Monday, January 24, 2011

Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert

If there is one indignity I shall never endure gracefully, it is watching people mess around with my most cherished personal narratives about them.
-- Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert – of the Eat, Pray, Love fame – and I are kindred spirits. Reading Committed, the book that came after Eat, convinced me of it.

We’re both writers. She’s had immense success in her career, while I…am not quite there yet. We’re both blondes. She has her head-full of gold-spun hair, while I –even with my head-full of black hair— get  teased a lot for being blonde.

In Committed, to prepare her fiance (now husband) on what he was getting and getting into by marrying her, she made a list of her worst character flaws, the ugliest, most unlovable things about her person. She could very well have been decribing me! It goes:

1. I think very highly of my own opinion. I generally believe that I know best how everyone in the world should be living their lives—and you, most of all, will be the victim of this.

2. I require an amount of devotional attention that would have made Marie Antoinette blush.

3. I have far more enthusiasm in life than I have actual energy. In my excitement, I routinely take on more than I can physically or emotionally handle, which causes me to break down in quite predictable displays of dramatic exhaustion. You will be the one burdened with the job of mopping me up every time I've overextended myself and then fallen apart. This will be unbelievably tedious. I apologize in advance.

4. I am openly prideful, secretly judgmental, and cowardly in conflict. All these things collude at times and turn me into a big fat liar.

5. And my most dishonorable fault of all: Though it takes me a long while to get to this point, the moment I have decided that somebody is unforgivable, that person will very likely remain unforgiven for life--all too often cut off forever, without fair warning, explanation, or another chance.

None of us is ever too unique or too special, are we? I find it very comforting; our darkest thoughts and in our worst, we are not alone.  

I say this to everyone who’d listen and I’ll say it again here: skip Eat, Pray, Love and go straight to Committed

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