Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Confessions of a Juggler

~ Edgar Albert Guest (1919)

I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.

I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.

I love Tina Fey. Who doesn't?  A passage in her piece “Confessions of a JugglerWhat’s the rudest question you can ask a mother? in The New Yorker magazine (14 February edition) strikes a chord, minus the dream job (comic talent, Teutonic will and army of stylists). 
“How do you juggle it all?” people constantly ask me, with an accusatory look in their eyes. “You’re screwing it all up, aren’t you?” their eyes say. My standard answer is that I have the same struggles as any working parent but with the good fortune to be working at my dream job. Or sometimes I just hand them a juicy red apple I’ve poisoned in my working-mother witch cauldron and fly away.
Her memoir, Bossy Pants, was released this month.  I wonder how long it will take to hit the shelves of the Kingston Library?   And she's having her second baby.   She was nervous a second pregnancy would make her unemployable. 

"Science shows that fertility and movie offers drop off steeply for women after 40," writes Fey, 40. But, she rationalized, "What's so great about work anyway? Work won't visit you when you're old. Work won't drive you to get a mammogram and take you out after for soup.”

"Hollywood be damned," she writes. "I'll just be unemployable and labeled crazy in five years anyway."

Somehow I doubt it.

Image: American Express advertisement, 2008.


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