Wednesday night is the only TV night of the week that I care about. I don't know what airs on all the other nights of the week. I certainly coudn't tell you what time any of those other programs air, except for shows like The Daily Show, because they are on every day. But on Wednesday's at 10pm, on Bravo, I watch Project Runway. I plan around Project Runway. I look forward to it.
Sometimes I grab my cup of tea and watch the 9pm rerun of Oprah, and then switch over to Bravo at ten. I love that, it's my definition of "me" time.
Last Wednesday Elizabeth Edwards was on Oprah. Here's her new book: http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Graces-Finding-Strength-Strangers/dp/0767925378/sr=8-1/qid=1159562755/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1185054-6436110?ie=UTF8&s=books. I see it's number three on the amazon best seller list, so I guess a few of you know about. In brief, it's about the death of her son, who was killed in an auto accident when he was sixteen, about her breast cancer, and about loss. Ultimately the book is about how we cannot survive these things alone. It's about how we need to reach out to others, and to those that have been through similar experiences to help us heal. Since I bawled during half the show, I probably won't be reading it. But a lot of what she talked about, I feel like I have already been through. No, I haven't lost a child (if I was religious, this is where I would be fervently crossing myself), but recurrent miscarriage is it's own major grief. When she talked about finding support groups on the internet, I sure related to that. I used to think blogs were silly. I thought "Really? These Bloggers really write about all the details of their personal life? REALLY?" And then, in my big ol' sea of grief, I found lifeboats in Getup Grrl, Julie and Tertia. I needed so desperately to connect with another human being that understood what I was going through, and through the internet, I found a bunch of them. The relief was visceral. It was the beginning of healing for me.
Elizabeth also talked about how so many people say the wrong thing when such devastating things happen, and how a friend said to her "Remember, people will say the wrong thing, but they really are trying to say the right thing." This is an excellent thing to remember. It is worth noting, however, that there are occasional cases when people act like they are trying to say something nice, but underneath they are passive aggressively telling you to "quit your bitching." it can be a very fine line. I suppose in the end, it is not really worth out energy to get worked up about it though, which is maybe the best thing of all to remember.
She talked about how people are scared to mention the name of her dead son, when in fact most parents (and she qualifies that not everyone feels the same way) who lose a child long to hear the name of that child on other peoples' lips. They do not want their child to become invisible, just because she or he is no longer living. Much as my aunt, twenty years after my cousin's death, was anxious to hear anything I might remember about her son, Peter. My miscarriages did not have names. But I honestly am filled with a sense of gladness when people are not scared to mention my losses. In doing so they acknowledge my pain, and also make it clear that they do not pity me, but rather have some empathy for my grief. I do not want to have gone through all that I have, only to have my miscarraiges be something dark and secret that can only be mentioned shamefully. I don't want to pretend like they never happened
I felt like Eizabeth's husband, John Edwards, was speaking through me when Oprah asked him why they decided to have more children. He said " We knew couldn't replace our son, we never would have tried, but we also knew that children had brought us great joy, and we wanted more of that. Our daughter was going to leave home in a few years, and we didn't want it to end." Um, yeah. Bingo. Couldn't have said better myself.
There was one niggling thing about Elizabeth though. She had her third and fourth children at 48 and 50. If she's going to talk about tapping into the community and reaching out to one another, lightly mentioning the fact that she learned to "never give up hope" when it came to conceiving is vastly misleading. Of course we all know that there is virtually 100% chance that those babies did not come from her eggs. And it's none of our business how she came by her children. But if she's putting herself out there as someone who is trying to help others learn how to process their grief, and glossing over the hell of assisted reproductive techniques, simply saying "don't give up hope!" is pretty fucking alienating to those who have been through it. I'm just sayin'. But of course she's recovering from breast cancer too, so I should probably just give her a break.*
So after wiping my eyes dry, I moved on to Project Runway for completely tear free entertainment. I was so relieved that they kept all four designers for fashion week! I was worried about Michael's dress, it's not that it was bad, it just kind of looked like something compagnie express would knock off as an inappropriately sexy prom dress. I loved Laura's dress, and even though I wanted to rip an internal organ out of her when she announced her pregancy and said that she would throw her sixth child "on the pile, with the others" (She's 43 years old, people), I basically like her. Uli pulled it out in the end, I loved her dress. Jeffrey tanked on the "romantic" dress. Romantic my ass, he's as romantic as soppy french kiss with way too much tongue. What an asshole. I feel sorry for his girlfriend, who also happens to be the mother of his kid. The neck tattoo makes me want to puke. Can you imagine having to put your face in that? Can you tell I don't like him? BUT...You've got to admit, the guy has some talent. There is no fairness in life, as any infertile knows. That yellow haute couture dress was fabulous, and that recycled paper dress probably should have won. His jet setter outfit was good, but again, if made me nauseated, because it was so...Him.
Michael is the opposite of course, delightful in every way. I don't think he's said one bad thing about anyone during the whole show. You know he is going to be the audience favorite, how could he not be? Is he gay? Is the answer to that question old news? As much as I love that show, I don't follow much of the outside gossip. I think I have just wanted to believe he is the sweetest straight man ever. I hope he can pull off something good for the finale.
*Here is much better discussion of the topic: http://www.slate.com/id/2108863/