Friday, December 30, 2005

Do Not Golightly Into That Good Night, or What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

When I was a mere freshman college student at BYU, I met a drama professor named Max Golightly. What-the-hell-kina-name that is, I don't know. Navajo, I think, actually. But he told me he went to a party once in Greeenwich Village in the early fifties and met Truman Capote, who was sort of strangely, quietly, fascinated by his name.

There you go.

Two days before New Year's Eve, I'm sitting here watching Audrey Hepburn at her party, with the long cigarette holder, the leetle teeny black dress and the up-do with the white-stripe, "reinforcements" showing up with boxes 'o bourbon and ladies with big pink fuzzy hats, and mickey rooney with that bad japanee getup. This is what joni mitchell meant in 'people's parties' -- I had hoped, in a certain way, that this is what would happen on New Year's Eve, my 41st birthday. I'm always of the mind that if you want your birthday done right, do it yourself.

Last year, on my 40th, the party was definitely Golightly-esque. People I hadn't seen forever, a girl group singing 60s three part harmony with a rockabilly guitarist, Festivus goings on (the airing of grievances, the pinning of the head of the household). Me of the last day of the baby boom -- December 31, 1964. Last day of the last year of the baby boom. Maybe that's what's wrong. Not a boomer. Not an gen-x-er, not a gen-y. That's okay. I'm happy here, in the middle ground, middle earth, the birthday cake between. Last year, a huge gingersnap cake with eggnog creme anglais frosting with little sugar handmade can-can girls on top, to be precise. This year was more mellow, barely.

What happened for all y'all? For me and mine, we had dinner at the Pink Door (first cocktails at ours, then cocktails there -- I wore a long green sequined thingypie I bought at the Pike Place Market garage sale space for $15, fit me nicely, nicely -- have a pic I'll publish soon as I find my camera cord) ... My brother and Didi & Sharkey, A & P, too -- pasta, lamb (i ordered something expensive just because). My brother gave me the best present, (which I advised him to), a Holga toy plastic camera! Found out about these roundaboutly from Paul's Modernistic World (a nifty site!)

And then to Il Bistro for a sort of irritating midnight. The sailor wanted to go outside to the clock, and I was too connected to inside, for which later I apologized. Drama. Ah well. Then too much hornblowing and singing from the boys, and too many cocktails at zigzag. In a way, not so different from Holly's evening. She wakes up with her eye shades and tassled ear plugs shutting out the world. I wake up not so different. Just 44 years later. The more things change...

Am approaching the new year with questions. I stumbled across this, and it is endlessly fascinating to me. Check out Keith Devlin Strangely comforting, for someone who has grown up in an American-Calvinist-Protestant-Mormon tradition. Strangely comforting, the thought that we are entirely alone.

What is your dangerous idea?


Blogger tinarama said...

Yay, happy birthday to you! Funny, I always thought your birthday was Dec. 28. Argh! So much for my photographic memory. Anyway, I love the dangerous idea concept. I think my first dangerous idea ever was along the lines of "What if everything really doesn't happen for a reason?" And my second one was, "And what if that's okay?" I will be thinking about new questions this year too -- in the meantime, happy new year & (again) happy birthday! XO, T.

10:34 AM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

Happy birthday!
Reading your account of New Years made my head spin. Sounds fun. Dress sounds fancy.

My dangerous idea: "What if we never go home from our New York vacation?"

P.S. Did somebody say painting lessons? Great!
P.P.S. My kids read about the Troll Under The Bridge there in Seattle and are now obsessed. Screw Lady Liberty, ya know? We want a huge troll holding a car!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Writermama said...

Oh, Shannon, Happy Birthday! What fun to have a birthday on a day when everyone is feeling festive and not necessarily with family. Please post the photo of you in your dress.

And I wish you have a photo of your cake, too!

I have to think on my dangerous idea. I think it's dangerous that I don't right now have any.

6:05 PM  
Blogger The Mysterian said...

At the moment my dangerous idea is: what if I never came back from up trip to Portland? H'mmm ...

I'm glad you got a Holga and I look forward to seeing the photos you take with it. I just acquired a Diana through eBay.

Happy birthday, too!

7:25 AM  

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