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My Dinner with Julie

I have been in a bit of a mood lately.  Josh has been joking that it is my mid-life crisis, and it is strongly making me resemble a 9-year-old boy.  Last week, I took the kids to a comic book store and bought myself Superboy (I am very partial to Superman right now).  Afterward, I took them to an arcade so we could play pinball.  That sort of sums up where I am right now: I’m reading comic books and playing pinball.

I am watching old Fugazi concerts on YouTube instead of working.  I am spending all of my time marveling at how high other people can jump and wondering why I am incapable of getting that much air between myself and the floor.

This is not a good space for me.  I am restless.  I can’t get any traction to finish what I am writing.  I mean, it’s done; I could release it, but I’m keeping it around to pick at it self-consciously.  I both simultaneously love it and hate it.  I’m weighing it against things that aren’t even books.  I’m also weighing it against things that are books.  Usually, the mental scale tells me that it’s not as profound.  Sometimes, I can convince myself that it’s decent.  This is not a good space for me.


The dinner outing came at the perfect time; there is something about seeing Julie that is so grounding.  She is the type of person you can unravel and reknit yourself in front of and she won’t bat an eye.  She’ll just keep asking questions so the figurative stitching can happen.

We ate Thai food until the waitress not so kindly told us that they wanted to shut the restaurant (not to sound gluttonous; we had actually finished dinner an hour earlier and were just sitting there.  I didn’t want you to think that we were like Augustus Gloop, hand-fisting Pad Thai as we ran from the establishment).  We went to sit in the Barnes and Noble until they told us that we had now kept their store open an additional ten minutes.

(See, no one is chewing in this picture)

(This is how Julie sees me: all mouth)

I knew that I would see Julie this spring, so this winter trip just sort of dropped from the sky this week.  And it was what I needed in the moment to help crawl out of this comic-book-and-YouTube hole; a good conversation about nothing and everything.  I realized as we sat there how much I wanted to finish the project and move onto the next thing, so I woke up early to take a bunch of tasks off my plate so I could shut down email for a few hours today and speed up the picking process so the manuscript is nice and smooth.  In that moment, I decided that I had to love it, had to be happy with my manuscript and stop coveting everyone else’s manuscript.  Because fuck it, I have a perfectly lovely manuscript.

There is pretty much nothing better than having someone you read step through the screen.  And it made me miss every single one of you last night — those that have also stepped through the screen, and those who are still on the other side of the monitor that I hope to one day meet.


1 iamvulverable { 02.24.11 at 7:57 am }

I love this post, Mel. I’ve been feeling the exact same way these last few days. I was saying to my dad last night how odd of a feeling it is to miss people and care about and worry about them even though we have never met and in some cases might never meet. It can put me in a funk, too.

I’m glad you got to have that bonus visit with Julie and that it cheered you up.

2 iamvulverable { 02.24.11 at 8:03 am }

Oh, and I just need to say how much more I love you now that I know that you love Fugazi. I didn’t think it were possible, but there you go.

3 jodifur { 02.24.11 at 8:10 am }

I’ve been in a mood lately too. Maybe it is in the water?

4 HairyFarmerWifey { 02.24.11 at 9:16 am }

Oh, the ENVY! Would have loved so much to be there.

5 Mrs. Gamgee { 02.24.11 at 9:26 am }

My inner nine-year-old boy manifests in the form of obsessive video game playing and the eating of large amounts of Doritos. When he shows up, I know I’m in trouble, and need someone who knows the ‘better’ me to send him packing. Glad that you were able to have someone help you… and that that person was able to step through the screen. I’m looking forward to meeting my all friends on the other side of the screen some day.

6 Kristin { 02.24.11 at 9:27 am }

I really think the mood is tied to the time of year because it hit here too.

I would have loved to hang out with you and Julie.

7 Heather { 02.24.11 at 9:36 am }

I’m currently 14, I think. Moody, withdrawn at times…other times, rebellious and mouthy.

And one day our screens will melt away together. Soon.

8 N { 02.24.11 at 9:48 am }

Definitely in a mood over here, too. In fact, I was going to post about it, but then decided that no post would be decent, so I didn’t.

9 a { 02.24.11 at 10:09 am }

I think the mood is global. Can you send Julie to Libya to see if she can get them out of their mid-life crisis? Or maybe Saudi Arabia in a pre-emptive strike…

10 PaleMother { 02.24.11 at 10:34 am }

Mwah. Be well, Mel.

11 It is what it is { 02.24.11 at 11:57 am }

Hoping to meet you IRL one day, too.

I’ll be getting a tattoo to help my mid-life crisis, I mean, mood.

12 Esperanza { 02.24.11 at 12:52 pm }

Would it be trite to echo fellow commenters and say that I too, am in a mood. I guess I just did, trite or not. And I’m off work this week! Of course I spend much of it thinking about how I have to go back to work next week. Blerg.

I hope you finish your project soon so you can move on to different things. Good luck!

13 Esperanza { 02.24.11 at 12:53 pm }

PS – I so envy you that dinner date. I was supposed to have girl friend come over last night and ALL THREE bailed on me. I was so disappointed. I definitely had a woe-is-me night in. There was a serious self pity party going on and the DJ didn’t stop playing until the wee hours of the morn…

14 loribeth { 02.24.11 at 1:44 pm }

I’m in one of those moods too (although with both deadlines & my boss breathing down my neck, I can’t afford to be nicking off from work too much — which is why I am so behind on all things blogging related…). It’s February. Blech. That’s my answer. ; )

It is funny to miss people you’ve never met… but it always makes my day to scroll though my reader & see a new post from you or one of my other favourite bloggers. : ) Which is why I am reading & responding right now, instead of working. ; )

Back to it…

15 Kir { 02.24.11 at 1:52 pm }

I so know this feeling. Sometimes all of you (MEL) are the only people who really “get me” and who I can just talk to. I have IRL friends who are great too…and they let me do my thing….and for that I am eternally grateful…..because we all need that “Space” to be who we are, to get all the stuff out.

hoping that your indecision and mid life crisis, isn’t so painful 🙂

Love u

16 Barb { 02.24.11 at 2:25 pm }


17 HereWeGoAJen { 02.24.11 at 2:49 pm }

I had dinner with Julie once too, with all the Atlanta people. The internet people are my people. I came home so happy.

18 Mic@ IF Crossroads { 02.24.11 at 3:03 pm }

I, too am in a mood. Although I am calling my mood a depression 🙁 I am glad that meeting with Julie helped you out of your funk 🙂

19 Kymberli { 02.24.11 at 4:11 pm }

I’m stepping out of *my* fog to say that I hope one day we will also get to meet on the other side of the screen.

20 Justine { 02.24.11 at 4:38 pm }

Here’s to the lovefest, both virtual and real, that snaps us out of our funks!! 🙂

21 Chickenpig { 02.24.11 at 4:42 pm }

Ug. I would never want to be a 9 year old boy. I hope you’re working past it.

22 chhandita { 02.25.11 at 12:03 am }

I am a forever baby, thats what my husband says. I do what you are doing now a days ALL THE TIME!

23 Calliope { 02.25.11 at 5:36 pm }

I wish we could have a big ALI prom or something. Some event where we can get all tarted up and put on spanx (optional) and glitter (not optional) and meet each other (those that haven’t yet met) under the fabulous glow of a disco ball with an ABBA cover band crooning in the background.

24 Calliope { 02.25.11 at 5:37 pm }

You also have very nice teeth.

25 Bea { 03.05.11 at 6:44 am }

Yes, great teeth. Little jealous. Of that and your meeting with Julie, and your lovely manuscript (which I’m sure is even lovelier than you have led us to believe in this post). I hope your space gets better.


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