As a writer, I find myself insatiably curious about human
nature and what makes people tick. As a person, I’m socially adventurous, and a
bit of a deviant. People think I’m a glass is half-empty kind of girl. On the contrary, my glass is overflowing with a
hard dose of ass-kicking reality. And I expect the same when it comes to my
“You’re fine? Your marriage is fine? Your kids are all fine?” Ho-hum.
Yawn. I really couldn’t care less. But tell me you’re secretly lusting
after the neighbor’s teenage son; you suspect your husband may be a
cross-dresser because every pair of pumps you own are stretched out; and your
nine-year-old daughter has taken to drawing penises on every piece of scrap
paper she finds around the house, and I will take notice. Then I’ll be interested in what you have to say.
Life is rarely warm peach cobbler with real vanilla ice-cream
melting on top. And the people who portray it as such? I don’t trust them. I
think they’re either severely medicated or completely delusional. You know who
I’m talking about. They’re the ones who don’t want to air their dirty laundry
in public. “Gasp! What would people think?” They’re the overachievers, the
type-As, the repressed, the eternally optimistic.
Yeah, I get the whole New Age concept of believing that your
thoughts create your reality. But if that were true, I’d have Barry Zito, the
pitcher for the SF Giants in my bed every night. I’ve seen people with the
purest of hearts have the crappiest things happen to them. Good deeds being
reciprocated with, oh, I don’t know, a drug-addicted ex who steals all your
jewelry, your rent money and threatens to kill you. Ahem.
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
I’ve lost a few good friends over the years due to my
negative attitude. I tried to explain to them that I wasn’t a doom-and-gloom
Sally; I’m just REALISTIC. And pardon me if I come across as slightly
pessimistic. I attribute it to my New York upbringing. I was raised in
Brooklyn. I didn’t grow up with a grassy front yard – hell, a cement stoop was
my front yard. I didn’t ride a quaint yellow school bus. I took the rat- and
bum-infested, urine-smelling subway. Back when subways were graffiti-covered
works of art, rather than the metallic, sleek-looking, vibrator-resembling
machines of today. There were no protective pads underneath the monkey bars. It
was hard pavement and broken glass. Nobody picked up after their dogs back
then, stray cats were everywhere, and if you were hot on a swelteringly muggy
summer day, you found someone with a wrench to open up a fire hydrant for you
so you could cool off.
Life can be gritty and awful, and majestically beautiful.
Amazing things happen, but so do shitty things. Denying the shit and only
embracing the diamonds makes you an inauthentic human being, in my opinion; a
rose-colored glasses-wearing fake, who refuses to acknowledge that they have
problems just like the rest of us.
So don’t tell me how great your husband is, unless you’re
trying to convince me to have a threesome; I only want to hear how good your
son is at basketball if he’s playing for the Lakers and can get me courtside
seats; and if you’re a Supermom, who goes to the gym every day, has an
immaculate home, with dinner on the table at six and the kids in bed by nine –
well, we won’t have a damn thing in common.
The bumper sticker on the back of my car reads: MY SON ISN’T
AN HONOR STUDENT AT HIS SCHOOL AND I’M PROUD OF HIM ANYWAY.