Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An extremely prestigious editor at the most frou-frou-la-di-da magazine available on the streets wrote me a personal letter for the mere sake of acknowledging my evident merit as a writer. Although this is a belief my mother, a former middle school English teacher, has long held herself, it is an undeniable honor to be validated in words—painstakingly typed by hand, I remind you—that will forever be immortalized in my g-mail account.

This is what he said, precisely:

Dear *Ms. Meehan,

We're sorry to say that your piece wasn't right for us, despite
its evident merit. Thank you for allowing us to consider your work.

Best regards,
The New Yorker

*The first thing that struck me about this letter was not that I had been rejected, but that the editor somehow knew I was a lassie.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Swan Song

I published a piece in the New York Times, then there was all of this hoopla from agents, and Oprah Winfrey invited me to be a guest on her show, where I broke the hearts of millions of American housewives with my woeful story of downright heroic self-destruction in the name of love. Love! A guillotine to the head of the heart! A disgusting Marie Antoinette, stuffed with marzipan and false hope and painted cheap! Because of my unimaginable suffering (albeit voluntary, and therefore, not suffering in the least, but a theatrical rendition), Oprah said that I could have anything that I wanted. I told her it was my dream to play Plinko on The Price is Right. So she flew me out, first class—shrimp cocktail and warm, damp towel and all—to Los Angeles, California, where I ran, full fucking force, before a live studio audience, high-fiving military wife after military wife bedecked in sequined “God Bless America” T-shirts, and into the loving arms of that puppy-loving Bob Barker. I gave him a wet kiss on his weathered cheek. I didn’t win the $25,000 grand prize, or even a dining room table and chairs set from Levitz furniture, but that’s alright. Because Hollywood came calling just a week later and offered me a 50 million dollar movie contract. I chose Al Pacino, the best actor in show biz to play the part of me, a whiny, twenty-something child-woman whose image is so utterly cultivated that she stinks of desperation and painful insecurity. Al Pacino won an Academy Award for his breathtaking performance and astonishing transformation from a 65-year-old man to a 23-year old woman. All over the country, the minds of thespians exploded. Actually, none of that is true. Except for the agents. There were agents. One agent even belonged to John Grisham. I went to his office overlooking the epic green of Central Park, New York City, sipped fine white wine over a century-old oak table, and talked about my great ambition to be a writer. I impressed him with my gravitas and wit and the surprise of my beauty. If I published a book, they might even take my picture for Vogue magazine, he mused. I signed a contract with the expectation that I would produce a piece of work, because, well, I’m a piece of work. Instead, I wrote a bunch of pornographic shorts—stuff about aching to press my face into the hairy, cyst-filled scrotum of my long lost lover. It didn't sit well with purveyors of legal suspense novels. So then I got wasted. I drank from a bottle of whiskey like a baby who hadn't been presented with a teat in over 45 years. I guess this baby would be a man now, desperately slobbering on the fat tits of a cadaverous lover. Then I bought a lot of shirts—plaid, sheer, lace, floral, flannel, chiffon—any piece of goddamn cloth with four holes in it that I could get my fat head through, I bought with reckless abandon. Next, I watched reality television—any moving image possessing blond hair atop sun-kissed skin being documented in Hollywood was mine to behold for hours on end! So I sat there drunk in my new shirt watching The Hills, loving every pathetic minute of it. It was great. And it went on like that for nine months straight. And then I wrote in this blog, feeling truly accomplished, like I had written the greatest run-on paragraph of the last century. So this is my swan song. If David Foster Wallace can write an epic 1000 + pages of Infinite Jest, and it's still not good enough to keep him from hanging himself on a Friday night, then what's the point? If I attempt the subtle yet impassioned poeticism of the written word, I might hang myself. My life is in danger. And things are just too good right now—what, with my alcoholism, television set, and perfect, relentless materialism. And with this guy! Really, what a guy, what a face, what a breaststroke, what a languid, naked arm, what a Mr. President of the United States:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thank You, Amazon

Today I received an e-mail from The e-mail stated: "For you, we recommend 'Women Who Love Psychopaths' and more!"

And it's my birthday.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

An Open Letter to Susan Miller (of Who Claimed That March 27 Was Going to be a Terrific Day

Dear Susan Miller,

In your March horoscope for the "emotional and communicative" Gemini, you stated, "March ends like a little lamb. One outstanding day will be March 27, when Mercury, your ruling planet, will walk arm-in-arm with generous Jupiter and surprise-a-minute Uranus in your house of fame and honors. March 27 will be a terrific day - put a star on your calendar!" Well, let me tell you, as soon as I heard the news, I wrote, "March 27 - best day of my life!!!!" (followed by not one, but four exclamation points) on a yellow post-it note and adhered it to my office computer. I even drew a little star as you instructed. The 27 days leading up to March 27 were the most painstaking yet exhilarating of my entire life. I anticipated that March 27, 2008 would be the new December 25, 1995, when I received a pair of Nickelodeon Moon Shoes for Christmas, and spent the next week artfully suspended, if only for a fleeting moment, in space. I. Nearly. Died. Of. Gravity. Defying. Happiness. However, my splendor came crashing facedown, literally, when I, tightly Velcroed into my purple Moon Shoes, decided to do a grand jete off of a public swing set, with the idea that I would rebound off of the mulch, and fly high, higher then I had ever flown before. It was more than just a bruise-laden moment; it marked THE END of my childhood. But that is beside the point. The point is: March 27 was so not a "terrific day."

I spent all "outstanding day" March 27 eve bleaching my lady-beard, dousing myself in exotic ointments, perfumes, lotions, and yogurts, and trying on many fashionable looks from my closet, so that I would look presentable for "surprise-a-minute Uranus" to surprise me in my cubicle of fame and honors. The next morning, feeling very moist and scented, I walked into the office with the poise and charisma of a Las Vegas showgirl. An elder coworker approached me and said, "How are you?" I awkwardly responded, "Hey ya!" as if "hey ya" were an emotion fitting of answering the question "how are you?" Oh, you know, I'm just having one of those hey ya days! Then, to add to my self-humiliation, I spastically waved my arms, frantically shook my noggin, and half-smiled. However, I soon learned that this person was not talking to me, but to the co-worker behind me. Have you ever felt a lonelier moment than this, Susan Miller? You may think that Jupiter and Mercury are innocently walking arm-in-arm in my orbital rotation, but really, they are just making a mockery of my debilitating loneliness by rubbing their maudlin connectedness in my face. It's like, just when I think the slippery plate tectonics of humanity are aligning in my favor, friction happens! Once again, I am relegated to my insufferable existence, which is that I do not exist. Does that make sense, Susan? Probably not, but neither does "March ends like a little lamb," so you must forgive me.

Next, as if March 27 couldn't get any worse, I had to go and make myself the saddest salad in history. From a depressing Midtown deli buffet, containing an assortment of potentially poisonous hot and cold foods, I chose three pathetic strips of General Tso's chicken, one unidentified deep fried ball, one giant piece of dirty cauliflower, one sushi role, three morsels of baked cheese from a macaroni casserole, all atop hwet lettuce, and finished with a dollop of the most orange Russian dressing I had ever laid eyes on. I thought I was being festively multi-ethnic, bringing China, Japan, the South, garden vegetables, and Russia together in one Styrofoam container for the very first time, but it took every last shred of strength within my battered heart just to keep from weeping as I cut the fried ball in half and chanted, "I am so pathetic," over and over and over.

After work, I decided to walk to Chelsea. Because millions upon millions of gay guys skipping, holding hands, eating ice cream, and singing show tunes under rainbow-colored flags never fails to cheer me up. But, of course, I had to go and ruin any potential of a glorious day by walking into stupid discount superstore Loehmann's. Or, is it Mercury ruining everything, Susan? Please, explain. Anyway, to the somber tune of Vanessa William's "Save the Best for Last," I stood before a full-length mirror and tried on many a fanciful straw hat. Then, I looked at myself dead in the eye and mouthed who will ever love this face? Sick of my pitiful self, I grabbed a three pack of multi-colored underwear and headed down the escalator ... where I almost DIED. Yes, my foot did that thing where it slips out from underneath you. Has that ever happened to you, Susan Miller? Well, let me assure you that it is a very demoralizing experience, especially if you are wearing a discounted giant purple church hat and clutching a three pack of cotton underwear in your soon-to-be cold, dead hand! I understand that Planet Mercury enjoys chewing me up and spitting me out, along with God, and every other force of nature, but he could at least wait to go into retrograde, kill me off the face of the earth, and send me to the astral plane while I am doing something more, well, dignified, like, I don't know, snorkeling along the beaches of the Italian Riviera. But Loehmann's?

And, if you were wondering, March ended with me eating a JELL-O pudding cup, alone, in my room. Delicious, but hardly a little lamb.


Margaret Meehan

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Humiliating Yet Delicious Foods I Like to Consume

Man, what is it about corn dogs, tuna and corn salad, potato salad, coleslaw, pigs in a blanket, and rice pudding with raisins that makes one embarrassed to be seen eating them in public? If I'm at a diner with a group of acquaintances, I make sure I'm not the first one to start shoveling my paper cup of complimentary coleslaw down my gullet.