Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Just a few years ago I was a broke-ass twenty-four year old girl working at a bar. I don't know how many of you have worked at bars, but believe me: after hours, our waitstaff partied like fucking rock stars. An hour after close people are snorting coke off the bar, fucking in the manager's office and bitching about having no money (irony, bitches). Industry people all have successful life plans that begin with "when." When they own their own bar or when their band makes it big or when they move to Austin or when their boyfriend gets out of the army and proposes their lives will be so much better, the whole thing is very MTV. Their lives are so much harder than everyone else's, their problems are more relevant and colossal, and nothing is ever their fault.
So when I initially started reading Out of the Ordinary, which has since evolved into Sweet Indiscreet, I was totally looking forward to archives full of sex, drugs, hyperbole and zero accountability.
SusieQ (needs to update her "About" page), recently swapped her life as a barmaid for life in a cubicle, which is one of the most asinine transitions a human being will ever have to encounter--almost as asinine as moving from Finland to Scotland. Office politics are all gossipy "did you hear that Barbara left early yesterday?" Instead of "You cocksmoking bag of whores, why didn't you fucking text me last night? I was waiting for you at the bar. And then I drank a bottle Wild Turkey and totally blew Vinnie in the server's alley, and the floor was all wet and I slipped and choked a little, it was so weird. Omigod, don't tell Brian. And...I'm sorry, I know you like Vinnie, but just trust me, he's not worth it...bitch, you know not to leave me alone like that."
But SusieQ gave me nothing nearly as juicy as coke parties and exhibitionism. What the hell kind of bar did she work at? Sure, she’s a bit of a slut and a drunk and an overall hot mess with dramatic, backstabbing friends who accuse her of dramatic backstabbery, and it's all very fun. She seems to have a great deal of ex-friends. It's an industry thing. Even though she isn't the best writer or the best storyteller, the stories themselves are compelling enough.
Unfortunately after the first few months, most of her entries are about being bored, and then we just stop hearing about cool industry drama altogether, and I love industry drama. She gets a second job as a shopgirl selling cigarettes and porn, continues life as a barmaid, and does all of this while studying accountancy and talking about make-up and money and boredom and taking responsibility for nothing and you know what? It's fucking boring.
She plays the just the tip game all the goddamn time, promising to write about something eventually. She starts telling stories that could prove fascinating with no follow through, a blogging habit that appears to leak into her life at school and work. It's infuriating.
If I were to pick one post to sum up Susie's blog, and her life, it would be this one. Random thoughts squeezed together, lots of saying and no doing. You think you deserve a good grade in class? DO THE WORK ON TIME. No one will hire you? DO NOT BE LAZY.
You say you have fantastic stories? TELL THEM. And tell them well, don't fuck around with lethargy and procrastination. Now, let that same kind of dedication carry on over into your personal life.
Sure, she's a brave runaway. I can't imagine what it was like to move to a foreign land at the age of eighteen and cut off myself from my family and friends, emotionally and financially. I can't fathom that. But I am very familiar with broke and in debt, I am familiar with pulling 70-hour weeks in the thankless service industry, I am familiar with student loans, I am familiar with late payments and asking for extensions on rent.
If SusieQ wants to change her life around, she needs to stop spending money on make up and $4 cups of coffee when she is SIX MONTHS BEHIND ON HER BILLS. To save money and get off the couch to lose the weight she complains about, she needs to walk to the store instead of paying to have her groceries delivered. She recently gave up smoking (good girl, cigarettes eat wallets for breakfast), and she found herself a full time job, and those are good steps in the right direction. Still, she's going into accountancy but does not account for herself.
Wake up, SusieQ. It is time to be a fucking grown-up, about your blog and your life. It sucks. But along with it comes some personal clarity that I hear gets better every year, and along with that personal clarity comes better blogging. Tell your stories with self-awareness and responsibility, these things are actually good to have. Don't be afraid of it. You are a frustrating individual with interesting secrets, but you're honest. For some reason I care about you and I want you to do well, as boring as your blog can be. But for that reason alone I'm not going to flaming finger your ass. Probably because I identify. A little.