Cancel My Subscription

Greetings and salutations! Forgive the absence – November and December were a blur. I feel so rusty, and I’ve been indecisive on which topic to write. My folder is full of ideas, but I can’t get it together.

The last months were great – busy and productive, and the holidays were peaceful, non-materialistic, simple and not overindulgent. Amid feelings of bliss I am forced to encounter people who are…not happy…or confused?

Some incidents occurred, which at the time peeved me, but I had my outburst and it was over. Now, I am grateful because these nothings were so absurd, they offered up a treasure trove for me.

During my down time I caught the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. A line, from Larry, came up more than once: “I don’t subscribe to…” referring to a belief/custom/social norm – fill in the blank. The one I remember is he’s asked to take a house tour because Susie and Jeff move into a new home. Larry refuses. A screaming match ensues. Regarding house tours, I’m with Larry. Unless you’re showing me around Chatsworth or Highclere Castle, I’m not interested. We have to see the matching curtains and bedspreads – whatever (a major interior design violation in my book) in your daughter’s bedroom? What is the message we are supposed to receive – wow you have great stuff, you can recognize various hues of pink and put them together? What am I’m missing?

I wasn’t asked to take a house tour, but I’m citing Curb because I feel that the “I don’t subscribe to…” can fill a lot of ellipses in my observations of the world as I watch people go crazy or reveal some weird neurosis that is obnoxious.

Let’s start: “I don’t subscribe to your desperate need to be flattered, nor do I care how many people think you are amazing.” This is for an 86-year-old woman who is related to me by a misalliance of marriage.

“I don’t subscribe to baby talk or cutesy talk unless you are under the age of five.”

“I don’t subscribe to the use of the word ‘metrics’ in a sentence when talking about a person.”

“I don’t subscribe to complaints or bitching without a solution (no matter how half-baked), or trying to help (no matter how inept).”

“I don’t subscribe to your identity/victim don’t hurt me schtick, which you think is a hall pass for your shitty behavior.”

“I don’t subscribe to feigning interest in the description and explanation of your tattoos/piercings/Manic Panic hair color, etc.”

“I don’t subscribe to the notion that a person will have apoplexy or syncope if I say ‘fuck.'”

“I don’t subscribe to the contagion of business speak – speak in plain English!”

Example: “Utilize historical and predictive analysis to inform media decisions, develop media approach and strategic direction for various initiatives, define target audiences, create and execute plans designed to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and use data and tech advancements to drive corporate and network goals. On-boarding new employees, training, growing and supporting direct reports and colleagues.”

I speak four languages aside from English, and I recognize the above words, but the arrangement baffles me. What does this MEAN?!!!

Maybe I don’t want to know. The list goes on, but I will end here and declare that I do subscribe to apologizing when required, while simultaneously encouraging the refusal to “buy in.”

Contritely,

Clare

PS. After writing the new post: “Pâté for the Partay…” I realize I have another “cancel.” I don’t subscribe to the “I’m a cat person,” or “I’m a dog person.” Why are humans so self-limiting? We have to chose sides? Can’t we love both…or better…all the lovely creatures?

Spiders, and Ghouls and Skeletons…Oh My!

I know! I’ve been absent, and I have missed not posting regularly. My apologies. September was busy and October busier still. Work was hectic, paperwork and other obligations begged my attention, as well as dodging the myriad of colds that hatched with the weather changing. I did have time this past Wednesday to take a walk along the sea in my beloved charming village near where I live. I’ve written about this beautiful place in a prior post (see “Luca Brasi Sleeps with Oscar Mayer” – August).

Wednesday was a spectacular day, not too cold, a cloudless sky and so clear you could see for miles. Even with the seasons changing the flowers were still blooming. I was delighted to see that most homes have gotten into the spirit of the season with either Halloween decorations or more “harvest” themes. I realize that sometimes they can be pretty awful, but without exception these were cute, funny and tasteful.

Lots of spiders this  year, zombies and ghouls, skeletons and a new one for me that I can only describe as evil baby zombie?

Pretty creepy but also amusing. I enjoyed it all immensely. I hear from a friend who lives in the village that Halloween is a night where so many children trick or treat that the streets are full of parents, strollers, dogs on leashes, and of course children in costumes. He told me that his house gets over 100 trick or treaters! It’s reassuring to know that there are some safe places where kids can trick or treat en masse and not worry about weirdoes or people putting horrid things in candy. He also said they have a neighbor with an old fashioned hot dog stand which he sets up and hands out hot dogs and other treats for everyone — including cigars for the adults. How nice. There is also a Halloween foot race, in costume of course, and other events planned for the townsfolk. It’s endearing and I know a bit corny, but it’s also heartwarming to know there can be moments that are sweet and innocent. These are the memories that stick, aren’t they? So, I hope to post more shortly — this weekend is my goal, but I wanted to check in and wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday —  kids from 1 to 92. Isn’t that how the song goes?

Clare Irwin

P.S. On a humorous note I was thinking of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry David refuses to give candy to two teenage girls because they are not in costume — or convincing enough costumes for Larry. Of course an argument ensues, and the next morning he wakes up and finds his entire property toilet papered. It’s pretty funny. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.