Monday, February 16, 2009

The Big 1

So, tomorrow is my one year blog anniversary. My husband just walked into the kitchen where I'm writing this, and his response to this information was, "Mazel tov." He always knows just what to say. ;) If I remember correctly, the traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper, which really is rather odd. Paper what? Maché?? Or maybe note cards for the bride to finally write her thank you notes? Maybe that's what it's for. So you have a polite way of reminding the delinquent Mrs. that she never sent a note. Which actually has happened to me in the not too distant past with a bride that I don't know terribly well, but was invited to the wedding, and even though we couldn't go, I still wanted to help celebrate her big day. At the odd moments when I do remember that we never heard from her about our gift, I wonder if I should ask one of her family members to check because if the gift didn't ever get there, I want the store to send another. Frankly, that is all I really care about in a thank you note. It could even just be a stamped message saying, "Got it - thanks!!" Anyway, I hope she is using the stuff in good health, as my mother-in-law would say.
I had no intention of writing about thank you note etiquette. Though that is a subject that I have probably been traumatized by more than most considering that I grew up having to write thank you notes to my sisters. And I have four of them. It has only been in this past year, and with the excuse of two young sons, that I have declared a personal revolution to this and decided that with a close family member, if I tell them in person or on the phone how much I love/use the gift, then that will just have to do. And the terrible truth is that even as I write that, I am sure that the ceiling of social correctness is going to come crashing down on my head. Oh, to be momentarily not Southern.
Anyway. I did write my thank you notes - happily and sincerely - for three events I did recently. The class I led at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington was a wonderful experience. What a bright group of young women. They were very passionate and verbal. The class was "Violence and Gender" and I led a discussion on sexual abuse and recovery based on my second book - not to give the plot away! ;) I also did a similar lecture at SUNY Albany last week as part of their Sexuality Week. They started this event 16 years ago, and were the first college to devote a week to these issues. The students were a great group. And it was co-ed, so that was interesting. I thought the boys were very brave to stay through it. Not that it was anti-male at all, but still, talking about some of that stuff can be tricky. One male student was sitting right next to me, (it was originally set up as a lecture, but I pulled out a chair, and got everyone to sit in a circle with me) and at certain points, his right leg was jumping 20 miles a minute. But he joined in the discussion and was very enthusiastic at the end. It was great to connect with them. And I got to see family on both of these trips. My sons and I stayed with my sister and her son in Great Barrington for the Simon's Rock class, so that became a big trucks-and-planes-and-anything-with-wheels kind of weekend. And then after the SUNY Albany lecture, I got to have dinner with my husband's first cousin before I drove back home, and that was fun to have real visit time. Last week, I also did an interview with Ben Cheever on his cable tv show where he interviews writers. The show is on in Westchester, and when I have more info about it, I will put it on my website, if you care to watch it. If you do, watch it for him, as he is thoroughly charming and funny. He read at Spoken Interludes a year or so ago, (happily, he will come back next fall), and I adored him reading there, so wasn't surprised that this side of him was fun, too.
And his team there was also great. Shane, the station manager, had lived in Russia for a good while, so he and I were able to talk about the Moscow Art Theatre and how often does that happen?? Made me remember my acting student days where MAT was the holy grail, and Strasberg our humble vehicle to get there. Or not - like "The Three Sisters", but isn't that point??
Anyway. I talked with Ben about Chekhov, as I look up to him more than any other writer, and Ben told me how fashionable Chekhov has gotten lately and that was a shock. But I guess now that everyone has finally discovered Richard Yates - hooray for that long overdue event - Chekhov is next. And speaking of Yates, Blake Bailey who wrote a beautiful memoir of Yates, is coming out with one of John Cheever that I am very much looking forward to reading. Ben told me that he feels that Blake very much caught the spirit of his father, and I can't think of a better compliment for a biographer than that. Blake will be on Ben's show soon, too, so try to catch that if you're in the 914 area code.
Time to toddle to bed.


Post a Comment

<< Home