the quality of life report-meghan daum

“am i old, or is j crew getting fly?”

meghan daum blew my mind with her writing about target in her essay for the black book retrospective collection, so it’s only fitting that i would think of it on the day that i came home to my previous neighbor’s j crew catalog and really enjoyed it. as i have yet another nostalgic conversation about hip hop, and by that i mean-as i hear another person lament about how the music isn’t as good as it was (blah blah), i hate that becoming a cynical grump that’s living in the past (as opposed to uncle rico, who joyously lives in the past) is a way to mark getting older. whatever, i resist. well, we don’t only get older, we keep living our lives in circles, and sometimes we learn something from the current incarnation of a situation that we didn’t think to look for the last time.

“Why was I able to get in deeper with Mason, someone at once so scattered and so inert, than I ever had with anyone else? Even years later, after Mason and I had damaged each other beyond what we thought was possible, I would still see that land as a place I had only just come to, as a space to wide to truly inhabit. Time passed on the plains the way clouds often do; you couldn’t sense the motion but in the time it took to turn your head the formations would be different, something would have blown in and then blown out, something else would have edged in sideways, slipped just above the horizon line and left so many streaks in the sky that it was like one hundred planes had passed over in the time it took to eat your dinner. Change was not so much a tangible entity as it was something you realized had already taken place.” (121)

“This was the charm in Mason, his ability to occasionally make his chronic lack of effort look like a magical effortlessness.” (150)

damn that person who says infuriates you with his silly arguments to the point that you want to kick him out, and then swoops in with the last minute to say the exact right thing. pshaaaw….


One thought on “the quality of life report-meghan daum

  1. work/life balance:

    “As legend has it, Prairie City was imbued with a mysterious force that kept it supposedly temporary residents from resuming their journeys. Of those who did leave, countless numbers found themselves coming back after just a few years on the coast. It was hard for them to explain what had brought them. The tug of that land was as strong and invisible as gravity. The wind, though it shrieked in every season, soon lulled even the most restless souls into contentment.” (3)

    “The Chinese baby story didn’t delve as deeply as I would have liked. It ended up essentially being a plug for a store on Columbus Avenue called Asian Infant Accessories, which sold teething rings and mobiles in Asian designs so that the children wouldn’t lose touch with their heritage. I almost quit over that. But I almost quit over half the stories I did. I had a degree in nineteenth-century American literature from Smith. My goal was to work for PBS or National Public Radio. And somehow I’d ended up holding a microphone in one hand and sliding a finger of the other hand under the thong underwear of a willing clerk at a SoHo underwear boutique to show ‘how roomy a thong can really be.’” (6)

    “Outside in the parking lot, as I watched him climb into his pickup, which was littered with power tools, library books, and Neil Young cassettes, I noticed on the floor a container of Muppet Babies diaper wipes.” (70)

    “The conversation was making me extremely nervous; my heart was pounding. Nevertheless I took a certain delight in using the word ‘sartorial’. Though Jill didn’t appear to know what it meant, I thought my large vocabulary might suggest that there was no possible way anything could be amiss in our house.” (246)

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