Monday, November 27, 2017

Finding My Badass Self--In All Kinds of Places

Finding "Finding My Badass Self" next to Sedaris never gets old.
It continues to amaze me that Finding My Badass Self, the crazy little book I envisioned primarily as humor, often is not found in a library or bookstore’s humor section at all. It’s frequently shelved under memoir/biography or—surprisingly—under self-help.

In fact, Badass Self is listed tonight on Amazon as the #15 bestseller in “self-help/midlife.” Huh.

I’ll take that ranking, gladly. Why argue with sales?

Sure, several readers and friends have said my journey and words have inspired them to venture outside their own comfort zones. Some have embarked on their own “unbucket lists.” And, three women told me that by realizing the status quo isn’t always what we want or need, they finally found the courage to leave an unhappy relationship.

But many other readers have simply said they enjoyed laughing with me—and often at me. I’m OK with that, too.

When I first started visiting bookstores and libraries that had the book shelved under “self-help,” I wanted to correct that. But maybe a book doesn’t have to be pigeon-holed into one category. Maybe it can cross genres. Perhaps it offers a bit of different things to different people.

Humor or inspiration? Who knows? You tell me.

If you’ve read “Finding My Badass Self,” what made you laugh most? And what inspired or helped you? What category would you shelve the book under, in your personal library?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Partridge Family Thanksgiving

In early December 2014, a group of friends and strangers joined me on a bar crawl in Milwaukee—on the Partridge Family Party Bus.

Sure, Keith Partridge and the rest of his television brood didn’t actually accompany us, but they were there in my heart—as they had remained ever since I was nine years old. Because I hadn’t been just a young teenybopper infatuated with David Cassidy. No, our relationship was SO much more.

When the Partridge Family came on the scene, I was first love-struck with the drummer, young Chris, who was closest to my age. But after Jeremy Gelbwaks was unceremoniously dropped after the first season and replaced by a different actor, I turned my attention and fully devoted my heart to David Cassidy.

Oh, David, how you made me swoon! Sure, you were a much older manchild, but you were everything I ever wanted as a fifth-grade girl. You were handsome, and sweet, and you sang to me every Friday night as if you knew me. I was sure, deep down, that you truly did.

Over the next few years, I bought every single Partridge Family album, plastered their posters over my bedroom walls, and joined their fan club. My favorite outfit at the time was a red jumper, just like Tracy Partridge wore in those early episodes. I spent hours in the basement of my family home, banging along on either a tambourine or on my sister’s cheap drum set as my favorite Partridge Family albums played on my cassette tape player.

And along the way, I envisioned my future with David Cassidy, as well as the rest of his fabulous, fabricated TV family.

When I look back on some of the happiest times of my life, they surely would include those preadolescent and carefree days of having David and The Partridge Family seem a part of my own family and my life.

And the music? Maybe it’s simply nostalgia or just maybe the music remains way underrated. All I know is I still appreciate the songs. I’ve kept a few Partridge Family CDs in my car and have listened to them long before I heard David was ill and possibly dying.

Childhood idols die, yet they live on in our hearts, in our memories, and sometimes in our music.

Today, when I listened to “I’ll Meet You Halfway,” I smiled as I remembered David Cassidy. I would have met him halfway, for sure. Hell, I would have traveled miles for the opportunity to tell him how I felt.

Thanks for everything, David.

Even after all these years, I think I love you.