You need to meet Libby. She is wise and funny and has maintained her sense of humor every time life has kicked her in the whatever. She will lift you up.
I recently met Libby who is a great friend of my older daughter. I know how much Erica depends on her friendship and I was absolutely charmed. Erica reads her blog. Erica does not read MY blog, but she reads Libby’s. After I started reading it, I knew why.
Libby is so darn creative. And original. She decorated her entire adorable home with Oops! paint. Oops! paint is the stuff that people buy and return to the paint store because it’s the wrong color. Erica says the paint store sells it for about $5 a gallon and Libby makes it work wonders. I love found art and old things repurposed into something your never even thought of, so obviously I find this a triumph.
“ I am a closet writer and do it because I love it and as I get older, and older, and older I am trying to do more of what I love without worrying so much about doing it perfectly.” Does this philosophy sound familiar? And wouldn’t everyone be happier if they gave this a go?
“I write like a I talk so don’t expect smooth, glossy sentences or precise words.” She does. I spent many years teaching young writers to find and use their own voices. Her voice is what makes reading her blog so much fun. It is lively, bouncy, a bit self-deprecating, funny, and wise beyond her years. It is also hopeful and real.
She is every bit as amazing a woman as Erica has always said. I am so glad to know she will also be my friend. Just to give you a taste, I am going to simply steal one of her early blogs and publish it here–without permission. But I want to explain why I chose this one.
Erica has a group of friends who met at work and who lunch or party together. They have named themselves the Cool Kids. Because they, mistakenly, believe they are not. They are now considering special T-shirts. They rally around each other whenever one has a need. They are the reason I only worry a little bit as my little girl goes through some life changing issues. I suspect Libby named them because of this blog which hit home with me. Maybe you, too.
We never really escape high school. It only takes one word, being left out of one conversation or one sneer before BAM!! You are suddenly 15 again. Fifteen and gawky. Fifteen and aching to fit in. Fifteen and acutely aware of your social status –or rather lack of social status—in a clearly defined hierarchy. Fifteen and pudgy. Fifteen with braces. Fifteen and pudgy AND with braces. Fifteen with a bad perm—a really bad home perm, an-at-home-bought-off-the-clearance-shelf kind of bad perm. Fifteen, pudgy, braced, frizzed and wearing knock off jellies. Fifteen, pudgy, braced, frizzed, wearing knock off jellies and NOT wearing Gloria Vanderbilt jeans because GV obviously had no tooshie AT ALL because her jeans were ramrod straight and in no way compensated for a single curve. I digress. Okay. Fifteen and: awkward, braced, frizzed, pudgy, with knock off jellies and Lee Jeans (oh God save us from Lee Jeans). Standing in the cafeteria, alone, realizing that no one of your social level shares this particular lunch schedule. Life doesn’t get any rougher then this moment. The world stops. The air sucks out of the room. You know you have to take a step forward but you are unable to make your knock off jellies encased feet move. The step forward means stepping by the ‘cool table’ full of muscles, letterman jackets, real jellies and GV jeans and long hair with bangs teased up to the stratosphere. Another few steps and you would have to step by the wanna be cool table with letterman jackets, smaller muscles, a few more pimples, real jellies, tighter GV jeans and bangs teased and sprayed until they resemble weapons. Further on you would have to pass the table fool of the aloof kids wearing black with sharpie tattoos on their hands. The bow in your badly permed hair would serve as a bulls-eye for a rapid attack from the super-rebellious crowd. Being mocked by them would cause wanna be table turn and stare secretly happy that their social status was one notch higher then yours which saved them from the verbal torture. The cool kids wouldn’t lower themselves to look but they would be the first to ask a wanna be what the commotion was all about as soon as the lunch period was over.
This little walk down horror lane could continue indefinitely. It was painful enough the first time. Why re-live it on purpose? Oh yeah. My original statement that for each of us there are things that immediately send us back to that high school feeling. How sad is that? How sad that at 41 year old woman I can be reduced to that low point in my life with a single slight? How sad that no matter how old you are there is always a place where you don’t fit in? There will always be a table that you can’t join. Always a group that doesn’t want you as a part of it. Always. As adult women we just learn to navaigate away from those tables/groups. We move on. But I don’t think we ever move away from that adolescent girl. Not far away anyway.
More Libby here.
More art and stuff later–