The other day I traded emails with a friend who had liked my November column in the Wacoan magazine. It was about getting my first new car.
The friend wrote, “I also enjoyed your Wacoan article about your new car, enjoy!”
I wrote back, “One of my more frivolous columns, to be sure. Next month’s will be more moving, I promise. 🙂 “
And he said, “I needed something frivolous at the time.”
Wow. I totally get that.
Most of my columns and blogs over the last year or two have been on the frivolous side. That’s been intentional. I’m not all that frivolous a person. Actually, I’m a fuddy-duddy. My husband has been begging me to dance with him, and finally, after 25 years, I’ve done it twice in the last month.
Frivolous topics have been my salvation lately because I can’t talk about the heavy. It’s too heavy, too raw. So I’ve written about my dogs (which people love). I’ve written poetry (which people don’t seem to hate).
In writing about his play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Oscar Wilde wrote, “That we should treat all trivial things very seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality.”
Those words have been my north star. A new car may be trivial, but everyone reading my stuff has either had a new one or wanted one. It’s trivial, but by taking it seriously, I tap into something common (for Americans, at least). And the serious things of life? Good golly, they’re serious! I keep looking for ways to talk about them “with sincere and studied triviality.”
When I go out to lunch with a friend, sure, we share the hard stuff. We also talk about things like, Did you see that house down the block that’s already put up its Christmas lights? … There’s a sale downtown. … Yes, I’ll give you the recipe for that soup I brought to the thing the other night. … Cute boots!
Frivolous, every one. Balm of Gilead, to be sure.