Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reinventing the Girl

I'm drawn to bartenders and actors like a fly is drawn to honey, so it didn't surprise me when I found myself having a nice chat with a young British actor boy at the Bar that Shall Not Be Named on Saturday night. Despite the fact that I think I insulted him when I predicted that his career trajectory would be akin to a Baldwin brother's (if he got that lucky), he was nice to me.

"What's the matter?" he said after a while, as my gaze boozily drifted off into space.

I paused. Then I abruptly swiveled around in my stool to face him dead-on.

"Okay. You want to know what the matter is?" I said. "I've met all of the goals I had for myself as a little girl, and now I don't know what to do next."

This is usually the line that sends guys scrambling for the door -- or at least the next blonde over. But this British boy was different, for some reason. He asked my Brazilian bartender of yore for a scrap of paper from the cash register tape and set about to scribbling with a blue pen. Then he handed the note to me. Here is what it said:

"REINVENT YOURSELF" Program

STEP 1:

Homework:
-Google & read "Desiderata"
-Get & read "The Law of Attraction"

See you next week!!

His "plan" was so incredibly sweet and young and optimistic and well-meaning that I had to keep the piece of paper, and I had to at least do some Googling to find out what the hell he was talking about. There's no way I'm going to spend my money on Law of Attraction, because I refuse to suspend my disbelief long enough to buy into notions like "good energy" and "bad energy" and "vibrations," etc. I think books like that (see: The Secret) are bullshit money-making schemes -- peddling half-baked psychological ideas to the weak and stupid who are willing to slap a credit card on the counter in exchange for a glimmer of hope. But I did find "Desiderata" online, and I liked it. It was enough to make me think and make me smile for two seconds today, so I'm posting it here for you guys to read. I hope you enjoy it for at least as long as I did:


Desiderata
by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

Hi Jane,

Ah heck Jane, I wouldn't want you to be reinvented, I love Jane just as she is. You and I Jane we can have some fun at your favorite bar together and just get completely sauced, darlin I'll Melt With You.

I'm sorry Babe, but I was thinking about your statement to him when you spun around and told him that you met all your goals, and I was thinking of something philosophical to tell you in return and I just thought the heck with all that crap and just face it Jane, I love you the way that you are and lets get sauced together.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Jane,

I took the time to re-read that Desiderata thing and it just sounds like so many collections of fortune cookies in some Chinese Restaurant.

I still love Jane just the way that she is. I wouldn't change a thing.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

Someone needs to get laid.

2:09 PM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

Would that be me or Phil, Blogstein? Both, perhaps? If you know any bartenders or actors, send 'em my way!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Bond said...

Desiderata....every child of the 60's/70's knows exactly what that is...well those who can remember the 60's/70's

This guy evidently had real hippie parents....
Have I introduced myself? Shall I make you a cocktail while you help me run lines?

=]

When you least expect it, the world drops at your feet the thing or person who will make you complete.

(How's that for a 'hippie-vibe'???

10:08 AM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

Shall I make you a cocktail while I run lines?

That made me laugh a hearty, loud laugh. It's funny, but then it's sad, because even that would be an improvement from the manners of most of these actors. Seriously. Good visual, though. SNL should do a skit.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Baron von Douchehausen said...

Desiderata is actually from about 1927.

Les Crane made it a spoken word pop hit in 1971.

Nothing like platitudes for the "pick up the jaded girl" toolbox.

Apologies for the avatar. Meteorology is my bag, baby.

5:35 PM  

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