Talk to Humans (and not just during a pandemic)

But I wanted someone fascinating. — Camila about Billy

Daisy Jones and The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Dear Readers,

So I’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately.

And in other breaking news, because the library is closed indefinitely (makes me anxious just typing that), I had to bite the bullet and borrow a book … electronically. I shudder to think about it. If you’ve been following along with me, you know I like good, ol’ fashioned print books. I tried to have a good attitude about it. I pulled up my Goodreads “to-read” list, and started looking up books through my local library’s online collection. Wouldn’t you know, the first book I looked up — Daisy Jones and The Six — was available? Well great! I had really been looking forward to reading the book. Fantastic!

For the next week or so, I proceeded to read an entire book on my phone. (Excuse me while I gag.)

But even though the experience was tainted by the (evil) screen, the book itself was phenomenal. I’m no music buff, so I went into the book thinking that Daisy Jones and The Six was some band I’d never heard of. (I don’t hold my memory in high esteem, especially when it comes to band names.) The entire book is written in interview format, which is fascinating, and I found myself very quickly becoming invested and engrossed (and obsessed) with these humans. Such candor they have! Such wit!

About 100 pages in I realized — you guessed it — that these are not real humans. Daisy Jones and The Six is not a real band. And the “interview format” was the vehicle Reid chose to deliver her fictional story.

Years ago, when I read Go Ask Alice, by “Anonymous,” I started reading the diary entries, thinking they were real. (YES, I’M AN IDIOT.) It was only until almost the end of the book that I realized it was fiction (which was probably clearly stated on the library sticker that smooched the cover of the book).

Side-note: I was SO ENGROSSED in that book, I remember sitting on the floor next to my bed (my first born co-slept with us, and I couldn’t leave because I was the wall preventing him from rolling off the bed) with a flashlight, eyelids peeled open, reading every last page of that book. Imagine my chagrin when I realized it was all made up. And if you’ve read it and you’re reading this post right now, I’m actually mortified because the story is absolutely and irrefutably ridiculous. There we go again with life keeping me humble.

From that experience, I’ve coined a phrase for myself for when I believe something to be true only to find that it is, indeed, NOT. I say that I’ve been “go-ask-aliced.”

Well, I got go-ask-aliced when I read Daisy Jones.

But before I did, I read this line Camila says about Billy when she’s realizing she must marry him, and I remember thinking that it was such a simple and lovely sentiment:

But I wanted someone fascinating.

She believes that being fascinated with your spouse is more important than money, status, or even reliability (Billy is an alcoholic and a drug user).

And though I married a teetotaler (the husband has never tasted alcohol and has never used drugs), I still resonated with her words.

Because I am fascinated with my husband. We have fascinating conversations (after the boys are in bed) about everything from poetry to politics. Religion has been a fun topic as of late as we discuss what we really think about the concept of hell. (Is it real? I’m not convinced.)

But here’s the most fascinating part:

I can say with certainty that I am NOT being go-ask-aliced right now. This is my life. It’s real. It’s happening. It might not be beautifully documented in words, but it is my life, and I love it.

And through this time of quarantine, I have been reminded of how thankful I am to have a fascinating husband. I mean, if I have to be stuck with someone, I’d hope to be able to have some good convos here and there.

The silver lining to the Coronavirus cloud is thick. As I deepen and strengthen the relationships with my husband and my kids, especially during a time that seems to have slowed down, I am continually grateful.

So who’s stuck in the house with you right now? Maybe the next time you lean in towards the remote, choose instead to lean in to your person. Get to know them all over again. Google “deep get-to-know-you questions,” or order a set of Table Topics cards, and go through a few each night. I’ll leave you with this one:

What is one thing you find fascinating about the person you’re with right now?

Happy convos, everyone. May the (thick) silver lining of the Coronavirus cloud include deepening and strengthening your relationships.

Much love,

J