Stranger than Fiction

Sometimes, when I’m doing my mundane weekend cleaning, I like to imagine that my life is being narrated as if I were in a movie or play. It may look like I’m just vacuuming and dusting and whatnot, but at any moment, some inciting incident may cause my life to arc and I can either change and end up married (if it’s a comedy) or not change and succumb to my tragic flaw and die (if it’s a tragedy). I’m pretty sure the script analysis class I took as a theatre major makes me think this way. Or, it could be the constructive criticism I got from Birmingham today, who upon going to my blog for the first time in a month said that he didn’t like all the white and the “cast of characters” tab because it made it seem like I was writing some blog play. My response to him was that all the names are changed, so who says I’m not writing some blog play? Otherwise my life is pretty dull.  Case in point, this is what was going through my head as I did some cleaning today:

Noelle is making the bed, like she tries to do every morning. Today is special however, because she is also putting new, clean sheets on the bed. As she tucks the comforter under the mattress, she thinks about how this small ritual of making the bed gives her comfort. The orderliness of it, the clean lines of a freshly made bed, which is just one step in a longer room-cleaning process, they mean that she is getting her life together. The cat jumps on the freshly washed comforter, and the ongoing battle to keep her bed, her refuge, free of allergy-causing dander irks Noelle. She picks up the cat and places her gently on the yellow floorboards of her cottage bedroom. As she finishes the last detail by pushing the comforter tight, she looks at the vacuum in the corner and silently groans, knowing that the room is in desperate need of a good vacuuming, the spiders are starting to get bold again. She has saved vacuuming as the last step in her day of cleaning because it is her least favorite chore, despite being the most important to her health. As she walks over to the machine, she realizes that ever since she started making the bed, she has been thinking in the third person as if someone is narrating her life. She also connects that maybe if she writes about it, that may be more interesting than the other things she’s done this weekend. She walks past the vacuum, steps over the cord, and turns on her computer.

For posterity’s sake, the other things I did this weekend include: going to bed at 10:00 on Friday, watching all 5 episodes on disk 1 of Season 3 of “House,” walking 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym, going grocery shopping, seeing “3:10 to Yuma” with Birmingham (thumbs up!), writing the kickball newsletter, dropping a wad of cash on new pants at Banana Republic, and making some awesome pasta with the fresh tomatoes in my backyard.

And Noelle suddenly wonders why she couldn’t think of anything to write about all of those activities.  She thinks to herself, “maybe, just maybe, my life isn’t that boring after all, I just don’t have anything to say about it.”


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by nancypearlwannabe on September 9, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    I dig the idea of Birmingham being a blogplay character. Also, I totally just laughed (out loud) at the idea of Coldplay changing their name to Blogplay. Man, I hate Coldplay.

    I’m completely unashamed of my liking of Coldplay. Not that I’m rushing out to buy their music, but any song that I can sing along to in the radio is usually good with me. Also, Chris Martin’s self-effacing performance on Extras was endearing. I also want to thank you for turning blogplay into one word, like “teleplay.” I plan on using that in the future, I think.

  2. You have a good narrator. It would really suck to have a bad one, wouldn’t it?

    I always obsess about foreshadowing — like if I don’t remember to check I if locked the door when I leave the house, is it an ominous sign someone will break in?

    Oh, the perils of a liberal arts background.

    At least my narrator doesn’t seem to be trying to kill me, just injure me in stupid ways.

  3. Posted by tinetastic on September 9, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    I think of my life as a sitcom or a Dramady most of the time, and then become v. disappointed when it doesn’t turn out like a TV show or movie would. Ah well. . .

    Also, do I not count as a kickball friend, or do I just not count as a character? Why am I not in your cast?

    As long as it doesn’t turn out like Law & Order SVU, that should be okay.

  4. I think Birmingham should vacuum.
    I bet yr. NJ Beefsteaks are better than my MA. ones.

    You would be amazed at just how good Birmingham is at vacuuming. The one time he did it for me, it took him about an hour, and I swear the place stayed cleaner twice as long. Alas, the boy won’t consent to be my roommate. And yes, the tomatoes were delish.

  5. Ah, see, that’s the way to deal with a less-than-exciting weekend, blog-wise. Instead of my approach, which is all, “Look at me! I’m so boring! I suck!”

    Also, I loathe Coldplay, too, much as I hate to ever have to agree with NPW about anything. You found Chris Martin’s performance on Extras charming; I think that he was just acting like himself.

    I don’t think you suck, even when you proclaim it. Sorry that you were forced to choose between your hate of coldplay and your love of disagreement with NPW. I actually have one of their songs stuck in my head right now, and it’s not so bad. And to clarify, I didn’t find his performance charming, I found it to be honest. He kind of knows he’s a hack, so I can tolerate him.

  6. I’m going to start narrating my Saturday morning housecleaning from now on. I’ll have to see how many different ways the narrator can say “step over cat.” Hee.

    Eventually, the narrator might tell you to step ON the cat, because that’ll teach ’em. (It’s possible my narrator is meaner than yours…)

  7. I saw 3:10 to Yuma this weekend too. 🙂

    Wasn’t it great?

  8. Bossy’s play has intricate choreography and an awesome soundtrack.

    I would pay to see that play.

  9. OK, and maybe John Cusack is her leading man.

    George Clooney is mine.

  10. That last line pretty much sums up my problem with blogging lately, too.

    Birmingham invented a new word over the weekend, which I used in today’s post. It’s “Malaisiness” and it explains a lot.

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