What Makes You Cry

Recently, some friends and I faced an important choice, one approached soberly and with purpose by millions of people across this great country of ours: the Descendants or the Muppets? Most people chose the Muppets, a reportedly sweet reviving of the old-school franchise, which is cool, but the new Alexander Payne tragicomedy, wherein a wealthy man must deal with the dissolution of his family, also did respectable business.

According to the newly-posted Top Ten lists of the Most Important Davids In the Universe, Denby and Edelstein, we made the right decision. Indeed, I was entertained by the film, though I agreed with the Slate Culture Gabfest that it had its perplexing points and that George Clooney’s role was both miscast and underwritten. I enjoyed watching Clooney because, you know, I have eyes, but I didn’t believe the set up (that guy is a cuckolded workaholic lawyer? Come on) and then I most certainly didn’t buy the halfhearted resolution of the land deal.

But what really struck me is that I didn’t cry. Not even a little.

Shortly thereafter, though, I was at the gym re-watching, for the nth time and on my iPhone’s little screen, “Once More With Feeling,” and I was crying so hard I had to keep wiping my face with the locker room towel. Are you bemused by that? I am. My life feels so topsy-turvy these days that a mom dying in a hospital leaves me tepid, while I am reduced to bawling on a treadmill by the 10-year-old emotional turmoil of a scrappy teenage girl. And not just any girl: a BLONDE. (As another brunette once asked Liz Lemon, “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”)

Mr. Ben and I are moving slowly, steadily toward buying — and then moving into — our first apartment. It’s not much, but it’s ours, or, well, hopefully it will be. Meanwhile, everyone in my office is tense and working overtime. I am about to deliver my first draft of my manuscript to my literary agent. (One of the essays I wrote in Virginia has already been published in Bluestem; another is due out in Phoebe in January.) Big things are happening to my friends. I’ve barely had time to blog. Hopefully, in the new year, everything will be a little calmer, a little simpler, but no less fun. Here’s hoping.

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