Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Failure of the Day: The therapeutic benefits of writing a novel vs. going on a tri-state killing spree

I think I need a hobby. For the last couple of days all kinds of bridal web sites and articles and stores have been catching my eye, and I sort of miss being in that market. While I was doing it, I was outraged most of the time because everything was absurdly expensive and the sales tactics were nothing short of insulting—"What do you mean you don't want to spend $10,000 on your dress? Don't you love him that much?"

The people who market their crap to people planning weddings work under a ridiculous assumption, I thought, namely that I had been dreaming of The Day since the moment I emerged from the womb. The truth is, I'd never given it a single moment's thought. And that was what was fun about it for me; I didn't have the slightest idea about what weddings were supposed to be like, so Chris and I could do whatever the hell sounded cool to us. And you pretty much have carte blanche at a wedding; there's not really any such thing as "over the top."

So even while I was thrusting my righteous indignation at the wide variety of prissy salespeople I had to deal with, it was really kind of fun. I miss it a little bit. That's pretty pathetic, I think, but really, you don't get that many opportunities to just dive into a giant industry like that. I suppose it happens when you're pregnant, too, but the gestation industry creeps me out even worse than the Buy This Crap To Prove Your Love industry. And thanks to Lionel Shriver's fantastic We need to talk about Kevin,
my desire to go on that particular journey is diminishing with each page I turn.

Maybe I just need to find some weird new thing to immerse myself in. The options are endless, really…Wine tasting? Yu-Gi-Oh? Dog breeding? Crime? (I hear the occasional tri-state killing spree really perks up one's week). But really, at the root of all this is a single problem. Today is the first day of the month. By the time this month is through, I will be finished with my novel—probably sooner than that, in fact. And what will I do then?


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