Monday, November 07, 2005

Do SOMETHING Interesting!

Jamie Foxx said something provocative on "The View" last week. His version of Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" is featured in Kanye West's new hit, "Golddigger" and the ladies asked him if he ever dated a gold-digger. He replied, "Well, I gotta give credit to gold-diggers. At least they have a goal."

I envisioned all the hangers-on and partiers who no-doubt inhabit Foxx's celebrity world and how easy it would be for him to take up with the one with the biggest rack or the nicest bootie. Instead, he's looking for a woman who wants more than just to wake up next to an Oscar winner. God bless him.

I guess it's possible to live a boring life in this great big world, but I am not about to figure out how. My mom called me last week -- she's helping my uncle recuperate from surgery -- and she says all he does is play on-line poker and buy gems on the cable jewelry channel. When his wife comes home, they bicker and take care of their dogs.

And they all lived happily ever after.

My chest constricted as she described this to me. My beautiful blonde uncle was so handsome. Senior year he played the lead in the school musical and he had one of the most beautiful voices you've ever heard. When he sold cars, he was the top salesman two years in a row. And now he's 52 with two major heart surgeries under his belt (still smoking) and life seems like something he has to slog through -- with the help of the internet and TV. Is it really that hard? When I visit the city where he lives, I have a helluva time getting to all the FREE jazz offerings around town in a single week. And the theater, yarns shops, parks, museums, view of the river. OYE!

A buddy came to our neck-of-the-woods this weekend -- one of many trips he makes over mountain passes which can get perilous depending on the season. He teaches in a small town but can't live without cultural stimulation so he comes to the big city to see the small, artful movies that will never be shown in his local multi-plex. He's insatiable, always trying new restaurants, reading new books, attending live theater. The product of a tiny cow town, comic books and the rodeo were his childhood passions. He survived near-poverty conditions and neither of his parents went to college. So, how come he didn't end up like my uncle?

How do you get so bored with life that you only end up floating near the tip of the iceberg while an enormous glacier lies below, waiting for you to discover it? I realize some folks are compensating for past pain by lying low or hiding out. My ex, after spending his childhood in an alcoholic family, craved comfort. Luckily, he made it out alive and very creative, but his sights settled for the images of middle class security: the right car, the right house, the right girl with the right chest size... And really, after so much pain and chaos, can you blame him? He's an avid reader, an incredible musician, and perfectly happy staying right where he is -- emotionally and physically. I can sympathize.

But the people I meet don't respond much to boring. When I first started dating again in my 40s (that can cause a gripping pain of its own) I was amazed at how relatively easy it was for me. And then I figured it out: there must be a lot of boring-ass women out there. I admit, for a natural recluse, I can be pretty goddamned charming and I do have a natural curiosity about people, what they do, think, enjoy, and I don't hide my enthusiasm. And since I'm always looking for good concerts, movies, plays, books, etc., I have a lot to talk about. During my dating period, I got the feeling that I was unusual and I gotta say, I went out a LOT more than I ever expected to. I mean, I read TIME magazine. I know what my over-40 mating chances are!

I'm not a pin-up or centerfold by any means, but I think men don't mind a bit when someone is interested in them -- or is just plain interesting. Like Jamie Foxx, they want someone who's got a goal, a hobby, a dream, ANYTHING. The first thing those "get in the dating game" books tell you is to "be fascinating, or if you aren't, at least act like you ARE." What puzzles me is how in this world of unlimited choices, some people just can't.

Look, it won't be long before we'll have to while away a century-long life span on this planet, so we might as well make it entertaining. No matter HOW much you like this blog, I hope we don't spend all of our time on the internet or watching TV. Hell, even a NASCAR race once in a while is better than that!

My mother is not in the habit of quoting musical theater to share wisdom about life. If she were, I would hope she would offer my uncle the same advice Stephen Sondheim's characters give to the main character, Bobby, who frantically seeks happiness but can't commit to anything. "Want something, Robert. Want SOMETHING.


At 9:01 PM, Blogger Baby Chronicles said...

Yeah!!! The Kelly I know and love is back. I love it when you write like this.



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