Monday, December 10, 2007

two minutes

Sisters are happy things. These are my nieces, but there's a picture in our family history of my older sister and I looking kind of like this, only Felicity is pouting BIG time, and there's a couch cushion pulled out behind her from where I have just discovered her Easter candy stash.

When we were in college Sarah Dunn came up with this great concept about Two Minutes. She was talking about the way it feels when someone is right in your face telling you that you messed up in some way or failed to do something you should have, etc. (Telling you in love of course). And then you want so badly to say, "Fine. Now go away - not forever, but for at least Two Minutes. I need two minutes to stop being mad about this, to stop wanting to defend myself and actually deal with it. So go away, please, and give me my two minutes."

I was thinking about that the other day when I was thinking about my blog. My readers might get the wrong impression of me, I was thinking. Because I tend to be poetic and have a beautiful perspective on this messy thing called life. This my friends, is the beauty of writing. Not that I don't have a great perspective on life. It's just that - I don't always have it right in the moment. I need my two minutes. Two minutes to rethink my initial tendencies. Two minutes to turn the traumas into humor and come up with one very big poetic But. (i.e., but I had cancer once, and this little trial doesn't matter as much as it used to). Two minutes to ask myself, "What would Felicity do?"

And that's how writing and Sarah Dunn and Two Minutes all ties in to sisters. Because so much of what I've decided about life is because I think it's what Felicity might decide if it were her.

My other sister tried out for American Idol this summer. She got past the first horrible round in which they narrowed over eight thousand people down to about 150, by our estimate. I was so proud about that I could hardly stand it. She let us tag along to the second round and I was so excited by the mere experience of being that close to television-making, it was all I could do not to go up to one of the red t-shirted people and beg them to give me a job.

And here's the punch line for today. Besides the fact that I really like sisters. Reality TV gets pretty mocked, I know. And in some circles American Idol might as well be called "Let's all break the second commandment." But for me, it's a very happy, very moving memory in my role as proud and adoring sister. And, frankly, I wish I knew more people who had tried it. I wish I knew more people who had tried out for reality television than I know of people with cancer. That's what two minutes has given me on that topic.


zanne said...


except that i'm not nearly as fast as you are on regaining proper perspective. sometimes, i need as much as 20. hate to admit it, but it's true.

i'm working on it. so next time, i'll aim for two minutes less .

Lori said...

Oh, so that's what Sarah meant when she came into my office today and said, "Just give me two minutes." It's all so clear now....although I hadn't seen her all day & don't think I have corrected her on anything in at least a dozen years... :)
I was wondering if it took you two minutes to write this, by the way. I tried to read it in two minutes but got something in my eye & had to stop.
And I do know way too many people who have had to deal with cancer & agree wholeheartedly with you.

Anne Dayton said...

I love this. I think I'm going to adopt it myself. Two minutes. That's brilliant!

Anonymous said...

To Zanne - two minutes is a generous term for the time usually needed, and to Lori, no way - with three boys in the house and Michael trying to formulate the grocery list for the week - the writing of this was way longer than two minutes. And to Anne, I get all giddy inside when you comment, does that freak you out a little?

Felicity said...

By the way, those child models are simply gorgeous! Whose children are they anyway? : )

It really is too bad that first cousins can't marry in this day and age. (I am TOTALLY is just that my girls love John Michael so much and last night Claire told us she was going to marry him.)

Sarah said...

I Never, I mean Never comment on blogs, but . . . you said my name!