The other day I received an email from a friend from way, way, back -- the Los Angeles years. We'll call her Felicity, since that's my go-to stock name. Her note was brief and said she'd like to subscribe to my blog, please, and that all in her life was the same as the last time we'd written: roughly five years ago.
This put me in a bunny-stomping rage. My life was laid out for her -- 2007 to the present -- and the most she'd tell me was that things were the same? I wrote back with subscription instructions and a huffy diatribe about the inequality Felicity was asking of me. Sure, she didn't owe me a blog. But since we were were friends, I felt I -- personally -- deserved more in the way of information. I have fond memories of Felicity and the thought that she may just want to read the newsletter but not have me know her was unacceptable.
One thing I had always loved about her was our shared and unapologetic appreciation for low-brow film. I remember once we were going to a matinee: we looked at the paper together, over the phone (Felicity hated the phone -- only used it to make plans). I believe our choices in the particular theatre we'd selected were Other Voices, Other Rooms, Salaam Bombay, and King Ralph. We pretended to think it over and after a moment Felicity said, "...so, King Ralph then?" Felicity was a bit of a scofflaw and had smuggled her own snacks into the theatre. I don't regret that afternoon, and I don't regret seeing King Ralph: that John Goodman can really sing.
"The same" indeed. Here I'd been just about to take a nap when Felicity's email gave me such a head of steam that sleep was impossible. I went back downstairs and saw she had already sent me a much longer note with a clear picture of her life now.
I get angry easily, I get over it easily and I feel foolish afterwards. We back and forthed some more, exchanging dog stories (we are both dog people but gravitate toward completely different types of dog) and, or course, comparisons of ennui. She wrote she was reading my blog from the beginning and claimed our move to Northbrook in 2008 seemed completely without angst.
Clearly, it had been too many years since we'd last been in touch and she'd forgotten some things about who I am. Move house without angst? Loyal 157, I cannot move my bowels without angst.
There are Mommy blogs I won't read because they paint a harum-scarum picture of what seems to me to be a fairly easy situation in an attempt at humor. Oh my God I have to take my THREE children to THREE different lessons and then drive them all back to the house we own outright, and then tomorrow I have to do it all over again! There are blogs I don't read anymore -- beautiful, crafting blogs with amazing photography and project ideas and pictures of neurotypical children, all caucasian all the time, ten fingers and ten toes on everyone. These blogs read as if they've been typed through clenched teeth and that's because they're not real. The kids are real, the knitting is real, the scenery is real, but the sense of eternal bliss and contentment is fiction. These blogs are written to inspire life-envy. They can be fun to read for awhile because of the pictures, but after awhile, every story needs conflict.
Every now and then the blogger will mention an unkind email or comment she's received. Thirty-seven lurkers will emerge to rise to the blogger's defense. She does so have the perfect life! Sometimes the word "hater" is used.
I maintain that I have received zero hate mail and only the occasional snide comment because truly, no one wants to be me.
This morning I awoke from a horrible dream about having a fight with my brother-in-law in an elevator (No, not you. My other brother-in-law.)
Today the clothes dryer stopped making heat. It's not an emergency!! It's just annoying.
Last night Anatole made cookies and meatballs. Olive watched gleefully, chortling and doing calipers-calipers. It was very nice and a very cozy scene, but it doesn't happen all the time or even every week.
Maybe I'll do a search on my blog to see how often the words angst, ennui, weltschmerz, platzangst, melancholy, and grief appear.
Maybe there are some things I'm better off not knowing.