i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.
I love old things. Or maybe I should say antiques. Not that I don’t like old people, I’m not saying that, but right now I’m not talking about old PEOPLE but old THINGS. Books, furniture, pictures; old cities, old architecture, old knick knacks. I love to find an old treasure and make it my own, all the while wondering who had it before me and what their life might have been like. I had a beautiful old glasses case back in the day, which I used to carry my lipstick around. Truly a wonderful find, beautiful and elegant. I lost it at the Joe Lewis arena one year, watching a hockey game. I told you all, I love sports, but that particular game sucked, and suckier still was losing my treasure. It’s not like I was likely to ever find out who owned it before me, but it’s fun to wonder. Was this some exotic and beautiful woman who wore thick glasses because she was blind as a bat? Perhaps she found her boyfriend cheating on her and went blind with fury, and suddenly found herself needing glasses and a cute glasses case?
Anyway, I diverge. The whole purpose of this post was actually to brag about a treasure of mine. One glorious, fated day I came across an old book. Very hard for me to resist them, so if they are in the least bit interesting, artistic, or valuable I will do my best to save, salvage or purchase them. No, I’m not a hoarder, I wish you would stop assuming the worst of me. It’s called being a “picker”. Haven’t you seen that show “American Pickers”? Well get on that; it makes all of us crazy packrats feel much more sane, and gives us a viable excuse – er – reason for clutter and collections.
Back to my tale. Stop distracting me.
This book – Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, c1949 with illustrations by L.J. Allen – is a dandy. Written in a snarky, sassy tongue, the book guides a young man in all things entertainment. What types of drinks you should serve at your party, how to barbeque, how to determine if you are attractive to members of the opposite sex. (I don’t think there are any bits of advice on attracting same sex admirers; this IS 1949 after all) I may end up quoting this book on occasion, because I love it so, or at least sharing an occasional drink recipe.
For example, a little treasure tidbit from the section entitled “Cocktails”:
“There will be times when you must steel yourself to mix up one of those fluffy, multicolored abominations which, for some mysterious reason relating to iron-insides and paralyzed palates, the “ladies” insist upon downing. The habitual-offenders of these unmanly drinks are segregated under “Something for the Girls,” confined to page 117 where they can’t interfere with your own tasteful toasting.”
I love this silly, sexist, sassy book. Good thing I wasn’t a wife back then, or I might have landed in the clinker for homicide with a rolling pin. Better yet, a stirring stick.