OK, first, before I forget, Ken’s been doing some super-scientific research for me that needs to be addressed. Remember how someone wanted to know why Germans love Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and I said I’d asked Ken but he never responded? Well, he SAYS he never saw that tweet, and I’ve chosen to believe him because I’d just be crushed beyond belief if the internet was built on lies and deceit, you know?
So, to make up for the not-seeing of that tweet, Ken has taken it upon himself to do some very intense man-on-the-street German research for me. Since I’m not IN Germany, it’s obvious I can’t take it upon myself to do this research. So far, Ken has three people.
First, his wife. Here is their conversation, straight from Ken (so, in other words, the “me” here is not me, Amy, but Ken, and the “wife” is KEN’S wife, obviously, and not MY wife, as a., I am not married, and b., if I WAS married, it would be to someone of the male persuasion):
Me: Do you like Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
Wife: The one with Audrey Hepburn? Yes, it was ok.
Me: You didn’t love it? Germans are said to love that film.
Wife: Hm, not sure if I should change my vote. No. It was ok. Go talk to other Germans. I’m busy right now.
(On a related note, I think Ken’s wife and I would get along like a house on fire. She and I seem to have a similar style when dealing with annoyances. Shoo them. Shoo them away.)
Then two friends of his:
@lucysfootball they asked,'isn't that the one where she plays a whore, but they couldn't say it out loud?' The German lesbians liked it.—
Ken Macbeth (@lahikmajoe) February 26, 2012
I think we can see, based on this very scientific cross-section of THREE GERMANS, that, as a matter of fact, Germans do NOT love Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They like it just fine, but they do not LOVE it. What’s that? You all think that Ken needs to do further research, and that three Germans really isn’t a large cross-section of Germans considering that there are approximately 82 million people living in Germany as of the statistics that Google gave me that are from two years ago so probably I’d assume MORE now, I mean, I can’t imagine that Germans just stopped having babies for two years, that would be insane, although of course we do have to take into account that some Germans have died, I suppose, but I’m sure more are being born than are dying. THIS IS NOT THE TIME OR PLACE FOR A POPULATION STATISTIC DISCUSSION. Anyway, yes, I agree, I already told Ken he needs to get a clipboard and go out on the street and poll random Germans. I don’t know how keen on this he is but he’s a good sport. I mean, he understands, this is IMPORTANT and SCIENCY. The WORLD needs to KNOW.
(Also, “breakfast” in German? Frühstück. SO MANY GORGEOUS UMLAUTS. I can’t even. TWICE IN ONE WORD. Swoon, swoon, swoon.)
OK, so that’s our science portion for the day. I mean, what’s a day without a science portion? It’s like elementary school where everything was very balanced out. You had your science lesson and your language lesson and your math lesson. NO, I’m not going to give you a language or math lesson, STOP ASKING. I think what we’ll have instead is an awesome section. Would you like an awesome section? Of course you would, who wouldn’t.
I had the best thing happen this weekend, you guys. Just the best. No joke. Like, after it happened, and it sank in that it happened, which took a few minutes because sometimes I can be frighteningly slow on the uptake when it comes to good things (however, bad things? I’m on them INSTANTANEOUSLY. Zap, says I to bad things. I AM ONTO YOU. I think that’s because there are more of them than good things, so I can recognize them more readily, maybe. Like one of those guessing games where you have to flip over cards and remember what’s under the cards and match them up? I was always horrendous at those, by the way. This would always crack up the children I babysat for. I didn’t even have to pretend to let them win. Because they ALWAYS won. I could NOT remember what cards were where. Ever. Unless what was on the card was either frightening or stupid. THEN I could remember. And how often in a pre-school guessing game are the images frightening or stupid? They’re usually frogs or suns or something inane. So I think we know where my mind is: firmly entrenched in the frightening or stupid camp. I ALWAYS expect the world to give me frightening or stupid in lieu of a frog or blindly cheerful sun) I just kind of stood there, basking in the awesome. But I am putting the cart in front of the horse! Get back there, cart. This is not the place for you. You’ll totally get squashed.
Now you’re all “whatever is this best thing” and you think I won a million dollars. I did not win a million dollars. I’d tell you if I did. No, wait, no, I probably wouldn’t, because then you’d all want loans and I’d feel terrible having to tell you all no because I’d need that money to purchase my farm in the wilderness where I will have all my three-legged horses and rescued pit bulls and one-eyed goats and such. So probably I’d keep my millionaire status on the downlow. But someday, when I purchase my wilderness rehabilitation farm, you will just know, “Oh, Amy totally won a million dollars and/or married Dr. Ruffalo who was totally down with the wilderness rehabilitation farm plan because he is her SOULMATE OF AWESOMENESS and they are SYMPATICO.”
(SIDE NOTE. This has nothing to do with anything. We have this catalog at work of things you can buy to motivate people? Like packages of post-its that say “you put the “yay” in team” or whatever? Yeah, I know there’s no “yay” in team. Someone threw away the catalog so I can’t actually research how stupid the phrases are. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The POINT is that one of the things they were selling? Rocks. Plastic rocks. That said “you rock” on them. They weren’t even REAL rocks. And they weren’t even heavy enough to use as paperweights. Or even to bludgeon or maim the person who gave you this shitty present. What purpose do those serve? You know what I’d think if someone gave that to me? “This person thinks little enough of me that they spent actual money that they could have put in my paycheck buying me useless garbage.” Which would not especially motivate me to do anything but spend hours making fun of the plastic “you rock” rock. And then no work would get done, now would it? The last two “we appreciate you” gifts I received here were a huge stack of post-its – APPRECIATED, who can’t use post-its? – and a pen and pencil set with my name totally engraved into them. BAM that shit’s fancy. See? Useful. I like useful gifts. Not plastic rocks. Who needs more garbage in their life? You find me someone that actually NEEDS more garbage in their life. No, seriously. Find me that person. I will get them a subscription to “Motivational Crap Magazine.” That’d be like Playboy to them, seriously.)
OK, where were we. I was told today we’re supposed to THINK before we WRITE, can you even imagine THAT concept, whoo.
OK, so I was at the theater, and I was running around like a crazy, doing a gajillion things at once, and someone asked me how long before curtain, and I checked my watch and tried to do the math (for you non-theater people – the stage manager, among other things, keeps time for the actors, box office, crew, hospitality staff, etc., and gives them calls. Ours are 30/15/10/5/places. Once we give the actors those calls, the actors are supposed to respond with “___, thank you” – like, the stage manager will say “Five minutes!,” and the actors will respond with “Five, thank you!” – so the stage manager knows the call has been heard. I know! Don’t you totally feel in the know now? Now the next time you’re at the theater – which should be SOON, dammit, go see a show! It will feed your soul and help your local arts scene monetarily, it’s a total win-win! – and you overhear someone saying “Ten minutes!” you’ll know that’s the stage manager! And you’ll know to stay out of his or her way, because he or she is one busy little bee while the show is on, seriously!) and came up short. Because math quickly is not my strong suit. I knew I had just given fifteen minutes and I knew we’d been talking for approximately two but I also knew I had to put carrots on a plate and the plate had to be on the stage and I needed to get a pitcher of ice water and I needed to flicker the lights so the audience would sit down and I knew I needed to check the music and I knew I needed to run to the bathroom otherwise I was going to have to pee all through the act and that’s just uncomfortable for everyone and that’s a lot of things to know and math just wasn’t a priority.
I know, I know. I said the best thing happened. It’s coming. But, side note, I’m totally not all Math is Hard Barbie about math, no no no. I’m quite good at it and am not in the least bit scared of it. I just had a million things in my head and time wasn’t one of them at that moment. Stay in school, kiddos. Also, Advanced Calculus? One of my favorite classes in high school, no joke. I LOVED that class. It was like a mystery! A mystery with MATH! I mean, I’ve totally forgotten it all NOW, but MAN did I love that back in the day! There aren’t many things in the world that make me want to have kids, but I do wish I could have a daughter so I could encourage a love of math and science in her (along with, of course, a love of language. How about a love of LEARNING ALL THE THINGS?)
Anyway. So, I said something like, “It is now two minutes less than the last call I gave you, please math that for yourself, sorry! Have to run! See you all soon!” and started to run away. And one of the actors, who just recently started reading this and has been very complimentary, said “It’s ok, Amy, you’re a writer, not a mathematician.”
So I laughed and ran downstairs and went about my business and did some things and then I stopped, dead, in the middle of the kitchen, preparing the prop plate with the carrots on it, and it actually sank in, what he’d said.
He’d said, actually said, “You’re a writer.”
No one has ever said that to me before. Not said it and meant it. I mean, I think probably it was said, kind of condescendingly, when I was a kid, because all I did back them was write. Constantly. Scribble, scribble, scribble. It was kind of a mania with me, back then. (Someday we’ll delve into Amy’s childhood journals. I’m saving them for when we all need a good belly laugh. Which they will provide. Trust me on this.)
He didn’t say it condescendingly and he didn’t say it jokingly and he didn’t say it in such a way where I could laugh it off and say “oh, it’s just my blog, I just screw around on there” which is what I always do because LISTEN I can NOT take a compliment to save my LIFE, here is an example: someone will tell me, invariably, “oh! I like your nail polish!” because I am INSANE about my nail polish and love it to be crazy and sparkly and fun and so it stands out NO not like those looneys you see on the television, just sparkly or whatever, it isn’t 3D, that would totally get caught in my hair, no thanks, and people seem to like that and I know I like that. Now, a normal person would say, “Yes! Thank you! I do, too!” or, “That’s so nice!” but no, not me, queen of compliment-denial! I say, “Oh, this? So cheap. $2 at Rite Aid” or something like that, because I can NOT let someone say something nice, ever, without turning it into a self-deprecatory remark, I just can’t. I don’t know. Is that a female thing? Is that a me-thing? Whatever, this is not the time for pop psychology any more than it is the time for population density statistics.
(SIDE NOTE. Stop doing this. STOP DOING THIS. We ALL need to stop doing this. I’m one of the world’s biggest offenders. I’ll stop if you all will. If someone compliments us – WE NEED TO START TAKING THE COMPLIMENTS. We are AMAZING. We DESERVE these effing compliments, seriously. No more self-deprecating. No more “oh, this old thing?” No more “oh, I got it on sale.” No more “oh, that’s so sweet” and then changing the subject because you don’t know how to handle it. NO NO NO. You OWN that compliment. You DESERVE that compliment. And I promise I will start trying to be better about this, too.)
He could have said, “You’re an administrative assistant, not a mathematician” or “You’re a stage manager, not a mathematician” or “You’re an answering service tech, not a mathematician” or, hell, just “You’re not a mathematician” but writer came out of his mouth, just like that. It wasn’t even something he had to think about and wasn’t even something he made a big deal about. It was, most likely, the first thing that came to his mind. It was how he thought of me.
And I know, I know, we’re not supposed to get our self-worth externally, because we’re all supposed to know how amazing-special-shiny-unique we are just by looking in the mirror and seeing our TRUEEEE COLORS SHINING THROUUUGH but you can’t even tell me that sometimes, seeing how others see you isn’t a good thing, right? I mean, sometimes it can lead to further self-awareness. If someone tells you that everyone sees you as a shrill harpy-beast that no one wants to spend any time with, maybe you might look into changing that, I mean, assuming you didn’t WANT people to see you that way? And if someone tells you that people see you as a huge pushover, and that’s why you’re always getting stepped all over, maybe you’d go about changing that, if you were tired of getting footprints all over the back of your good sweatervests? (Come on people, how many sweatervests? FOUR SWEATERVESTS!) And if someone tells you that everyone sees you as a geek, well, maybe – I mean, just maybe – you push up your glasses a little higher and keep on keepin’ on, you know, because some things just don’t need to be changed, because they are amazeballs with a side of awesomesauce.
And if someone tells you you’re a writer? And that’s how they see you?
Maybe you’re doing something right. Maybe all the time you spend writing isn’t just screwing around. Maybe, for the first time in your entire LIFE – which is a while, my little Dum-Dum lollipops (the root beer flavor, of course, those were always the most delectable) as I am no spring chicken – you might have fallen into the thing you were meant to be doing all along and the thing that you love doing so much that some days, you just laugh aloud with the fizzy deliciousness of it all, really.
Nope, I’m not a mathematician. I’m a writer.
And him saying that, somehow, gave ME permission to say it. It opened up a door that I had been kind of half-heartedly holding closed, the “it’s not good enough it’s not as funny as other people it’s not serious it’s not anything it’s just a joke, really, PAY NO ATTENTION TO ME I’M JUST A SILLY GIRL HA HA HA” door.
Then I put the carrots on the plate, and I put the plate on the stage, and I ran the lights and the sound without a single error (I’m also an excellent stage manager, as if you ever had a doubt) and it was like this shining secret inside of me as I worked in the dark.
I might be screwing around, and I might be having fun, and I might not be writing the next War and Peace, and I might not be getting paid for it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. Because I am. I am a writer. Holy shit, look at me GO.
Also? I’m happy. I’m probably at one of the busiest times in my life, and there are a million shitty little things happening right now, and some personal things crashing around, and this and that – but I’m happy. I’m so happy, I can’t even tell you.
So remember I told you up there I didn’t win a million bucks? Well, I mean, I still didn’t, I still don’t have my wildlife rescue hermitage. But I kind of feel like I did. Win a million bucks, I mean. Maybe not the kind of million bucks that buys animal rescue hermitages or shiny new laptops but the kind that makes you glow.
Don’t tell anyone – I’d still take the cashola, those animals aren’t going to rescue themselves – but I think I might have gotten the better end of the deal.
Thank you all. You’re the peanuts in my butter.
(I made this last night, because Ken made one. It was decided – it’s a curious thing, chatting to people daily and not knowing what they sound like, isn’t it? So some of us read each other poetry online. Which is just delightful. And it ties in today, without me even meaning it to. Funny, that. So here’s me in all my somewhat-insane glory reading you a poem about writing. Enjoy.)