I’m addicted. Absolutely addicted to this woman’s writing. Sometime last year I saw her on Oprah. (You might remember this.) She was on because she’d written an essay about how she loves her husband more than she loves her four children. And if you’re wondering how the show went, picture a lovely woman making a good point about the importance of a primary relationship and enduring an absolute firestorm of judgement and criticism only recently matched by the whole James Frey gets eviscerated thing.
Poor Ayelet. I fell in love with her then, if only because I wanted to smack all those self-righteous American women who were flaming her. But I was busy, owing to the fact that I was working for The Man, and so I put Ayelet out of my mind. I didn’t even read her hubby-love piece. I just forgot about her.
Then, about two weeks ago, I was flipping through Elle on one of my plane rides and there she was. I recognised her right away, even before I read the story. And I thought to myself, ‘You were going to read this woman’s stuff, remember? She was so smart and funny and patient on Oprah. She’s probably a good writer.’ And she is. She IS. She's not for everyone (as evidenced by the trolls on Salon who flame her constantly for being female, funny, lighthearted and liberal, though not in that order), but I like Eminem, and I like her, dammit. In fact, I’m jealous. (So are the trolls, obviously.) Green goo is oozing out my eyes at this very moment. Her blog (entitled Bad Mother, which she only kept for a few months, and which I read in a single sitting) was great. Funny, sad, and true. (A different kind of funny from Zach Braff’s blog - another addiction we’re not going to get into at the moment). She’s sometimes militant. Sometimes focussed on American politics and stuff I don’t care much about, but more often than not, she’s hilarious. And SO relatable, even to someone like me who has no husband, no babies, and nothing much in common with her. Her comments about her kids (particularly the possibly one-eyebrowed, moustached baby), her husband (not perfect… phew) and her various neuroses (I feel her ex-boyfriend pain) cracked me up again and again. And reading it got me reading her column on Salon.com. And reading Salon.com got me reading her book. And reading her book… you get the picture. The point of this story is: I haven’t done of a lick of work all week.
I think Ayelet would understand this. She herself stopped blogging I think because she recognized how quickly and easily both reading and writing these things can become all-consuming for a certain type of person. She wrote on the subject (much more eloquently than me). But she’s still ruining my life. Or rather, I’m ruining my life by spending all my time online reading her instead of any time doing anything productive, like, say, working, interacting with live humans, leaving my house, or applying deodorant. (Pee-yoo!)
This brings me to a telephone call I received yesterday. It was a telemarketing call from BMO, and the caller was OLD. Like little old lady, tremulous voice old. And of course, I immediately felt sorry for her. Because why is the little old lady with the tremulous voice working as a BMO telemarketer? What desperate circumstances drove her to such a thankless job? Why does she need a job in the first place? She should be mouldering away in Florida like the rest of the oldies. What happened?
Now, as previously mentioned, I had been reading all day (when I wasn’t watching TV that is) and having been a telemarketer myself (telefundraiser, to be exact, but that makes it sound more respectable and it isn’t really), I decided, magnanimously, to let old Mabel (that’s what I named her) make her pitch. After all, at least I was talking to someone and not staring mindlessly at a blog and pretending to be friends with an author. That’s human contact, right?
Anyhoo, boy-oh-boy was that call funny. Mabel was a freakin’ deekin’ (totally unintentional) comedian. She was trying to sell me insurance, I think. She stumbled over the script a few times (obviously read verbatim off the screen in front of her), but she was also obviously really happy to be reading it at all, and more importantly, she was really, really, inordinately pleased to tell me that if I died OR was dismembered, I’d get “seventy five thousand dollars!” I could hear her grinning, I swear. She talked for a good five minutes straight, and by the end of it, I was shaking with so much suppressed laughter, I had to stuff a blanket in my mouth. Poor Mabel. I think the fact that I didn’t hang up on her after the first 10 seconds really threw her. She may actually have believed I was going to buy insurance.
I tell this story not because it’s particularly interesting. (The humour is really lost when I can’t do my Mabel “overjoyed at dismemberment” impression). I tell it because the only reason I even talked to Mabel is that I literally hadn’t talked to anyone else all day. This is a problem. It’s sick even. I probably sent 30 emails, I IMed more than once, but I didn’t say a word all day. Fifteen years ago, this sort of lifestyle was pure science fiction. Now, it’s me. Me and my sofa. Me and my computer. Interfacing instead of interacting. Soon, I’ll be sleeping in my closet in a pod.
Look at this blog posting. It’s already begun!
Girl, what’s my weakness?