152 Insights to My Soul

Last night I watched You’ve Got Mail. As Kathleen Kelly had read Pride and Prejudice dozens of times, so have I watched this film. Movie. It’s not really a film; no complicated sub plots, no symbolism. A movie. A romantic comedy. There is something about this movie, Nora Ephron’s little Valentine to New York, that strikes a chord for me.

I’ll take a minor character first. Parker Posey’s Patricia. First of all, Parker Posey is hilarious. Period. She’s just engaging enough in the movie to not make you wonder why he was with her in the first place, but quite bad enough to make you wonder why he stays. And her name is Patricia, which is also my name. Very few characters, major or minor, in films or literature (or movies or books) are named Patricia. It’s tricky. Formal and long and, for those of us who are Patricia, neither Trish or Patty nor Patsy or Tish will do. Even as the other actors in the movie are saying it, it sounds a bit uncomfortable, like they wish Ephron had chosen a different name. And this amuses me.

And you have to like Frank. I mean, you have to like anyone named Frank as it is one of the all time great names. But I have had a crush on Greg Kinnear since he was on Talk Soup. And. Well, truth be told, I think he looks a bit like Mr. Blandings. Two thumbs up.

So back to Kathleen Kelly. All through the movie Meg Ryan says things that resonate for me. “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? ” It’s just a movie, right? Not a film. But that is a very big question.

Then there is the whole exchange about finally saying the thing that pops into your head and how unsatisfied you truly feel once you’ve done it. My father taught me when I was very young that you can’t take things back. I have a bit of a temper and am, unfortunately, one of those people for whom the mean thing does come fully formed into my head at a very alarming rate. And usually I hold it back. It’s never my wish to be unkind. But every now and then my rage gets ahead of me and I say something truly awful and whether it was seven years ago or seven minutes ago I have the same sense of shame. And you see that on Meg Ryan’s face at the restaurant.

Tom Hanks, our all-American everyman, who, when faced with his father’s recovery from his recent split and quest to begin again, opines, “Oh right, yeah, a snap to find the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.” Yes, that is something. It makes me well up every time, because I thought I wouldn’t, and I did.

And she discovers writing. A life long reader, a devotee of time and space to piles of books, through her internet romance she discovers she is a writer. People ask me why I have a blog- “I like it. I mean, I read it. But I don’t understand why you do it.” It’s confusing, you know, because I don’t get paid. I don’t really have a good answer. Except it brings me joy, and it gives me an avenue to write.

But why even start? Well, a year before my youngest would go to Kindergarten, a month after I read Margaret Russell’s editorial page mentioning her new love of blogs, a few weeks after I sent some ramblings to an old and dear friend who typed back the word “blog” again, I went on-line. Like Kathleen Kelly. And at first I read. Then I read and connected. And then I read and connected and wrote. The risk was so great that my head felt like it just might explode from it. For what? It’s not much of a medium for failure. How would you measure it? I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. Who would know if I had a little blog party and no one came?

But, like most things in life, I had the support of kind and generous women. The connecting does matter. Like a favorite coffee shop, it’s better because my friends are there. I look forward to the whole experience every day – the writing, the scanning, the uploading, the publishing. And the waiting to see what you see, what I missed, what you like, what you’d pass on. It’s a crazy sort of exchange, but as Kathleen states, “The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.” So, on my hundredth post, I rejoice in knowing that, even though computers are too sophisticated to say “You have mail.”, every time I log onto my e:mail and I see “(Mrs. Blandings) new comment on…” I am so happy you have stopped by.
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20 thoughts on “152 Insights to My Soul

  1. A beautifully written 100th post, congratulations! I am so glad that you are “online” as they used to say in the late 90’s world of Nora Ephron. Your blog is a daily pleasure to read.

    I saw this movie a few weeks ago for the first time since I have been a part of the blogging world and it does take on a new resonance. Who knew that it would be so much fun to trade observations with strangers? Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. I own it and watch it frequently! “152 pock marks…152 people that thinks he looks like a claek bar!” Too funny! Merry Christmas! OH and the scene where Kathleen Kelly is scrapping the caviar garnish off his plate…Hilarious!

  3. As soon as I saw the title of this post, I laughed out loud. I have seen this movie dozens of times, (and read P&P dozens more)and I love everything about it. How is it that Meg Ryan looks so darn cute in the most shapless cardigans ever? Love your blog, though I have only recently stumbled across it. Look forward to 100 more posts….

  4. Congratulations Mrs B and what a lovely, lovely post.
    From another
    “one of those people for whom the mean thing does come fully formed into my head at a very alarming rate” Love it!

  5. Afternoon from a dripping and damp Rosemary Cottage — and many congratulations on your 100th posting. And believe me — your words do not drift into a vast empty cyber-space! Instead — you have a most eager reader here at my desk — with tea, toast and spare cat at hand. You are a lovely writer — clear, consise, witty and above all — charming. You do indeed remind me of Myrna Loy (my favorite actress) in “Mr. Blandings…..” Do take care during the ice storm!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  6. Patricia, you are such a gifted writer. Like Millie, I look forward to visiting here each day for my dose of wit and inspiration. Can’t imagine what the coffee house would be like without you now.

    For selfish reasons, I’m ever so glad you went “online” because you’ve got quite the killer vintage magazine collection 🙂

    Cheers!
    Courtney

  7. Oh, you bring us all so much joy, I cannot believe the talent,intelligence, insight and generosity my Blog “friends” have,you are my soulmates and I am oh so selective. Thank you for all of your hard work and again, generosity. I do think your “small life” is made bigger and more developed by this blog.You are special, don’t forget it.

  8. See? See what happened? A horrible ice storm, a worried me, “What about my post?” A slightly mystified spouse. And then, halfway through the snow day (which is really just slushy miserable nonsense at this point)the electricity comes on, we load up for the movie,then home again, home again – to this. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It’s such a treat to be a part of this group of like-minded people. Courtney – if the weather holds I have another vintage surprise tomorrow!

  9. Soooo proud of you and all you’ve done over the past 100 posts. You’ve done as beautiful job on this post as you’ve done on the other 99. Well done, you!

  10. Beautifully expressed and Congratulations. It is a worthy deed to brighten the lives of others, which your blog does daily for me!

  11. Congratulations Patricia! What a lovely post. I must admit I had written that off as a movie, and not a ‘film’….I must watch it now!

  12. Congrats! One of my favorite movies of all times. I was just saying that it’s usually on about 50 times around Christmas and I haven’t seen it once! Then I was reminded that it was one around Thanksgiving. Not enough if you ask me. I will have to dust off the VHS copy I own.

  13. I think we’re online soul-mates LOL – This is one of my favorite movies of all time that I have watched dozens of times! I always tell people that Meg Ryan’s apartment in that movie is my DREAM apartment -just a cute very open 1 bedroom in an old townhouse( which in my area is impossible to afford – i’m stuck with my studio! ). As always you hit the nail on the head!! Love it!

  14. Congratulations on your 100th post. I too love that movie. I haven’t seen it nearly as many times as you, but I’ll catch up. Sounds like the perfect thing to do when it is cold outside.
    Heather

  15. Brilliant Post!
    Even I have seen the movie many times and the more I see Kathleen the more I am attracted to her. I love the way she looks and talks and walks and does everything. Waiting for someone like her to step into my life!

  16. Patricia, dahling….I found your blog a couple of weeks ago, quite by accident, while googling for “Michael Smith” the wonderful potter in KCMO (some unsolicited advice, you might consider him and his wonderful pottery for a future posting, just a suggestion) and had the good fortune to find your Michael Smith and YOU and your marvelous blog instead.

    Anyway…….I just finished reading a few of your older posts, including 152 Insights into My Soul, and the sentiments there touched me so much, I just had to write.

    The ideas you express are fabulous, sometimes I think you are thinking my thoughts, and know you are writing them much more eloquently than I ever could. Unfortunately, I, too, am “one of those people for whom the mean thing does come fully formed into my head at a very alarming rate”. I thought I was the only one. With age — no, maturity — I am able to hold back more now than in past times, but sometimes things still slip out, and usually the result is shame, as you describe.

    Also, your expressions about female friends and writing strike a real chord with me; they are two of several things I have grown to cultivate and appreciate more and more over the years. (I’m really not that old, just more mature. From your pics, I think we’re about the same age.)

    Not to mention your obvious love for design and our dear old Kansas City. Is there really, really a better place on earth? Not for me, at least. Including my little house, somewhat more humble than Mr. Blanding’s Dream House, I’m sure, and not at all perfect in construction, floor plan, or decor, but MINE and mortgage-less. Which makes up for many other shortcomings.

    The only nagging little problem I perceive is our divergent collegiate allegiances — yes, my whole family and I absolutely bleed PURPLE. However, I think you and your blog prove what I generally believe: that KU people taken individually are genuinely nice, Midwestern folks. There, I let it slip out, but I did hold back the other part of the phrase that I have been know to utter, either aloud or under my breath. But I won’t go so low as to type it here. So that is holding back, right?

    Whew….. quite a long comment, I’d better quit while I’m ahead, or just quit, depending on one’s perspective.

    Seriously, please do keep up the blog, daily! There is such a void when you miss a day. It’s inspiring, insightful, funny, a sweet love note to our fair metro, to sisterhood, husbands, and even the younger half of the Boomers.

    Carry on!

  17. I recently stumbled upon your blog, and have been going back through your archives. I have to say that I am so pleased to find someone who loves that movie as much as I do, but even more I have to say that I loved this post…what a wonderful thought about blogging. Thank you. I too become a writer every day that I blog, and it is wonderful to send those little thoughts out into the world.

  18. Michelle – I’m so glad that you found Mrs. Blandings and can understand the appeal of blogging. It has been such a treat for me.

  19. Michelle – I’m so glad that you found Mrs. Blandings and can understand the appeal of blogging. It has been such a treat for me.

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