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2:57 p.m. - 2011-12-04
Pink Flamingos among other things.

'I pride myself on the fact that my work has no socially redeeming value.'

A quote from filmmaker John Waters. It's on a magnet I recently added to the other magnets on my office door. Magnets with quotes from a rather eclectic collection of folks. If a social-archeologist were to come across that door in the rubble of some future time and had to try and figure out what kind of person I was from those pithy scraps I wonder what she'd think? What conclusions would you draw from the leavings of someone who put John Waters together with Eleanor Roosevelt, Goethe, Lily Tomlin, Shakespeare, Hermann Hesse, Dolly Parton, Luke the Evangelist, and Janis Joplin?

Probably that I simply liked magnets and collected them like a magpie.

But the quote from John Waters really struck me. Not because I've had puffed up notions about making some lasting contribution to literature and thus the world was ever after a better place, but because it reminds me that even tacky garbage has validity if it's well done. And nobody makes better tacky garbage than John Waters. He might claim there's no redeeming value in his work, but if his films weren't good then nobody would be putting his quotes on magnets. And Baltimore's pantheon of greats would be limited to Edgar Allan Poe and Duff Goldman.

Well, I have friends in the Baltimore area I think are pretty great, but you know what I mean.

To backtrack a bit and answer the bitchy unasked (but heard anyhow) question: No, I haven't chosen my magnets to impress anyone with how quirky cool I am. Besides my family and the Geek Squad, at last count exactly eight people have been allowed in here. Each of them a friend who'd love me anyhow, even if the only things on that door were smeary fingerprints. I've spoken often enough about how my wee office is MY place and that one of the bitterest, nastiest fights Mick and I ever had was about his arrogant assumption that he could come in here and impose his taste and choices on my stuff. My office isn't set up for public consumption nor do I keep it to a standard for anyone's comfort but my own. Mick's even finally given up insisting I replace my ratty chair and limits his offerings to flowers for my desk. The most recent ones being a gorgeous bunch of lilies, carnations and gigantic gerbera daisies- all of them a rich flaming fuschia. Fabulous. The florist argued some about the monochromatic color scheme but gave in when he saw how beautiful the finished bouquet was.

Today's paper had a Christmas card from our delivery guy tucked into it. Angling for a tip, of course, but nicely. Jose does a terrific job and I'll send him something. There's some wiggle room in the budget since my gift to Mick this year is skipping Christmas altogether. He loathes holidays and the forced jolliness of Christmas practically gives him hives. Oh, in previous years he tried to put a nice face on for my sake, the world's tallest elf, but I know him too well. Watching his moues of disgust at decorations and carols, listening to his complaints about the sham of it all, dealing with his rants about having to go to his sister's, I figured it was his turn to have it his way. Wolf doesn't believe in Santa anymore and the only thing that Alex wants is for me to drop dead and leave him some money in my will, so why not? Why not let Mick off the hook? So. No lights. No tree. No cookies, carols, bows, tinsel. Dec 25th will be the completely relaxing do-nothing day as my poor holiday hating husband has always dreamed of. Certainly makes my life easier. I'll get Wolf his big gift and do some donating to my favorite charities on the sly, but will otherwise count myself lucky that I'm not on the line to provide anything else. I mean really, how many other people who claim they want 'nothing' for Christmas truly mean it?

Besides, the following day is FIL's 80th birthday. (Dec 26 is a shitty birthday, eh?) After the fiasco of trying to throw a 50th anniversary party for people who have no friends I know Mick and I and Wolf will be expected to come through with the fuss and to-do over FIL's 80th. It'll be just us. So I'll be providing the must-do dinner and celebration anyhow, it'll just be a day later. Why not cut myself a break and skip the crap sham of Christmas if I can? Why double-up on the bullshit?

Getting smarter in my old age, ~LA

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