Thursday, March 5, 2015

Clovercita for Black and White and Red All Over

Prepare yourself for a deluge of sentimental sop. It’s been like, what 2 years since I posted here? Might as well have been a life. There’s nothing to be said for my absence. I HAD ANOTHER BABY AND I THOUGHT LIFE WOULD GO ON AS USUAL. Inevitably, life tumbles back to stasis, or entropy, depending on wether you’re a glass half empty or a “hey where’d my drink go?” kind of gal. 

I’ve been busy, bored, anxious, flip, untoward, and lacking in minutes. But I’ve missed the writing. Even though I’ve done a little bit of this and that, I’ve missed the verbal vomit of which the internet is so accommodating. At this point a mom blog feels as relevant as pet rock or a bandana tied around my Guess jeans (Punky4evr). But you guys, we’re clearly all descending into madness, so why not do it together. 

For the record. I might have just listened to the BBC thing on Burroughs, who I don’t give a fig about, but it might have sparked a memory I once had about a creative life. A creative dangerous life I was going to live. No one wants that lady for their mom…

But here I am, living in this funny limbo of art and commerce. I don’t know what 23 year old me would make of this life (hey, we finally have a really nice couch!) or what 73 year old me will make of it (probably could have gone a little easier on the snark and the jeggings). But I’m making stuff. Making commercials, making webisodes, making tote bags, and now…making greeting cards. YOU SHUT UP. 

Our brilliant, funny, creative friends used to own a shop here in LA called Uncle Jers, that was the best. It’s gone now, and they’ve moved on to greener pastures. They have a  greeting card company called Black and White and Red All Over, whose cards you can find at Paper Source, and Urban Outfitters, and cool gift shops all over. The schmancy kind in the vellum envelope. Last fall they asked me if I’d write a little line for them. Write jokes. Once I’d stop grinning ear to ear (3 days) I sat down and wrote. I wrote in the car, I wrote in the middle of neglecting my children. I even wrote one in the ER with Charlie on Christmas Eve, bc that’s how you do when you’re a mom. If you can’t laugh at this shit…”hey’ where’d my drink go?”

So here’s the sentimental part. When I was growing up there, were a few small shops in Ann Arbor that were EVERYTHING. Middle Earth (now gone), Generations (now gone) A Peaceable Kingdom (moved to Main street) and Caravan in the Nickels Arcade (magic). My friend Misao and I used to buy tiny Hagen Renaker ceramic animals in there. They were glued to little pieces of card stock with the price, and we would stand in the window and try to pick the one we coveted the most. Remember the little duck butt? 

Last week, our friends got word from their rep, the stores who had purchased my line for them at gift show at the Javits  Center in NYC. He was reading the list of stores (Posman Books in Chelsea, Grand Central, and Rockefeller center. Cursive in ABC Home and Grand Central) and off handedly said “oh you’re from Ann Arbor, right? Caravan?”. I’m not gonna lie. I put my hand over my mouth, probably flushed as pink as a tomato and walked out of the room. I didn’t cry, but I almost did. Strange to have a far off piece of your childhood insert itself into your grown up life, in such a delightful way. 

Sometimes I have a disconnect between the things I make and their existence in the world. Once I make it, and it’s out there, it no longer belongs to me. My image, my sewing, my jokes (I’m still giggling typing that). But the thought of a card (a fancy one in a vellum wrapper, and a mint green envelope) being sold at one of my favorite childhood shops, feels as close to artistic mortar as maybe I’ll ever have. My parents could walk in there one day, and buy a card. MY CARD. That says: 

postscript. I know there's a little dark schmutz in the middle of every picture. I took it with my iPhone instead of a proper camera bc CHILDREN.