29 December 2011

Realistic New Year's Resolutions. And by "realistic", we mean, "Not realistic at all"

New Year's Resolutions 2012

1) I will not be 5'2".

2) I will not be Norwegian. -Voluntarily.

3) I will not do drugs. -Unless, of course, I can get them. *

3a) I will smoke more, gain that last ten pounds, and resist the temptation to go to the gym instead of napping.

4) I will forgive myself everyday. So I can do the same annoying thing again, only this time with "awareness", which apparently makes it okay.

    [note:   Addendum to people who say, "I KNOW I'm talking too much about myself," and then keep talking about themselves: 

"You're right. Shut up. Ask me how I am. Great! Thanks!]

5) I will remember that all food has calories. Unless it's eaten standing up, or someone else is paying. Or it's after midnight, or it's your birthday, or Arbor Day, or possibly even Wednesday. -Whoa. Apparently, NO food has calories, then! Am PSYCHED!!!

6) I will not tell people I'm a vegetarian when what I mean is, "I eat vegetarians." .But, I mean, cows are practically VEGANS, right, man? So maybe being a vegan is, like, catching.

7) I will stop getting impatient with friends when they ask questions** like:

"But WHY did he do this? WHY? I just need to understand!"

Here's what I will say instead, with love and hardly any impatience at all:

"No. You don't need to understand. You need to get the fuck over it and move on.

"Perhaps, in the fullness of time, you will find out every single detail of why he or she, did this,or that.

"But the good news is, that by then, you won't give a shit. I promise."

Addendum: I will stop being impatient with people who expect any other human beings, to "be reasonable", to "make sense", or to NOT destroy his/her/their lives, by falling in love with him/her/them, at the wrong time in the wrong way. -And, sometimes, backwards.

Here's the thing:

People are crazy. We ALL are. And, people are also delightful, kind, funny and amazing.

-When they're not being fucking NUTS.

8) I will remember that "on sale" does NOT mean, "Yes!! This is FREE!".

9) I will return calls and emails within a day of receiving them.

Well. Maybe not a "day", exactly. Maybe a week. 

Ten days?

How does "eventually" work for you? Or, "eventually, maybe."?  -Gotta start slow.

10) I will live in the moment. I just have to figure out which one.

11) Anytime I feel like whining about something in my incredibly lucky life, I will go read about, say, life under Pol Pot's regime. Then I will shut up and be just insanely grateful, all the time, for everything.

12) I will do more volunteer work.-I mean, if the pay is right.

12a) I will continue to be open to what life teaches me and what the Universe is telling me. Even-okay, maybe especially-when it's not what I thought I knew...or not MY plan. Grrrrr. I will expand my thinking and spiritual life every day, not contact into what I already know.- This will still involve coffee. -Truckloads.

14) I will remember that every day I wake up, is a good day right there. (Trust me on this one, okay?)

15.) In 2012? To sum up? Will meet MORE amazing people, eat great food, stay in touch, be radically loving  (well, "radically loving" that hopefully stops short of "restraining order'); will listen; and get a shitload of plastic surgery. [Okay. Not that one. Just wanted to see if you were still listening.}

Will continue to lie about having read Proust, and ...and...Okay. Never be late again.

YOU, my dear, are going to have your best year yet. Your 2012 will be filled with friendship,

love, great food, health, massive amounts of plastic surgery, and, if you ask nicely, drugs. - No. Wait. Sorry. Those last bits were, um, typos. But everything else?


Love you. No, really. And Happy New Year!!

* Note: Despite what my sister-in-law insists on telling people, including random strangers and the clerk at Duane Reade, I do not do drugs. Nope- not ever! Some people are just naturally odd. true!

** Friends who are asking these questions usually ask them about 14,640 times, in the first months after a break up. Try not to hit them. instead, encourage them to drink more, especially if they're buying.

Oh, and if you're not me, ask them to get you drugs! ***

*** Oh for Heaven's sake. Just kidding!

25 December 2011

Nostalgia For The Present

       Christmas telescopes time.

       As an adult, one Christmas becomes all Christmasses. You become who you were, in every Christmas past....The seven-year-old you that was delighted into awestruck silence by the beauty of the lighted tree, at five in the morning when you snuck down to see if you could actually catch santa; the eighteen year old you, being a bit mouthy, feeling impatient with these older people who JUST did not GET it, rolling your eyes at your parents, and antsy to go hang out with your friends; the you in your twenties, who almost doesn't go home for Christmas dinner because, well, your family will always be there, always...all of you laughing, trying to top each other's jokes, waving a turkey leg around to emphasize a point at the dinner table...and finally, the later you. The you who means to have time for your brothers and sister but you're busy, and time goes by fast, and they live so far away, and besides, they know you love them...the you who watches with loving trepidation as your elderly mother insists on taking the huge pan out of the oven herself; the you who would give anything, anything, to have five more minutes with the father you rolled your eyes at, so long ago.

    And since all Christmasses are this Christmas, because Christmas telescopes time, we get to keep all Christmasses as now. It's not about what-and who-we've lost. It's about having had the family, the friends, the comfort and joy; the seven year old inside of us who opens the box under the tree with the gift we REALLY WANTED, and in that moment, combines the joy of anticipation, the joy of possession and most of all, the joy of being KNOWN. Someone knows us as we know ourselves. Our secret wishes matter. Someone sees.

      This Christmas, for the first time, I felt myself lucky in the moment. Nostalgia for the present. YES, things could be better...but maybe happiness- actual happiness, as opposed to the IDEA of happiness-lies in knowing that we are so lucky, in so many ways, every moment. That things CAN'T be better, not in this moment. The best is THIS breath, the best is THIS hug, feeling my beloved Mom's frailty in my arms and knowing she's here NOW.

Maybe Voltaire's fictional "Dr. Pangloss" was right, after all, even if his creator meant him as a satire of fatuous optimism. Maybe Dr. Pangloss has his own revenge, two hundred years later: maybe, as he always said,
    "Everything happens for the best, in tHis best of all possible worlds."



14 December 2011

Christmas memories: Retail Division

This time,some years ago,your humble correspondent was working at the Louis Vuitton Flagship Store. Here are some notes from that time: my Last Days Of Retail.
If you are a store, and you're French (which I'm going to assume you, dear reader, are not), here is how you assert your Frenchness during the Christmas retail season:

1) Leave your front doors open when it's 22 degrees out, ensuring that people shopping for $1600 handbags can see their own breath as they utter the words "I'll t-t-t-take it".
Expecting to be warm indoors during a luxury shopping experience is simply not chic. One must suffer for beauty. Also? We don't like you. Or care. And your hair is funny.

2) Refuse to play Christmas music. Instead, play depressing emo girls wailing about how their lovers have left them and it's probably their own fault, but if said lover doesn't return to make thm miserable again, they will probably either take pills or continue wailing. Or both. "Rudolph the RedNose Reindeer" is a bourgouis construct, and has been denounced by LeviStrauss in his famous tract "The Deconstruction of Rudolf de la Nez Rouge"., in which reindeer are proven to be a failed neo-Marxist syllogism.Parce-que: Christmas music at Christmas is so...predictable.

3) Refuse to have sales. Sneer openly at those customers who ask. Sneer openly at customers who don't ask, for their lack of courage. Sneer openly at anyone who happens to be walking by and within sneering distance. Nous sneerairons.

4) We spit on the concept of Christmas decorations. Instead, we have a conceptual artist who walks around the store before it's open and murmurs the single word "holly". So spare. So simple. So chic.

5) Your hair is funny and your shoes are a laughable relic of the former life you have now outgrown. Your children are sad and your wife has a lover. Do not ask me what is the price of this purse. You can not purchase back the strayed affection of your spouse, who is sleeping with a german art student who moonlights as a garbage man in order to impress his marxist, much younger other girlfriend, with a $420 beach towel. Do not try, either to do the first thing I suggested or to understand the structure of this sentence. Pah- I spit on conventional sentence structure.

There ya go. If you ever want to be a huge, French, luxury retail store at Christmas, you now know everything you ned to be a huge success with people who would not want to belong to any club that would have them as a member. I.e., all of humanity.