Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Doomed

A couple months ago, I happened to mention one of my pieces to a friend. This friend is an incredibly dynamic woman; a whirling dervish of activity who never seems to come to a complete stop. She is always on the precipice of some crisis, which she always manages to circumvent. She wears many hats, she has many titles. And while I prefer to live my life at a slower pace, I admire her willingness to do things that most people dismiss as someone else's job. She is "someone else" and she does a lot of good for a lot of people.

She, like many people in my "real" life, was astonished to find out that I write. She asked to read the piece and was also, I think, surprised that it wasn't complete garbage. She asked me if I thought I could expand the piece, and foolishly, I said that I could, never guessing what she had in mind. A couple of days later she called and asked me to address a Christian women's group. Caught off guard, I agreed, though I was cringing inwardly. I'm a writer and a Godless Heathen, not an inspirational speaker.

Thankfully, for a number of reasons, the engagement never came to fruition. To say I was relieved would be a huge understatement.

But I should have known that my friend wasn't ready to let me off the hook. Once she sinks her teeth into an idea, she will gnaw on it until she has chewed it into submission and made it fit her agenda somehow.

She emailed me yesterday and once again asked me to address a group of women. This is not a Christian Women's group per se, but geography dictates that a healthy percentage of these women will be Christians. That's okay though. I can deal with a Christian audience as long as I am not being made to tailor my thoughts to fit an ideal I don't subscribe to. I am much more comfortable with this proposal, and I accepted, not influenced at all by the fact that this engagement comes with a paycheck.

And then I thought….What the hell have I done?

In my relief at not having to address Christians it seems I have forgotten one minor detail; that being...I am not a public speaker.

I tried the Forensics club in High School at the suggestion of my Language Arts teacher, who thought my writing made me well suited to speaking. That seems a little like suggesting that a Plumber might have some aptitude for the Confectionary Arts, but that didn't occur to me at the time. I gave it a go with resoundingly disastrous results.

I don't have a voice that projects, I am not animated or interesting. My speaking voice is flat, bland and coma inducing. I am going to have to join Toastmasters pronto so I can gain some measure of competence if I am going to keep from completely humiliating myself and my friend.

Plus, I don't have a flipping thing to wear.

I'm doomed.


Here is the piece I will be using as the basis for my Speech. Wish me Luck... or...just wish me not sucking.

Spirtual Lipstick


Avail yourself of the "next blog" button, and you will likely discover that there are some desperately unhappy people out there. They pour out their bitterness, loneliness and melancholy, just waiting for someone to come along and acknowledge their heartache; desperately hoping for validation that their misery is justified. Sometimes, there is an abundance of commiseration. Sometimes there is none.

I feel a subtle but salient stab of pity when the latter is true. The nurturing instinct with which nature has blessed womankind sometimes compels me to leave my own comment, assuring them that someone feels their pain, even if it is only a random stranger on the internet. The urge is especially strong if the author happens to be a confused teenager struggling through all that harrowing coming of age crap that the Cosmos insists we endure on the road to adulthood.

But along with the pity there is puzzlement. I wonder why they don't do something to change the circumstances that have brought them to the depths of despair, and why they wallow so contentedly in their discontent.

Before the advent of the internet, and my travels along the information superhighway, I always thought of myself as a high maintenance individual. Why? I suppose because I have high standards, though to be fair, I expect no more of people than I offer in return. Sure, I've been disappointed by life and the people in it a time or two. Who hasn't? Sure, it bothers me. But I pick myself up, dust myself off and move on. How?, you may ask. The answer is simple.

Lipstick.

New lipstick is a little piece of happiness in a sleek and gleaming fuselage. A creamy profusion of just right color, sharply slanted and pristine; waiting to brighten my expectant lips. It has the power to transform not just my face, but my entire outlook. It gives me the courage and optimism to meet life challenges with the grace, strength, and resolve that I know I am capable of. Because new lipstick makes me realize that there are a million little things in this life that make the effort worthwhile.

Make up, and the use of it, is thought by some to embody the enslavement to an ideal; that of women as mere objects. That, quite frankly, is pseudo intllectual tripe. Since the dawn of time man and woman alike have adorned themselves with whatever means availabe. Its an avenue of self-expression that is by no means a contemporary concept. To pride oneself on one's appearance is neither shallow, nor vain..it is simply the manisfestation of the uniquely human love of beauty. Beauty makes people happy. And I have to wonder...are those who can't find joy in the simple beauty life offers us, doomed to suffer eternal ugliness of the spirit?

Am I suggesting that lipstick can fix a bad marriage, cure terminal illness, or bring back a lost loved one? No, certainly not. Am I suggesting that lipstick can cure clinical depression or other biochemical disorders? No. That would be monumentally ignorant. But I do think that those who can take comfort in simple pleasures amid great hardship and tribulation, are those who will rise above and triumph in the end. Those who find a way to succor and sustain their spirit will always come out on top.

Find your spiritual lipstick and apply it with a heavy hand.

Perhaps it is the warm anaesthesia of a crackling fire. Maybe it is the noble promise of a brand new book. It could be the decadance of a steaming, fragrant bath replete with with bubbles or the rich sweetness of a $4 calorie laden coffee creation. Perhaps it is the earthy satisfaction of hands covered in soil and fertilizer, or flour and sugar. Maybe it is even the sensual whisper of new not cotton underwear. All of these work well for me individually, or better yet, all together in a cataclysm of self-indulgence.

Whatever it is...revel in the comfort it brings you. Use it as a balm for your soul. Take refuge in the sheer hedonism without shame and without apology. There is nothing noble or erudite or insightful about suffering for suffering's sake, and if anyone suggests to you that enjoyment of such simple pleasures makes you slow-witted or superficial, you can feel perfectly justifed in handing them a Thesaurus to comfort them in their time of need.

Without lipstick, I might have actually killed my fiancee or myself all those years ago when he unabashedly announced that he was sleeping with by best friend. Instead, I recovered and lived to torment a far better man. The lipstick I bought that day was called "To the Rescue Red". I still have it. I don't wear it in public anymore, but it's still my favorite pick me up and it still serves my Spirit well.

16 Comments:

  • At 7:33 AM, Anonymous www.nolanotes.com said…

    You are an incredible writer. And I am sure you will be a great public speaker. I am also a very reluctant public speaker. The worst of it is the anticipation and the actual first five minutes. My advice: be prepared, don't start with some silly joke, and remember that time moves at the same pace whether you have the spotlight no you during an uncomfortable moment or not. I have no doubt, you will do great. I, personally, would love to hear you. The piece is great!

     
  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger Masked Mom said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Masked Mom said…

    I deleted the long-winded comment due to a spelling (usage?) error--that's what I get for trying to comment on a blog when I'm supposed to be working! Anyway--good luck!

     
  • At 10:39 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Good luck with your speaking engagement. I tend to have a hard time in front of people until I practice. I'm sure you'll do well. You have a lot to share.

     
  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    You'll be great. Really.

     
  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    You will be great; this is a great piece. I love the idea of Spiritual Lipstick.

    Knock 'em dead, baby. And be sure to let us know how it goes.

     
  • At 1:40 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    You are going to be fabulous, just like your writing. Pretend you're just talking to one of two close friends and you'll be great. That's always worked for me in the past.

    Good luck!

     
  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger Groovy Lady said…

    Good luck on your speaking engagement. I'm sure you will weather it all beautifully.

    The piece you will be speaking on is wonderful, btw. Very well written!

    The best of luck to you!

     
  • At 5:30 PM, Anonymous doodaddy said…

    I used to teach and do a lot of presentations for adults. People asked me my secret to public speaking and I would say "It's just like being with kids -- you have to keep your wits about you when you're freaking out, feel prepared even though you're trying to remember the notes you took, and never panic when things don't go quite as planned."

    I think the arts of parenting young kids and presenting for an audience are pretty similar. You're obviously great at the former; best of luck applying that experience to the latter!

    Off to put on my masculine, gender-non-specific lipstick!

     
  • At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    You are going to do a great job and I wish I could be in the audience. The first time I did some public speaking I hyperventilated and made wheezing and gasping sounds. The second time was much better. The third time was a breeze and by the fourth time I was actually enjoying myself. Since I have done it in a long time, I'm afraid I'd be back to hyperventiliating!

     
  • At 7:46 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    That piece is amazing. You will be amazing. Just remember not to say 'godammit' into the microphone if you drop your notes.

     
  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Thanks for all the wonderful encouragement, advice and support!! I wish I could be as confident as you all seem to be. And FOM...I laughed out loud at your "advice". It would be just like me to do something like that.

     
  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    I would freeze when confronted by a microphone, but would be totally OK if I were in character. Perhaps you could try that!

     
  • At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good luck. I have done quite a bit of public speaking and like antique mommy, made a lot of hyperventiliating, wheezing and gasping noises the first time, with my right leg vibrating uncontrollably at the same time, banging against the podium. Fortunately, only the other speakers seated behind me witnessed that :-)

    Words of advice - speak slowly and say each word clearly. Practise expression in your voice. Try to look up occasionally at the audience (very hard for me to do.)

     
  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Sandra said…

    I know you are going to be great. The subject matter is fantastic and as long as you speak from the heart you'll be fine. I am one of the weirdos that loves public speaking so I look forward to hearing if you had fun.

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    I hope you get a standing ovation. I'll be cheering for you from afar - excellent message to all!

     

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