152 Insights to My Soul

Thank you so much for your patience with my vacation.  This was my 100th post.  This rerun is 999.  Eight hundred and ninety-nine posts later my feelings about this blog and the people who come here remain the same.  This post originally appeared December 11, 2007.

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. 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 film 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 something different. 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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28 thoughts on “152 Insights to My Soul

  1. Her bookshop? It was filmed on West 69th Street, just off of Columbus Avenue, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A poster for the film is in the window. At the time, the place was a cheese and antiques shop. Since then it has become a cafe. They must have filmed there for three weeks or so. The neighborhood was filled with trucks and vans, cables running everywhere. Ya gotta love this town.

  2. Oh Patricia you are a romantic woman. This way of giving that gives so much back in return never ceases to amaze me!

    Thank you as always for your friendship and support!


    Art by Karena

  3. I feel like that dog in the last image. I am faithful and always happy to see your posts even if I already know and love them. There I go licking the screen again.
    You are a inspiration, anger and all, my tail wags with every post.
    Only wish we were closer for walks, even if they happen inside from room to room.

  4. Good for you, expressing yourself and having the guts to post blogs the way you do is so inspiring! I truly enjoyed this blog. I lived for 20 years in Manhattan and seeing "You've Got Mail" took me back to so many things that I carry in my heart and memory from my time there. Now, living on St. Simons Island, GA I experience another kind of joy since I really did find the man you put it there once and for always. I love your blog! Keep them coming….please!

  5. Just great! I am entering my 3rd year of blogging and it was my sister who turned me on to it. I feel exactly the same you you do about it. I like to read and I like to write, so this is like a journal of my life that will be around forever.
    Congrats to all the bloggers who contribute to each other everyday. You have greatly enhanced mine.
    It is enriching and soulful and I would be lost without it.

  6. Patricia,
    I'm so glad you ran this again. It was posted before I knew of your blog and like the others this week, it is beautifully written.
    I can identify completely with your posts on Mr. Blandings and fishing and the lodge. Today is the 27th anniversary of my first date with Tom. He has taken me camping twice in all those years with a space of about 20 years in between…for good reason.

  7. Hi Patricia (I do love this name), Thank you for all of the years of posts that I have been blessed to read. Here's hoping that after another 999 posts you are still blessing us, your readers, with your bits of wisdom and mind-pushing insights. blessings. Mary

  8. Dear Patricia-
    Thank you for running these oldies again. I enjoyed revisiting one of my favorite movies in today's post, but I especially enjoyed reading your musings on it. I am glad you are blogging. I have only been reading you for about a year, but in that time Mrs. Blandings has become one of my favorite blogs. I have enjoyed your wit and candor and it is a pleasure to read a well turned phrase. When will we see Mrs. Blandings in book form? 🙂

  9. So happy to hear that you love "You've Got Mail." It's one of my favorites too. As is your blog. I actually do get paid to write, and I have a book due. . . last month. So lately my blog has fallen by the wayside. But you write so gracefully, with such wit, it's always a pleasure to drop in and see what you have to say. Selfishly, I love that your blog doesn't have the visual clutter of lots of ads and badges and whatnot. Ah, that Nora Ephron. All kinds of talented. You too, Patricia.

  10. Patricia, you are definitely doing what you are meant to do, at this moment, anyway! Your writing is a great combination of sensitive and sharp witted, a very hard combination to find on the overly sincere (or crazy or gossipy) internet, IMHO.

    I have just read Nora Ephron's great two books on, um, being middle aged "I Feel Bad About My Neck" and "I Remember Nothing" — if you haven't, go right out and read them, they are also that winning combination of absolutely dead on target and also hilarious.

    I'm so glad I found your blog par hazard last year, it's a breath of fresh air! I have a blog or three from the very beginning of it all, and I am just working out what to do there, as perfume is so passe ; )

  11. I love that little movie with the powerful phrases. This was sweet. Thank you for bogging. It's how I start my day even though I seldom comment.

  12. After that, how can I *not* comment?

    I love the arithmetic of blogs, lots of "little nothings" can add up to a very big something.


  13. I think this is still my very favorite of your posts. My name is Kathleen, but I have always been Katy. This movie always makes me reconsider that choice.

    My very favorite line in the movie is "Closing the store is the brave thing to do. You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life." I always think of it when I am trying to decide if I am holding on to something just because it is known or if it is time to make a change. Sometimes giving up isn't a failure it is the brave thing to do.

    However, I hope you never give up on your blog. It is always a bright spot in my day!

  14. Congratulations on your 100th post! Your blog brings so much inspiration to so many people! Here's to the next 100 posts!! Can't wait to read them all!
    xo E + J

  15. No matter how many times I have seen this movie, it never disappoints. I absolutely fell in love with Tom Hanks. Ms. B, I love your blog and your spunk and your interesting points of view. While I seem only to see a story, you really understand and write all the sub-stories. Hope you have the time to keep writing. I frankly don't know how you find the time to paint the house, decorate, travel and write, but I am so happy that you do. It is a blessing for the rest of us.

  16. I bought this dvd right after my beloved Jim died. It is bright and cheery and romantic. These types of movies are far preferable to the "other" movies I need not mention! Why would we want a movie to do anything but uplift or educate us? Shiree'

  17. Love, love, love this post. I also love, love, love this movie. It takes so many of my thoughts and states them so succinctly (sp?).
    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Love, love, love this post. I also love, love, love this movie. It takes so many of my thoughts and states them so succinctly (sp?).
    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Love this post. I´m a big fan of your blog, never wrote a comment before, but thank you for sharing.

    Love the movie too, maybe it´s not a film but it has something.

    Best, from Spain 🙂

  20. This post was emailed to me by a friend and I am ever so happy it was. I enjoyed every word of it. I also have a love affair with that movie but somehow you just made it even more meaningful for me.

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