Thursday, July 14, 2005

Kiss My Rusty Dusty!

Well who knew that the blogosphere was riddled with the same kinds of clubby, insular, cliquish people we found in high school? Pas moi apparently. I couldn’t figure out why I was getting stonewalled from some of the blog women I was writing. I thought maybe they were busy or something. But then it dawned on me that no, they weren’t writing me back just because. Which made me feel like Dennis Christopher in Breaking Away you know, when he tries to befriend his fellow Italian bike racers and they gang together and push him off to the side. I mean, ouch!

I would feel really bad and really kicked in the sand, especially since I don’t have Dennis Quaid’s six pack abs around to make me feel better like Dennis Christopher did, but the deal is, the FIRST person I ever wrote when I started my blog was Heather Havrilesky, who is a real writer—I don’t mean that in the bitchy petulant way, but in the way that she is actually a working writer (for Salon) and has maintained a blog since 1999. Guess what? She wrote me RIGHT back and it was the nicest damn email I have ever gotten. So there, all you superior, non-writing-back tramps. Hmph!

I feel like such a dork because I wrote them fan emails, you know? Like, Hi I like your work and here is some of my work kind of thing. I mean they could at least write back and say, “Good luck!” Holden Caulfield’s favorite blow-off. Or, “Kiss my rusty dusty,” my mother’s favorite come back.

So I guess the moral of the Dennis Christopher, sand in the face attempt at befriending or CONNECTING with fellow blog writers is: go to the top. Even the New Yorker will write ya back if you submit something to them. Yeah, it’s computer generated, but you know what? I treasure those stilted robotic emails. It means the New Yorker cares! But we always knew that. It has to do with class, ladies and germs. Class, and nothing more. Such a rapidly diminishing attribute.

I’ll tell you ANOTHER real writer who wrote me a LONG letter (as long as we're on the subject, dammit), Stephen McCauley, who is a heartbreakingly beautiful AND funny writer. Now, this may lead you to believe that I write people fan mail all the time. I don’t! That’s what's so crushing! I wrote three blog tarts whose work I admired, one to Heather Havrilesky, and my one letter to Stephen McCauley because I read his book when I was in Peace Corps and had fallen in love and gotten married and his book was all about love. When I got home from Peace Corps my mother had the letter from him waiting for me. It was so touching. And real. And polite and kind. I reached out to him and he responded all about love and told me he was happy I found love. He found time, in the middle of his busy, Hollywood screenplay writing, best seller book tour, real writer schedule to not just throw me a bone, but pen a touching, connected response.

So really, when you’re going to reach, make sure it’s high, and not into a snotty clique of tragic wannabes. Whew, there, I feel better now. Gotta go scare up some Friskies Buffet…

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