I find writing to be a lot like drinking. After a cocktail or two, I feel like the most fascinating person in the world. Sorta like the Dos Equis guy, only less mannish and minus the accent. It’s not until the next morning, when I’m left with a slight headache, that I realize I was less like the Dos Equis guy and more like Homer Simpson with a donut shoved in his mouth. “D’oh!”
Like the time I was doing some crazy no-carb diet and accidentally drank too much at my nephew’s First Holy Communion celebration. Feeling no pain and shielded by a suit of armor made of fermented grapes aged in french oak, I challenged the guests to a “kick-ass” game of Quarters, using a special reserve Cabernet, served in Waterford crystal goblets. Disappointed in my lackluster performance or the fact that I almost choked on the quarter, I then declared my undying love for Champagne, downed a bottle and proceeded to refer to other people’s children as “little a**holes.” Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that I had to be whisked out the backdoor by my husband who decided that he had seen enough of my shenanigans for one evening.
Nope. Not one of my finer moments. I’ll let you imagine how I felt the next morning when I had to make the call-of-shame to apologize for my bad behavior. I still cringe and consider fleeing the country every time I think about that night.
Strangely enough, I have a similar experience when I write. I get what I think is a brilliant idea, write it down and congratulate myself on my witty sense of humor. Flooded with euphoria, I briefly imagine some person of extreme power and wealth spying my fabulousness and offering to pay me a bazillion dollars for my knack for nonsense. I smile, spy the Publish button in the upper right hand corner of my screen and click it with confidence. Then it happens. ”D’oh!”
I’m startled as I hear a rustling sound and witness a nasty creature called Insecurity slither out from under the desk and snake up the back of my chair. He winds himself around my neck and flicks his serpent-like tongue at my cheek before disappearing into my ear. The evil bastard then wreaks havoc on my brain, leaving me riddled with self-doubt and poisoned with insecurity. I now regret hitting the Publish button almost as much as that mortifying night of Cabernet Quarters.
It’s at this moment that I imagine friends and family getting together just to talk about me. “Can you believe she writes such crap? Let’s not invite her to the next dinner party.”
I picture my shamed parents putting their house on the market, relocating to Del Boca Vista and requesting an unlisted number that they give only to my brother. “Brian, no matter how much she begs, don’t give it to her!”
I think I hear my husband’s key in the door, which is odd because it’s midmorning. Clear as day, I imagine him carrying a cardboard box filled with personal belongings, framed pictures of fat round babies poking out of the top of the box. The door opens, he looks at me, shakes his head and says, “Nance, Corporate saw it. What the hell were you thinking?”
And, again, I cringe and consider fleeing the country.