Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reality Doesn't Bite as Much as Delusion.

The 90's have been everywhere for a while but I wasn't in the full throws of 90's nostalgia until yesterday. First, I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio driving to the State Fair. I found myself gripping the steering wheel and recalling with perfect clarity a night out dancing with Amy and Liz when that song exploded over the speakers at the Ivy Tower and the place just blew up. Secondly, on the way home my iPod played August and Everything After by Counting Crows and I pictured the Sundance Party I was at with Adam Duritz, Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette and I swear Paul Rudd but it may have been Jack Plotnick, memory is a tricky thing. I shouldn't have "gone there" though because that party brought back with it the memory that after many dirty martinis David and I "Night at the Roxberry-ed" Sean Gullette while Darren Aronofsky watched on from the balcony in between fits of laughter. Once home I put the kids down and Google Imaged "The 90's". That's where it kicked me in the rear end like a really obvious combat boot simile, I had to watch Reality Bites.

This movie was the impetuous for a lot of things for me when it came out. But me being in my early 20's and stupid it wasn't the impetuous for what it should have been, namely me trying to become like Winona's character in the right ways, say by studying film and becoming class valedictorian. I wish it had. Instead it inspired me in all the wrong, superficial ways. I already had the divorced parents and the wardrobe but I didn't smoke, have a messy short hair cut and a best-friend turned boyfriend. I set about remedying all of that. Being too egotistical to accept that in reality I needed a much more feminine face to carry off a short hair cut and that it takes a lot of hair styling talent and money to produce perfectly messy results I ended up with a bad $20.00 cut from a Hair School Sophomore. Then I tried to kiss my best friend. You can read about that HERE. I had never entertained the idea before, I knew there was a line in the sand, I also knew if he found me even remotely attractive he would have cared to try something. But he was going with friends to see the film, and I felt that if he were going, he needed to be thinking about me.

I spent the 90's much of this way. Working retail, wishing I was anything and anyone other than what I was. I wanted to be Winona, I wanted to be the amazingly cool redheaded window dresser we had that came into the store once a month or so, I wanted to be my Manager at JMR. I wanted to be like everyone else, but not me. I wanted to be amazing and beautiful and I wanted attention and I wanted to be the center of the universe. And everything I did was some kind of attempt at attention, at soothing my broken heart, my broken soul, my enormous friggin ego. It was all about me me me. The best part is that every single solitary time I tried to elevate myself I crashed and burned incredibly hard. Back then, I was confused about how to get what I wanted. I thought I could make things happen just because I wished them to come to be. But the things I wished to exist were not based in reality. They were based in delusion.

It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I was really happy. I don't know if in my lifetime I have ever had a moment when I thought I was really happy. But in the car driving to Ikea with Brett and BR I had the realization that we had a fun house we were decorating and I loved my job and the kids were growing up and becoming super funny/ great people and I was just really happy and blessed. The difference between then and now is 100% ego. The reason why I did any of the things I did back then was ego. It was about creating something, yes, I was trying to create my reality, but I was using delusion to do it. I was doing what my Step-Mom called "Futurizing". I would imagine in my mind a future day when my hair looked like X and my boyfriend was Y and it would = Happy. I thought I could Art Direct my life, but reality isn't a film you can Art Direct into awesomeness.

My mom says that in all of us there is a God shaped void. And people try and put sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, food, alcohol, what have you inside of it and are confused when the results don't turn out. That was the entire 90's for me. I was taking Winona and putting her into the God shaped hole in my heart. That may be the weirdest sentence I've ever written but there it is, and I think you know what I mean by it. If you don't, I don't know what to say to you. Have you SEEN her in that movie?


AzĂșcar said...

I went through a serious Winona stage. I think most women our age did. WINO FOREVER.

Ali Pyper said...

Amelia, you are freakin' amazing. I LOVE your writing. I'm so glad that you've found peace with yourself. What a beautiful blessing!

Unknown said...

There are two writers in this family and you're the best one. Easily.

I love this post.