Tuesday, February 17, 2009

happy little trees

I had my boyfriend; correction. EX-boyfriend, read some of my early writing.

"It's good. Keep it up."

I wanted his approval. It felt good to hear his compliment. He didn't give them that often. He never gave compliments on how you looked, what you were wearing, anything really. Sometimes he would comment on my cooking. "That tastes good", or "somethings smells delicious". But that was about it. He thought food was just to feed the body...it's nothing special. Nice restaurants? Forget it. They make him uncomfortable. Find him a space at the bar that serves decent food, has a TV and he's good. Which is fine, don't get me wrong...but sometimes a girl likes to go someplace other than the local pub that serves wings.

He's been giving compliments as of late...I'm not sure if he really means them or not, but they are nice to hear. Maybe he's read something that says, "give compliments...sure way to make her happy". We watched a movie the other night, Eagle Eye with Shia LeBeouf, and he was playing cards with his friends in the beginning. He was giving his one friend advice with this girl the guy liked. "Take her someplace nice, with tablecloths...like Red Lobster or Olive Garden...and I guarantee you'll get a"...do I need to complete that sentence? I think not.
Everyone likes a little validation at times. It's nice to know that the time you spend grooming might make a difference in how people perceive you. One of my best friends in New York gave me the ultimate compliment the other day while I was talking to her on the phone. She told me that one day she'd like to emulate me. ME! She said I always had my sh*t together and looked like I did as well. "Polished", she said.
Now, I do try to take care when I dress....but not overly so. I'm not perfect by any means. But I try to be 'presentable'. I won't mow my lawn without mascara or lipstick. And those super broken in comfy sweats that are ugly as sin? I throw them out. My mother once told me (and it stuck) you never, ever, ever know whom you might run into doing the most of mundane things. And she's right! There have been times when I've been out doing yard work and I'll get a honk and someone pulls into the driveway, "Nancy?! I thought that was you!" Well had I not been moderately put together, I would have been mortified. So that clean underwear thing? Take it one step further darlin'....
But I don't find myself to be perfectionist. Far from it. I always have one button that threatens to come off, or a thread or a moth hole or a crease. There always seems to be something that keeps me from being 'fresh and ready for print'. But the compliment? That will last me for days. Months, maybe. Wow. Someone wants to emulate ME.....that poor girl. She must be delusional. :-)
I recently went to a trade show with my girlfriend in Columbus. We used to work together and she's a fashionista, so I wanted to look good. It was early and he was still in bed planning on going into work a little later than usual. I was getting ready to leave and stopped to give him a kiss good-bye, bring him a mug of coffee, let him know I was leaving and what time I'd be back.

"You look nice. I like your coat."
"Really? Thanks."

I was a little perplexed at that comment since about a month earlier I went to wear the same coat and was spouting about the great deal I got on it on eBay. A new Cinzia Rocca coat, black baby llama with tags. A $1495 coat...got it for $300. I thought it was the steal of the century!

"You should sell it.", he said.
"Sell it? But why? I like it!"
"I'm not going out with anyone wearing a $1500 coat."
"But no one knows that but ME, besides I didn't pay $1500 for it."
"You should make money on it. Sell it for more than you paid."

So I put it back in the closet. But decided to pull it out for this trip. Fuck it. I like it, I'm wearing it.

He's a writer by profession, although not published as of yet. I mean, yes, he's had a few poems and a story published in a collection work...but he's not been paid for any of his writing. He's talented. Very talented. Extremely talented. But dark. He hasn't gotten his break yet. He's floundering. Wondering if this is really what he should be doing. I've tried to be supportive, I even suggested he quit his job that pays his bills and take a year off. "Concentrate on your writing, I'll take care of the expenses." He turned me down. He hasn't yet found his 'tone'.

I showed him the latest blog I wrote...

"What do you think?"
"It's good...if you like Happy Little Trees."
"Happy Little Trees?"
"Yeah, you know - fluff."

Happy Little Trees. Hmmm.

That sounds like a Connecticut compliment. You'd look so nice in that dress if it didn't make your ass look so large - kind of compliment. Bob Ross coined the phrase , "Let's paint some happy little trees here" from his television show, The Joy of Painting...you know, the guy with the Afro that would show you how to paint in the afternoons. He was a big hit with the stay at home mom's in the 80's. His other phrase was "beat the devil out of it" when cleaning a brush.

Sometimes his negativity would get to me, really get under my skin....me, being the ultimate optimist I am. But I figured that it balanced things out. Him:down, me:up.But at times his viewpoint could just bring you down. I have to admit I would feel joy if I could make him laugh. I would TRY to make him smile. He's a very serious, pensive person by nature. But I love him. I did. I do.

He said one morning that my writing reminded him of that movie with Chevy Chase, Funny Farm. Where the New York couple move to the country so he can write his blockbuster book and it turns out the wife becomes the published author? Not that that is going to happen, but
I'm just an 'artistic by nature' person. I've been doing visual displays for various companies for years, I ran a catering company because cooking and displaying food is an art form as well. I enjoy music, plays and fine art. I look at everything with the eye of a photographer. So writing comes naturally to me. I can hear it in my head. I like to read a good story. I like to hear a good story. I like to tell good stories.

There's a ton of publishing and editing skills that I don't possess. Fact is, I don't consider myself to be a writer...this is just something that I find entertaining. (and hopefully you do as well...) But I never aspired or claimed to have them. Happy Little Trees? That's seems such a put down. I'm beginning to really resent that comment. I don't understand it. Where did it come from? and Why?

On the third day of my blog I received 54 page impressions. I thought that was outstanding. When I posted "the text of infidelity" - I received 286 page impressions. Yesterday the site was up to 400 hits. I hope it keeps coming. I'm really enjoying this creative outlet.

But Happy Little Trees? C'mon, pleaze. If that's meant to be some sort of compliment he should keep it to himself.
Beat the devil out of this one............cha.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, thanks for clueing me into your sight. I have combing through your brain with equal parts of fascination, admiration and adoration. Put that in your martini glass and shake it. xo, Melissa (The Scout Master)


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