Housekeeping Vol. 6

I almost got rid of “housekeeping” as the title for these hodgepodge posts (it does not hit the way “skinny bits” did). But thinking about it, these posts are like sweeping out the corners of my mind. So maybe they’re aptly named. The name can stay for the time being, I guess.

My favorite wordsmith, Joan Didion the Pen Gawd, passed away mere hours after my last post. As all the writing and thinking girls posted their mini-eulogies, I considered doing the same here, but couldn’t even pretend my pen was up to the task. Maybe one day, when I’m on better terms with words, I’ll tell the love story that began with an MFA reading assignment and my bathroom floor.

I found another way to honor the Grand Dame of the Pen: I picked up a composition notebook I discarded in July to get back into some good, old-fashioned writing habits. This is not a “journey back to writing” or anything so formal as a new routine or process. I brain-dump/journal/free-write every few days. And when I come across good quotes/turns of phrase, I take the time to jot them down instead of highlighting/screenshotting/posting on social media. This includes keeping a pen and Post-It notes nearby when I’m reading in bed and my notebook is in the other room. It all feels very loose and new and light-hearted like I’m flirting with words and not at all aggressively scheming to get in their pants.

“Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed, altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”
– Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook

I think I stopped using this notebook because I mistakenly bought Wide Ruled. Imagine my surprise/humility when I realized I’m “writing on College Ruled paper gives me hand cramps” years old. Looks like I’m officially a Wide Ruled gal.
A few things that happened over my holiday:
  • I met a friend for drinks at the bar I’m trying to make my local watering hole. A man who called me “incandescently fine” paid our tab without attempting to insert himself into our fun or get my number.
  • I hosted the same friend for Christmas Eve brunch and she (a certified chef) approved of my shrimp and grits.
  • I yelled at my mother via text on Christmas Day. This was progress—she usually gets away with hanging up or otherwise dismissing my feelings when she’s pissed me off. That I had to do it in the first place—ruining an otherwise, perfectly “okay” Christmas—wasn’t ideal but at least I didn’t go to sleep fuming with words unsaid.
  • My Very Leo Christmas did not extend to New Year’s Eve. By that time, everyone I would have wanted to spend time with was spooked by Omicron (which…fair). So, I spent the evening finishing my holiday A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic series and went to bed at 11:30. Not ideal, but I knocked off a bottle of Trader Joe’s Blanc de Blanc while I wrote, so at least I ended 2021 doing things I enjoy, even if they were done in my apartment wearing sweatpants.
  • I binged and thoroughly enjoyed the Starz dramedy Run the World. I won’t call it a “black Sex and the City” (that’s disrespectful to the show’s creator and the mastermind behind Living Single, Yvette Lee Bowser), I’ll say it’s Living Single for millennial black girls who grew up watching Sex and the City. And the score (brilliantly composed by Robert Glasper and Derrick Hodge) is *chef’s kiss*—perfect weekend/evening chilling in your apartment vibes.
I didn’t intend to, but I ended up with resolutions for 2022.
  1. More in-person time with my friends.
  2. Buy better shoes.
  3. More words in notebooks, fewer on my Instagram Stories.
  4. Consider purchasing a vibrator (I have an excellent relationship with my boo Handrew, but I think we’re ready to add a third to our twosome).
And so we enter a New Year in a world that looks increasingly less like the one we used to know. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Published by

a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

2 thoughts on “Housekeeping Vol. 6”

  1. Happy New Year, blogging friend!

    After reading your paragraph, ‘housekeeping’ conjured up images of a suite in some bygone, fashionable NYC hotel- the Stanhope, or the Waldorf, or a corner table at the Oak Bar with a bourbon, a pen and a pad….in other words, I’m for it.

    Condolences about Joan D……I feel the same about Anne Rice. The Year of Magical Thinking…..I’ll have to revisit before I brush it off, though I remember it being very…self indulgent feelings wise. I don’t always respond well to that. I own it though, so one day I’ll give it fairplay. The Last Thing He Wanted was damn good though, so I do know she was gifted. Also that notebook quote- 10/10.

    …I love how you refer to writing with terms usually reserved for a love affair🌹


    1. Hi friend!

      You know… The image you created reminds me that I don’t live far from an oldish hotel and need to spend at least one afternoon there with a notebook and a bourbon, so thank you for that.

      The Year of Magical Thinking is a tough read, precisely because she let herself indulge in her emotions more than usual. Her essays are where the good stuff is. I think you’d like “On Self-Respect” and “On Morality.” And man. Anne Rice. I read The Witching Hour a couple of years ago and was just stunned (I have a lot of feelings about how the Mayfair Witches series went after that, but that first book was a magnum opus).

      Writing is the great love of my life. I think the next decade of my life will be about fully embracing that idea and seeing where it goes.


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