Friday, May 27, 2005

Youth isn't wasted on the young.

I think young people are self-centered because they're too far from the end of their lives to look forward. They have no perspective. Their reality is immediate, and we can't fault them for that.

It's like jogging down a straight path with no landmarks and no end in sight. All you can do is concentrate on pounding the pavement step by step, until you see a signpost or a bend in the road up ahead. Then you've got a point of reference. "When I reach that sign, I'll turn back/veer right/speed up/slow down." When you've got some perspective, you can see the bigger picture, gain a sense of where things end up, if not where they end. I think this is why 12-year-old cancer patients manage to publish bestselling novels before they die. Age and wisdom are totally unrelated.

Here are some things I learned in my twenties:

Poverty (I'm talking studio apartment and Old Navy tees, not crackhouse and ramen noodles) is not a deal breaker.

Cheapness, however, is like rat poison for romance.

Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. But it can also make you hard.

People treat you differently when you're thin.

Losing weight doesn't make you happy, it makes you suspicious: of all the friends and family who show you more love than they used to; and of all the strangers who show you more kindness than a stranger should.

A married man can only give you, at best, 50% of his attention. That makes him, at best, half a man.

Even beautiful people who have all their shit together feel fat, ugly and crazy sometimes.

Denial is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.

It's great to have friends you can lean on, but your own strength is like the backup battery in your alarm clock -- nobody can take it from you (it's part of the machinery) and you're never sure it works until you lose power.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

man of my dreams

Last night I dreamed I was one of the final four on "The Bachelor." It was down to me, someone I can't really remember, and two others girls who were not especially smart, not particularly witty, and pretty in that slender, smooth-skinned, limp-haired way that reality TV contestants tend to be. They were perfectly, homogeneously average.

The thing that lingered after I woke up was the flash of relief I felt just after the Bachelor cut me from the final running. This was not a shock. Sure, he found me charming and engaging; I challenged him, made him laugh and think; he lit up around me. And why not? Intellectually, this was hardly a fair fight. But I knew I was on the next bus home because when it came down to it, I didn't look like the other girls. My hair is bright and messy. My eyes squint when I smile -- it's an ethnic thing. My hips are round and my belly is soft. My rear end fills out a pair of jeans -- the kind of ass that snaps its fingers and shouts, "Whatchou lookin' at, mothafucka?!"

I've been described as unique-looking; interesting; adorable, even...but I am not made for TV.

There are two types of people: Those who make impulsive choices based on what pleases their eyes; and those who do their homework. The Bachelor in my dream picked his girl the way a frat boy buys a Porsche from some guy named Shady Brady, just because he digs the look and what it represents. The impulse buyer is not an educated consumer; he thinks not of reliability, enduring style, or what's going on under the hood. He sees only the streamlined body, and he's usually shocked when the car craps out on him in the middle of the highway.

I have dated those guys, and I have slept with those guys, and let me tell you: They are shitty drivers.

Thank God he didn't pick me.