Friend One and I have spent the last 9 days secluded in a cabin nestled in the Oregon Coastal Range. She’s a poet and is readying her manuscript for submission while writing new poems; I’m a writer working on my memoir and a slew of essays. We’re here, nominally, to work on our various projects, and that’s what we both won spots at this writing residency for. However, we’ve also used this time to catch up since, post-grad school, Friend One has called Missoula, Montana home while I’ve been stuck in Eugene, Oregon.
This catch up time has included a plethora of talk on men and relationships. Friend One recently ended things with her boyfriend of 18 months. And me? I’ve had the experience of dating, since my divorce, and in no particular order, a double amputee chaplain, a civil engineer from India, and a quadriplegic poet.
I feel this makes us a good pair for drinking lots of wine and complaining about men, don’t you?
Last night, Friend One and I watched Little Women (the Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder version). And this was our running commentary:
Look at Winona Ryder. I hate her. She’s so tiny, but still busty.
Don’t hate her, Friend One. It’s not her fault she looks good in old-timey clothes.
Is that what they’re called? “Old-timey clothes”?
What, you want something more specific? Like “dresses that forced women into corsets, thereby ruining their chances at successful breathing and childbirth for the rest of their lives?”
Uhhh….are those my only options?
Look at that house. It’s full of love, TM.
I know. It’s so inviting and comforting.
That’s because Father is off in the war. There’s no man there. That’s why it’s comforting.
Father is in the war! That’s not comforting!
Oh Pshaw. They don’t even miss him. It’s because there isn’t a man around to screw things up.
But Laurie’s always around!
Oh, he’s not a man yet. Clearly.
Don’t get mad at Jo here, Friend One.
I hate it. I hate it when she turns down Laurie.
She can’t help it. It’s not in her nature. She shouldn’t marry him.
[yelling at the screen] YOU DUMMY! TAKE LAURIE!
Damn it, Friend One.
It’s not fair. Who in their right mind would turn down Laurie?
She doesn’t want to be a wife! She’s not ready!
“I’ll let you win every argument, Jo?” Who isn’t ready for that?
Maybe Winona Ryder didn’t like all of Christian Bale’s extra teeth.
That’s what’s wrong with the world. They expect perfection! People don’t love each other for their faults anymore! [pause] Can you pour me more wine?
This makes me like Claire Danes more.
Yeah. She dies really well in that scene.
If she died in every movie, I’d be a lot happier.
You know what pisses me off about this movie, TM?
I can’t imagine.
That Jo ends up with the German Professor.
Why does that piss you off?
Why? Where is my German Professor? WHERE IS MY GERMAN PROFESSOR?
Where’s yours? Where’s mine?
In real life there is no German Professor waiting in the wings after you TURN DOWN CHRISTIAN BALE!
There has to be. I need a German Professor.
Yeah? The closest you came was the quadriplegic poet.
What about the Indian Civil Engineer? [pause] Fuck. Just pass me the wine.
I could so watch Little Women every night.
Me too, Friend One. Me too.