Last night, I coaxed Ledcat into watching a 49 minute comedy show on Netflix with me. Fully knowing that watching Netflix means we’ll end up covered in cats, we curled up on the sofa to take in “The Special Special Special” featuring Maria Bamford.
Maria Bamford is a comedian that I had not heard of until Monday afternoon. I found a link from the Bitch Blogs to this article in the New York Times Magazine. I read it 4 times, posted a copy on Ledcat’s Facebook timeline and then began searching Amazon for the book Bamford mentioned – “The Procrastinator’s Handbook.”
When I realized that there are two different books by two different authors, I did what anyone on a sub-hypo-manic tangent would do and tweeted at Bamford. Sadly, she did not respond. Well to be fair, it has only been like 16 hours so maybe she just hasn’t gotten around to it. So I emailed the journalist. And I did request both editions through the library.
Let it never be said that I do things in half-measures. Except laundry. I can never seem to muster the energy to put away the clothes. I can climb three sets of steps balancing a basket crammed with two (neatly folded) loads, dodging stair cats and successfully plop the basket on the floor of the bedroom. Where it remains.
Anyway, Maria Bamford lives with mental illness. Like I do. In fact, our diagnosis are so similar (as are our ages) that I will NEVER go to see her in performance. While I’m sure I would laugh, I’m unsure if I could stop myself from running up to her babbling incoherent thoughts about bonding and symptoms and other “crazy” stuff that would surely render my Twitter account blocked within a few hours.
That’s the problem with living with mental illness. It is so rare to encounter someone who gets you, that you inevitably end up handling it all wrong. Of course it is all wrong – I’m crazy (not “cray cray” though) and I do socially awkward things in part due to my lack of filters and in part to simply not giving a fuck about socially appropriate norms. And sometimes I’m just goofy. Or irritable. Or all of those things.
And sometimes I am filled with anxiety and fear, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. And most people don’t get that. Not at all.
So even though I am watching her webseries today (The Maria Bamford Show on YouTube) and reading her vast media coverage, I am not stalking Maria Bamford.
Not even a little bit because having a passive aggressive creepy nice guy stalk me isn’t remotely funny. Except it is sort of funny in a “let me make fun of my own drama” way. Ultimately, he thinks he is a feminist and that’s why it is hysterical that he won’t accept no for an answer and take his attention somewhere else. I guess he missed those days of Feminism 101. I sort of think Maria would get the black humor here. But that’s a mighty big assumption based on a few articles and videos.
Still, maybe I should stop being so angry (and slightly fearful) of creepy nice guy and turn it into a creative opportunity to highlight the absurdity of the #NotAllMen mentality. This is also consistent with the advice I received from the amazing Joy KMT to be more own fierce warrior in this situation, to count on myself to be fierce. I can be fierce with parody a lot better than I can be fierce while walking down East Ohio Street (where creepy nice guy spends some time.)
So perhaps emulating Maria Bamford would satisfy my need to feel connected and to manage my own level of crisis?It isn’t so much about wanting to forge a relationship with someone with whom you feel “gets you,” as taking that sensibility and channeling it back into the areas of your life where you feel misunderstood or disregarded. I feel that creepy nice guy misunderstands me and disregards my wishes in order to meet his own needs. So I’m going to turn the tables!
Coming soon: my stand-up-routine on all the white men who harass me. Plus, a few who just drive me crazy. That should be a 5 hour special. For Part One. Note that when I was an anxious, fearful kid I could not have imagined growing up to talk about my fears and anxieties much less make fun of myself.
Update – it has been nearly 48 hours and no response from Maria Bamford via Twitter. So I guess I’ll be reading two books because obviously I cannot postpone reading “The Procrastinator’s Handbook” right?
The profile of Maria Bamford in the New York Times is absolutely excellent and I encourage you to read it.
What did we think about”The Special Special Special?” Well, I didn’t understand everything, but when she brought up mental illness – we laughed, we cried and we agreed to give all future pets the middle name “Maria”