the truth will set you apart

It is my plight in life that I have some phenomenally intelligent friends. And those who are not phenomenally intelligent are either insanely creative or have ridiculously cool jobs that make me look like a paper pushing hoo haa. The truly difficult thing about having all these friends who are better than I am is that I am constantly reminded of how intrinsically uncool I am.

For instance, one of my dearest and oldest friends, though not a hipster or a coffee shop philosopher, has all the makings of one of those annoying NYU films students. Fortunately, with none of the ambition, nor the bon vivant attitude that is absolutely necessary if you’re going to go to pay $150,000 to go to film school. What he does have is the kind of taste in film that reminds me that at my very core I am what Maslow insists we all are: a thumb sucking six year old who enjoys Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and wishes on occasion that her husband was known only by one name, had a dark past, a rogue accent, and a mysteriously powerful job with an even more powerful bank account.

In short, I own Center Stage on DVD.  I’ve been meaning to watch no less than 5 foreign films, but I dont want to have to read the subtitles. I may or may not have thought, for a brief period, that Film Noir was a Chanel scent. Maybe.

My other dearest friend works in the entertainment industry. She is painfully cool. She has bangs. She wears skinny jeans. She likes jazz music. She has one of those mini bodies that was made for people who book talent for a living. (She can shop off the rack at American Apparel and not ask the girl wearing a unitard if they carry larger sizes in the back.) Her music taste is interesting and varied. When she is around, I pretend that my iPod battery is dead, or that I don’t know any of the local radio stations.

Sure, sure you’re thinking to yourself, who cares that Caroline doesnt have good taste in music or likes bad films? And I know that it’s not that big of a deal, but truthfully I find that music and film is what people sit around and talk about. It’s become a standard by which we measure people. God forbid you watched The Good Girl and thought that Jennifer Aniston was awkward, or see Momento and have a headache for 6-8 months*.

But even that’s not it. The reason my own taste in film bothers me is because I have a theory about these things. (Har har, I know. I have a theory about everything…)

I think that our taste in music, in movies, and in books actually comes from a part of our being that we can’t control. It is the very deepest and truest part of ourselves. It’s the part of us that no matter how much therapy we have, how many raises and promotions we get, no matter how many makeovers we go through, always outs us.

Now, I’m no psychologist. (Though I think that would be the most awesome job in the whole fucking world.) But if I were going to theorizes, I might suggest that my dear friend thrives on the confusion, the lack of plan and intention, the raw and riding emotion of these films that make my head ache. Intuition from music comes not from being music, but a deep desire to find order in what can otherwise be intensely chaotic– an ability to exist in a space that doesn’t necessary make sense to everyone.

And people like me? Well, we should have born into a royal family and then been faced with an arranged marriage that meant betraying your one true love. (But don’t worry. He’ll come for me.)

You can see how this gets a little embarrassing. Caroline– the no care girl. The “do you think she is a lesbian, wait, no, she just got married” girl. I don’t want children. I dont like small animals. The hubs and I have designated times in which I’m okay with physical contact… and yet… and yet I have read every Nora Roberts novel on the planet. I ate up the Twilight Saga.

I watched the entire first season of Secret Life of the American Teenager.

The good news is that I am nothing if not painfully, painfully self aware. I go to independent theatres and torture myself with low budget films about self discovery. I read the New Yorker. And I watch shows about historical places; it’s the kind of learning that I have to force myself to do. Because otherwise I’d be in line for the Hannah Montana movie elbowing some ten year old until she cries and gives up her seat.

Here is the thing: there are people who cannot wait to get home get back into the New Yorker. There are people who see a preview about a documentary on Darfur and feel as though opening day will never come. There are people who seek intense education every single day. They are interested in the art of being intelligent.

And then there are people like me.

Good thing I am so good looking.

*It should be mentioned that “one of my dearest friends” does not endorse, nor does he think, that either of these movies are good. They were simply examples that I, the author, used to make a point. I felt as though the reading audience would have seen these movies and understood the point I was trying to make. He likes much, much weirder shit… like… David Lynch.

i deserve to be in jail


It took me a while to decide to write about my recent, insanely reclusive, and somewhat disturbing weekend, wherein I canceled plans with numerous people and almost called out of work… all because of a couple of goddamned (literally) vampires. What eventually led me to believe it was acceptable to talk about it is my altruistic nature. I know that other people are going through the same thing, and I want for you to know that you are not alone.

I too fell in love with Edward. I too began reading Twilight innocently. I too thought I was simply following up after seeing the movie. I too never knew what hit me. I too read the entire Twilight saga in a three day period.

I too am ashamed to call myself a literary.

What. The. Fuck.

How did it happen? How did I go from a normal woman with a loving home and family to a woman who was willing to sacrifice everything: my job, my marriage, my physical being, in order to sit for another moment on my couch, learning the painful truths about longing to be bitten by your lover, to become an immortal. One minute I was an apt and developing creative director, helping people understand creative advertising strategy and the next minute I was balancing peanut butter Puffins on my belly so that I could read and eat at the same time.

And it gets worse. For a brief moment, one that I immediately regretted and wished had never, ever taken place, I wished that hubs was a brooding immortal. I mean, think of what a BEAUTIFUL vampire couple we would be? Finally my translucent skin would be the envy of everyone. The red rimming of my eyes complimenting the blue, people would be mesmerized by my stare. You want to disagree with me? Look into my eyes.

What really upsets me about The Twilight Trance is what it has done to the women of my generation. Sure, we’ve been reading Nora Roberts books on the sly for years, dreaming of some tall drink of water named Cade who has to take his shirt off to cook dinner, but that’s part of being a woman. The hubs isn’t named Cade and he sure as hell wouldnt see the practicality in cooking without his shirt, so I’m left to dream of prairie lands filled with cowboys who wear bootcut jeans and have soft tendrils of blond sweeping from under their ten gallon Stetsons. (But of course, because it’s Nora, these cowboys took a few years to move off the family ranch, go to Harvard, make a few million dollars, and return with a dark wound inflicted by a cruel woman… and of course only I can break the spell…) But Twilight, Twilight is something different. Now I feel like a sicko.

Sure, Edward is actually in his hundreds. But not really. Really he is in high school. He goes to chemistry third period. And gym class. And I’m having pseudo-sexual thoughts about him. Awesome.

Last weekend I was at a bar with a couple of my new friends. (Thanks, Bettis!) Somehow or another I realized that each of us was harboring the Twilight shame, and, being that I am as altruistic as I previously stated, I thought we should feel open enough to talk about it. Here we’ve been guilting ourselves for weeks about the dirty emotions and it’s not fair. Stephanie Meyer knew what she was doing. Fucking twisted Mormon. Yes, yes. I get it. I know know why your people accidentally marry 13 year olds. You’ve made your point.

Anyway, I looked up into the crowd of after work drinkers and spotted a tall, dark looking fellow with green eyes. I took my chances and looked at my group of new friends.

“Has anyone noticed that guy standing over there?”

Their eyes lit up and I could hear the faint clicking of women bonding for life.

“He’s a vampire.”

And then we raised a toast with our Bud Light Lime. Our souls a little lighter, our psyches soothed from weeks of convincing ourselves we deserved chemical castration and reform.

“To hot vampires.”