Nothing like a shot of reality with your morning paper to make the day explode with a whine. (i.e."Why is my life so shitty? What ever happened to being special... to destiny - a good destiny, natch - to simple justice? I want my life back - the good one, natch - and I want it back now! Oh - nearly forgot: the cash that went with it, if you'd be so kind.")
ITEM: Toronto Star, March 6, 2004 - Dateline: Toronto. (Page freakin' 2) 'More papers taking Ellie's good advice', and following, the story: how a simple, sweet, loving soul did the world a selfless favour by stepping into the abandoned Spring-o-lators of the ex ('cos she's dead) Ann Landers. A cool cloth on a fevered brow, a warm hug for the hugless, a sop to those who need 2 paragraphs and a 'You go girl' encouraging sign off to figure out whether or not they should leave the guy beating the shit out of them with the same approximate regularity as the Star publishes. (Answer - umm, yes.)
Ellie. The cow who took my column. No apologies, no explanations, not so much as a 'pardon me - do you mind if I take $15,000 from your pocket, the last half dozen unanswered letters from your readers, and your sense that all's right with the world?' No. Nope. None of that. Just a deadly silence punctuated by the mind-bending reality of pics of her smiling self decorating every bus, newspaper box and trash can (!) from here to eternity. (Or as The Star described it:From Collingwood to St Catherines.) But that was then. This A.M. it's simply the announcement that 20 more newspapers have signed on to my nightmare. (And hey, that's not just my nightmare - many of the journalistically inclined have confided that they have received the torture of a thousand cuts from her wicked - not wickedly - sharp tongue. Maybe they should have written a letter....?)
Am I bitter? Am I? Ummm, yes...
But I go on. I take a slurp of coffee, a nibble of toast (pumpernickel - low on the glycemic scale, I'm up on all the trends of the minute; I read the papers, I watch TV... to my everlasting sorrow) and wade through 20 or so more pages of real news - death, destruction, Martha - only to discover that an ex-roommate and one of the meanest girls I ever knew, is celebrating the 3000th episode of her nationally syndicated television program. A full page of The Star (MY Star) details with breathless wonder (if not totally accurate detail - if she's 45, I'm still playing with a hoop and stick) her unparralleled, un-hindered, UNBELIEVABLY (undeservedly!) wonderful, marvelous fantastic success story.
I'm practically a cocktail garnish. I could take on Angostura any time, any place. I'm ready for my wide-shot, fade to black, boo hoo hoo Mr DeMille... Mr DeMille? (Dead? Typical.)
The only remotely positive detail I can pick from the ruins of this morning is that the ex-roomie's plastic surgery has clearly gone radically wrong and The Star's editors are being somewhat economical with the truth (the confidence shared that half of the advice columnist's correspondants are male and between the demographically worshipped ages of 20 to 45 doesn't seem altogether... well, accurate exactly) and so encouraged, I turn to world news, my horoscope, The Family Circus, and Mayor David Miller's success. (Bastard. Actually, I really like him; worked on his campaign... but right now success - other people's that is - is a concept I'm just not getting jiggy with this morning.)
I finish the paper. I make another cup of coffee. I sign on to my computer, check my email and discover this fabulous blog - up and running and just waiting for my scintillating thoughts. Understand there's no money, no recognition and at this point absolutely no readers, but there is room to vent. To blow and bluster, whine and whimper, gnash and gnatter - a place to stand, a place to grow ('Ontaryaryary-O!') a place to see if my thoughts and observations hang together in anything resembling a remotely interesting style. So, give me a minute, and I'll just go to the top and read it all back........
(Later) Well, it's all it promised to be - whiney, complaining and umm, yes... bitter. Yikes.
I may just be on to something...!