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Humor July 2017

Agelessly Yours

Anyone Can Write Articles?

By Karen White-Walker

It’s not the highlight of one’s life to be approached without warning by an-in-your-face dopey dame who greets you with, “Ya know, anybody can write articles."

Everyone wants to believe that they’re liked by everybody, okay, maybe not everybody, but by some. If we can’t even pull that one off we’ll settle for merely being tolerated by one or two, but let’s face it, even THAT might be pushing it.

Last summer I was invited to a come-as-you-are picnic/party. They weren’t referring to your attire, but rather to your real character, meaning, please be yourself, as disgusting or as wonderful as that might be.

It’s not the highlight of one’s life to be approached without warning by an-in-your-face dopey dame who greets you with, “Ya know, anybody can write articles.”

“Name three that you know,” I ordered. 

“Well, I can’t name one, now that you've put me on the spot, but it’s true, so what’s the big deal?” she went out.

“Who said it’s a big deal? Listen lady, and I’m being very generous here, why don’t you try and whip up something of interest, submit it to the editor and then expect to get paid for it.”

“You mean you get PAID for that…that stuff you scribble out?”

“Let’s just say,” I smugly smiled “that for tax purposes I’m being forced out of my cozy home and into a bigger, more elegant place.”

That really shut her up and made her foolishly more jealous. I didn’t feel too well myself, because I really don’t get paid a lot but in a weak moment, I wanted to get even with her for the put-down. And as for my smugness, I wanted to punch myself in the face. What kind of character am I? And it took a lousy backyard barbecue to find out?

Why are there always those who suffer from professional jealousy? You make a little loose change, meet a few dreadfully famous people, and most importantly, you take pride in your work and there they are — wishing it were them. When I’m up at 5 a.m. staring at that intimidating blank sheet of paper, facing a deadline or dealing with a director that makes you want to scrap your Off-off Broadway script because of the pressure, I too, wish it were those jealous creeps and not I.

When I reflect on all the money I’ve spent over the years on postage sending out my “stuff,” think of how I could have had a wardrobe that would have rivaled Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and a face-lift that would have thrown Joan Rivers into a crying jag.

But the greatest sacrifice is concentrating on my life’s experiences, transferring them on to paper to make them come alive, and in doing so, I’m missing sometimes out on living in the moment. I hope by their mother living with her reveries, I’ve taught my children to live in the moment. Everybody should, you know. And who deserves to live with enough rejection slips to wallpaper the Sistine Chapel?

But for all those countless rejection slips, there are numerous acceptance letters and the adrenaline rush is as thrilling and as exhausting as once making love with your spouse. Not bad, huh, for a widow in her 70s who has miserably lived through menopause. Not bad, huh, for her late husband who, when in his early 80s, took a nip or two, was on high blood pressure medicine and could still, well, you know.

Don’t you dare imply that his high reading was attributed to my writing, especially my expose columns about him. Look, I have high blood pressure, too, and it’s probably from people who say, “Ya know, ANYBODY can write a column.”

You want to talk about professional jealousy? Don’t talk, WRITE about it and just see where it gets you — up at 5 a.m., staring at a blank sheet of paper with a deadline to meet, but making big bucks. Hey, two truths and one little lie ain’t bad, huh?


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