Friday, October 26, 2007

"you can't take a picture of this, it's already gone"

First, it was the friends getting married.

Then, the friends having babies.

Then, the friends getting divorced.

And honestly, for me, the second and the third happened at about the same time. Almost at the same rate. (Eventually, I hope the babies will prevail over the divorces. For now though, they're almost neck and neck.)

Then, it starts getting weirder.

There's the unexpected milestones. The ones you have no idea are coming, that you really couldn't have been expected to anticipate during your endless, immortal, infallable late teens/twenties/late twenties).

Your friends all stop smoking.

You start avoiding certain bars because everyone is way too young.

The hipsters in your neighborhood are suddenly emulating a completely different look than when you were a young hip kid. Instead of every dude at the Empty Bottle looking exactly like Beck, the dudes at the Sidewalk Cafe are all sporting the dyed black hair and pseudo goth style of the more recent Bright Eyes phase. I'm thinking there's probably some new hipster/music idol/look combo but, frankly, I don't live in the edgy 'hood anymore.

You end up in some kind of senior-ish position at work. You make a ton more money. So do your peers.

Everyone buys homes.

Your friends buy second homes.

Even though you don't have kids (if you're me, anyway), you start identifying with the parents more than the kids.

Most recently, I reflect upon my post-college early twenties as the distant past. The 22 year old girl from a decade ago seems as sweet and innocent as the twelve-year-old sixth grader. I've had a whole other lifetime of growing up.

I don't feel old as much as I feel richer, smarter, calmer, more confident. I am so grateful for the things I've learned.

And no way in hell would I want to go through it again.

I am still shocked and dismayed as I watch American Beauty again, for the first time, since it was in the cinema. And I identify with the middle-aged parents more than the teen-aged kids.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dana Quote o' the day

While planning a south-bound day trip and being snippy: Long Pause. "Remember when I got Big Surly?"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Banks's Blathering Brings Bullshit From Becca

So, I know TB is trying to make some sort of point here about the nature of god and the ways in which we internalize religion in our youth. . . you know, the way we form our spiritual cores and shit, when he writes:

not that anyone asked but i was baptised lutheran but we rarely attended services after grade the second. i first remember thinking of god as someone who was watching me all the time. all the time. all the time. watching. watching all the time. this later morphed into the idea of me being able to sit down and watch my life as a movie with god once i had died. i was really into this scenario from about 1975 to 1981 or 2. sure, it would take a lifetime, i thought, but, hey we'd have eternity. we'd watch my life repeatedly.

But what this really speaks to me about is the way we create narrative from our own experiences.

I have this theory that those of us who are drawn to write things down on pages spend a lot of time framing our own lives inside our heads. Sometimes, this takes the form of an internal novelization. A lot of my brain is taken up with the pasttime of picking out phrasing for everyday experience.

I'm not just drinking coffee, I'm taken with the creamy texture of my latte, and suspecting that the barista may have used full fat milk instead of the skim I requested.

As a child, I spent a lot of time framing the shots in the movie of my life. Picking out songs to include in the soundtrack.*

This had less to do with god, and more to do with my conviction that, of course, someone would some day be compelled to actually make a film of my life. A biopic of my fascinating youth in southern Indiana.

I wrote in my diaries and I was pretty sure that someday, people would pore over them, searching for my gems of wisdom and marveling at my clarity of thought and marvelous insights -- in awe of what perfect, rosebud-tight gifts each page of the diary of my fourteen-year-old self held.

Actually, that's still probably going to happen. I know audiences will be positively riveted by my adventures at Eastland Mall on Green River Road. What is the significance of the purchase of Best Friends half-heart necklaces with Donna Gunnels? What symbolism is held in the intense struggle over curfew times (10 PM? Really, Mother? REALLY??) and chores? Those, my friends, are the stuff of life.

The difference here is that TB was raised with GOD, and I was raised with TV, so instead of a divine interest I had the world watching.

I've always been shallow that way.

Isn't this fascinating, Internet??

*Note to the future director of my Very Important BioPic -- Every Rose Has Its Thorn should probably play over the end credits.