If you ask people who’ve met me in passing somewhere out in the scene, you might hear my personality described as “dramatic”, “loves attention”, “loves the limelight”, etc…
I’ve always been a little bit, shall we say,
irrational, devoted when it comes to my Sunnies. Like certain women from Texas who have a thing for bouffants, I’ve always believed that bigger is better. Or, in the words of Magdalena de la Cruz, the protagonist of my novel So L.A. “As long as you have a good purse and big enough sunglasses you can get away with anything in Los Angeles.”
Case in point? See “Post Exhibit A” (archived by my mother) wherein I rock a gingham chambray jumper and fashion a pair of red sunglasses in perfect “Sunnies-Quite-Possibly-Bigger-than-my-Face” style. I was maybe two.
Come to think of it, it could be said that the best part about Los Angeles is the fact that you can wear Sunnies anywhere, anytime, always. It matters not that you’re indoors. Nor does it matter that it’s after dark. I’m going out on a glamor limb here, dangling dangerously from a date palm tree, but I’m going to admit that in addition to sporting Sunnies to match my dress, I may even have sunglasses for different qualities of light. I mean, doesn’t everyone?
My best pair of Sunnies, by far, were a vintage pair of off-white Dior glasses (see “Post Exhibit B”). They were HUGE in the best possible way. And they died a tragic death in the hands of my daughter, who, when she was two, went on a spiteful sunglass busting bender. She just snapped every pair she could find: crack, pop, burst, like a wishbone the week after Thanksgiving. I was devastated. In fact, I still am.
In the hours after, when I was in shock and unveiled disbelief, I rushed out of the house with my puffy eyes exposed and drove them to three (yes I said three) certified optometrists, an ophthalmologist, a jeweler and a patio-glass repair man (that was when I was really desperate) but all six told me the same thing: Ma’am I’m sorry but…
Even still I couldn’t part with them. I keep the left “arm” as well as the right “three-quarters” of these glasses (of these tinted, broken dreams) on my desk as a reminder of who I used to be. They are joined by four other, less meaningful pairs, that were also busted by the baby. It’s a variable vintage sunglasses graveyard.
My current (favorite) Sunnies are newer and slightly smaller (not by choice) and much less fabulous, but in quintessential Didion fashion, they are about three-and-one-half inches round and a muted grey (perhaps because I am still in mourning?)
Bridget is a friend, mentor, inspiration, advisor, twitter follower, confidante, et cetera…
I learned a lot about self-acceptance from Bridget’s writing advice during my years as an undgrad (and afterwards).
As it turns out, writers view words as instruments by which individuals connect to others. I learned that writing can be formatted in any way as long as the message and the spirit of the message are successfully transported to another — carrying with it the essence of its source.
Writing is a vehicle.
And, unlike perfectly formatted bullets on a memo, the musings of a good writer isn’t only concerned with getting you to point B –– she wants to take you on a ride!!!
Congrats on your beautiful book, B. And, thanks for the ride.