I guess I should mention I am not writing a memoir and have no plans to ever pen one. But that hasn’t (and shouldn’t) stop me from thinking about all the things I won’t be writing about in the book I don’t plan to write.
Here’s what you won’t be reading in the book I’m not writing:
- If Only I Hadn’t Been So Skinny. Have you seen this in memoirs? “I was such a skinny kid…” “I was pretty, but way too skinny.” In my not-oir you are never ever going to see this. It’s hard for me not to chuck a memoir across the room when I come across the “poor me, I was so skinny” themes. Because? Cannot relate.
- I Had So Much Random Sex With Celebrities. Perhaps I have read one too many books where the author coupled with the likes of Bill Clinton, Norman Mailer, or Baryshnikov. I should stop reading those because I’ve never had random celebrity sex, but maybe if I had, I would be writing a memoir.
- We Were So Poor We Slept In the Car. Again, I have read so many rags-to-riches stories that now I think my humble ranch house in suburban Dallas will make for the most boring story in the world. While I wasn’t allowed to get Guess jeans in 1985 unless I paid for them myself, that’s not nearly as exciting as living without plumbing or having one of my family members gamble our grocery money way. Damn middle class upbringing.
- I Moved To The Big City All By Myself To Make it Big. While I did move from suburban Dallas to gritty, south side Chicago, I made that move to attend graduate school in Humanities. It doesn’t have quite the same ring as someone who moved from Tallapoosa, Mississippi to New York City to become an actor or a famous televangelist. Also? I don’t think that getting a post-graduate job as an admin assistant counts as “making it big.”
- I Went On A Long Spiritual Journey By Myself and Found My Bliss. Nope, this won’t be there either. I did once go to Mexico by myself in December 2004, but I almost went insane watching 24-hour coverage of the tsunami that hit Indonesia. I watched the death toll climb higher and higher, and there was no bliss to be found– a dead cockroach and a stale chocolate wafer, but there was no bliss.
- Then I made the winning shot/basket/goal. No. Just no. There’s so much to love about sports, if only there were no balls or no need to work with other people under time pressure. Oooh, and there’s all that touching and sweat. If not for all that, maybe some triumphant Rudy-like passages might exist. The best sports story I have is that I ran a half marathon while my nipples were bleeding and the guy who had recently dumped me ran right past me (who was gasping for breath about to die of exhaustion), while chatting with his new sporty girlfriend (the kind who could run a half marathon in a tiny sports bra). Don’t worry: You won’t ever have to read about that incident again, because I am not writing a memoir.
What’s not appearing in your memoir?