Recently my first boyfriend, George, wrote a sparkling Amazon review* for my new memoir, Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others. In addition, ever since he read the book, he has been emailing me recollections of my ninth-grade antics, like the time I blew up a condom and bounced it around class. (Where did I even get a condom at that age in those days?)
Connecting with old friends has been one of the major rewards of writing my book.
All this fed into my recurring imaginings of how to celebrate my death, and whether to do so after or before it occurs, though I realize it’s unrealistic to believe I’ll have a choice.
It seems like such a waste to have tributes about a dead person that they never get to experience. My fantasy has me sitting up in my bed against fluffy, Clorox-white pillows, feeling comfortable—the way I feel now—with family and friends all around me, sipping prosecco from champagne flutes and reading their tributes.
Before you say these are the musings of a narcissist, let me point out that these are the musings of a narcissist.
But in addition to my own pleasure of hearing the pre-eulogies, I imagine my daughters appreciating the anecdotes my friends will tell. If I outlive my friends, my descendants will have only their own memories to soothe them, not that I would choose otherwise; as I already suggested, these are just the musings of someone who spends overtime thinking about herself.
At least my daughters will have the scrapbook I made after my fiftieth birthday party when I invited friends to share memories, which they read at the party. I urge others to do this—it’s so fun and remains amusing to look back on and read the likes of a friend’s account: Sharing food with Susan is always a unique, challenging, competitive adventure.
My oldest daughter gets annoyed with me when I say I enjoy going to funerals. Of course, what I mean is that, although I can’t bear it when someone dies, I relish hearing stories about a person’s life.
I read memoirs and personal essays of unfamous people so I can learn how others deal with their imperfections, what they regret, how they reflect on relationships they’ve had, what they would have done differently, what they did right.
For those reasons and more, I write about my unfamous self. And in the writing, I learn all those things about me and learn from the way others relate to what I have written.
I can’t wait to hear from my dear friend Jane when she comments about funeral tributes. I know she will.
And I would love to hear from you too!
*5.0 out of 5 stars Guys will love it too, February 28, 2013
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This review is from: Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Mothers, Lovers and Others (Paperback)
I couldn’t wait to read this book. Susan [Fishman] Orlins was my first girlfriend. I knew that if this book was anything like her, it would be funny, honest, offbeat, clever, and unpredictable. It was all this and more not to mention artfully written. Towards the end she sees herself channeling Auntie Mame , to me, it reads more like Nora Ephron channeling Sarah Silverman…A witty writer telling about a wickedly funny and irrepressible character. Lest the phobic and neurotics out there think they are buying this book for the comfort of reading about one of themselves…this book is an inspiration to ignore your hangups and grab life by the horns [even if you have to wipe them down with clorox wipes first] and going for it. In the end she finds herself in search of Susan Fishman. From what I can see she’s still there and always was. She’s the girl from junior high school [albeit minus one hip]…the same unforgettable unique character that men or women will love reading about. Go Suzie!
LOTS ABOUT MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
The perfect book for worrywarts or anyone who enjoys a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant,” deeply personal story.