Monday, April 25, 2011

I Blame TV... And Tomatoes

I've come to a realization.  Two actually.
The first is that I don't like tomatoes on sandwiches.  Sarah, I think you came to this realization recently, and I didn't understand it until today when I went to make a cheese sandwich.  Tomatoes are soggy and my Trader Joe's wheat bread can't stand up to them.  I make an exception for ciabata.
There, I've said it.

The second realization came when I was watching one of my favorite television shows, Parenthood.  If you've never seen it, it's a great show.  Sure, it's a little hard to believe that two parents, four children and their spouses, and six grandchildren would all live within driving distance of each other, in one of the most expensive areas of California no less, but I love all the actors and I think it's a really sweet show.
This morning, I'm sorry to say, Parenthood kind of pissed me off.  I was watching last week's episode while running on the treadmill, and before long I was sobbing my way through a scene wherein one of the characters survives a horrible car accident.  Not long after, however, I was scowling while that character's mother, a bartender and single mom who has never written anything before in her life, stands in the rear of an auditorium with aforementioned daughter, watching a play.
You see, a few episodes ago, the mom stayed up for one whole night and wrote that play.  She was immediately introduced to a famous stage producer, who just happened to be a Vietnam pal of her dad's, and who, naturally, lived within driving distance.  He in turn introduced her to a director, and the next thing you know, the entire family has gathered for the premiere of her play.
Sure, this series of events was probably supposed to take place over the course of six months, not six weeks, but regardless of timeline, it's ridiculous.  I realize that there are far less realistic television shows (I watch The Vampire Diaries, okay?), but it drives me crazy when this kind of thing happens on TV or in movies.  You know, how every single teenager automatically gets into an Ivy League school?  Or how book deals seem to fall magically from the heavens directly into the laps of characters who have never expressed an interest in writing?

Somewhere around the three-mile mark, it dawned on me: No wonder I have completely unrealistic expectations about how quickly this whole book thing should happen.  I am constantly surrounded by images of people getting exactly what they want, no matter how unattainable, almost instantly.  I don't want to sell my book when I'm forty.  I want it to happen yesterday!
Fortunately, I have John around to remind me to take "the long view."  And my friend Margot, who told me that one day I'll look back and be grateful for all the waiting and worrying, because it makes success that much sweeter.
I have to admit, there's something to be said for delayed gratification.  Like waiting until after I worked out to eat my delicious avocado and cheese sandwich.
Hold the tomatoes.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

It's true. Unless we're talking a nice, firm, flavorful heirloom variety with some salt and pepper, I just can't stomach a tomato on my sandwich.
And also true - sometimes when you get to the top of the mountain, you just see another mountain. So you better enjoy hiking.
I think I just paraphrased Miley Cyrus. Hmmm...