Archive for February, 2013

Apologies if I’ve Said This Before

February 16, 2013

… but the way you know you’re truly old is when you watch Intervention and don’t recognize the drug nicknames the kids have these days.  “Roxy rolls?  Like… Tootsie Rolls?  Well, they have a lot of sugar in them, but that can’t be THAT harmful!”

A Belated Happy One

February 15, 2013

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

It promises light

like the careful undressing of love.

 

Here.

It will blind you with tears

like a lover.

It will make your reflection

a wobbling photo of grief.

 

I am trying to be truthful.

 

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

 

I give you an onion.

Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,

possessive and faithful

as we are,

for as long as we are.

 

Take it.

Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,

if you like.

 

Lethal.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,

cling to your knife.

Speaking of Wanting to be Jewish

February 14, 2013

Who wouldn’t want this shizz?!

I'm second from left.

I’m second from left.

Again, Too Good a Memory

February 14, 2013

My boyfriend sent me a nice article on the newly renovated Jean Arps house.  Here’s a sneak peek, but you can read the whole thing here:

“Arp (1886-1966) was a pioneer of Surrealism and a member of the Dada movement, the branch of Surrealism that called for a return to childhood spirit and the destruction of all established rules. After working in Zurich and then in Paris in Montmartre, he and Taueber, another free thinker (they eventually married), bought a piece of land in Clamart and built a house at the edge of a forest. Influenced by the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, Taueber designed it.

More than 80 years later, the three-story “maison-atelier” still stands, and a decade-long renovation has just been completed.”

So I’m looking at it and all of a sudden I see that the writer is one Saskia de Rothschild, who owns a famous last name, sure, but also went to the same summer camp I did growing up!  She was a few years younger than I was but I remember her as delightfully skinny and French in her little tomboyish outfits. Maybe she has a Google Alert on herself.  If so, what up, Saskia?!

Anne Sexton and Judaism

February 13, 2013

While Sexton wasn’t exactly a full-on philosemite, she did find her friend and collaborator Maxine Kumin’s chosenness fascinating.  Below is a poem that Anne wrote to Maxine in which she relates some of her envy:

My Friend, My Friend

Who will forgive me for the things I do?

With no special legend of God to refer to,

With my calm white pedigree, my yankee kin,

I think it would be better to be a Jew.

I forgive you for what you did not do.

I am impossibly quilty. Unlike you,

My Friend, I can not blame my origin

With no special legend or God to refer to.

They wear The Crucifix as they are meant to do.

Why do their little crosses trouble you?

The effigies that I have made are genuine,

(I think it would be better to be a Jew).

Watching my mother slowly die I knew

My first release. I wish some ancient bugaboo

Followed me. But my sin is always my sin.

With no special legend or God to refer to.

Who will forgive me for the things I do?

To have your reasonable hurt to belong to

Might ease my trouble like liquor or aspirin.

I think it would be better to be a Jew.

And if I lie, I lie because I love you,

Because I am bothered by the things I do,

Because your hurt invades my calm white skin:

With no special legend or God to refer to,

I think it would be better to be a Jew.

Kumin wrote a rather long response, difficult to find online (though I managed to do so) that some day I will post here.  Interesting to note that Sexton friend and depressive rival Sylvia Plath, who has gotten tons of print attention this week because of the anniversary of the publication of The Bell Jar, was also somewhat obsessed with Jewishness (references to Nazism are peppered throughout Ariel) but I would argue in a different way than Sexton was.  Sexton saw Kumin’s status as a Jew a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card in that Kumin could appeal to the special G-d that chose her when things went awry; Plath believed that by developing her own masochistic war on herself, not devoid of glory, was a type of personal appropriation of the relationship between Jews and Nazis.  In other words, she waged her own mini-Holocaust on herself, playing the role of brutal SS agent and of helpless Jewish victim.

HAPPY TUESDAYS!

Oh It Could Be Way, Way Worse

February 12, 2013

You could have watched one of those “I’m a Mormon” videos on YouTube just out of curiosity and gotten goosebumps at the end.

Sad Modern Narcissistic Twenty-Something Tweets

February 11, 2013

SS:  i just emailed my mom asking if we can postpone my bday until I’m feeling less depressed…

ID:  awwwwwww

that’s so terrible and yet i laughed a little

WHY, SALVATORE, WHY?!

February 8, 2013
This is called a "ballet sneaker," but is colloquially known as a blight on footwear.

This is called a “ballet sneaker,” but is colloquially known as a blight on footwear.

The Burden of a Good Memory

February 7, 2013

Today, I received an email invite to a fancy party to sponsor a ballet school.  I received this invite because once, in college, when I thought for about 5 seconds that I might end up being a socialite, I went to a similar party for this ballet school, which is known for attracting chichi patronage.  I also went to the party in college because I was attracted to ballet and ballerinas because of the delicate, graceful aspect of the dance, which I thought maybe I would be able to develop by simple proximity.  (It didn’t work.)

Anyway, this invite, like all the others, listed at the side of the page the names of the people on the junior committee.  What this is, exactly, or what being on the junior committee of any philanthropic organization entails, I’ve never been able to figure out.  Still, though, I always scan the names to see if I recognize any.  Why I do this, I’m not entirely sure.  It could be that if I recognize one, it makes me feel somewhat closer to that fancy version of New York I once believed in –– the one in which lithe women lift up their gowns to hail cabs and the soundtrack is always fluttering laughter and the clinking of champagne glasses –– or it could be that I like to test exactly how entrenched I am in this city by seeing if I can pick out someone I know in any given situation.  It could be both.

On this invitation, I immediately recognized one of the names listed.  EC and I were in a group therapy together when I was in college and she was in high school.  This has to be almost nine or ten years ago.  I think we only overlapped by a few sessions, as my attendance at this group was sporadic over the five years or so I participated, so while I don’t have many memories of her, what I do have is crystalline.  She was Turkish, with a deep blond hair and a touch of olive in her skin.  Her disposition was sweet.  I remember the therapist mentioned that her father had recently died, and when I said I was sorry, her eyes welled up with tears.  I remember her saying that she drank Frappuccinos often because it was easier for her to get calories in that way.  I think she may have gone to a rehab program in Arizona, but I’m not 100% sure on that.

If I were to see this girl on the street, I would probably recognize her, but I doubt she would even give me a second glance, and why should she?  We met a handful of times almost a decade ago.  Since then, I learned from Googling her, she’s been to college and gotten her MFA.  She has a job at a big deal real estate firm.  She’s involved in high profile philanthropy projects.  There’s a picture of her on Patrick McMullan’s website.  In short, she’s had a life, a real one, so it seems, and probably, hopefully, any space that I took up in her brain has been taken over by someone or something more important, some relic of a better time.  If the situations were reversed and she saw my name on a list or an invite somewhere, would she spend 20 minutes writing about me in a kind of quasi-memorial?  Or would she just glance over my nomenclature and think, “Just another girl on a board somewhere?”

Normally an invite like this I’d just toss in my e-trash can, but I’ve left it so far in my inbox.  I considered using her real name here, in hopes that maybe she has a Google Alert out on herself and would find this and get in touch, but I figured that might not be nice as everyone deserves to keep their pasts private if they so choose.  Maybe she doesn’t want to think about the time she spent sitting on floor cushions in a therapist’s office crying to a group of girls about the horrors of consumption.  I even thought about paying the $85 –– throwing the money away, essentially –– and going alone to the party and watching everyone air-kiss.  I’d just stand by myself, scanning the crowd for her.  When I spotted her, I’d linger in her line of vision to see if she recognized me.  If she didn’t, maybe I’d rush up and ask, “Do you remember me?  Tell me: are you okay now?  Are you happy?  Because I’ve been worried.”

Part of a Maltese Figurine

February 6, 2013

… know as the FAT GODDESS.

I wish we could see her top half.

I wish we could see her top half.