Monday, March 2, 2009

A Guest Entry: Movie Mondays by Lauren Hoffman

So when my friend Lo asked if she could write a guest blog entry, I jumped at it. DUH, LAUREN. She is a)a real writer, b)super funny, and c)one of my favorite people in the world. (She would probably like me to correct that: my favorite person in the world.) I got so excited that when she told me this morning that the entry was eaten by her bad computer, I made her do it again immediately. And she did. In less than a day.

Our friendship began almost two years ago when I sent Lauren a desperate (though very composed) email looking for a place to stay for a month upon my impending move to Manhattan. I kind of knew her from college (her friends knew my friends) and found her name on the Ole Almni site. She happened to have a room open and I moved in one week later. From there we slowly crept into each others' lives. I say slowly because we were pretty much afraid of each other from the get-go.

I was bright eyed and bushy tailed... in love with EVERYTHING I saw and extremely optimistic about my new life in the big city. She was a grad student who just finished her thesis on... what did you write about, Lo? Vomiting? But despite all odds, we bonded one night over Bedazzles and when I moved out a month later we started seeing movies together every Monday and laughing each week over burritos and soda with lots of lime. Thus, Movie Monday was born. And two very different girls became besties.

Its been exactly one year since she moved to Seattle from New York and I miss her always. (Always, always, right, Lo? Definitely. Maybe!)

Every word in her entry below is true and all of her words help explain all of my words. We're good for each other, we've decided.

Enjoy. ;)

Sarah and I are very different people.

No, really: Sarah and I are VERY different, people. We’ve come up with a bunch of analogies to describe the contrast – a photograph and its negative, two sides to the same coin – but I think the best one we’ve come up with is this: I am the Meredith Grey to Sarah’s Izzy Stevens. That statement is so true that I just had to think for several minutes about what Izzy’s last name really was, because all I could think of was Butler. But we found our common ground on Movie Mondays, a weekly tradition of a movie (preferably at one of the good, downtown theaters) and dinner (Chipotle) that went on for over six months, just the two of us.

The thing about me is that I am really, really self-absorbed. Like, probably to an extent that it could be clinically diagnosed as something, though I like to think that I’m aware of it enough to keep it from making me 100% insufferable. For example: I have made, over the past year, four mix cds called “The Lauren Hoffman Songs” and one called “Have Yourself a Maudlin Little Christmas,” all of which were songs that were, clearly, all about me. And only me. Specifically.

This means that every Monday for six months, after every movie we saw – Across the Universe, Lars and the Real Girl, The Savages, Enchanted, The Darjeeling Limited, and I think even Atonement, but only because I REALLY looked like that creepy kid when I was little – Sarah would get to hear a litany of reasons why the movie we’d just seen was all about me. And after awhile, she got into the act too (ask her about 27 Dresses sometime).

You can call it vanity or whatever. You can call it self-absorption (see the above paragraph, because I already have). But I kind of think it’s okay. Better than okay, even. There’s a way in which thinking things are all about you is completely selfish. Feeling like a work of art – a book or a painting or an Amy Adams movie or, God help me, an Ashlee Simpson song – was created for you makes you feel special. Unique. Singled out. There is the silent, smug joy of knowing you are the only one who can TRULY understand.

But thinking something is yours also makes you forge a connection that is unimaginably deep with it. You laugh harder. You cry so hard you choke. You live and die with the characters on the screen. You get to feel so ridiculously fucking passionate about something, and I am of the belief that one) passion is the best thing humanity is capable of and two) passion is the best response a filmmaker, lyricist, author, whatever, can hope for.

And feeling so intensely about something abstract – it stretches you. It’s almost like a rehearsal, like you’re using something pretend to open a valve in you that lets this deep, all-consuming feeling run through. I’m of the belief – and I’ve had enough intense feelings and, um, therapy to feel like I’m qualified to speak on the matter – that when you learn to feel true passion and connection in one area of your life, others follow. It seems like feeling like art is all about you should close you off, narrow your scope, but it opens. It widens.

No, really. It’s true.

And that’s why, if I’m ever staring Carly Simon in the face, and she has occasion to raise her eyebrows at me and say, “You’re so vain. You probably think this song is about you,” I will stare right back at her, and I will say, “Damn. Straight.”


MeggieSue said...

love. love. love.

to both of you.

Katie Henly said...

Lauren, I love this entry so much. And I truly think it's about me. We must meet.

La said...

Loved your guest appearance.