I had a beautiful experience doing writing to heal last night with a group of courageous and wonderful people. Now it’s on to storytelling on December 6… Six of us on the same theme, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” for 10 minutes: Fran Dorf, Tom Finn, Josh Kaplan, Chad Kinsman, Hugh Samuels, Rebecca Toon plus 3 brave volunteers. While my story is on its face about a car crash a few years, what it’s really about surviving all my “tsuris.” All my stories are about that. Join me.
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And for this one on December 11th, I’m getting back on stage to read a few bits from my memoir: “How I Lost My Bellybutton and Other Naked Survival Stories.” Also, of course, about surviving “tsuris.” Can’t help it. I’m the “tsuris” queen. Thinking about reading a relatively serious bit about breast cancer called “Plastic Man,” and a lighter bit about my Grandma Rose, she of the vast bosom and orthopedic shoes. I don’t know….is a bar the best place to read this? Well, whatever. It seems Ina has adopted me.
So last night I was helping out my friend Tony D’Amelio, with his brilliant scholarship program for local teens going to college, Dollars For Scholars. (For info go to: www.dollarsforscholars.org) I had volunteered to be on the “Scholarship Committee.” We (the committee head and I) had gone to our local JCC, where a bunch of teens and their parents had come to hear a panel talk about getting into college. Standing at the table, we were ready with our brochures and our pitch as the kids and parents exited the college meeting. Basically we were just trying to give them information about the program, how to apply for the scholarships, the website, etc. Most of them were thrilled to hear, signed up for the email list, and took info on the program.
I rounded up this particular boy and his Mom and gave them my shpiel, as enthusiastically and coherently as I could.
Mom turned to her son and said, “Why don’t we sign up?”
The boy shrugged and started to walk away.
Undaunted, I continued my pitch. “It’s based on need and merit….”
To which the kid replied, “I have no merit.”
(His mother was not amused, but what could she do? She gave me a helpless look and followed him out the door.)
See now, that’s the kind of thing I probably would have have said at that age, wiseass that I was. Cynicism as self-protection.
“Betty” says: What do you need psychology for? If you’ve got problems, just get over’em. If you’re captured and held captive for fourteen years by a psychopath…just escape. If your father is an abusive alcoholic, just hit him over the head with a frying pan. That’s what I did, and I turned out just fine.