Quote of the day:
… it is a precious thing to be allowed to talk about yourself in public, not for reasons of simple exhibitionism but because the attempt to describe your experience to an audience pushes you forward into an understanding of it. Nuala O’Faolain (page 61)
Yesterday I had one of those rude awakening experiences where I slipped into feeling younger than I am and forgot that I am older than I felt. I have been having a lot of fun lately down over at Citizen of the Month with Neilochka as he puts himself out there for the bidding. It has been humorous and playful. And I, for one, have been playing along too. Joking and jibing, daring and propositioning along with all his other one hundred or so fans. There were times yesterday when I found myself alone in my room laughing out loud so hard that Ada looked up at me from her cat-nap. At one point during the back and forth of comments, there was one horrifying moment when we all thought that Neil would be outbid by a fellow competitor from Washington DC. I even wrote a comment saying, "Neil, don’t panic." To which he replied in his usual screamingly funny way:
"Tamarika –You’re right. It’s all for a good cause. It isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not my “worth.” I know my real “worth” every time I look at the beautiful little kittens I rescued from that fire in Brentwood and I’m now trying to find a good home. That’s all the “worth” I need. And if that’s not worth another 10 bucks to you to add to your bid, so be it."
It’s all happening for V-DAY and all proceeds go to their soundly good cause:
V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.
And let me tell you, I would bid on just about anyone to raise money for this!
But, back to my experience yesterday. Right in the heat of the moment, while I was laughing and bidding and going back and forth between reading Citizen of the Month and doing my other chores (like laundry for goodness sake), I decided to stroll over to visit SomeGuyInDC, who seemed to be the cause for Neilochka’s consternation. Neil had written (and again, I must stress that this was all in good humor!):
Oh no, I just looked at the site of the guy in D.C. getting more money than me. Have you seen how white his teeth are? And listen to this –
“Having spent years working in homeless shelters and progressive politics –”
He’s like a cross between Al Gore and Mother Theresa!
What am I supposed to do?
It’s time to take out the big guns.
For $156 dollars, I will put out. AND I will include a free, brand-new copy of Thomas Friedman’s best-selling “The World is Flat.”
Full of laughter, I went over to SomeGuyInDC and wrote a comment, something (I thought) humorous about approving of his social justice activity and wishing him luck but that I was holding out for someone who could take on an older woman "if you know what I mean," and then something about may the best man win, except that I wrote "may the best …" and left the rest to the imagination.
Well, a little while later when I had completed my chores and was preparing to go downtown on the train to meet Tom for dinner, I returned to SomeGuyInDC‘s site hoping to read a reply or a different comment from another of his readers. I opened the comment section and wham bang not only had my comment been deleted, it read:
Banned by webmaster. Your comments will not be added
I fell back in my chair, face red hot and blushing with shame. For a few moments even tears pricked at my eyes. No one had ever banned me from their site in all my two years of blogging. I could not imagine how I might have offended in such a way as to ban me. I had unwittingly continued my playfulness thinking here is yet another caring young man – a good person – putting himself out there to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.
And then, all of a sudden it hit me. He must have gone over to my site and seen an older woman. He must have been disgusted by the notion of what I had said. Why on earth was I playing a young people’s game when I am 57 going on 58! Was it that? Or is it that he just does not have a sense of humor? And yet, in one of his own comments he had talked about "pity bids" being welcomed. So he did seem to have a sense of humor. In any event it was a sobering experience indeed. Naturally, I only have my assumptions because there has been, and (I assume) there will be no dialog about that.
Riding the train downtown to Tom I stared out of the window. I realized that I have had my chance. What was I thinking? I should not be participating in a young people’s game. Time to sit quietly by and watch from the sidelines. I had wanted to go over to Citizen of the Month and continue the fun by telling Neil not to worry, the DC guy doesn’t have a sense of humor. But then I decided to stay put.
I had better just learn my place as an older woman – no more sexy talk or even thoughts about sexy talk for me! Although, in the end, I have to laugh. What on earth could SomeGuyInDC have been imagining I meant?
Oh, and Neil, just in case you misunderstand my motives, I know that if I win you in the highest bid, I am not really expecting you to come to Philadelphia and go on a date with me. Although I would dearly love to meet you and Sophia one day.