It’s another Saturday and I’m satisfied with not having to do much today. We woke up later than usual (eight), had some cereal while catching up on Saturday Night Live, and then headed on over to base. AJ is on a fishing trip with some coworkers. As soon as those words left my keyboard, I immediately saw ourselves in the stereotype. My husband is on a fishing trip and I went running most of the morning. Great. We saw Neighbors last night and agreed vicariously (imagining what it’s like to have a child) that the marriage portrayal was realistic. I pray we stay young and live young. We’re really in the thick of our lives (as AJ puts it). It’s important we don’t forget to entertain ourselves.

Tomorrow, we’ll be on the prowl for a hookah lounge since I haven’t been to one in a while. I actually really dislike hookah but I remember a time when I was confined to cities where hookahs were on every corner. Nowadays, it’s not even that I want to do hookah because I’m still not its biggest fan. I just really need variety. I’m grateful for what little fun we have in such little time but I’m a little desperate like Mac and Kelly Radner. We’re confined to a place where halal restaurants are fifty miles away and overpriced.

It’s almost sundown and I’ve been reading this Agatha Christie novel and watching the Challenge: Battle of the Exes (extreme sports really pump me up). By the way, I don’t think I’ve read a full novel in almost a year. I despise reading for the same reason I despise running– it’s extremely tedious. I always have “just getting to the end” in the back of my mind (because, once I start something, I make it a cult-like thing to finish it). So I force myself to read just like I force myself to run and I don’t actually enjoy it. When I let myself become lackadaisical to reading or running, it’s for my own sanity. I need to be lazy for my own health, is what I’m trying to say.

One of my creative writing teachers believed at some point in his life that, if he never read, the novel he was writing would be extremely original because he wouldn’t subconsciously be influenced by other sources. I’m gonna idiotically share with you all that that actually sounds logical to me but it’s obviously untrue (and not the reason why I don’t read). Reading influences me exactly in the way I want it to. It’s just so damn boring to do. He immediately followed that statement with the clear understanding that reading is directly beneficial to writing (and vocabulary and retention strength and knowledge). He now reads too many books at a time (also something you shouldn’t do especially if you’re neurotic like me).

 

This is backward, by the way.
This is backward, by the way.

 

When I finish a novel, it feels as good as it feels as when sweat is dripping in between my forearms after a good, exhausting run. I write better, think better– the whole nine. Sometimes, when I’m thrown into a novel, I find myself sincerely enthralled and getting excited over quotes. There are passages in Cal I want tattooed on my body. But being in the middle of the less enthralling parts is what kills me. Forget diet and exercise– reading is the real test to my patience! I still have Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, a book I was supposed to finish before my freshman year of college in 2010. I hate self-discipline. Why can’t someone else force me to do it?

My husband buys books a lot, though. I got us a three-foot book shelf around Christmas (Christmastime?) that is currently holding only a fraction of the books piling on the coffee table. All in all, I need to finish this book. I love Agatha Christie, too. I read And Then There Were None for me pre-high school summer reading list and decided my favorite genre is mystery. Plus, I unfairly favor classic authors. David J. Rosen is probably the only modern author I can read without criticizing every modish chapter.

Speaking of MTV, the show I’m currently watching is what I really wanted to address. I just finished the episode when Emily Schromm puts on blackface, unknowing of its descent, to poke fun at Ty Ruff. It was obviously innocent. She was ignorant to what blackface is supposed to represent. I just think that that’s an unfortunate disadvantage to growing up in small, sheltered towns. I appreciate small towns for that one bar that’s been there forever and the high school teachers that taught generations of families and the orb of homeliness bouncing around, etc. etc. But there are also cons as there are in all things. I grew up in a small town but it had a city-like atmosphere. I witnessed street fights, heard gunshots, attended more funerals than a child should’ve been to. I once mistook a condom sitting outside of the urine-stained Merrell Avenue elevator for a balloon when I was six (seriously a true story that Neighbors stole from me). So those are all the cons of growing up in a busier place. Another con is that I never knew what blackface was (while not perfect in terms of racial issues, the northeast isn’t that segregated with the exception of the Italian versus African American tension in 90’s NYC). A pro to that con is that I was probably saved from an embarrassing situation in which I’d think I’m being funny but I’m actually resurfacing centuries of pain and suffering because I’d never think to do something like paint my face black. I truly felt bad for Emily snickering in front of Ty, sincerely not knowing what she was doing. At the same token, as an individual who could be mocked about the way I look, I also felt offended especially because she had “I didn’t know” to fall back on.

When I took gymnastics as a girl, I was the only brown-skinned ten year old on my team. There was a much younger blonde-haired girl who told me she liked me and that I was the only girl with my skin color that she was friends with. And then she held my hand. It made me extremely uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to feel bad for her for being pure-minded or if I was supposed to self-reflect. Another good story is about my older sister who had a ballet recital when she was young. A fellow junior ballerina didn’t want to touch her out of fear of getting dirt on her skin. I mean, is it okay because she was ignorant? I’m pretty sure no eight year old wants to be called dirty by anyone regardless of the faux pas.

Should people who aren’t cultured or aware of particular things be treated mercilessly because their offense was unknowingly (but certainly) executed? Or should we be understanding to their ignorance and allow them to fall back on “I didn’t know?” I respect people who just know things. I’m impressed by street wisdom.

And, crap, I just remembered I forgot to take my birth control.

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