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I don’t even like Delacroix that much.

French painting before Manet leaves me cold. The 19th century French Romanticists are only marginally less cloying than the 19th century French Classicists. All those scenes from bad Walter Scott novels!

(I make exceptions for The Death of Marat and The Raft of the Medusa ‘cause, you know: They were The Daily Mail of their day.)

But the Met was hosting the first Delacroix retrospect outside France in 100,000 years, and as a Met member, I get to go to the previews, and it’s always fun to wander about the City and about the Met.

I asked the Beautiful Pollster if she wanted to accompany me, and she said, Yes, yes, yes with ten exclamation points.

We exchanged some texts that morning: MetroNorth from the boonies was running late.

But when I got to the Met, the Beautiful Pollster wasn’t there.

After waiting for her for 10 minutes, I texted a cheerful I’m here followed by 15 exclamation points.

And she texted back: Hey - Im so sorry- I got tangled up in resolving an issue for Tom - just off the phone. He went to lga when he should have gone to jfk. Had to get him new tickets.
I know it's stupid
And expensive
Please go on inside
I'm really sorry

And I was really irked.

Assuming she was not lying—had not been hit by a sudden compulsion to wash her hair; had not been suddenly invited to the Lake Como compound by George and Amal—this was still pretty rude since it would have taken her maybe ten seconds to text Family emergency! Must cancel! So sorry! so long as she kept those exclamation points to a minimum.

And it would have taken her an hour at least to get to the Museum from her place in Queens by subway. So, if she hadn't left an hour before, she must have known she would be late or have to cancel.

Did she somehow think that the fact that her 50-year-old boyfriend is such an idiot that he does not check his airplane tickets was gonna extort extra sympathy from me?

Or was I just disposable? Someone who doesn't really matter? Someone who doesn’t bring much to the table, so it’s perfectly okay to blow me off?

Things happen, I texted back.

But I was irked entirely out of all proportion to the incident.

I mean—I had a perfectly fine time wandering through the exhibit and then later through the streets of Manhattan. Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue in the Seventies and Eighties are the places where rich people live; a hundred years ago, Madison Avenue was the place they did their own shopping, and Lexington Avenue was the place where they sent their servants to shop for household necessities. Even today, those distinctions still prevail.

The most stylish young woman in the world sat next to me on the museum steps:

(Check out those charm bracelets at a higher magnification!)

And it is ridiculous to feel pushed out of shape by something that is this minor: Half the world is starving; an appreciable portion of the world is being bombed or flooded. I know this, so in addition to feeling bad because—sniff—I’m unpopular (in the true High School sense of the word)—I also felt bad because I’m superficial and petty.

How can I be unpopular? I ranted to myself. Little Megan liked me. Sincerely liked me, I could tell! And not only is it difficult to make true friends with someone that much younger than you, but Little Megan is pretty picky! I know this because she was constantly bitching to me about every other person she knew here!

What are ya gonna do?

The mind does what the mind does.


I got home and did scut work at the benefit dinner the Garden does each year to fund fence work. Claud used to teach at CIA, and then for many years, he owned a restaurant. He is a good cook!

All the while I was washing dishes and serving vegetables, I kept thinking, Maybe I would be more popular if I did something about those marionette lines running from the edges of my nostrils to the tips of my lips! Maybe if I got hydraulic acid injections, I’d be more popular! Hydraulic acid injections and mink eyelash extensions!


On the train down and the train ride back, I reread The Shining Girls, and I must say, Lauren Beukes is a genius. There's not a single false note in that novel.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2018 04:14 pm (UTC)
Delacoix was rather good at fiery horses. i think he did the painting of the rag-picker who looks just like the homeless people who roam the streets of los angeles.

i don't know what the hell is wrong with your Beautiful Pollster or her pal Tom.
Sep. 15th, 2018 04:22 pm (UTC)
You mean the slain workers in Liberty Leading the People?

Yeah, they are pretty good. And they do look eerily contemporary. Weird how poverty seldom changes no matter what century.
Sep. 15th, 2018 07:41 pm (UTC)
i have an almost vivid memory of seeing a painting in a museum several years ago. it was a man in ragged clothes with a schizophrenic look on his face and he looked familiar. i thought it was by delacroix and i thought it was titled the ragpicker. it turns out that the museum i was thinking of does have a painting called the ragpicker but it's by manet and it's not the painting i remember. oh well...
i've always liked liberty leading the people because my birthday is jul. 14.
Sep. 15th, 2018 04:55 pm (UTC)
The pollster is rude and inconsiderate; stop putting yourself down. I would have gone with you in a heartbeat.

People get wrapped up in their lives. I have found it very difficult making friends here. I blame it on not being in the workplace or church.
Sep. 15th, 2018 09:12 pm (UTC)
I blame it on not being in the workplace or church.

I think you're right about that. Groups give you a context to form acquaintanceships. Kind of a net.
Sep. 17th, 2018 01:06 pm (UTC)
**I blame it on not being in the workplace or church.**

Ugh - yes, this is my life, too...(well, I *work* but not in a *workplace*).

I'm sure you know it's just the jerkbrain telling you you're unpopular; I hope you don't really believe that! Flakiness drives me absolutely batty, too. It triggers this feeling like, "Are they trying to shake me loose? Is there some hint I'm supposed to pick up on? Or are they not thinking of me at all, they're just self-absorbed and inconsiderate?" I try to downgrade my expectations of people rather than write them off (although sometimes writing off is the correct thing to do).

I had a friend who "unfriended" me on Facebook. I asked her about it and she was like, "Oh, I don't really like Facebook, I just use it for keeping in touch with a few people, it's not personal." She's one of those anti-Facebook people. But I'm like - then why have a Facebook account at all? Why "friend" certain people and not others? I mean, I guess I just have to trust her word for it, but it doesn't make sense to me. I would only "unfriend" someone if they pissed me off or I barely knew them. People whose actions make no sense to me make me anxious and exhausted (I fee like "is this really some hidden message that I have to decipher because they can't just tell me straight?").
Sep. 18th, 2018 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I controlled the impulse to text her, You self-involved jerk.

So our "friendship" remains same as it ever was.

Burning bridges is seldom practical. I might need the Beautiful Pollster some day.

And I had a perfectly fine day.

I was just irked. Disproportionately irked. And I couldn't really understand why I was irked.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )