First off, thanks to everyone for the nice comments on the Just Listen excerpt. I really appreciate it. I’d actually totally forgotten about it running, as I didn’t know the exact date, and almost recycled my whole paper without even seeing it. Luckily, I checked the Sunday Journal at the last minute, because I always like to see what fiction they’re running. And it was me! So that was nice. Plus I got some good feedback on my new pubshot, which ran in the paper with it. Most people seem to like it, and I’ll have certain people know (Anna and Rachel!) that I am smiling WITH my teeth showing, something I have not done in any other pubshot because I always worried that they weren’t perfectly straight. Which is kind of stupid. Even worse was my compulsion to TELL this story to people (Anna and Rachel!) who would then make a point of letting me know how stupid it was. My friend Charles, however, hearing me recite this story yet again on Sunday, said it best. “At least you HAVE teeth,” he pointed out. “Right?”
Anyway, so far everyone’s been kind about the new pubshot, so that’s good. My accountant said I looked kind of racy (I think it’s the tank top, of which you can only see the straps), my neighbor thinks I look younger than I am (always good) and my friend Courtney said it fits the summer theme of the book. But the best reaction was from my friend Lee Smith, who looked at it and said, “I swear, Sarah. You look Hawaiian in this picture!”
I’m not sure what it means either. But I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, we had a movie packed weekend, thanks to Netflix. I watched The Forty Year Old Virgin on Friday, which was good, but LONG. Two hours and fourteen minutes? That’s as long as Brokeback Mountain! I think it could have been about forty-five minutes shorter and just as good. But maybe that’s just me. Then on Saturday, we watched Hustle and Flow, which was VERY good. I did not think it would be my kind of movie, to be honest, but I really liked it. Terrence Howard is great, and so is Taryn Manning. I recommend it.
Next, a confession: yes, I did spend two hours of my life watching Fat Camp on MTV. And, judging my my friend Courtney’s journal, I was not alone in a) being embarrassed to admit this and b) wanting those two hours back. What is it about these shows that so fascinates me? I don’t even know. But I will say that I agree with Courtney, who said she was looking for more about the hard process of losing weight, and how these kids gave it their all and learned about themselves in the process. Instead, we got a lot of gossip and drama, with some inspiration thrown in. I think the True Life documentary they did awhile back was better, to be honest. Then last night I watched the Made where the girl went from goth to pageant girl. Now THERE is someone to admire. Taken totally out of her comfort zone, reaching across boundaries of different groups at school AND acknowledging that it wasn’t about winning, just completing the pageant? Impressive. Plus, she wore a bathing suit on national TV, which most actresses wouldn’t even do. She’s my new hero.
Finally, on Sunday night we were out and bumped into someone who went to high school with us. He did not know me, but recognized my husband the minute we walked in the door of the restaurant. This always happens to me, I swear. So I sat there, between them, while we discussed ALL these people we had in common, waxing big-time nostalgic: this guy knew EVERYONE, it seems…but me. It only clarified what I realized at my last reunion, when none of my teachers remembered me either (except Ms. Pate. I love Ms. Pate!). At the time, this was probably what I wanted, to fly beneath the radar and not stand out. Now, though, it makes me feel like I was kind of invisible, especially when everyone knows my husband. But whatever. I guess the lesson here is that if you’re in high school now, and you feel invisible, never fear. It doesn’t mean you’ll always feel, much less be, that way.