Last night, I went with Kirstin and Angie, my dear writing friends to hear Judy Blume at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul. I was glad I went, but I was disappointed in some thing.
1. Judy Blume is 70, which is AWESOME. She's had a facelift, which is not. I mean, from our spot in the audience, she looked really good, and I mean REALLY good, but I thought, I THOUGHT everything she stood for in her stories and in her fight against censorship and in life was HONESTY. I think maybe I have a prudish side or something, but jeezuz, isn't a facelift sort of NOT HONEST? It's like cheating in my book. But I guess that makes me a huge hypocrite, because then I shouldn't color my hair. Same thing, right?So I guess I have to think about that some more. I was just disappointed, wanting to see this face that was a map of all the stories she'd thought out and all the characters' traumas that she had weathered. A face can be a beautiful signature of where we've been. I was sad that hers wasn't. On the other hand, she looks great and is taking tap-dancing lessons, so more power to her.
2. Kerri Miller was not at her best. I felt like she completely dropped the ball on some wonderful, funny things that Judy Blume said. I felt as if she had an agenda of questions and was afraid to deviate from them.
3. Kerri Miller seemed as if she didn't "get" so much of what Judy Blume said. For instance, JB said that a seven-yr-old could read Hello God, It's Me, Margaret, but wouldn't get it all emotionally because she wouldn't be "in that place" yet. Kerri said, "What place is that?" Duh! Wanting a training bra, wondering about God, starting to think about boys and wondering if she'd ever menstruate! I could have answered that and it's been a few decades since I read the damn book! I would venture a gues that Kerri has not read ANY of Judy Blume's books. I couldn't tell any familiarity with the stories from the conversation. (With Sherman Alexie, she had specific, funny, poignant bits of the story to refer to. With Judy Blume, she had NONE).
4. My take on the lack of energy between the two women is perhaps overreaction, but there was a time I was sitting there thinking, "there is absolutely no connection between these two. There is NO electric thought or feeling between them whatsoever." That was disappointing. With Sherman Alexie, it was fairly crackling. So My take is that Kerri Miller is a big flirt and when she can't flirt, and isn't attracted or even envious of a 70-yr. old woman, she has no energy to invest, and that pissed me off.
So, I needed to vent. Judy Blume is no less amazing than I expected, and no matter what her face looks like (who should be so cruel as to be disappointed that their idol looks great? What's wrong with me!?), she's still a genius and one of the most hones, amazing writers of all times. I'll read her forever, and I'm going to get "Summer Sisters" asap. She read an excerpt and wrote twenty drafts of it, so I'm all the more eager to read it!