Well it's now a year after my book tour and I've decided it might be a good time to re-visit this blog. (It was either that or continue watching Hoarders and frankly, even my television needs a break.) The entry below is from a column I once wrote for the NoHo Los Angeles News. Some of it found its way into the book and even another blog entry from months ago. This was it in its entirety and like most things I write...it exemplifies my insanity. Enjoy!
I am de-volving and I’d like to prove it to you.
I’ll start by sharing a “poem” I wrote in the 8th Grade. Mind you, it was the 80s and I was inspired by shoulder pads, Yaz, a guy we'll call "Vance" and clearly Pink Floyd lyrics. Here goes: “The bloody tears of a clown slide from my smile. Too many eyes, blue, green, brown, middle child stands aside and looks upon a frown." (Quick aside: I was not a middle child.) "Let us say goodbye to the silver worms of reality and welcome our reward…death.” Now as you can no doubt see, I was a well-adjusted, healthy middle-schooler. And while I never read that poem out loud to "Vance," I did sing Depeche Mode’s “Somebody” directly to him at the talent show…in front of 900 kids…while wearing an Angora sweater inspired by Howard Jones from the “What is Love” video.
Obviously, I had to leave that school system shortly after and luckily was accepted to the performing arts high school wherein I became a mime, but we’ll come back to that. Now years later, I am no different. I mean, the “bloody tears of clowns are not still sliding from my smile:” that would be ridiculous. And technically, I’m not still obsessed with miming. But I am still an adolescent and I don’t know what to do about it. I see adult friends around me with problems that derive from real grown up issues, like mortgage payments and kids having the flu. But I’m so stuck in my childhood that my fears are the same fears I had in 5th grade. Most of them stem from playing games like Pitfall and Adventure on my Atari, so I literally stay up nights worrying about alligators and quicksand and dragons and bats stealing my sword.
And that’s weird, right?
I’m struggling with what it means to be a 30-something. Oh by the way, I recently was so spaced out that as I was pondering this very subject I thought, “There should be a TV show called 30-Something. I should pitch that.” Yes, I’ll pitch that, right after I write my treatment f or M.A.S.H. But there are things I know that aren’t typical for a woman my age. For example, I still watch the Real World/Road Rules Challenge and I don’t mean casually. I don’t mean, like oh it’s 11:00pm and there’s nothing on, so I guess I’ll watch this old thing on MTV. I mean I set my Tivo, but don’t really have to because I always make it a point to be home at 10:00 on Wednesdays. I get nervous when the team I’m rooting for is losing and my heart races when CT or Johnny Bananas look like they’re about to take someone out. Now most of you probably don’t know of whom I speak…because you’re not 15.
Speaking of being 15, let's go back to my mime days. Being in the high school mime-troupe was a big honor at Arts Magnet High. You had to audition by writing a short, obviously silent play-let in which you had to show off your “space-work.” I wrote mine about “peer pressure and saying no to drugs.” Now in order to have the honor of a mime troupe, we did have to give up football at my school, which in Texas is a nightmare. I think because I never to got to show off my school spirit, except obviously at mime-offs, I have what some might call a juvenile love of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s like I’m still in ninth grade, rooting for that quarterback I never knew. I wear my team colors, I cry when they lose, I get wasted at the after-parties and by that I mean, I drink alone in my kitchen.
The point is, I feel there has been no evolution for me. It was so much easier in the good old days because we had John Hughes to tell us who we were. We could fit so neatly into one of his clichéd categories: the jock, the brain, the princess, the basket case, the richie or Duckie. But somehow I’ve gotten stuck in defining the world around me this way. I’m still begging the question, “What about prom, Blane? What about prom?” What’s sad is even Jon Cryer has moved on (quite successfully) but I just can’t. In fact, because of John Hughes, I can see that my life is so off-balance. I don’t have any Blanes around me, but I have at least 100 Duckies. That’s too many and that could be my problem.
All of this gets even worse when I go home to Texas. My friends from high school are all now either divorced or married with three kids. (There seemingly is no in-between.) And when I go to visit them and their children and their grown up lives, I feel like I’m perceived as the “wacky” spinster aunt-like character. I might as well just wear a purple cape. I was there not long ago, hanging with my friend Annie and her three year old son, Dylan. Annie told him “Cecily lives in L.A.” Dylan threw a Spaghettio at me. “Dylan, don’t do that. Cecily is a big writer in L.A.” Dylan then asked “Do you have babies?” “No, but I live in LA” I said back to him, defensively. He didn’t seem impressed and I know this because he then threw his Barney doll on the floor and started crying. (To be fair, that’s how most of my relationships have ended in Los Angeles, but I digress.)
I recall my parents seeming a bit worried about that 8th grade poem, but like most parents who have rebellious, silly teenagers, they always claim “Oh they’ll grow out of it.” Well…TA DA! Maybe I’m just not cut out for adult issues. Maybe I’ll always just be that Cowboys-obsessed mime who won’t settle for anything less than a Jake Ryan.