Since I am sharing old ads I’ve written, here’s one that got me a lot of sweet emails saying they didn’t want a bunny, but my ad had made their day. It is very nice to know that one’s writing is uplifting.
Sold my car today. The ad is gone now, but it generated lots of interest, and some people said they’d buy it just because of the ad. Hey, folks! Buy my books if you want better stories! Behold Granny:
One day, on a school bus, the bus driver was driving a load of kids to school. They were at an intersection when the bus driver made a right turn on red. A kindergartner who just so happened to be sitting in the front said, “Hey! You can’t make a right turn on red!”
The bus driver then turned around, not focusing on the road, yelled, “I CAN MAKE A RIGHT TURN ON RED!”
So since he wasn’t looking, a city bus came speeding and hit the school bus. Everybody died. The end.
This is why busses don’t turn right on red.
I’ve been thinking about the way I eat (for various reasons) and how/why my eating habits are so bad, why I fall back on banal comfort food, why I’m not adventurous in the least.
As I was writing Paso Doble, I kept finding myself associating my characters’ meals at tapas bars with romance. Small bites in small dishes. Tasting. A meal of hors d’oeuvres, eaten slowly, from a lover’s hand. I wanted to be able to do that.
As Victoria (from Paso Doble) told Giselle (from The Proviso):
Eating with a man, especially if you let him feed you, let him watch you savor the flavors, is like making love in public. I seduced my husband that way. Feed him. Let him feed you. In, out. It’s a promise more binding than kissing. Sex makes life. Food sustains life. You can see them as chores or you can find joy in them. That’s the choice you make.
I wanted to be able to do that. Except … I don’t like food. I don’t find joy in it. I’ve never found there to be anything about food to find joy in. No, it’s not something I can do, or at least, not right now. I find a food I like and I will eat it for days. Variety is not a requirement for me; efficiency is. Food is the thorn in my paw. It is a chore. It’s the enemy.
And then, for our 14th wedding anniversary, Dude surprised me by taking me to a tapas bar, La Bodega on Southwest Boulevard. We were both nervous. He’s only a little more adventurous than I am and we didn’t want to waste money on food we weren’t sure we were going to like. But tapas are a huge part of my universe’s mythos, so Dude wanted to honor that and, fingers crossed, it might turn out okay.
It was one of the most profound visceral experiences I have ever had, as significant as my rollercoaster enlightenment. The waiter came by to ask me how it was and as I was telling him, I teared up.
For the first time in my life, I found joy in food. Profound joy.
I don’t want to go there too often, though. Joy needs to be parceled out so as not to make it banal. But I’ve found that sort of profound joy twice this year (which is pretty much twice more than most other years), and both of them were because Dude gave me something new to try.
Rollercoaster and appetizers. Sometimes it’s the oddest things.
My 10-year-old XY TD can’t wait to see Pitch. He wants to watch it because it’s something that’s never been done before, a woman pitching in MLB.1 He doesn’t see a girl. He sees himself. In her. The underdog2,3 misunderstood, not wanted or liked, basically alone with too few allies, too different to have as smooth a ride through malehood as his peers.
- Or, as Dude pointed out to me last night because we’re both kind of fascinated with XY’s reaction to the series (whereas 13-year-old XX is so not) (she already knows she’s a badass), a 17-year-old girl struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game and a woman hasn’t been in the MLB since. ↩
- “A girl will never be able to throw hard enough to compete with boys. It’s biology and we can’t change that.” My dad told me a girl would never be able to throw a curve ball because their elbows are constructed differently from a boy’s. I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not interested enough to find out. But I was kind of shocked to hear it from someone else. ↩
- I introduced him to Rocky last year. He’s now a devoted disciple of underdog movies. He gets it from his mom. ↩