Now that enough time of trial & error has passed, it turns out that my friend who has advanced cancer — the longtime friend who usually likes to sort of be left alone a lot, and I was angsting like crazy over how not to hover over him like a mother hen now that he’s quite sick…
Well, it turns out that one extremely brief text per week from me is what he seems willing to respond to. So at least now I know and I can sort of relax into that rhythm. And now we can sort of just move forward.
To me, it feels like there’s a really fine line between letting someone just have their autonomy in life and, you know, causing them to feel alone or ignored. But I guess when someone has chosen to remain friends with you for over 40 years, there’s evidently a particular quality within you that they respond to and they probably don’t want that to change. And I’m guessing that my ability to really, really care about him all these years but also be completely willing to leave him alone for as long as he wants to be left alone really matters to him.
This is sort of apropos of nothing, but I recall one time, back when I was renting a room in a boarding house on the Ohio State University campus (after high school, I went briefly away to college, hated it, dropped out and went to California to live with this girl I loved who promptly told me, the moment I got there, that it was over between us and so I moved back to Ohio and for a short time before moving to NYC, I lived in a boarding house and worked in a factory). Anyway, this friend of mine who is now so sick, dropped over to visit me at the boarding house and was hanging out with me in my room and he found it just incredibly funny that I had a copy of Emily Post’s famous book on Etiquette.
I’d actually read it, too, which astounded him even more. I was astounded that he was astounded. I’d been sent to charm school when I was young and then finishing school when I was a little bit older — you know, I was expected to land a rich husband. This was actually, literally, expected of me by my adoptive family, which is why what I actually did with my life completely appalled them. But I grew up believing that I had to know how to set a table correctly, when to serve what during a dinner party, how to address an envelope — I mean, all this stuff. I knew all this stuff about how to run a rich man’s house.
And I remember that at this particular juncture, when I was living in the boarding house, my adoptive mom bought me all these beautiful suits. You know — skirts and matching blazers. Just gorgeous. And I looked really good in them back then because I was tall and slim. And the suits were for me to wear while attending expensive political functions. Which I did. Alone. Looking stunning and knowing which fork to use… And at one of those functions, the Lt. Governor of the State came on to me. Like, for real. There was only one man in the entire State more powerful than he was, and I was utterly appalled by this predicament that he was placing before me because he was a married man.
I was just so extremely naive. I knew my various forks and spoons, but I had no clue how to respond in that situation. I had just assumed that political men, in power, would not dream of coming onto a girl if they were married men. I was very “experienced” in a lot of ways, yet hopelessly naive about life.
It was an interesting evening. I never attended another political function again, ever. I was so thrown by that whole thing. I had voted for that man, plus he was actually very handsome, too. I thought he was this all-around wonderful, morally upright sort of pillar of the State.
I probably got rid of my Emily Post book on Etiquette around that time. You know, I was starting to see that the ceremony of life was sort of a sham. I knew how to set a really beautiful table, I really did — all through my adult life. But I also knew what was really going on at the table most of the time. I got jaded pretty quickly, especially after moving to New York.
I don’t like to blog about politics, at all. But I do remember thinking, back when Trump became President and all these women were seething over his wife perhaps having been a professional escort of some type when the two had met. I thought these women were probably just angry because it didn’t occur to them that getting a job as a “professional escort” could ever lead to the job of being First Lady at the White House. You know, like they were just mad that they didn’t think of it while living their lives of hopeless political naivete… (Oh, I’ll tell you that the politician who came on to me was a Democrat and the fundraiser was for some Social Justice judiciary thing. So there are no party lines drawn when it comes to any of that stuff.)
Anyway. Life indeed goes on. And now it’s been 40 years since I’ve owned & discarded the Emily Post book!
Okay, I’m gonna get to work on Thug Luckless here. Tomorrow, I have another phone meeting with the director of Tell My Bones, followed closely by a phone conference with Peitor in West Hollywood to work on our micro-short script and he needs me to watch an entire film before that phone meeting occurs. So I seriously gotta scoot!
Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!