Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just a Simple Thank You -- In 2,000 Words Or Less ...

"What the hell is this?" my husband growled.

Which of course after 20 years I know is code for, "Hello, dear! It's so good to be home! How was your day? And thank you so much for picking up my incredibly expensive prescription at Walgreen's. Have I mentioned how much I love you lately?"

So I smiled as he handed me a package shaped like a giant institutional-sized coffee can and wrapped neatly in brown shipping paper, and I responded brightly with, "I have no idea!"

Which he of course recognized as code for, "WTF? Did you order stuff off the Internet again that you forgot about and now you're blaming me? Have you completely lost sight of the fact that we're on an austerity program here, what with one kid in college whose birthday is OMG NEXT WEEK, and the other one already shyly requesting a $900 camera for HIS birthday ... ?"

Then I noticed the package was addressed to me. And I also recognized the return address, which made me smile again, although I was puzzled ...

"So open it already," he barked, meaning, "Oooo! I'm so excited for you!"

This conversation occurred after a long day of things not being exactly according to plan, although you would think by now, at my advanced age, I would know that "plan" is a word that always sends the God of my heart into gales of laughter punctuated by ironic little events--laughter with which I eventually join in because it's either that or crawl so far under the bed with my hidden stash of chocolate that even the cats can't find me.

I had spent the previous day sending lots of cheery emails requesting various kinds of work-related info from a bunch of different people from whom I received no responses of any kind, and then awoke to way too much sunshine because it's a college day and I have to get up earlier than usual in my odd little schedule to take my daughter to her class, where, three weeks into it, many of her classmates are still saying, "I dunno how to log in to do the homework ... ?" which makes her stare at them the way a scientist might examine something unpleasantly fascinating in a Petri dish, and also explains the Tea Party, and to an email from my realtor saying that at last! We have an offer on my parents' house after ONE WHOLE YEAR of it being on the market.

An offer $20,000 less than the asking price, which is itself $40,000 less than the home is worth.

And also the buyer had offered up his earnest money in the form of a Xeroxed page of five $100 bills. Which in no way made him look like a crack dealer. And he wanted an answer by midnight.

So while I had planned on having lots of emails with important info in them to respond to, instead I spent quite a bit of time being really irritated, and then I worked on a bunch of numbers, and then I emailed the realtor twice with various configurations of said numbers, and then I looked at the clock and realized that I had planned to be dressed half an hour ago.

So I threw on weird clothes because they were handy and tried to ignore the fact that my hair is just wrong--it's sort of fuzzy, or something, and also getting a bit silvery at the temples--and flung myself and my daughter into the Carmela car which I've been driving lately because there's something really odd about the transmission in my trusty old van and I keep planning to call and make an appointment to get it fixed but the thought of how much that's going to cost makes my mind go blank, and we went speeding off along the secret back way that I discovered to get to our local college because if you take the main roads you get stuck in impossibly slow traffic out by the Wal-Mart no matter what time of day it is.

And then we screeched to a halt because contrary to plan, the secret back way is suddenly undergoing major road work--although it was fine on Monday--so traffic is down to one lane, with flaggers allowing first the eastbound line of 1,536 cars to go through, and then reversing the "Slow" and "Stop" signs to allow the westbound line of 1,537 cars to do the same.

But we made it with two minutes to spare, and then I drove home where I had just enough time to not get ahold of the realtor yet again before I had to drive back and pick up my daughter. She had mentioned that she was going to the library after class, and so we planned that she would wait for me outside that building instead of her usual classroom building. But when her brother and I got there, we could not see her anywhere as we drove slowly past. And then my cell rang.

"Mom, I just saw your car go by! Why didn't you stop?"

"Where are you?"

"I'm at the building where the library is. You just drove past it."

"Yes, I know, but I didn't see you outside, so I was going to park and come look for you."

"Yes, I know, I'm not outside. I'm IN the building."

"Oh. You mean behind the huge panes of dark glass? Through which I can't see you from the outside? How am I supposed to know you're there?"

"Well, I got too hot, so I went inside. I'm outside now, though ..."

This is a child who taught herself to read and write Russian and had gone to the library to pick up some light reading in the form of The Brothers Karamazov because her class is not challenging her as much as she thought it would, but who cannot figure out that in order for me to find her, she has to be, you know, visible. 


So we went home to junk mail and dentist bills and stubborn silence from my email inbox, and then I finally got ahold of the realtor who is really a very lovely person but who was in the middle of a showing, so we planned to discuss numbers later that night to try to meet our midnight deadline.

And of course underneath all this haggling and irritation and plans gone awry, big and small, is the sad and empty-hearted thought that wow, this is really it. Their house is the last solid thing I have left of my parents. It still has some of their stuff in it, which I have avoided dealing with for quite a few months now. Because it's so hard to go there, 150 miles away, and to walk in and have it still smell so beautifully, so hauntingly, of my mother's perfume.

And then my husband came home and brought me the cylindrical package that he had found on the front porch.

And it turned out to be exactly what I needed at that moment, of course, as planned all along by the God of my heart.

A package of pure, unadulterated love. From you guys.

I saw that the package was from my beloved friend and fellow fan Mimi Dzyacky, but I wasn't expecting anything from her at the moment ... ? So I was clueless.

Like I said,
the coolest
container ever. :)
And inside the brown paper was the coolest container ever.

And then inside that was just ... everything! A star-shaped pink box that I know Mimi must have designed and decorated, with a fabulous globe on top with pictures of  Johnny inside it! (I can only hope that a glue gun was involved and that you took great delight in using it.) And a stunning and unique necklace created by the fabulous Irene Chang, using all my favorite colors! (How did you know?) And a booklet that Mimi also must have created, with a photo of Johnny from Ice Dreams on the cover and the phrases "You make me smile" and "Love love"!

And in the booklet, so many wonderful notes--and more notes besides that. Kind, thoughtful notes of appreciation and love that you all took the time to write and to send to Mimi for this project that I finally realized must have been going on for some time and that was in response to the little Twitter contest in which people were nice enough to vote this as "Best Blog."

Some of the most beautiful gifts I've ever received. :)

And so I read and read and read and savored every word, and read them all again, recognizing every name, seeing every face in my mind, completely overwhelmed that anyone would do this, let alone so many.

And then I cried.

Because you know it's been a little bit of a rough ride lately, what with the whole NYRag thing, and a great many people thought I was out of line and went too far in my criticism there, and I think I heard from all of them. Several times. (And let's not even talk about the strong response to the Z-word.) And really, I am a rather quiet, behind-the-scenes kind of person, and I was unprepared for suddenly being so, you know ...


And here in this package was validation for taking the risk to be a little bit visible, to step out from behind the dark glass of my quiet life, to put my voice out there in strong support of a uniquely gifted young man who has had a tremendous positive impact on me and literally thousands of other people around the world, because he's willing to be very, very visible. And without whom I would never have met any of the amazing people who cared enough to write and tell me that, in some small way, I've had a positive impact, too.

So thank you all very, very much. I am so touched by this that there aren't even words (although I did manage to scrape a few together to write this, as you may have noticed ... ). And thank you especially to Mimi, who I'm guessing was the driving force behind this and who clearly put an enormous amount of work into it. Mimi, you are a fierce bitch, which is what Michael Mazzella always tells me and which is one of the finest compliments I've ever received. (And now I think I finally know what you meant last Friday when you wrote on your FB page: "....Super Duper Secret Craft Mission Accomplished...")

So wow! I am just THRILLED with everything, and I spent a
great deal of time admiring and fussing over it all, rearranging things on my desk and my dresser so I could display every piece prominently, and peering at Johnny in the globe because that's just really cool, and feeling very humbled and blessed ...

"HELLO. I'm hungry," my husband bellowed from downstairs, interrupting my dazed gratitudapalooza with code for "HELLO. I'm hungry. And I have no idea where you keep the food in this house."

And then one of the cats threw up on my foot.

As planned.

With special thanks to Johnny,
HRC Seattle's 2010 Visibility Award winner
and without whom this blog would not exist.
How does he look this gorgeous at Alice+Olivia
on Tuesday, as Debora Walsh said, "... after he endured
a 256-hour flight back to the US, got customs-searched,
and [had] to start out early after only
a few hours' sleep ... ? Well, damn.
He looks great. Love the tousled hair! Rock on, Johnny!"

Twitter voting roundup!
(although I have to say that I'm not impressed
with the way Faxo is monitoring--or rather, not monitoring--
this voting stuff, so I'm kinda only half-heartedly following
these contests now but I still want my people to win ...)

Vote here for Gail Turley's blog
"WheresMyKoppy" to win "Best Blog"
Current rank: #6
1 voting days remaining.

New! Vote here for Johnny
(current rank: #13)
and here for JW Art Project
(current rank: #31)
to win "Best of Twitter"
15 voting days remaining.

Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik's "Showtime!"
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Johnny has been honored with
a Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award
by HRC's Seattle Steering Committee!
He'll be receiving the award and will be
the featured speaker at HRC Seattle's annual
"asOne" Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 25,
at the Westin Seattle. Yes, the public is invited!
For more info or to purchase tickets,
please visit HRC Seattle's website here.

Johnny Is skating in Yu-Na Kim's fabulous show,
All That Skate, in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 2!
Everything you need to know about tickets
and special gatherings of The Cabal
is right here!
This show is expected to be televised
on Sunday, October 10, on NBC--
check your local listings!

Also on Sunday, October 10, Johnny will be performing
in Skate for the Heart in Youngstown, Ohio!
Tickets are available here,
and there's a discussion page for fans here!
This show also will be televised on NBC
on Sunday, January 16, 2011, at 4 p.m. EST!

Please remember to register to receive
the JW Art Project's email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the book when you sign up!
The Artbook is expected to be published
by the end of October--can't wait!

related to All That Skate!
And more in the series
of translated interviews from the Mook Book
courtesy of the fabulous Akiko Nakata!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


WheresMyKoppy said...

Mimi sent us all (those involved) pictures of the box, etc. but asked us not to discuss it publicly because you hadn't gotten it yet. I contributed some words, but that was all I could do at the time. It seems like those words might have meant a lot to you, as we all knew our words would; as also YOUR words mean a lot to US!

Great Blog, MM! You never disappoint!

germansoulmate said...

Sometimes a little encouragement means the world, doesn´t it, apart from all the hate, jealousy, strong wishes to fail etc. I think, lately you have gotten a taste of what Johnny has had to endure for many years.

But always remember, there is also a lot of love and respect out there as Johnny also has experienced and of which he is such a strong ambassador.

Keep fighting and, most of all, keep us laughing and smiling...yes, as Johnny does.
Yesterday´s NYFW´s pics were a strong reminder why we love Johnny so much (among other things). He smiles and laughs.

Novia said...

Yay, you got it at last! So glad to know it came at the end of a hectic, frazzled day. Love your description of husbandly fondness and the sentimental side of selling one's parents' house. But more than everything, I love how you saw what had happened as divine plan, and how it's never neat and straightforward and involves things like faxed dollar bills and cat vomit.

So sorry about the discomfort of being so exposed by the NYRag fiasco. *hugs*

Congratulations again! Looking forward to more Johnny worship from you.

Anonymous said...

You are welcome MM and you are right, Mimi did so much for this! She was amazing organizing everything and then all her creative skills!! Wow!

You have me in tears so early in the morning bb!! Love love you, don't have any other words at the moment! ♥♥♥

Beth (twitter-bsontwit)

Annie said...

Sooooooo perfect! Isn't the love of friends and family the best medicine for a weary heart?

I salute your wonderful friends for knowing just what you needed exactly when you needed it. It was a great big hug delivered in a very cool package.

Have I mentioned today how AWESOME you are?

You are AWESOME!

And so are all of you who did this for Lynn [Mimi Irene DebJ DebW Li Nico Jess Maggie Amanda Robin Jenn Judith KarenB Emily Dana KarenW Michael Tatiana Salome Akiko Beatrix Midori Novia Beth Gary Gail Ren Lizzy Wendy].


Love Love! ♥♥

Maggie St. said...

Ever since Mimi started this, I've been doing the Johnny "I can't behave myself much longer / I gotta pee" dance just waiting for you to receive this.

As Life has it, this was due the same week that *I* had to pack our daughter off for college (so if anything was forgotten, it would be MY fault). But it turned out to be a relaxing, love-filled way to end such a hectic week.

(oh dear. It that correct? Does "love-filled" have a hyphen? and did that just require quotes? and I haven't capitalized my "a's". Do I see a 9-page letter in my future?) ;)

Thank you for simply being YOU, Lynn! We wouldn't want you any other way ♥

Debora Walsh said...

It was an honor to help out with this covert operation, and Mimi's talent and vision came to stunning fruition!
Just as you thank Johnny for inspiring your work, I thank him also...for encouraging complete strangers, alike only in their love for him, to reach out and touch each others' lives...and in the process forge new friendships and discover commonalities that enrich life!
Your blog is filled with humor, understanding, fight, daring and intelligence, as are you. And that strangely sounds a lot like someone else we all know and love, doesn't it?

Thanks for putting it all out there, MM! We love you!

PumaJ said...

"And then one of the cats threw up on my foot".

Oh my dear Binks...I see that my cats aren't the only ones who offer the stuff of such yuckiness to the one they love in always the best and most timely manner:-(

Yes, it has been very true that many of us have been sneakin' around behind your back trying to make sure that our messages carried as much love and appreciation for you as we each could possibly cram into the tiny space allotment Mimi allowed us:-(

We did this because... Your words bring such a bright and shining light of delectable humor into our lives.

I cherish the laughter and even sometimes the tears you bring into my life. I bow before the enormity of your genius...and, I love you for being so willing to move beyond your quiet comfort zone to share your wise vision with us.

We have your back, and we love you:-)

Li said...

So happy you received your homage present and are enjoying the contents! Remember that saying "Those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind" when you see a criticism of your writing. The Cabal will always be behind you all the way BB!

aaaack said...

You've done so so much for us Johnny fans. It's priceless what you've done. You articulate our inner thoughts for us.

Your beautiful birthday bouquet and overalls photo with Johnny inspired the necklace colors.

My husband at times also speaks fluent gruff brown bear, which also requires a similar running translation. When his Mom passed away, his Dad confided a Niagara Falls of "all the things I thought of and wish I had said to her." It led me to assume similar stuff is buried within his son's head.

Anonymous said...

We love you, Bink, you know that. You know that, right?

I have a clear memory of reading your blog header, "...exclusively devoted to all things Johnny Weir until I am able to at least partially recover some semblance of interest in something else. Don't hold your breath", the first time and thinking, "Ahh, a kindred spirit!" LOL. Still feel that way.

Johnny is lucky to have someone who is trustworthy, and unfailingly cares so much about his well-being, on his side. Come to think of it, we all are. I really couldn't imagine us without you.


akiko said...

Binky, thank you very much for a beautiful letter of thanks! Mimi, thanks very much again for such an amazing project! I'm so happy to be able to join Mimi and all the fabulous members in showing love and support to Binky.

When I came to FB in January for the first time, I didn't expect anything like this at all. Now I know all was planned.

Mimsie said...

Words or actions can never truly express how much you mean to me and all of us Lynn...Keep it going, we all LOVE LOVE you so!!!
...PS...I just love that i'm now a fierce bitch too...