Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Being Single in Wintertime

I was deleting old files from this computer and found a comic that I drew a few years ago.

Trashy Music and Walls

This year's brainless pop music uses the following lyrical pattern:

1. May I have your attention, stranger
2. I am currently sex-crazed and want to mate furiously with you
3. "They" (an amorphous collective of social peers) disapprove of me as I flagrantly violate their standards of behavior
4. Just to be clear, I will be mating with you tonight only, and have no intention of forming a relationship with you

Britney Spears songs epitomize this pattern-- most recently, "Hold it Against Me," in which the listener has the impression of being propositioned by one of the Chipmunks. Lady Gaga makes it through steps 1 and 2 before getting distracted by la petite mort and spending three minutes expressionlessly dry-humping the air in her "Edge of Glory" video. Pitbull nails all four steps in "Give Me Everything" while rasping and chuckling in a voice that makes me feel like I'm being lightly raped in the ear.

Songs like this make me uncomfortable. Yes, partly because I'm worried about catching chlamydia through the radio waves, but also because I'm worried about living reactively to this model. I'm worried about trying so hard to be not Britney that I live entirely inside my own walls. The personas that these pop artists put on are, sexually, ready at any moment to drop all of their boundaries and rush into total interconnection with a stranger, with no game plan for what happens the next morning. Most psychologists and gynecologists rightly discourage this behavior. The walls that keep us from doing this every Friday night are there for a reason. But I think and live as if all of my walls are as important as the walls that keep me from turning into Nicki Minaj.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Which I Show Off

I am terrible at most domestic skills. My grandmother baked and sewed and gardened and made lovely shadow boxes and wreathes from vintage notions and quilts. I always wanted to have a house like hers-- smelling of dinner and dried flowers, with treasures tucked into every available space.

Monday, August 1, 2011

You're Scaring Jesus

Or, John 1:10 at the antique store

We just returned from an amazing vacation in the highlands of western North Carolina.

My family has vacationed in Linville nearly every year since before I was born. One of our traditional activities is a day spent in Boone, the city named for Daniel Boone and now known for being the home of Appalachian State University. On this trip, the first that Patrick has attended, we had lunch at the soda fountain in Boone Drug. The waitress, an older woman with fluffy hair and penciled-on eyebrows, took my order by saying "What can I get you, baby?" She shuffled back with a delicious, overflowing mint chocolate milkshake. "Drink on this, honey," she said, "I gave you a little too much." (You know you've left Northern Virginia when the waitress doesn't appear to want you to die.)