While pushing my obviously-shopping-for-one tiny cart through Grocery Store Land, I suddenly and without hubris think, “Hey, hold up y’all. I’m a multi-published author.” I lift my head from bright-colored packaging and muse, “Right this very moment, someone may be reading one of my books . . . wow.” *Adjusts crown* I pick up a jar of sour pickles (no relation to sour grapes) and consider this: “What if that person who walked by and smiled as if they knew me does know me?”
In the cooler section, I am cool. “Why, I could be famous and not even know it. Maybe that song over the loudspeaker is about me . . . .” *Fa-ame it’s (all) mine it’s (all) mine*
Come on—you can tell me. You’ve surely felt this amazingly pumped. Right? *Scans faces for acknowledgment of kindred spirits*
And don’t we open that bag of goodies right there in aisle 5, swallow the goodness down, and as it enters our blood and rushes through our veins and fills our marrow, we feel plumb-ass full of how great this writing life is—do a little hot-dog-gone dance right past the deli section.
To the woman sluffing by in her I’ve-Given-Up-And-Given-In sweatpants and resigned expression, we shout, “My time has come at last. I am one with the Literary Universe. You have met me, now go and be awesome, because I decree you deserve it!” And disco sparkles explode from the overhead lighting as she rips off the sweatpants to reveal her sparkly outfit and new outlook on life. What can we say, except, you’re welcome! Of course with modesty, for humility covers our heads as a gentle hand staying the hopping up and down in glee.
I wanna be all that and then some on a southern-fried stick. Don’t you? Why can’t we feel joyitude at our accomplishments, whatever they are? If you suddenly feel on top of the world, then for gawd’s sake buy the good Italian tuna in olive oil and the good Ina-Garten-says-so vanilla and the name-brand milk and the cage-free-no-suffering-chickens’ eggs.
Isn’t that what we want? To be appreciated by our readers. To be admired by our peers. To be recognized in the booze aisle—no wait, in the healthy food section, that is. And a parade in our honor. And, um, maybe a best-seller list. Oh! And a big fat ole award displaying our brilliance. Oh, yeah, and our ever-present humility, too. Throw ‘em all in the basket! It’s not going to cost you as much as self-indulgent starvation will.
Yup, glory-moments that stop us short in the peanut butter and jelly aisle.
But then, somewhere near the toilet paper section we realize we’re so full of shit and the anxiety curls around our innards and we snivel in the corner with our hands out pleading, “Charmin. Stat!” And as our angsty tears fall like the clichéd rain, the music is replaced by a loud and clear voice ringing across Grocery Store Land, “Clean up on Aisle 17! It’s another goddamn long-suffering writer!” [Read more…]