Happy 2008

Did you have a good New Year’s Eve? We did. My boyfriend Tad and his friends threw a party. At first, no one RSVPed on our Evite, because they all had clubs or hotel parties to attend. So we assumed it’d just be our core group of four couples, minus the couple who just had a baby. I thought we’d just drink and play cards, you know?

But a couple of people showed up. Then, as the night went on, people would call one of the hosts and ask what we were doing. And the host would say, “We’re staying home because we don’t want to mess with parking and traffic and the weather and all that shit. Come over if you want.” And, by midnight, we had a pretty sizeable group of people, many of whom I’d never met before, but all of whom were awesome. Has that ever happened to you — that you throw a party and it lines up with the planets such that every single person attending is either smart, funny, sexy, or all three? No jerks, no vomiting? That’s what happened. Everyone was awesome, even to the point that they helped us clean up. Tad went to bed at 5:30. I went to bed at 7 AM, only because the sun was coming up and the people I was hanging with in the garage had a long drive home.

It was fun. It was a good start to the new year.

Quick List of Recent Annoyances

I have to get this out of my system.

1. People who block the intersection on red lights.

2. People who look at your jacket and scarf and gloves and not only have to let you know that they aren’t bothered by the cold, but that you’re a wussy/whiner/baby for needing a jacket. Bonus annoyance: Flashing back to that 80 degree day last summer, when you were comfortable but that person was sweating profusely and whining about the heat, but you sympathized with her, because you’re not an asshole.

3. People who bring up your good news in conversation, and then call you a show-off because of it. Like, “Have you lost weight? Show off!” or “Is that a new blouse? Show off!” or “Are you a generally happy person? Show off!”

4. People who go out of their way to look cool, and who ignore you at social gatherings because you don’t look cool enough, and who pretend not to recognize you in public, even though you’ve met them more than once. Bonus annoyance: If/when those people later decide you’re cool (“You write books? I’m trying to write a book! Who’s your agent? We should have lunch!”) and suddenly act all friendly, as if their previous rudeness never occurred.

5. Networking events, because they’re completely filled with people like the ones described above, and because I don’t want to walk around with cheese and cheap wine in my hands, being judged by these people. And I don’t like bragging that I’m a writer (“Show off!”), especially not to people like that. I would rather sit home and write, or attend a party where everyone already knows I’m a writer and no longer cares, or stand up on stage and read my books to people who are there because they like my writing, and not because they think I can do something for their careers.

6. People who dislike you and go out of their way to show it in the pettiest way possible (by forwarding jokes and “inspirational” emails to everyone in the department but you, by bringing baked goods and personally informing every person in the department except you)… but then expect you to greet them in the halls and introduce them to your boyfriend and/or fiance. And make a face of disbelief when you ignore them. As if you would want to contaminate your boyfriend and/or fiance with the misery that exudes from their pores.

The planets have plans for you in 2008. Even Planet Pluto. Even Planet Chiron.

All my horoscopes, as well as the moon phase planning guide my dad gave me for Christmas, have been telling me that this is the year I will succeed… if I first examine my habits and attitudes, and get over something I’ve been reluctant to get over.

I’m thinking it’s the networking thing. Planets Pluto, Chiron, and Blitzen, in my Fifth House of Marketing, are asking that I get over my reluctance to brag and start up some serious self-promotion. (Say it: “Show off! SHOW OFF!”)

There are things I’ve wanted — writerly things — that I’ve been afraid to ask for because I don’t think I’m good enough yet. Like grants, or writer jobs, or bigger speaking fees. Because, you know, I’m never good enough, in my own mind. (If I were already good enough, I wouldn’t have to work so hard, would I? :) )

Meanwhile, though, I see people with far fewer credentials than me, and they’re getting the things I want. They’re like, “Hi! I’m Mindy! I’m a writer!! My friend published my poem in his zine, and I have a novel outline in a shoebox under my bed!!!” And they’re now teaching Creative Writing at Purdue. Or whatever.

And now it’s to the point where even I think it’s ridiculous. You know? I’m like, “Gwen. Come on. Seriously. What the hell are you doing? Stand up, declare yourself, and get what’s rightfully yours.”

But… I don’t want to. You know? That’s a difficult thing for me. You think I’m a narcissist, and you’re right, but I’m still insecure, and I still have deep-seated fears of people calling me a show off. What happened to the time when writers could just stay home, drinking and writing, mailing pages to their agents, and get paid? Offered jobs? Showered with appropriate amounts of recognition, no matter how hard they tried to hide?

Maybe those days never really existed. The more experience I get, the more I suspect that those myths were carefully manufactured by people who were really good at networking.

So that’s my first resolution for this year, then. Get over the last vestiges of insecurity, and move on with my life. I might regret posting all this, later today. If so, that probably means it really needed to be said.

All those long paragraphs were written in order to weed out the anti-fans

, the haters, the misery spreaders, the train-wreck seekers, the ojo givers, the bad vibe emanators.

All of those people are gone now and their negative energy has dissipated. So I can tell you: I’m engaged. Tad and I are engaged now. It happened on my birthday. I am happy.

And that’s all the news on that now. There’s no date set. Therefore, I can’t answer questions about any weddings, any babies, or any shared funeral plots. (His sister’s literal first question, upon hearing the news: “But aren’t your tubes tied?” My response, “Uh, no, they aren’t. Wait… what? the? what?”) (I love his sister, though. Love you, Susan!)

I will say this: Even though I’m a feminist and I believe that marriage is an outdated institution and that society pressures people to conform to ridiculous, meaningless traditions… etc…. I did get this little frisson of excitement when I realized that I now have every right to peruse bridal magazines.

Even though I’ve seen them before, and I think they’re boring, and I know they’re all from the perspective of a culture that’s neither Tad’s nor mine. So I don’t really even want to look at them. But I like knowing that I can, now, without worrying about what other people think.

So that’s my good news, y’all, and that’s all for this entry. Hope y’all’s 2008 is good so far. I hope your planets are all lining up.

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Posted in my sex life, psychobabble, venting, writing on 01/03/2008 11:52 am

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