Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nine

I left Lilly Tomlin in because we don't have a pet, and sometimes I pretend she's my mom.
Today, Jeff and I have been married nine years.

[Hold for applause.]

Just kidding. I mean, that's kind of anticlimactic. It's not like ten. At ten, you can throw yourself some kind of luau-themed vow renewals at a luxury resort, invite all of your friends and drink too much until you push someone into the infinity pool.

Let's face it: Nine is juuuuust shy of impressive. I mean, the anniversary gift for ten is diamond jewelry; the gift for nine is leather.



It's a subtle difference, but I think it speaks volumes.

Nine is not a show pony. Nine is a workhorse. Nine is hard-earned, like tanning a gross piece of rawhide to make a sexy anniversary codpiece. Nine is also a 2009 musical drama directed and produced by Rob Marshall. Basically, nine is a diamond still in the rough.

What I'm getting at with these heavy-handed metaphors is that marriage can be hard. (In retrospect I think the hora was trying to prepare me for this fact, as I struggled in vain to hold onto a chair with no arms, hovering eight feet over a drunken mob.)

That's not delight, it's pure terror.
I'm sure some people have effortless unions based on shared values, matching Christmas pajamas, and compatible astrological signs, but Jeff and I... are not those people. We love each other--a lot!--but we're very different, and always have been. He is dark by every definition of the word, hirsute and enigmatic, a steak-loving chain-smoker who reads historical nonfiction and suffers from what he calls “emotional constipation.” I, by contrast, am light in interests if not in body hair. I live for awards show red carpet specials. I have read all of Janice Dickinson’s autobiographies (there are three). I eat a lot of avocado and sometimes drink green juice. Emotionally, I tend towards hyperbolic overexpression, and am prone to dramatic weeping during arguments (if anything, my heart requires Pepto Bismol). Finding common ground, for us, often takes work.

The past few years have been especially rough. Co-parenting is a constant, humbling struggle, money is tight, quality time is scarce, and stress is high. It's a recipe for resentment, and for forgetting why you liked each other enough in the first place to fund an extravagant, legally-binding party just to rub it in people's faces.

I don't think we actually uttered the words "for better or for worse" in our vows nine years ago, but everyone knows that's the deal you make, before you step on the glass or jump the broom or almost fall to your death from your hora chair. And while we're lucky beyond belief in many ways, we've been wading towards the worse end of the spectrum for a while. Which is why I'm writing this post. Because in between bliss and divorce is a wide, murky middle where most marriages go to float like so many lanterns launched hopefully onto a moonlit lake. And we should talk about it.

We should talk about how much it sucks that passion fades. I listened to the Aziz Ansari audiobook, so I get it--our brains can't handle that much dopamine; we would never get anything done if that new-romance high lasted more than a few years. But still, it sucks! It fucking sucks!

We should talk about how a child can change a relationship in ways you don't expect. A baby is literally the manifestation of love (or, OK, at least lust) between two people, so it seems logical that it would multiply affection instead of divide it. But parenting is hard, sleep deprivation is real, and sometimes, at the end of the day, you only have enough love left for one person (and the kid always wins).

We should talk about how every couple is cosmically destined to have the same fight over and over again, at least once a month, for the rest of eternity, like a really terrible remake of Groundhog Day starring those Children of the Corn-looking Hough siblings from Dancing With the Stars.

We should talk about how there's a reason that romantic comedies usually end with the first kiss, because if you followed people through a real relationship--especially one that spans a decade--it would stop looking so romantic and comedic and would quickly start looking more like a documentary with no plot and increasingly infrequent nudity.

I don't mean to scare or depress you. Jeff and I are not teetering on the brink of divorce. In fact, I've been feeling extra grateful for him lately. It's easy to stop really seeing your partner when you're mired in the day-to-day slog, so I try to look up more often--to notice his smile when he comes in the door, or stand up and kiss him before I go back to building whatever 1500-piece Lego set Sam has dumped onto the rug. Jeff and I have been together for thirteen years now. This recent stretch isn't the first skid we've hit. We have a life and a child and a long history together and we are still in it.

I mean, look, we're not exactly living the plot of 9 1/2 Weeks over here, but we also haven't gone the 9 to 5 route of trying to poison and/or kidnap each other. Which bodes well, I think.

We must be into leather.

Share/Bookmark

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pre-Order YOU IN FIVE ACTS and Hillary Wins! Or You Get Another Book. Anyway, Something Good Will Happen, Probably


OK, fine, I may have exaggerated. 

My new book, YOU IN FIVE ACTS (out November 1!) has nothing to do with the upcoming election. Hillary has no idea who I am, and neither does Trump... unless he stumbled across my 2012 Open Letter to Racists while furiously self-Googling in the unholy dungeon full of discarded clown wigs and Doritos fragments that I am convinced he sleeps in, and draws his frightening power from.

(I am not voting for Trump.)

But I am humbly asking that you pre-order my upcoming novel, YOU IN FIVE ACTS, regardless of your political leanings.



I realize this is a big ask--it's at least $14, in hardcover, depending on where you order from... and you don't even know if it's good yet! Sometimes I order a lot of take-out to meet the delivery minimum because the idea of using my legs for walking or my voice for human contact seems like too much work, and if I don't like the food I am very disappointed! I mean, I still eat it--all--but with an angry face, like this:


Anyway, my point is, you are taking a risk, much like Amelie when she decided to gaslight that dick of a grocer. 

So. Here are some things that might convince you that the book is OK:

1. THIS GREAT BLURB!

"Una LaMarche perfectly captures the competitive, high-stakes atmosphere of professional-track ballet through the eyes of a refreshingly strong protagonist who you can't help but root for. I loved it from beginning to end."

-Sophie Flack, author of Bunheads

2. THIS KIRKUS REVIEW:
(Highlights mine)

"Five teenagers live for their art in this coming-of-age story of achievement, ambition, and heartache. LaMarche's latest novel (Don't Fail Me Now, 2015, etc.), which chronicles the tribulations of a group of friends in their senior year at a prestigious New York arts conservatory, is a pleasing mix of Fame and Gossip Girl. Each character narrates a section, addressing it to the titular "you," who changes depending on the narrator: Joy, the black ballerina and a passionate perfectionist terrified of failure; Liv, a Puerto Rican actress whose party-girl ways have tragic consequences; Ethan, the nerdy, white Russian immigrant's son, a playwright with Broadway ambitions; Dave, a white teen celebrity desperate for a fresh start away from his mistakes in LA; and Diego, a Latino dancer for whom ballet is a ticket to a better life. The author knows her subject matter well, and she effectively captures the essence of teenagerhood, from the hormones and the slang to the heartbreak and paralyzing self-doubt.As in a Shakespeare play, everyone is in love with the wrong person, and it takes most of the novel and some dramatic events for everyone's feelings to be sorted out correctly. Of the five storylines, Joy's—in which she copes with body shaming and other indignities that have kept the rarefied world of ballet largely off-limits to black women—is the most compelling. Given the current political climate, the characters' struggles with the white establishment create a poignant and timely socially conscious narrative."

3. THE BOOK'S FIRST PAGE:
So mysterious! WHAT HAPPENED? HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY FIND OUT????

Well, you could ask me, and I will spoil it for you--for free!--if I've been drinking.

Or you could pre-order it from Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, or your local independent bookseller (you have to use your legs and/or voice for that option, which is why I listed it last even though I love independent bookstores more than I love a dancing Paul Rudd gif!)

Why pre-order instead of getting it when it comes out? Well, pre-ordering helps show booksellers that there is some excitement/demand for the book, which might mean they order more copies, or display it someplace prominent, like next to other exciting new YA books, or maybe by Donald Trump's upcoming memoir, Why is My Sphincter Where My Mouth Should Be? 
(OMG please vote. I cannot stress how important it is that we all vote in this election.)

OK, HERE'S THE INCENTIVE PART:
If you pre-order You in Five Acts, I'll send you a second book or audiobook of mine--signed, sealed, delivered. No matter where you live, as long as it's on Earth. (If you have already pre-ordered, you are still eligible!)
I currently have 50 of my own books taking up space on my shelves. It makes me look like a real asshole when I have guests. So please, take them off my hands.
Here are the choices:
FIVE SUMMERS, hardcover:  7
FIVE SUMMERS, paperback: 13
FIVE SUMMERS, audiobook on CD: 1
LIKE NO OTHER, galley paperback: 3
LIKE NO OTHER, official paperback: 3
LIKE NO OTHER, audiobook on CD: 1
UNABROW, paperback: 5
DON'T FAIL ME NOW, paperback: 13
DON'T FAIL ME NOW, audiobook on CD: 4
Here's how you get one:
Email me at unawrites@gmail.com. Email should include:
  1. Proof of pre-order for YOU IN FIVE ACTS (you can forward your receipt from an online store, or attach a screen grab or other receipt). Must be dated October 31, 2016 or earlier.
  2. Top 3 choices for which book/audiobook you want (first come, first served--if none of your top 3 choices are available I'll let you know; otherwise it'll be a surprise when you open the package!)
If somehow I get more than 50 responses I'll start giving away other books by more popular authors, but signed by me. Which might be illegal. Let's find out!



Share/Bookmark
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...