Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy Saturdays

Sometimes I need a break. Time to relax, rewind, unwind, and recuperate from a busy and demanding week. Yesterday was that day. In fact, I didn't even change out of my Victoria's Secret gown. Instead, I lounged around on my new sofa, watched one hour of television, and read a great deal -- between naps, of course.

I jockeyed back and forth between Historical Deception and Asking For Trouble -- basically between a heavy meal of meat and junk food. I'm still plowing through Egypt and finding much I didn't know and some things I did know. Always an interesting proposition. The junk food, however, was quite tasty and went very well with the fat free orange sherbet that failed to last as long as the laughs and tears.

Asking For Trouble is the basis for last year's The Wedding Date with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. The movie bombed but it wouldn't have if the director had stuck faithfully to the book. He threw out anything that wasn't Hollywood enough: a heroine obsessed with her "wobbly bits" and fearing that everyone, including her hired date, saw her as desperate; an escort who wasn't a hooker; the reason for needing an escort in the first place; her friends' collusion and help/harm; and everything good about the book. The bride became a self-absorbed, vapid blonde who sees herself as the center of the universe instead of a confused, naive girl doing what everyone expected of her. Gone was the mystery, the suspense, the absolutely hilarity of Elizabeth Young's dialogue and convoluted situations. All this in favor of a less than satisfying, much less than mediocre piece of tripe that had little worth watching outside of Mulroney's cynical smile and six-pack abs and Messing's dithering and ill-timed spasms. It worked for Will & Grace certainly does not translate well to the big screen. It makes Messing seem a one-note wonder. The book, as always, was far better.

My one hour of TV was taken up by George Carlin's You Are All Diseased. As always, he made wonderful and salient points with his careful rapier-point wit and intelligence. Nothing and no one was spared, not even soccer moms and involved fathers who believe their children are all geniuses warranting special treatment and unfettered attention.

Reminds me of Arthur Miller's plays, specifically, The Man With All The Luck, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman. The fathers in all three plays had the same problem: giving too much to one or two sons and ignoring the others, thereby ruining the sons who got all the attention and making certain the ignored sons lived productive and rich lives. Puts a whole new spin on the way things are done today when parents have been shamed and forced into living their lives for their children and forgetting they also have lives to live, lives they put on hold for children who have become the conspicuous and stellarly spectacular consumers of today who let nothing and no one stand in their way to gather material possessions.

I don't mean that parents should ignore their children, but rather provide guidance and support and let their children become independent, productive individuals ready to fly the nest and build nests of their own. It is definitely time to take another look at Miller's plays, not only because of the human truths they portray in such vivid and uncomplicated language, but also because there are some lessons that have been forgotten and ignored.

Now it's time for me to tuck in and do the chores I left undone yesterday so I can face the work week with a clean plate and a healthy appetite.

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