Thursday, October 02, 2008

Requisite Bucket List Post

WARNING: Exhaustive, self-aggrandizing talk and strong but wholly spontaneous language to follow.

I was 23 years old when my divorce from the sailor was finalized. After six years masquerading as a Midwestern housewife, I was free to be Me. Trouble was, the definition of "Me" had yet to be determined. I decided this huge upheaval of my life would not be for naught. I would reclaim my lost youth by creating a list oh-so-creatively titled "Things To Do Before I Die." However, I never had a plan on how I would accomplish a single thing.

Ten years later, during a move to a new apartment in New York City, I purged lots of old journals, letters and pictures and came across this list. I was tempted to throw it out; some of my items were downright embarrassing. "Be serenaded." Really? I assure you, I didn't want that then, and I most definitely don't want it now. I was clearly in need of romance and wanted to believe in love.

In looking closer, though, I was pretty astounded at how earnest and mundane most of the items were. Ride a train, eat sushi, see a parade -- check, check, check.

Growing up in the woods, being responsible for myself, working full time at such a young age, I simply hadn't done anything. See a Broadway play, learn to golf, vote, ride the subway, have my hair styled, handcraft pottery, learn to bike, go on a cruise, picnic, ice skate. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.

Cue self-aggrandizing and strong language.

Last Monday, I went to more than a few meetings with publishers here in NYC who had been given a proposal for a book. My book. A memoir. That night I collapsed into an exhausted heap at 9:30; unheard of in my life as an "I'll sleep when I'm dead" kind of chick. Tuesday was round two. More meetings with more publishers that culminated with me sitting in dark silence alone in my apartment staring into space. My head spun. What the holy fuck just happened?

The next day I rested easy. My work was done. As the day wore on with no news, I grew more content. I had no doubt my book was going to sell. It was actually happening. Meanwhile, my husband Christian was miles away in Chicago headlining at the Lakeshore Theater. It was killing him slowly that he wasn't with me during one of the biggest events in my life. As the day wore on with no news, he grew less content. He was on pins and needles becoming slowly unglued. As hard as I had worked on my proposal, he had been there along the way. This was his project, too. He had as much invested as I did and, perhaps, more since he'd be the one to have to deal with me in the aftermath should my book not sell. (You hear that, Elizabeth? We'd be coming to join you, honey!)

Finally, news came and I phoned Christian.

"I did it. I sold it."

"I'm so fucking proud of you," he gushed. He was overwhelmed as he stammered. "Aghhhhh, gah, I just....uuunnnnhhhh....I oooooooo....gah....I, I just want to lick your pussy."

Um, uh, WHAT?

I was aghast! This was not quite what I expected to hear as one can imagine. "Eeewww! What?! What the hell did you just say? Why would you say that?!"

Christian exploded in laughter. He was bursting with pride and simply couldn't contain himself. "I don't know, I'm just so happy and proud I want to do something that is just for you."

"I just sold the story of my life. This morning I made note of the weather, took notes on my day, hell, I even wore a special outfit that I'd never worn before (a silk BCBG skirt and knit sweater) so every time I slipped on that skirt or saw a picture of me in it I would recall, 'I was wearing that skirt when I got news that my book sold to Random House.' So now when I recount the story of how I broke the news about my greatest accomplishment to my husband it will be followed with the phrase, 'I just want to lick your pussy.'"

What. The. Hell? Also, it is so like a man to think that going down on a woman is exactly how she wants to be rewarded.

As stunned (Shocked? Appalled?) as I was, I was also tickled pink. Christian was positively elated. I could feel the heat from his glowing pride through the phone. The next day in New York I ran into more than a few people who had seen him in Chicago where he gushed about me. I started receiving emails, texts, calls from people who had heard about my great news from Christian. He was proud and that means the world to me.

Tonight, a week to the day that the auction ended, I remembered my List. I dug out the journal and scoured the numbered items and found:

8. Write my autobiography.

Seeing it written so plainly in my earnest naivete -- as though writing a book were as simple as riding a train, eating sushi, or seeing a parade -- makes me marvel at one's ability to get things done.

I'm proud of having broken free and carved out a pretty interesting, varied life for myself. That said, there is still quite a bit of simple stuff on my list I have yet to accomplish. I want to get a pedicure, drive across the U.S., build a snowman, participate in a rally, ride a camel, visit the Grand Canyon, go to the circus, go sled riding...

The time is no other time like now to "get busy living or get busy dying," because sometimes life can be pussy licking good.

What's on your list?


Alexandrialeigh said...

Congratulations, Kambri! I just finished co-writing a memoir (not mine; my life has not been that interesting), and although it wasn't MY story I was telling, I definitely poured an intense amount of myself into the project, and I know how you feel -- or at least pretty damn close. Best of luck; I'm sure the book is going to be a huge success. Can't wait to read it.

Kelly said...

Hey Kambri!!

Congrats!! You SO deserve it.

I would love for you to autograph the book that I am gonna purchase when it comes out!! :)

As I have replied to you in my blog: I am proud of you!!

As for my list, it's so long that it's not even funny anymore. I have it all in my head and I should like you write it down and mark them off as I go.

Again, congrats, sweetie.
All of my best to you, now and always.
Kelly xoxo

Anonymous said...

you are SO awesome :) got bored at work today and decided to check out your blog, discovered through fb. :) wowsers. you are like my true american hero chick, girl power, go! :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely revelation. I don't know if I ever made that list. I'm gonna get on it asap.