaven, gun ready. Trust me. Nothing goes better with trauma like hot law enforcement.

And later, when we went to court (the second time), he came to testify. He was wearing the best suit in the house, the ladies were fanning themselves. He recognized me, asked me, concerned, how I was doing. I could have told him, “Fine now that you’re here.” And if my vagina was ever going to talk it would have been then.

Then after the verdict (and Mitch’s speeding ticket to get us there on time), my roommate’s dad held me and said, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

And I have to remember Mitch, who stuck with the shit show even though we’d only been dating a month. And Jerry, who let me move in (even if he did make me plunge a toilet that I didn’t clog).

And Ron Pyle for being concerned that Carrie and I had failed his test. We were used to it by then, bless his heart.

And John for sleeping on our couch for a month. And the Hills for letting us live for free until we got out of our old lease. And Jonathan for saying the perfect thing. And Kyle and Tyson and Nate and Lee just for being there. And Scott for drinking with us.

And, you know, I like men.


An Old Couple

An old couple came into the Y to renew a membership that had been put on medical hold. She had a walker, squat and wide, and he was hunched and wiry. They smiled wrinkles into their wrinkles. He was very concerned that we have a family restroom. We do.

"I have to help her change," he said.

Elsewhere, without a family restroom, he had to go into the women's to help her change. When the women kicked him out, she had to go into the men's with him.

"I was becoming bisexual," she said, and he laughed.