open letters

open letter

Dear Laura, I was going to post this in your comments and then I felt like it might be too long for a comment so here is an entry, all for you! Except now it’s not as long as I thought but here is a blog entry all for you anyway!

I am going to answer some of the questions from your list with corresponding numbers of my own.

3. Congratulations and this is AWESOME. What struck me most is how you said “24 times,” and I thought “You really believe in that poem to keep sending it out 25 times.” I want to have this kind of confidence in my work. P.S. I really love your poems, have I told you that before?

5. My girlfriend does most of the cleaning right now because she feels bad that I am working full time and going to school ¾ time. It is not as clean as I’d like because neither one of us actually has time to clean, but I’m learning to live with that. It is hard because I am a control freak. Mostly we fight about whether or not the kitchen counters need to be wiped down (I always say yes; she usually says no). Fortunately we are both female so I never feel weird about it.

6. People don’t. My son just keeps popping up and saying “I NEED SOMETHING” (like food or toilet paper or a ride to karate). Fortunately he is a good kid most of the time so I don’t have to worry too much. Except sometimes he does things like smack a kid’s fingers between two bowling balls, and then I have to get mad. Don’t worry, that hasn’t happened for a few years, and only the one time.

8. This person with a career-like job has a social life AND watches television. It’s hard, and often at the expense of a) exercise, b) writing, c) cooking delicious foods or d) some other fun-and-good-for-me-thing, but I don’t mind because sometimes a girl just needs to watch The Real Housewives of Every City We Can Think Of. Oh, and Work of Art. (But that one is actually kind of cool and relevant to my life.)

9. It gets harder for me to remember this as Jacob gets older (he’s 9 now) but every time I hear a baby crying on a plane, I think to myself “There is a mom who wants to be crying on a plane right now too.”

17. INSANE. But we’re here to talk about you and your awesomeness.

18. What kind of bakery was it? Because it could be something like this.  (That link led me to this one, about stealing baby Jesuses.)

1 thought on “open letter”

  1. Rachel, you flatter me and it feels so good, coming from a poet I admire so much. You know I am a fan of your work. I feel regret when I missed the chance to hang with you when you were in SF, but I was super-hermity-lame-filled-with-anxious-sauce. Next time I promise not to be all weird and cancel last minute.

    The chore thing with a female partner fascinates me. I don’t know why I worry about it, because Sal and I have such an egalitarian dynamic. But, it’s like women who have trouble doing it doggy-style (to offer a crude analogy): some acts are so gendered they carry lots of baggage, even if the relationship circumvents said-baggage usually. We negotiate roles a lot, but because I have more time at home, I ended cleaning more often. I also instigate cooking more often. Ultimately though, it seems to be about available time and energy, and since I work fewer hours away from home, I clean. I also feel bad because Sal makes more money and has been supporting me, so I told him I’d clean the apartment, but this makes him uncomfortable. Le sigh.

    Some people in my family seem to think it’s not that big of a deal to balance it all. However, I don’t just have a 9-5 job. My job is always on. I am always writing, thinking about writing, reading, talking, thinking, lesson planning, etc. That does take a lot of psychic energy.

    I know your son is around 9 years old. Is it easier now that he is older? Or does the time-consuming stuff just shift to other things?

    I usually feel bad for the parents of crying children on planes. Honestly though, I don’t even hear kids crying much anymore. I am good at tuning it out.

    I am so tired. Want to write more. Fear that I can’t make smart sentences. I can’t believe you devoted a whole blog post to little ole me.


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