I’m pretty much done caring about the Jill Abramson story, but in looking at various photos of her today, I think I recognize something in her — the late-middle-age don’t-give-a-fuck woman. She has three tattoos, she rides in the back of pickup trucks. She’s “brusque.” She obviously hasn’t had any face work done, or seems to pay a great deal of attention to her hair and makeup. She went riding with the Knight-Wallace Fellows, in Argentina. The gauchos take you galloping across the pampas on unreliable horses. It’s a hot, sweaty, dusty experience that leaves you all three of those things, and it’s pretty glorious.
A woman after my own heart.
I’m recognizing this period looming in my life. My daughter is ready to fly the coop; in a year she’ll be a legal adult and she already acts like one. I told people that if the bankruptcy judge allowed a single piece of art to be sold from the Detroit Institute of Art, I would get a detail from “Detroit Industry” tattooed on my back, and dammit, I might do it. I’ve considered, in the last few months: Taking a hip-hop/ballroom/belly dance class, buying a Cadillac or maybe an El Camino, selling the house and getting a loft in a shitty neighborhood, selling my great-aunt’s silver because what the fuck am I doing with it. I’ve stopped trying to perfect the pomegranate martini in favor of two fingers of Bulleit rye, neat. In other words, this may be the last period of my life that resembles youth before old age arrives, so why not? Sooner or later the grave will take us all; do you really want to die never having owned a $170 bra made in France?
The day the bus broke down, I was drawing near my office on my bike and thought, somewhat sheepishly, Dorthea Nall would never, ever do this. On the other hand, Dorthea Nall held a full-time job when the other mothers stayed home. Most of her friends were years younger than she was and even when she was old, she was never old, if you get my meaning. So she may well have ridden a bike to work in Detroit, too. She just didn’t get the chance.
In more other words, I have to say, there’s a lot to recommend being a difficult woman. Abramson will land on her feet, and in the meantime, she can say she never curbed her brusqueness to satisfy a Sulzberger.
And with that, I’m drawing this curtain. Story’s already played.
I just registered Kate for the ACT, her second try. Her first try gave her a very good score, excellent even, but we must try again, because one or two more points might open a magical door to a money source. All I can think, as I hand my credit card over, is this: Education in this country is effed. Totally.
But this is a good problem to have. As we go into the weekend, I leave you with this amusing commencement speech that no one actually gave:
There are so many terrible pop songs out there now that babble on about being true to yourself and loving you for you. And because young people are stupid, they buy into that shit and distort it and come to the misguided notion that having high self-esteem means never acknowledging that you have a shitload to work on. Take it from me. Whenever I get pissed, I usually kick the wall or throw something. And when my wife says that I shouldn’t have to do that, you know what my excuse is? That’s just who I am. That is the shittiest excuse in history, and people use it all the time. Oh hey, I’ll be three hours late to your wedding. SORRY THAT’S JUST WHO I AM. Not only does that mean you suck, it actually romanticizes your sucking. You actually expect people to be charmed by your suckage. That’s a cool trick!
Happy weekend, all. It won’t crack 70 degrees here.