Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy 2012

I know, it's a little late for new year wishes, however sincere, but I took no photos at the 2011 New Year's Pajama Party (my annual hostess with the mostest shindig) to share with you, Gentle Reader, and, frankly, I was just lazy. Because I was on vacation for 2 whole stinkin' weeks and I didn't do anything! Ha ha ha ha ha! And it was glorious.

Well, not completely true. I did clean, a little. I knit and crocheted, a lot. (Scarves for the WWII vets; a photo will come to show you the 7 or 8 scarves I made using up my yarn stash--almost an entire small crate of yarn. I'm entering the new year feeling so virtuous.) I read, a lot. I ate, a lot. I cooked (but you saw some of those photos in a late-year post, so I won't bore you). I shuffled around in my bathrobe, a lot. I played with the dogs and the cats, a lot, especially the sick Little Miss.

My New Year's Bash? You didn't know I throw a Pajama Party for the new year, every year? I do, I have for years. None of my friends are late night partiers, or were even in their thirties (I sure wasn't), so now in the latter part of our fourth decades, we're even less inclined to put on pantyhose (Shudder!), high heels (Shudder again!), and a girdle, er, spanxy-type thing (Beyond shuddering to absolute, dig-your-heels-in refusal) and stand around with a bunch of kids young enough to be our kids, who are getting drunk and throwing up on those uncomfortable high heels. My solution--throw a pajama party. Attendees wear their jammies or sweat pants, we eat lots of food, drinks are involved, but so is knitting or crocheting, movies, chocolate, and gossip. Some years we make it to midnight, some years we don't.

This year I decided that if we were wearing pajamas, we should eat breakfast, so I served raisin challah french toast, tofu bacon, fruit salad (courtesy of T), and mimosas. Tea and cookies were served halfway through this year's movie selection, Eat, Pray, Love (2010). M brought her usual hoppin' john to satisfy her half-Texan side, and straight-from-Vermont maple syrup. T brought the Young Turk, a.k.a. her 13-month-old puppy, who was a bit of a terror (dogs do go through the canine equivalent of the teenage years). The food was yummy! Raisin challah french toast is such a comfort food to me, I could eat it every day if it didn't like to reside in my midsection and not budge an inch.

My movie review, prefaced by my admission that I have not read the book on which it was based: meh. Scenery--gorgeous. I love that they even mentioned the mosquitoes in India. Everyone was physically gorgeous. I never met gorgeous people when I spent all those years traveling abroad, but I guess my mistake was not going to Italy because they are clearly out there for others to meet. I adored the Indonesian man who played Ketut.

I get the divorce-is-painful-I-feel-lost-I-need-to-find-myself theme, but I don't know a single person who could take off an entire year to just travel the world to find themselves (yes, I know firsthand how cheap it is to live in Third World countries), nor do I know people who could raise $18,000 in response to an email from me (but that's a reflection on my reality, and I'm sure there are lots of highly-paid people who could).

It just seemed to me Liz wallowed in self pity far too long. Why didn't Delia smack her upside the head and say "You have so many gifts and blessings. You want spirituality, here's the address to a soup kitchen downtown that never has enough volunteers." I never 'got' her marriage, which may be good; maybe that's what the director wanted me to feel, that it wasn't right. Or was that just a lack of chemistry between the actors? But if it wasn't right to begin with, why such devastation when it disintegrated? I never understood why she thought she'd find herself out there rather than in here.

The book may be better at detailing how she discovered herself within herself, how she came to be at peace with, to accept, to love herself. It seemed to me that transformation only happened in the movie after a hunky man fell in love with her (which would seem to this spinster biddy to be symptomatic of her problems to begin with, that she values herself only in relation to a man and not as her own individual, and therefore the whole cycle may start again in this relationship). She didn't realize how fortunate she was by living amidst poverty in India or Indonesia; she lived in an ashram and in a gorgeous cabana that had to have been part of a resort in real life. She didn't begin to understand her importance to life by making a difference, even in one life; she went to Italy and ate lots of pasta (although the acceptance of your body as it is and not as advertisers using 12-year-old, airbrushed models tell you it should be was a good message that too many women never hear).

Sometimes I want to run away to a place where no one knows me, change my name, be someone totally different. I think we all have bad days where we fantasize about that. I haul myself out of that abyss by eventually remembering how fortunate I am in so many ways, and I would hope that if I couldn't find that within myself, my sisters would smack me upside the head and help me get recentered. Was the movie inspiring? Nope. But it was very pretty to look at.


  1. I read the book. Not the HUGE empowering, enlightening tome other women seemed to feel it was, but one thing I feel obliged to point out was that in the ashram, she wasn't living in a gorgeous cabana in the book - movie liberties, I guess...
    Also, smack you upside the head and THEN give you a big hug!!!

  2. The ashram in India had a wooden door and I think there were screens on the window, which is a big luxury in a large part of the world, and the gorgeous cabana was in Bali (sorry if I wasn't clear about that above, but I though I was). Regardless, she wasn't roughing it.

    I also never understood why she thought following her boyfriend's dream to visit the ashram would bring HER peace?