Musings and Mirth
I’ve decided that there is probably nothing more humiliating, on any level, than believing the TV characters who are vacating your life are actually real people vacating your life. Yet, that was just the thing that happened to me last night while watching the series close out. I was anticipating my own empty nest horror, life without being a mom every day of my life and the panic, oh the panic and then I was watching and crying and crying and watching. I ask you again, is there anything more humiliating? Well, of course there is. I bathe in humiliation every day. Literally. Almost. Not only do I always say exactly the wrong thing in meetings or gatherings but I can be counted on to always look my worst when I’m supposed to be looking my best. What was it about avoiding life that was supposed to be bad anyway?
I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about this that bothers me. It seems to bother me on multiple levels, which is probably the point behind the union of these two. But it bothers me as an older woman and as a mother.
Full disclosure: I was cheated on and subsequently left for a girl twenty years younger than me, so it’s natural I would feel threatened by younger women. I understand the male urge to be with, mate with, and hang around younger girls. First, I think men are biologically programmed to do that. But second, they especially appeal to men who are children underneath their balding pates. They like feeling the kind of power only a younger girl can bring. Being seen with one is like you have something other men don’t (usually money but occasionally, for girls looking for daddy figures, you just have to be older – and then very rarely there is the mind connection. But, as Jack Nicholson once lays out pretty well in Wolf, the only reason there is a mind connection is because the guy’s are interested sexually).
Men can’t be blamed, women can’t be blamed. When I was a young woman, like as young as 15, it was flattering to have an older man’s attention. In fact, it was the kind of stupid thing young girls brag about to their friends, right alongside “I’m drunk” and “I lost my virginity last night.” It’s just one of those things that seems cooler than it really is at the time.
Get to be my age and it all looks ridiculous. What women realize when they get older is that they were selling their very highly valued commodity very cheap. The ones who marry for money, however, at least cash in on it.
For these two, I’m wondering, what does Evan Rachel Wood get out of it? We know what Marilyn Manson gets out of it, fresh meat – the chance to not get upstaged by his hotter girlfriend (Dita) – the chance to be the more expert lover.
But since I’m a mom of a young girl it is the girls I worry about. If Rachel Wood is really happy playing the adoring one-girl fan club, so be it. But she’s going to wake up from this nightmare and realize she derailed an otherwise decent career. She’s doing the rebel thing but, in my unsolicited opinion, she’s taking it too far. I want to see her going out in daytime, not being repeatedly fucked in a music video (for which she will always ONLY be known), moving beyond the need to rebel.
I used to like Marilyn Manson. I thought he was a smart cookie. Now he just looks ridiculous – clinging to his young prey with the same kind of desperation of an aging lion who has made one final, showy kill to illustrate to his tribe that he’s still got it. He’s got it but for how long? Rachel Wood will soon get bored of the guy, especially once she realizes that underneath the tats and the lipstick and the pseudo scary knives and costumes there is just a scared little man afraid of growing old.
There, now. I feel a little bit better.
for my mother
Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac
with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
and changed nothing in the world
except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving
someone or something, the world shrunk
hand-size, and never seeming small.
I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn’t leave a stain,
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet. …
Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low
and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief
until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don’t care
where it’s been, or what bitter road
to come so far, to taste so good.
by Stephen Dunn, from New and Selected Poems 1974-1994. ¬© W.W. Norton, 1994. Reprinted with permission
Yesterday I had the occasion to help my daughter’s third grade class sell lemonade for charity. The location was picked as the school’s neighborhood and some of us moms got together to hold up pitchers to the passers-by. The idea was to pass on some useful info to our kids about the general goodness of people. Some need more than others.
Photo: Yahoo News
The fire has done a 180 and is now roaring towards the homes in the Los Feliz hills. It shows no sign of slowing down. Where can go once it starts ripping through those homes? It will hit the street, then Los Feliz. This is something that has never happened since I’ve lived in LA, which is basically most of my adult life. The Los Angeles Zoo is nearby and no one knows what they’ll do with the animals if the fire turns back towards it. Right now, it’s burning away from them.
It is right behind the Griffith Park Observatory, one of the most beloved landmarks here.
Photo: Yahoo News
For the second time in a few months, a fire broke out in Los Angeles that looked like someone had dropped a bomb in them thar hills. Being stuck in traffic and seeing those billowing clouds rolling up in bundles and covering the sky. Even though in both cases it was some dumb fuck with a book of matches, it was chilling nonetheless on the drive home. But, looks like another perfect day, I love LA.