Tag Archives: Movies

There’s Something About Twenty-Seven

I’m not sure what ought to concern me more: that multiple people assumed I would connect with the recent film “Tiny Furniture” or that, when I finally watched it (home, with flu, on New Years Eve)–I actually did.

The movie—written, directed by and starring the obscenely talented, obnoxiously young Lena Dunham—centers on a college graduate from Tribeca as she moves back home, gets a job as a hostess, alternately bickers and snuggles with her mother, and attempts to date transparently unavailable men.

For the record, I did once live with my parents while working a hostessing job in Manhattan for just over four weeks in the fall of 2008. Also, I may have gone to a small Midwestern liberal arts college (Macalester) not totally dissimilar from that attended by the protagonist (Oberlin). I may be known to occasionally pursue men who blatantly ought not to be pursued. And it may, perhaps, be the case that—those writerly aspirations notwithstanding—I’m still not sure how I’m going to support myself when I grow up. (More specifically, when I finish my MFA.) Also, I do have  an occasional habit of snapping at my mother in one moment and, the next, tossing my feet on her lap.

What separates me, through, from the protagonist of “Tiny Furniture” (besides, among other things, more vanity and less successful parents), is that she’s twenty-two and I am twenty-seven. I’ve been out of college five years to her few months.  By the time she was my age, Cleopatra had two children and an empire. More recently, my mother had a husband, a career and three stepsons.

But, a lot’s changed since both of their times. Or so, at least, I like to tell myself.

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A Word About “Projecting”

Folks, today–possibly for the very first time–I think I have finally comprehended the meaning of the term “projection.”

Allow me to explain.

You see, I was sitting at home, intently focused–now that 36 hours remain until school starts–on planning my courses. I walked Bonita briefly this morning, but hadn’t taken her to the dog park or on a longer journey such as our long summer mornings have often included.

And out she came from her bedroom chair: ears pressed back, tail wagging and giving me those brutal “I’m soooo bored” eyes that, daily, prompt me to take her to the dog-park-to-which-we-have-to-drive or on long-walks-that-it-is-too-hot-to- take.

I bent down and gave her my most enthusiastic nuzzle, and then, friends, this is what I thought.

I thought: she probably misses him. I thought: here I am thinking how difficult it is for me to go through one disappointment of a man after another, and what of her? How horrible it must be for her to meet an ongoing parade of men who coddle her, play with her, allow her to chew their various extremities–only for them to so quickly and abruptly disappear, just as she’s begun to get attached?

(I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.)

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An Ode to Boys

One of the silliest things a guy has ever said to me was when I asked whether his ex-girlfriend and I were at all similar (a terrible, terrible question, I know): “No,” he said. “She’s a girl and you’re a woman.”

I wasn’t sure what to make of this–besides feeling uncomfortably, vaguely flattered and realizing that his propensity for cheesy commentary was easily exacerbated by red wine.

Frankly, I have no clue what separates “girls” from “women” in guys’ minds. (Thoughts welcome, fellas. I know you’re in double-digits now: out yourselves.)

At the moment, though, I am preoccupied with what separates “men” from “boys” in mine.

This largely stems from the fact that, the other day, my dad sent me an email in response to a post in which I used the term “boy.” (As in, S and I were “talking about boys.”)

“Didn’t you mean ‘men’?” he wrote. “Or am I missing something?”

I honestly hadn’t considered my word choice, which I wrote back and explained. And by way of daughterly edification, I added that many males my age are still, in fact, very much boys.

“That’s a pity,” he responded.

I laughed, and thought: yes. And then, no.

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Thoughts From the Trail

Yesterday was one of those cinematic, sun-gorged New Mexico days when the sky is vast and the mountains all intricately lit and you understand why people never leave.

It was also the beginning of our Spring Break: I coerced S into setting aside her grading for the afternoon and taking a walk with me.

As we strolled (and yes, after approximately three and a half minutes of jogging we did stroll) around a big loop of sandy desert trail, she let out a deep exhale.

“So much big sky,” she said, nodding her head right and left. “So little men.”

I turned to her. “Is that a line from a movie?”

“No. I just said it.”

“Oh.” We continued along, deep in contemplation of this cryptic yet profound observation.

A few moments later both of us turned at the sight of a sprightly, impressively lean male runner coming toward us–bouncing along with a small brown-haired boy on either side. They all looked vaguely ethnic and vaguely good-looking, but moved too quickly for an honest gauge.

S and I looked back toward each other and exchanged dramatic puppy faces.

“Man,” I exclaimed. “It’s just so hard to not always be looking for a husband!”

“I know,” S replied. “I know.”

And then we proceeded to spend our Saturday night on the couch: drinking Amstel light, eating ravioli and watching six hours of “Angels in America” until one in the morning with the sole company of an anemic nineteen-year-old cat.

At this point–twenty-six, single, in our fertile prime, and exhausted–it is hard not to always be looking. But it’s also hard to always look.

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Wisdom from Dad/Will I Forever be Blogging?

In case you missed it, my Dad commented on my last post. He wrote “Now you’re getting close,” and then ignored my digital overtures for him to elaborate.

Over the phone, though, he explained: apparently, he thought my analysis of “male-female relationships” in that latest essay was more accurate than previous efforts.

“You’re getting there,” he assured me.

“What happens when I get there?” I asked, panicked, and unclear whether we were talking about my achievement of truly understanding romantic love or me ever finding a boyfriend.

“Well, you’ll move on to something else,” he replied. At this point I was fairly sure we were talking about the blog.

“But I want it to keep going!” I responded.

“You’re going to keep writing about this?”

Don’t get me wrong: I am not trying to diminish my father’s support of my endeavors. I’m fairly sure he’s sent out this link to more people than I have in the past few days; frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s considered paying people to read my essays. The man is nothing if not devoted.

And: he’s got a point. The conceit of writing indefinitely about my dating life is potentially problematic. For one, it assumes that I’ve got one–which, in this town, is no small assumption. And it assumes that I want to keep one…indefinitely. Which, if you’ve been paying any attention,you are aware that I clearly don’t. I would throw away my single-dom faster than you can tell me to “relax.” Honestly, my first thought when I watched that “Ira and Abbey” movie was: brilliant! I am going to propose to the next man that I can sustain a conversation with!

But alas, if that were the case I might already be engaged. Which, sadly, I’m not.

At least, for now, I still have something to write about.

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“Ira and Abbey” and Impulsive Love

I think God knows I’m blogging. Or at least, Netflix. Instantwatch has been taunting me with this Independent Romantic Comedy “Ira and Abbey” since I joined about a month ago; I thought the one-sentence summary looked intriguing–something with the words “offbeat” and “marriage,” but only clicked last night after recognizing Chris Messina: the adorable husband from Julie and Julia, with whom I’ve been slightly smitten since seeing that movie (ok fine, seeing that movie twice).

In other words, I had no idea what it was about until I started watching and realized the premise: two people who agree to get married after about six hours together.

This was startling, because lately I’ve been thinking about impulsive relationships almost as much as I think about internet stalking. There are several reasons for this. For one, I have a pesky tendency to pronounce that some guy is “perfect for me” before I’m certain of his last name. (Just ask my friend A in Washington, who I had known for about a year when she responded to one such pronouncement with: “Do you have any idea how many times you’ve said that to me?” Truthfully, I had no idea.)

The other reason is that my roommate met someone on vacation over winter break and now spends most of her waking hours on the phone with him, discussing real estate and their future children and nostalgically recalling their first moments together, which took place about four weeks ago. Continue reading

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