Monday, November 20, 2006

A Sofa Slug Weekend

I thoroughly enjoyed my first weekend off in forever. I did get a little cleaning/organizing done and did start on my one major work project for the week so I wouldn't have to deal with it later, but otherwise, I just relaxed and had fun. Saturday, I stayed on the sofa, working crossword puzzles and watching "What Not to Wear." I went out to dinner with some friends that night at the neighborhood Italian restaurant, then came home and curled up on the sofa watching a movie.

Sunday after church and a bit of grocery shopping, TCM seemed to be having a marathon of classic 1970s romantic comedies, with Annie Hall and The Goodbye Girl. Would you believe, I hadn't seen either of them? And would I sound like a total rube if I said I thought they were both a bit overrated? Maybe they were a reflection of their times, or maybe it's just that I find the nebbishy, neurotic, pretentiously intellectual type so totally unappealing. I think I liked The Goodbye Girl better than Annie Hall because it was romantic at its core, and I really believed the developing relationship (it did make me cry a few times), while the characters in Annie Hall struck me as mouthpieces for dialogue that Woody Allen was particularly proud of, and it never actually felt like a relationship to me (it's the same problem I had with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip -- that tone of smug "see how smart and witty I am?" self-congratulation that permeates everything). I can see how When Harry Met Sally was criticized for being something of a remake of Annie Hall with a different ending, but I like When Harry Met Sally better. I wasn't exactly swooning over Billy Crystal as a leading man, and he's not my type by any means, but Harry felt like a real character, and their relationship felt painfully genuine.

I must also say that I'm very glad I wasn't an adult during the 1970s. The kids' clothes were bad enough, but at least there's the excuse that I was a kid and not exactly trying to make a fashion statement. I'm sure one day I may cringe just as badly when I watch 1990s movies, but I can't think of any particular trend I was ever photographed wearing in the 1990s that could possibly look as bad as mid-1970s clothes and hair. The 80s? Oh yeah, embarrassment there, but I was a teenager, and you're supposed to look like a dork when you look back at your teenage years. Still, I know there's no photograph of me wearing legwarmers. Suspenders, sweater vests and skinny ties, yeah. Stirrup pants, maybe (I did own them, but don't know if there's evidence of that). I did own one pair of legwarmers, given to me as a gift by a relative, but I never wore them outside the house. I may have put them on once, then promptly realized that while they might look great on tall, skinny dancer types, on a short, pudgy girl with short legs, they just made the legs look even shorter and the butt look bigger, so they were quickly relegated to the back of the sock drawer.

In addition to coming up with a proposal for a fifth book in my series, I also have to come up with a synopsis for a standalone book. I'm just starting to have things play around in my brain and take shape, and in a weird way, I almost feel like I'm cheating on my series characters. I haven't seriously written anything that wasn't about these characters in several years, and they have an annoying habit of jumping up with interesting tidbits and stories to tell the moment I even try to write something else. That doesn't help with the sense that I'm being unfaithful. Fortunately, this new story seems like it's shaping up to be strong enough to hold up even with some outcry from the series characters. It's totally different, but still kind of quirky and magical. It also may come as close as I ever get to being in any way autobiographical.

And now I must return to my cleaning, sorting and organizing. I'm determined to leave the house clean so it won't be depressing to come home after Thanksgiving and so I'll be ready to put up Christmas decorations without having to shove clutter aside first.

No comments: