LET’S TAKE A SHARP LEFT TURN FROM HEARTFELT INTO WEIRD TERRITORY
I have a whole draft post with very serious and sincere things (Note #1 What do “amen and “hallelujah” really mean? and Note #2 What is a policy of extravagance and how can I live it better?) and frankly they’re all heavy as all get-out and it’s a Friday night and I keep opening this little box and thinking I’ll say something profound but I’m in the mood to be unpolished and perhaps something good will come of it. If not I can delete it right?
Do you ever think about how much of the internet was UNSAID because it got deleted? All those miss-typed tweets and ill-advised email drafts (herm haw I’ve got a motherlode and all of them delicious terrible things I’ve never said and I hope they get compiled as an appendix B in my biography) just sitting cached in some server in Utah invisible to the non-nerd eye? And all over the internet there are just the ghosts of deleted things?
When you’re done tripping, *record scratch noise* just check out how I said the words “cached” and “server” in correct context. That’s right you guys. I know the internet now. I know allll about it. Learned some HTML tags and can decipher what demonic scrawls pop up when you right-click “Inspect Element” on a web page. I can freakin’ READ that. Just let that sink in.
I’m here on my bed in a sweater because I’m willing fall to get here faster. Let’s take inventory of what is on my bed with me.
a. item: one container (tube? stick? stick.) of men’s deodorant — which I use because it contains no toxic aluminum and is sold at a lower price than women’s deodorant of the same quality (SEXISM) and is stronger (SEXISM AGAIN) (well biology and SEXISM).
(I stopped writing this to turn on some writing music — “What Went Down” by Foals has been on repeat today — and pin two (TWO!) picture of Bill Hader onto my sexy man board on Pinterest. Should I give you the link? I have incredible taste. I should give you the link although you’ll probably stop reading. https://www.pinterest.com/jo_rutter/oh-hey-there/ So maybe go look and take a walk around the block and then come back.)
(You’re back, good.)
b. item: sticker, from pretentious coffee shop in university district where unhappy college students go to be even unhappier. Although, a great jazz trio plays there at strange times like 11:40am on a Saturday and they are a delight. I took this sticker thinking I would place it upon a personal belonging, one upon which a sticker would adhere, and alert people that I was the type of person who pledged affinity with coffeeshops. And then I decided that was stupid. But maybe I will change my mind.
c. item: cardigan, stolen. Despite being a woman constantly in need of cardigans it’s been a while since I’ve actually owned one of my own. Sorry, Deb and Maddie.
d. item: sweater, which did not bring autumn and therefore FAILED and which I just took off
e. item: organic nontoxic bug spray that smells like citronella concentrate. Great strategy. If I were a bug I wouldn’t want to be near me either.
f. item: pads. that’s right everyone. Every month or so I get this thing called a period. *boys shrivel and then melt in sheer terror and confusion* I know, you’re shocked. Our society isn’t allowed to mention periods ever unless a male comedian is making fun of a woman, so perhaps you’ve never heard of them before. Go ask your mother or read THIS ENTIRE GLORIOUS WEBSITE. Also, relevant, it’s the full moon. Hippies try to “expose themselves to moonlight” to synchronize their flows with the rhythms of the earth. Not trying to be smug or anything but I’m inside [away from the moon] cooking and watching Scrubs all the time and me and the earth are tight as synced sisters. You might even say blood sisters.
>>>Topical sidebar, I’m now a contributor for HelloFlo, which is a period company that sends you tampons and candy every month, which, WHY did I not think of that before them? Anyway I will be putting out a body image positivity piece soon and I wrote about scented feminine products and I’ve never said “up my hoo-hah” on the internet before and when I was sent the published link I must admit the homeschooler in me chortled in pure rebellious delight. Now I have said it twice and it is still great. But seriously I’m passionate about women’s health and all that and it’s fun to be a louder voice in that conversation. If you ever want to discuss the [extremely horrible] history of tampons in extreme detail, I’m ya girl.
Back to me. Look at your man. now back to me.
g. item: goodwill receipt. I took two tubs of clothes over on Wednesday and I still have more. A blend of previously thrifted things + sentimental t-shirts that I realized I was holding onto because I am afraid of losing memories because I equate that with losing my identity. I realized this was stupid and no one needs 50 memories to wear — “memories”, some of the events they commemorate I couldn’t tell you what happened. So I went through konmari style (thanks Hannah Kody for your four-suitcase Alaskan inspo!) and was actually honest with myself and which shirts and hoodies actually meant anything to me. I am now many, many articles of clothing lighter. It felt freeing.
Next up will be my boxes of papers…at least three, maybe four. I need to go through and be equally un-sacred about flyers from campus events I attended and graduation cards from people I haven’t spoken to in years. Sure, saving enough for those memories that ARE meaningful, but shedding this extra clutter of things I am keeping just because I think all those notes and scraps make up the sum of who I’ve been. And just because that sounds like a Hilary Duff lyric doesn’t make it less serious. I’m moving, physically, to a smaller space. And I need to not keep carrying these boxes to sit in the bottom of my closet so that I can hold on to everything that’s ever happened to me.
“You own everything that’s ever happened to you.” Anne Lamott said that. It’s true. My memory might smooth over details, but they happened. Ha. The second part of that quote is “If people wanted you to write nicely about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Ya damn straight!
You guys know I’m finishing a short story, right? Something painfully mirror-like in all its angsty self-awareness? It’s going to be interesting. Actually it’s going to be BETTER now that I found a friend I can actually trust to edit me. OMSQUEE! This is a big deal. Frieditors are too nice or say wrong things and make you hate them. This friend tore my story apart but with helpful deep questions instead of “you suck”. So once I move I will be reviewing his edits and reworking a lot of it and then…you’ll get to see it! Aren’t you so excited!!!
Anyway. Anne Lamott. I stuck in a lot of jabs, and yes, chances are one of them is maybe based off of you. Or directed at you, oops, but, “you should’ve behaved better.” Teehee. You’ll get over it. They’re funny. To me. Hopefully to others. Hey, 95% of the story is me making fun of myself, so you can take the other 5%, ok? Go write about me and we’ll be even.
Were we talking about stuff on my bed?
Yes. Well. The rest is boring. A sharpie, a charger, my journal — which I recently went in and collaged the crap out of, but have since written sporadically in. It’s too pretty, it’s intimidating now. I tried making it prettier so I’d be motivated and it’s had the opposite effect. But at least I’m here, writing now. Which makes:
z. item: one woman. Beloved by a good and powerful God, caretaker of one old and probably gay beta fish, unabashed luster-after of mid-aughts SNL actors, avid feminine hygiene advocate, somehow still a writer, giver-away-er of old camp t-shirts, aspiring more-regular blogger, and your friend. xoxo