Friday, June 20, 2008

Tilting at windmills?

Inspired by the divine Diana Vreeland, I often spend slow afternoons trying to think up new "Why don't you...?" ideas. It's not as easy as it looks.

I just found out recently that Ms. Vreeland's Whydon'tyous have been collected in a lovely book, but alas I've never gotten my sweaty hands on it.

Why don't you...become obsessed with Don Quixote?

I mean look at all this stuff. Picasso and Dali, of course, but the mod woodcut and painting are my favorites. Of course you could branch out into sculptures. Then there are movies, a ballet and even an opera. Lectures at your local Cervantes Institute. It would actually be funnier if you somehow never got around to reading the book. That's the true philistine spirit. And friends and family would know what to shop for when birthdays roll around. Cervantes isn't my favorite, but there just weren't as many merchandizing opportunities with Proust.

Some whydon'tyous are just for laughs, but I tend to act on them too. With mixed results. I have not yet achieved a "Russian Winter!" of borscht, vodka, ice skating, babushkas, Tolstoy, furs and lessons with a chess master. (I guess there's always next year.) But I've showed some real stick-to-it-ness with the ukulele (and accepted that the musical saw and the theramin are beyond my meager skill set). Sadly, I only took 2 fencing lessons (and it's a crime too, since there is a world class fencing club right around the corner from my house, and everyone there was so nice), really got to work on that. Freemasonry was a bust, as you know. (Mom sent me this article on young freemasons in Los Angeles, but as with many things, it's the dudes who are having all the fun.)

But some worked out. I developed an alter-ego (she's an 83 year old lounge singer named Ruby Khan). I also became an opera snob, turned my living room into a faux forest, and devoted myself, body and soul, to the wearing of the most eye-scalding vintage novelty patterns.

Do these sound too much like run of the mill New Year's Resolutions? I told you it was not easy.

Why don't you...change your name to something even more difficult to spell and pronounce?

Why don't Basque, Kurdish, Yiddish or some other minority language?

Why don't you...decide that all your shoes must be green lizard skin? Or wear spats? Or Japanese tabi socks with all your flip flops?

I love the idea of a signature item. It could be something as non-controversial as a color pallet. I have a friend who travels for business alot and only wears shades of red. I have another friend who only wears black, white, beige and brown.

The thing with consistency is that anything outré will become normal through repetition. Really. You just have to wear it everyday. The first time you wear a flower behind your ear (or a bustle, or a bathrobe as a coat) to work, you'll get a stare or two. After a few months, they are shocked if you aren't wearing it. This has been road tested by me. (Caveat: I had a job with a dress code once. The manual said: business wear or evening attire. I didn't have a suit, so I wore these 80's prom dresses I got for a buck a piece at a swap meet. Fluffy, pink, fuschia, tulle, big shoulders, fabric roses. And this was back in the 90s when everyone wore all black. I thought it was hilarious. I'm still cracking up now. But they so totally fired me.)

Why don't you...volunteer at a charity you believe in (but don't tell anyone that you are doing so)?

Why don't your pennies to buy a big ticket item from a local artist you admire?

Why don't you...cover the walls of your hallway with thrift shop paintings of eyes?

Why don't you...?

Come on, I know you've got better ones.



Blogger Pratishtha Durga said...

Why don't you... post an entry on the Music tag. Yup, I tagged you on my blog. Please check.

3:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home