Picture it – a kitchen on New Year’s Eve.
Me: We’re eligible for a phone upgrade tomorrow – we can get our iPhones!
Zoo: I don’t think I am.
Me: We got our phones the same day. Same account.
Zoo: Oh. Okay.
Me: So I can either order them from Sprint and they’ll take a few days to come or you can stop in a Sprint store in the city and grab them.
Zoo: Okay. Why don’t you have them sent.
Me: Sure. You’re not near any Sprint stores?
Zoo: (without a hint of irony and / or recognition) Well, there’s a Sprint store in my building.
Zoo: You want me to get them?
Zoo: So I’ll get them.
Mom: I’m leaving now. And there’s water on the floor – be careful because someone could slip.
Me: Someone, or you?
Mom: Well, I could easily slip on this.
Zoo: And then you’d sue us.
Mom: (on her way out the door) Parents sue their kids all the time…
So, remember this post? Well, yesterday early morning (like 5AM early) Zoo says, “you know how we’re always like, I hope the boiler lasts? It’s leaking.”
Me: The boiler’s broken?
Zoo: Right, the hot water heater.
Me: *stares and wonders how that’s the same thing* So it’s not the boiler?
Zoo: No. But it’s flooding in the basement a little. Keep an eye on it.
Me: *spending all day mopping up constant flood of water in said basement*
Plumber (later on that evening after replacing the water heater): I know you said the boiler’s also doing something weird, but I didn’t hear any rattling.
Me: It was doing it this afternoon. And then, when I put the heat to 68 in another zone, this zone goes to 74. And it’s the same zone that’s rattling.
Plumber: Well, it’s this radiator that’s close to the thermostat that’s making that heat go up.
Me: *trying to be logical* It’s been there for 6 years and that’s never happened.
*Chinese food comes. We have hot water. No one cares*
Cut to…6AM this morning
Zoo: Guess what’s leaking.
Me: Hot water heater?
Zoo: The boiler.
Me: The boiler boiler?
Zoo: Yup. And there was this awful rattling sound…
Plumber: I should’ve just slept here. You need a new valve – it’s a 40 year old piece. Oh, and there’s also this rattling in the boiler. It’s because the zone pipe is corrupted. That happens. It happens because the water gets too hot…
Me: And makes the heat go up ridiculously high.
Me: It’s like, half the time when I speak, it’s dolphin sqeaks.
Plumber: *ignores me* These things happen in threes.
Me: Thanks, Angel of Death, part 2 (because part 1 is my mother) – and this is the third thing. Remember the giant leak in the tub upstairs two weeks ago that means we have to rip out the entire bathroom?
Plumber: Oh, right. Zoo yelled at me when I gave him the price for redoing the bathroom. *turns as he’s halfway out the door* I’ve never seen a boiler pipe explode but check on it every couple of hours and call me if it happens. Otherwise, I’ll be back later.
Because there are no words
Me: (standing in the living room) Has the boiler always been this loud?
Zoo: Yes. Because you’re standing right above it.
Me: I’ve never heard it this loud. (goes to basement, opens door and hears weird click clack noise.) I’ve never heard that noise before.
Zoo: I’ve heard it – it’s running three zones at once.
Me: One zone is running. One. You’ve really heard this noise before? Because, like 13 years here and I’ve never heard it.
Zoo: I’ve heard it before.
Me: Before this morning?
Those of you who’ve been around the blogosphere long enough know that I totally lost my shit over something similar to what I’m about to blog about. And I promised I never would again. And I haven’t.
I guess there are certain things I can’t sit down and let pass by. And I’m seeing people saying, what a great article, and thinking, wtf – am I reading something completely different because I see nothing great about it.
I get that the author tried to layer it like, here were the misconceptions, here’s what happened and now I realize that all writers are awesome. But it didn’t work for me at all.
You know, why? Because the article starts out, “I’m pretty sure I used to sit at the smart table.”
Where do you sit now? Were you voted out because you write romance? I honestly don’t see that clarified anywhere in the article. And why did she used to sit there – because she has degrees? Because she read literary novels?
At the end, she realizes that she doesn’t have to worry about the fact that she writes fun novels because some romance writers went to college, and that in general, writers are writers no matter the genre! Awesome! Another way to justify writing romance! Does this mean there IS no smart table? How could you ever have sat at a table that didn’t exist?
So that’s how it came off to me. And it’s like, you’re a goddamned WRITER for Christsakes. Words are your living. If it came off that way, I’m betting that’s how you intended it to come off. So if you didn’t realize that saying things like, “I’m pretty sure I used to sit at the smart table,” implies that, now that you’re writing “fun” books (I guess that’s a new euphemism for Romance – let’s all look in the FUN section) you’re no longer at the smart table, then why should I, would I, buy your books? I want to read smart books by smart women, no matter the seating chart.
And let me clarify – romance novels can be ‘fun’ and they all have happy ever afters. But love is just about one of the most difficult and rewarding things in the world, both in real life and on paper. There’s nothing easy about it.
It’s one thing to admit you used to be a literary snob and now realize that you were missing out on the breadth and depth of a genre that’s been around for as long as a lot of those dead white males I studied in school. But saying things like, “I now know they’re (romance novels) great books in their own way,” isn’t helping me understand your situation. What does that mean, in their own way? Are all books great books in their own way or is romance a special snowflake?
That’s the problem with being embarrassed about what you do for a living – it always comes through, no matter how hard you try to hide it. This whole things reads like an apology of, I’m smart, but I write romance despite that!
Oh, but wait, I forgot, you don’t sit at the smart table anymore…
I’m thinking it would be so much fun (and probably easier) to blog the reality television shows I watch, especially the Real Housewives ones. I mean, I’ve learned so much, like:
If you eat a bow off someone’s spectacularly expensive cake, you should a) blame low blood sugar and then b) use the expression, is this the kind of world we live in when someone tries to throw you out of said party after eating said bow off the expensive cake.
Is this the kind of world we live in is now my new favorite line.
Is this the kind of world we live in? <—— (told you.)
I have lots of unanswered questions too, like did Jim from the OC really get a chin implant?
Was Briana pregnant when she said she wasn’t?
Did I ever hang out with Heather in high school, since she grew up near me?
Can I have Carole Radziwell’s writing? Or at least her floating staircase? (see Bravo video here)
Why is Sonya all Grey Gardens? Why do I still love her? Can I have a Milsaps of my very own?
Why does Heather pronounce Hummus as HO-Mas?
I would like Jacques to visit me. <—– obviously, not a question
If my editors are reading this, please note that of course, there are no Bravo TV shows watched until all writing is completed.
Again, I ask, Is this the kind of world we live in? Or I will when you invite me to your house and I eat a hunk of cake before it’s served and then you kick me out…