Sunday, July 4, 2010

Envy Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence.

One of my 1st memories of my mother, is her driving our Woody (station-wagon), with a handkerchief on her head, wearing her over-sized sunglasses, belting out Billy Joel’s “My Life” while it played on the radio. She tapped her right hand on the steering wheel along with the beat. While driving home from an audition today, the same song was playing. I noticed myself singing along, rapping my fingers lightly, & checking my rear-view mirror. The difference being, when I glanced back in the reflection, I didn’t see my 3 & 5yr old daughters giggling in the backseat. (It would be weird if DID, since I don’t have kids. I would probably think I was flash backing on acid). Sometimes, when I realize how alike my mother & I are, my throat begins to close. Most of the time, it’s such a nice feat of nature. I look exactly as she did when she was my age. (I even have some of the baby-weight on my hips, even though I’ve never given birth.) All of the little nuances that annoy me about my mom reflect all of the traits in myself that bug me. More importantly, everything that makes my mom wonderful, are the facets that inspire me.
(That Billy Joel song is so meaningful to me… it always had the same connotation as the song “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine, though I realize the latter is about revolution against racism in security agencies, and not about my choices re: job, family, status. What stands out to me is, “…fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…” much the same as, “…I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life…”).
For all that my mother & I are similar, we’ve made radically different lifestyle choices. I think my mother is happy with (most) of the decisions she’s made in her life, but she had perimeters- whereas I never did. From a young age it was obvious I was going to be a performer of some kind. As my parents watched me nurture those skills they fostered my abilities, encouraging me in every way to pursue my dreams. My mother (like many women from her generation) had little support from her parental units to do anything other than become a secretary until she met a man, had babies, & became a housewife. (She ended up having a very successful career in sales management on top of all that…) Don’t get me wrong- obviously being a housewife is very demanding & I’m sure rewarding. My mother simply never really had the chance to explore any other alternative. In the long run, would it have made her happier? There for the grace of God goes she…
One of my all-time besties (SCULLY) in Vancouver, has the most wonderful, devoted husband. They truly are meant for each other. I’m truly happy/jealous of her when I’m with them. Every time she complains to me about her career (or lack thereof, according to her) I remind her that at least she has love in her life. That she has someone whom she can count on, whom she can crawl into bed with at the end of a horrible day & whom will make it all seem better, somehow. Someone who always has her back. (Side bar: Scully & I used to live together on 52nd st. in NYC. 52nd st. is the name of the record that “My Life” is on. WEIRD, right?!? I KNOW!!!!) Since we decided the grass is always greener, we tried to figure out if we could ever really have it all- i.e. happy relationship, fruitful career, stable/healthy mind & body. I always wonder if I DID have it all, would I be satisfied? Would I get too complacent? I don’t actually think I would. I know that when my career is on fire, I work even harder. I also know that when I’m in love, life is (generally) easy-beezey-lemon-squeezey. In other good news, I have a number of girlfriends who DO have it all. Don't ask me how they do it. (The best example I can think of is one of my oldest besties in LA, SHANIQUA. Her career/own company is ON FIRE, has an amazing husband & a beautiful daughter. Also, she's gorgeous.)
Then I remembered, I DO have love in my life. From my family & friends, who’ve always been relentless in their love & support. And THAT is something I can fall asleep with, & make MY horrible days a little more bearable.
But it won't give me an orgasm. Thankfully, because that would be really weird/gross. So I'd also like to say big ups to my vibrators.
The End.


kate said...

I just read every single entry of this blog and ask that you please picture me, standing and saluting you, before breaking out in wild, uninhibited applause. I appreciate you, woman. Know this :} ~k8

Lil Fists said...

Claire, I am getting seriously addicted to your blog. I second the salute, in a big big way. Also want to say that I am hearting your billy joel references and might be the only person who laughs/gets your 52nd street reference.

claire elyse said...


Andre said...

This blog keeps getting better and better Clair. And I got the 52nd street reference. My Life is probably my favorites from Billy Joel. I consider it one of my theme songs.

Another great song from that album that I think applies to you right now is, Honesty.

If you search for tenderness
it isn't hard to find.
You can have the love you need to live.
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind.
It always seems to be so hard to give.

Than there's Zanzabar... It has nothing to do with you but it's a pretty sweet song.

Lil Fists said...

Wow, the fact that you have at least two serious Billy Joel fans following your blog says something (but I'm not sure what...!).

claire elyse said...

i think it says that my readers are fucking awesome!

Hot Dog said...

I love Billy Joel and I love that song. Have done it more than once at the Gladstone:)

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