Posts tagged loves
Getting over everything

I was washing my hands in the bathroom at work today and I glanced in the mirror, which I usually avoid because the lighting is terrible and I always look tired. I never look the way I expect to, somehow. The way I used to. The way I feel. But I glanced at myself anyway and then I looked closer and then I wondered if I should wear more makeup. Or less makeup. If my hair was too short. If I looked tired (I looked tired). And then I wondered if or why any of that mattered.

Then I remembered this picture of director Guillermo del Toro speaking at an event earlier this month, which struck me as remarkable because of how comfortable he looks. This is not a man who's thinking he needs to suck in his stomach because he's sitting in front of an audience. This is just a person sitting.

And tonight I read this article on Laura Dern in New York Magazine:

Ladd and Dern separated when Laura was 2 years old, and she grew up surrounded by outspoken, independent women — her mother’s friends from her Actors Studio days in New York City: Maureen Stapleton, Jean Stapleton, Gena Rowlands, and Geraldine Page. “They never cared about being glamorous, and that was what made them so glamorous to me — and sexy! They were just like men. I didn’t see a difference. They all wanted to be in the mud.” Dern has a vivid recollection of attending the premiere of Superman in 1978, when she was 11. She and her mother were the guests of one of the stars, another Actors Studio grad, Marlon Brando. Also in attendance: the actress Shelley Winters, Dern’s godmother.

“I remember getting out of the car,” says Dern, “and the red carpet was filled with glitz and glamour, women in gowns and high heels. And there was Shelley, wearing jeans with Tretorn sneakers and a gray sweatshirt, a full-length mink coat balanced on her shoulders. No makeup, her hair kind of messy. It was so fierce. And I remember thinking, I want to be that kind of woman.”

I want to be that kind of woman. I want to be just a person sitting.

this quote I love from writer Erin McKean:

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.

I would get a tattoo of that on my arm, if I had longer arms.

Kari GlovesComment
George Saunders on “A Christmas Carol”

On the occasion of my annual viewing of A Muppet Christmas Carol, here's George Saunders on the book he wishes he'd written:

I love the book’s boldness, how willing it is to throw an arm around the reader and say: This concerns you too. Near the end, Scrooge stands looking at what everyone in the world except Scrooge must by now know is Scrooge’s own grave. The reader can’t help imagining his or her own grave, and to have the same reaction Scrooge is having: That grave is similar to mine, but it is not mine, since mine will never exist, since I am not going to die. Then that bony finger juts out, urging Scrooge to look, and he gets the message, and so do we: death is real, time is short – yes, even for us. But for now, the world exists (it still exists!) and is seen, correctly, as a kind of joyous field of potential play: a place to learn to love.

Internet writers you should read

On the first day of school there was a woman who was in charge of welcoming new parents, and she was wearing a tennis outfit. “I play every day,” she told me when I asked her about it, and I thought, America!

Female internet writers, that is (some of many! and by no means exclusive to the internet):

The definition of manly

Men's Health: If you want to be more of a manly dude, should you take up woodworking?

Nick Offerman: You know, it’s a funny thing. I’m careful about the definition of manly. Making anything with one's hands is a very healthy pursuit. Whether that makes you manly or profoundly more of a winning human is fifty-fifty. We have a lot of great women in woodworking and there are plenty of men I know who are talented knitters. Stereotypically, those activities are not what you’re not supposed to do with your gender, but the world of craftsmanship doesn’t fall into neatly drawn gender lines. Anytime you’re using your craft for good is a wonderful thing. Woodworking is where my passion ended up. I do believe our society has greatly benefitted by anyone who makes something instead of going out and buying it.

On happy endings

Annie Proulx just accepted the lifetime achievement prize at the National Book Awards with a speech that was both a call to arms and an ode to happy endings:

The happy ending still beckons, and it is in hope of grasping it that we go on. The poet Wisława Szymborska caught the writer’s dilemma of choosing between hard realities and the longing for the happy ending. She called it “consolation.” Darwin: They say he read novels to relax, but only certain kinds—nothing that ended unhappily. If he happened on something like that, enraged, he flung the book into the fire. True or not, I’m ready to believe it. Scanning in his mind so many times and places, he’s had enough with dying species, the triumphs of the strong over the weak, the endless struggle to survive, all doomed sooner or later. He’d earned the right to happy ending, at least in fiction, with its micro-scales.

Hence the indispensable silver lining, the lovers reunited, the families reconciled, the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded, fortunes regained, treasures uncovered, stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways, good names restored, greed daunted, old maids married off to worthy parsons, troublemakers banished to other hemispheres, forgers of documents tossed down the stairs, seducers scurried to the altar, orphans sheltered, widows comforted, pride humbled, wounds healed, prodigal sons summoned home, cups of sorrow tossed into the ocean, hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation, general merriment and celebration, and the dog Fido, gone astray in the first chapter, turns up barking gladly in the last. Thank you.