Friday, January 31, 2014

Something for which to strive




I could be a cliché.

I mean if I really worked at it.  I could.

But I don’t want to be just any cliché.  For example, I don’t want to be an “aging hippy.”  You don’t have to work for that.  All you have to do is stand still and chant, “Throwback!  Throwback!”

No, I’m thinking of a hard-earned meritorious sort of bona fide cliché – like “trophy wife.” 

Hey!  Don’t roll your eyes!  I could be a trophy wife!  Although I would probably have to get rid of my current loving husband and find one much older, less competent, more grasping and desperate.  A billionaire who doesn’t see very well and is impulsively clinging to anything not yet pruned up. 

So.  There’s that.

“Overnight success” would be nice.  Maybe I’ll just shoot into the stratosphere!  Out of nowhere as they say.  Clear blue.  Syndicated in 900 newspapers!  Everyone’s darling.  I’ll be the golden one sitting next to JimmyFallon sharing my dry and pithy wit with the cool late night crowd. 

Or “breath of fresh air.”  I would love being a breath of fresh air! 

Aaahhh!  Yes.  A cool breeze!  Gently on the face.  So, so, so very pleasant.  Everyone loves a cool breeze!

I confess, clichés have been on my mind because of Justin Bieber’s recent escapades.  Darn it.  I had hopes for that kid.  What a talented little sweet face. 

But alas.  He may just devolve into a sad cliché.  A cautionary tale.  A Lindsay Lohan.  Too, too bad.  That’s what a bazillion bucks’ll do for ya.

But we shan’t let that get us down!

No!  And you know why?  Because WE can handle it.  Our skills for coping with a lot o’ dough are fully developed.  All that fortune would not cause us to digress from our intended trajectory:  An overnight sort of shooting breath of fresh air!

Honestly though, I’m not sure I could do any better with fame than the Biebs.  Everyone looking all the time? I’m already prone to the faux pas.  I’m a blurter under the calmest of conditions.  Just the other day I mistook a young man for his mother…out loud.  I don’t see how a spotlight would improve that propensity.  

If I were famous – if everyone were watching me all the time?  Anticipating?  Eagerly enquiring, “What’s she going to do next?”  The pressure!  OMG.  I just could not guarantee a happy outcome. 

I’d probably crater just like Lindsay and Justin.  I’d buy too many villas and marry Kanye West.  I’d egg my neighbors’ mansion (or at least their barking dog) and drag race down the alley in my yellow Lamborghini.

Who knows?  I might even act belligerent with the authorities and resist containment.  Because somewhere in the latent depths of my clichéd self, I’ve always wanted to do those things anyway.  And everyone keeps looking!  What am I gonna do?  Behave myself now?  Surrender?  Go calmly?!!  I don’t think so.  Pretty sure I’d be thrashing around and shoutin’ “Yo mama!” or some such thing.

But my evil alter ego would not surface because of my nouveau riches, you understand.  No.  It’s not the money; it’s the magnifying glass. 

That’s it!  I could be that other caricature – the wealthy well-bred classy sort of predictably shy and demure kind of cliché.  I could be Kate Middleton, say.  Or Gwyneth Paltrow.

I have good cheekbones…

Oh well.  Let’s face it; I could do it until I blew it.  We already know the ending:  I’d drop an earring into the Queen’s consommé.  Or take the mike on karaoke night and embarrass Coldplay with my channeling of Heartbreak Hotel.

That’s the beauty of being a writer.  Wherever I go, people look me blankly in the face and figure I’m just another boomer on the downhill side of the crest.  “Can I interest you in a Pier 1 charge account, ma’am?  Thank you and have a nice day.”

Ah.  Anonymity!  No fame…No bazillions either.  Sigh.

So I may have to settle for the reclusive writer cliché.  You know, the writer whose depth and versatility are only recognized 50 years after her death when her unpublished volumes come to light and dazzle the literary world. 


Yeah.  That’s it.  They’ll be calling J. D. Salinger a “Carolyn Plath.”