Am I a communication hack?
(cut to me reading Concha’s blog, laughing, looking off in the distance, fade to Concha and I on the swings in Covent Garden, cut to me all drunk telling Concha I only slept for 10 minutes, quick cut to a still shot of our happy ad school group at my London birthday party, cut back to me reading Concha’s blog, fade to black)
That particular entry raised my consciousness on a habit of mine that over the past 4 to 5 years has gone from infrequent to ridiculously manic levels. I think and speak in movie. It’s maddening and not just for the people on the receiving end. See, not only can I expertly weave in and make relevant the crowd-pleasing favorites, I can also conjur up the obscure, Valerie Bertinelli Oxygen Channel quotes with equal ease. Why won’t they go away? Why could I never remember science things or…math? (I was trying to remember what the things in geometry are called. But my brain’s too full of “Zoolander” quotes and Judith Light cancer scenes to hold such a memory).
What’s more disturbing, though, is that I use entire scenes from movies to convey my feelings in everyday conversation.
Take Valentine’s Day, for example. Someone asked me what I did and I told them I went to Borders after work and perused the new hardback fiction section. As if that wasn’t sad enough I added: “Kinda like in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Remember? When George gets to see what his life would be like if he’d never been born? He sees Mary and she’s a haggard spinster librarian? And he says ‘Don’t ya KNOW me, Mary? It’s George! George Bailey! Your HUSBAND!! ‘ “I’M MARY!’”
Imagine the crowd of co-workers I turned into friends with thatlittle story.
Here’s another one. On roughly day 4 at my new job, a friend asked how things were going at my new job without one of my regular art director wives. The truth is, I liked it (and still do) but I was having that uncomfortable “I haven’t made a lunch buddy” kind of discomfort you often have at a new job. I was missing the familiarity of having a someone like BDH or BLH by my side. So I said, “Remember in ‘Up Close and Personal’ when Michelle Pfeiffer moves to Philadelphia? And they make her color her hair because the viewers told her she’s better as a brunette? There’s this scene where she’s sitting at her desk and she’s, like, SO completely lonely. So she calls Robert Redford just because she needs to hear a familiar, friendly voice, right? But when she talks to him she pretends that everything is OK. It’s kind of like that.” It sounds weird, but it described how I felt perfectly.
It’s sad, really. I fancy myself a (air quotes)“writer” (end air quotes) but often I rely on others to do my dirty communication work for me. Does this mean I’m a poor writer or a poor communicator? Or both? (Don’t answer that please, it’s rhetorical….honesty is such a lonely word. Shit! I did it again! This time with 70s song seepage!)
The truth is, sometimes people just beat you to things. And why waste all that time trying to clue people in to what I’m feeling when someone’s already done it so flawlessly?
Just last week I was watching a “Sex in the City” rerun. The one where Miranda makes Carrie try on a wedding dress in an attempt to calm her fears about getting married. Remember what happens when Carrie puts on the wedding dress? She begins to suffocate, she breaks out in a cold sweat, hives begin appearing on her torso. She makes Miranda rip the dress off her. Watching that, it hit me. That’s exactly how I felt when I fled Seattle to come back to San Francisco. Suffocating. Cannot. Breathe. Get. Me. The. Fuck. OUT. Of. This. CITY!!!!!! I GET it, Carrie! I underSTAND!
It’s sick, this blurring of reality and fiction, not only in my head but in the heads of so many of us these days. It’s as if fiction is directing reality now. People write lies for memoirs but think they’re true. Reality TV stars become celebrities. What’s wrong with all of us? Or is it just me? Too much Diet Coke? Too many lattes? Enlighten me, blogosphere. Please. I need to rekindle my faith in original thought again.
In an odd note of irony, Judith Light appeared as a judge on Law & Order SVU tonight. I saw her AFTER I’d written her into this entry. Did I WILL Judith Light to appear? Or would she have appeared anyway? See what I mean? Fiction….directing reality. Does that mean this blog entry is fiction? Or is it a memoir? Shit, I’m totally confused now.