On my journey into work, I listen to talk radio. It used to be NPR, but 24-hour-a-day reporting on the war in Iraq doesn't really pump me up for an 8-hour work-day bookended by sluggish commuting. I shouldn't really call it commuting, because that doesn't fully encapsulate the special experience of driving for an hour and a half to go 26 miles. That's an average speed of 17.3 miles per hour.
Typically, I listen to Howard Stern. But since audio from gerophile pornography isn't my cup of tea, I flipped over to Elliot in the Morning on DC 101. The guest this morning was Jessica Cutler, author of the infamous blog, "The Washingtonienne." Her novel of the same title is now in bookstores.
Salacious experiences aside, it's clear that Jessica Cutler has kind of a lemming-like mentality. On sundry topics like infidelity, threesomes, and abortion, she declared, "Everybody does it, right?" Conservatives bandy the term "moral relativism" around, but I think it kinda applies here. But it's not for me to judge; in the past I've been accused of expecting everyone to live by my same ethical code. My older and wiser self realizes that we all have different life experiences that shape us in different ways.
[Side note: for the record, I agree with her that its the responsibility of the married person to keep it in his (or her) pants. Having kinda sorta been the other woman, I know that people aren't always honest about their attachment status. Even if the extramarital relationship is rife with honesty, though, the single person isn't the one who took a vow to love, honor, and cherish anybody.]
Listening to the conversation caused me to have a very Jeanie "Shauna" Bueller moment.
Lemme give you some background...in August of 2004, I read about Jessica Cutler in the Washington Post Magazine. Ostensibly, the article was about her blog, but it morphed into a dissection of Jessica and folks like her who try on lifestyles 'til they figure out what fits. Time Magazine, which dubbed twenty-somethings like this "Twixters," ran an article on the phenomena in January, 2005.
So, as I'm listening to her go on and on and on and on about how it was no big deal and she was just having fun, I'm thinking, why does SHE have a published novel? I mean, I'm not an idiot. I know why she has a novel (see Thomas Hardy's "The Ruined Maid"). But like a good girl/dummy I did what I thought I was s'posed to do in my twenties -- earned a degree from a respected university, had a job lined up before graduation, have been gainfully employed since graduation, etc. -- and I fruitlessly tap away at my keyboard with no book deal to show for it. She, on the other hand, took an admittedly brainless Capitol Hill job, slept around and bang! Now she's doing readings and has an Amazon.com sales rank of 1,299. That's higher than "Moby Dick."
Then I started thinking about Jeanie from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and how she was one of the villains of the movie because she couldn't live and let live. And that's when I kinda recognized that I shouldn't be a playa hater; I should just keep on trying to get in the game.