Monday, August 15, 2005

Other Lives

This afternoon J. calls me from Jeffrey, telling me that he has new Manolos in that he thinks I would love plus some other gorgeous things for fall. Of course, he thinks he's reached Janet and I'm no Janet. It's not the first time he's called, and I never manage to get to the phone when he does. He leaves his voicemail and for the twenty seconds it plays I imagine I am the kind of woman who would get calls from salespeople in NYC stores, telling me about their amazing shoes. I cannot fully imagine that kind of life.

This month, my friend N. went to Paris for what was meant to be a weekend with friends. Long story made short, after a delay at the airport she decided to just stay for a while, a year at the most. She was stranded at the airport after her friends left, with ten euros and no working credit cards -- now she is living in a friend's apartment, has a job at a pub and is having a blast while she explores a different kind of life, unplanned and unbidden, in France. She will study art and language and soak up life there in a way that only someone as open as N. is could .

There is a carefree quality I imagine in the kinds of lives that Janet and N. lead. And there is no part of my life that is carefree. I don't say this as a complaint, and it is all too likely that I would not know what to do with myself if I did have that kind of carefree-dom. To me, it is beyond the limits of reason to spend $700 for a pair of shoes and beyond the limits of my capability for calm to leave all that I know behind so abruptly. And yet there are people for whom this kind of behavior is perfectly reasonable. It's not wrong for them, though I know it would be wrong for me. But there is a wistful look I give over my shoulder when I look back to where the paths toward those other lives branched off long ago.

7 Comments:

At 8/15/2005 10:18 PM, Blogger Indigo said...

Great blog, I know I was already here, but that was really very good. Maybe you really are Janet, and you just don't know it yet.

 
At 8/16/2005 2:56 PM, Blogger mg said...

I'm envisioning Eliza Doolittle singing "Wouldn't it be Love-r-ly?" I agree with Indigo I think there is a little Janet in all of us just waiting to get out ;)

Thanks for the visit today~

mg

 
At 8/16/2005 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is fantastic. I am always surprised by what I find here, and your blend of insightful commentary, beautiful photos, and delicious recipes keeps me coming back.

-Marva-

 
At 8/16/2005 10:32 PM, Blogger celeste said...

I think that even if I got Manolos for my birthday or Christmas, I'd have to return them...and get, like, 30 pairs from Dillards in exchange. Speaking of imagining what it must be like to be someone else...I am currently reading a book called "Burned Alive" by Souad. It tells the story of a Palestinian girl who survives an "honor killing" because she had sex before marriage. I haven't been able to put it down. Thought I'd mention it here because I remember reading in one of your blogs that you are concerned with the injustices that surround women around the world. Reading this true story has made me moody, and I even had a nightmare last night. It's knowing that it's real that has affected me more than anything...

 
At 8/16/2005 10:38 PM, Blogger celeste said...

oops...I meant to say that she survives an "honor killing" inflicted on her BECAUSE she had sex before marriage. Sorry...:) I'm all uptight about grammar.

 
At 8/16/2005 11:34 PM, Blogger Laura GF said...

Indigo: I'm so glad to see you back here! And also glad that you like what you read -- getting feedback really helps, especially here at the beginning when I'm not really sure what I'm doing :)

Mean_Girl: You crack me up. Maybe one day I'll find my Inner Janet after all...

Anonymous: You are very very sweet. I hope you always keep coming back.

Celeste: I put that book on my Amazon wish list -- it looks amazing. Thanks for the recommendation and for thinking of me.

 
At 8/22/2005 11:13 AM, Blogger Alyce said...

I know exactly what you mean...I am far older than you, in fact have a son who is older than you, and have been "responsible" and have always done the "right thing." And with a business of my own, I still must. Do I regret the way I have lived my life? Not really. Am I dreaming of the day when I might be able to just take off to France or Italy when the mood hits? YOU BETCHA!

 

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