It's one of those weeks where I've got free-floating urgency about things over which I have no control. Honestly, I'm a walking Depends commercial.
I'm going to my first writers' conference ever, and I have to, you know, Get Ready. Ready for what, exactly, I couldn't tell you. Given the fact that my karma is a paranoid schizophrenic with homicidal tendencies and an affinity for gravity, I suppose I could get ready to drop my lunch tray on Vince Flynn or fall off my red hooker heels while accepting my Pulitzer. That's going to be so embarrassing. Stupid karma.
The problem is, I'm going as a learner. A beginner. Cards on the table, I'm going as a complete poser. My current obsession is that they'll have Idiot Detectors at all the doors, and I'll have to sneak in through the kitchen, curled up on the bottom of a dessert cart.
Of course as soon as I think things like that, my self-esteem problem - specifically that I have too much of it - takes over and swings me in the opposite direction, where I obsess about how sucky it's going to be when I can't even make it from my James Bond BMW to my castle without being mobbed by adoring fans, photographers, and people who just came by to throw bags of money and writing contracts at me.
Sheesh, can't a living legend have a moment's peace?
I have so many questions! Should I bring my laptop? How about business cards? Maybe a teacup poodle in a giant shoulder bag? Should I finish my manuscript? And will I need more than thirty copies of it for distribution purposes? I really don't want to disappoint all the publishers and editors who no doubt will be accosting me in the elevator, begging me for the chance to read my novel. Oh, how I wish those people had some restraint, some decorum, some respect for boundaries.
The situation isn't improved by the fact that I'm on speed, thanks to my drug-dealing, pill-pushing doctor. Between that and the 320 ounces of Diet Coke I've mainlined since breakfast, the free-floating urgency is generating a field of quantum randomness that actually has me thinking as fast as I talk. Those who know me will testify: That's a Delta Level security threat. The way my head is spinning right now, you may want to grab a raincoat and take one Grandma Step backward.
So, in the name of moving some of the more useless thoughts out of my skull so as to make room for my sincere expression of modest gratitude when Maya Angelou tells the audience that she wishes she had written "The Accidental Gringo" but will happily allow me the honor it so richly deserves, I offer you the highly anticipated sequel to my "Don't You Hate It When..." post of, um, several months ago.
Don't you hate it when...
1: ... your dog sits under the piano bench and farts throughout the entire lesson, only your student can't see the dog?
2: ... your daughter believes the highest compliment she can pay you is that "you scare the crap out of people"?
3: ... you don't read your horoscope until just before bedtime, and discover you did your whole day wrong?
4: ... you see your five-foot, six-inch reflection alongside that of a six-foot, three-inch teenage wrestler in the doors of the mall, and it's obvious to both of you that your thighs are bigger than his?
5: ... you actually have to ask the neighbor kid if she's selling Girl Scout cookies, completely destroying any pretense that you only buy them to avoid hurting her feelings?
6: ... you march to the front door, revving up to full throttle and prepping to tell the political stumper on the porch that those giant "No Soliciting" signs on the corner weren't installed as back scratchers, hoping, nay, praying that you can somehow work his IQ and that traffic cone he calls a nose into the dialogue...
7: ... and he turns out to be a guy you used to know from church, causing you to strip all your gears as you reverse from "annihilate" to "inquire after the well-being of his wife and children"...
8: ... and yet you can tell from the look of abject terror on his face that his life and premature death had already passed before his eyes as he saw you bearing down on him like Hell's meat tenderizer ...
9: ... leading you to suspect that perhaps your daughter has a point?
10: ... you sign up to attend a writers' conference even though you know perfectly well that on your best day you couldn't string together an interesting sentence even if three of the words were Elvis, alien, and placenta...
11: ... and you've told everyone you're coming and you're making arrangements to meet all these awesome writers and your sister is going to be your date at the wrap-up dinner so there's no backing out now...
12: ... and no matter how hard you try otherwise, all you can think about is how lame it's going to be when one of the pros waves you down and orders a pecan brownie from that dessert cart they saw you roll in on?
Yeah. I hate that too.