Friday, April 4, 2008

Room cleaning, red lipstick, and old (love) letters

I've read that the best way to keep readership at one's blog is to post often so that readers do not get discouraged/disinterested, and keep coming back.

If only I had more to write about than the trivialities of day-to-day life. I live at home with my parents. I don't have a job, and I don't have a car. Most days I don't even leave my house. That said, I've had an interesting life so far (meeting all sorts of people, and traveling around the globe), and what I think could be called an intelligent brain. I've had a bit of a setback of late-- namely that monster called Depression which robs one of all joy. I'm working on getting my feet back on the ground, but in the meanwhile, I've begun what seems to be some form of ritualistic cleansing: I've begun going through all of my old things, my room, other parts of my house, and really trying to get rid of that stuff that is of no value to me, or is of value, but in the grand scheme of things, isn't really worth me holding onto. It is a job that is long overdue, I have taken it on with much relish. In addition, I scrub away. I vacuum, sweep, and Swiffer whatever I find. I could analyze it psychologically and say that this is a way of taking control of my life. Whatever the reason, I find more and more peace as I scrub away, and with each bag of trash I add to the landfill (ahem, I mean, I take to the innocuous trash can outside my house.)

One of the fun things about cleaning is stumbling upon old items you have stashed away for years. I am a letter writer-- one of those dinosaurs who still puts pen to paper and merrily licks a stamp (well, not so merrily as they continue to raise stamp prices), as I put my letter in the mailbox with a flag up. I'm a bit of a Victorian, and feel that there is nothing so quaint and charming as receiving a letter. It is my realization that I have literally hundreds, if not thousands of letters in my possession. I have them tied up with string in my basement, and more filling a drawer in my bedroom. Many are from dedicated girl friends, but what struck me today was the number of precious letters from past loves and admirers. At the old-age of 28 (not so very old, but often reminded by my parents of my impending old maidenhood), I begin to feel as if I shall never find love (or to borrow from another theme, that my dear Ulysses shall never return to me). But, while it doesn't offer total consolation, these letters serve to remind me that I have had opportunities in my day. One former flame wrote to tell me that he would "pursue me most carefully," while another intriguingly wrote one line of "Hello," some two years after we had broken off all contact. I've had one correspondent write page upon page, which in my world, garners extra points for resisting the temptations of the modern. While many today would say that a long-distance relationship will never work, I would point to those relationships of the past where courtship was largely conducted via long-distance correspondence. I must respect a man who knows how to write letters. As a woman who is often fearful of love and men, I find these letters to be quite a comfort. I can clearly see the intelligence and thoughtfulness of such a man displayed in his missives. What a wonderful way to get to know someone!

In my research on what makes a blog more readable, I've discovered that I, at least, seem to be drawn to blogs that link to other sites. I found this site that allows one to create the cutest Gwen Stefani Harajuku Paper Dolls as well a greeting cards. You can customize them yourself and then print them out on your HP printer. I'm sure all of my friends will be getting their own personalized paper dolls in the mail.

Oh, and as for the reference to red lipstick in the title, I seem to have discovered the virtues of a piquant shade of brightly colored lipstick. Whatever the reason, I find that when I put on my fire engine red, my mood perks up immediately. I am reminded of forties fashion, or even of the sophistication of a Sophia Lauren, or Brigitte Bardot, and I embrace it wholeheartedly.

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