Monday, August 15, 2011

What it's Like

There are a lot of Muppet events coming up (a tribute to muppeteer Richard Hunt at Bluestockings bookstore, the "Being Elmo" movie) and I've been trying to make plans to go to these things with one of my muppety friends. She suggested that we get advance tickets for the movie and I said that I can't buy advanced tickets for anything right now thanks to the migraines. (I'll never know if I'll have to cancel at the last minute.)

And that's when it hit me. Suffering from migraines is like dating a commitment-phobic jerk who's seeing 3 other people on the side. All plans are tentative until about an hour before and when your plans don't get cancelled, they could still get ruined. You never know when he's going to leave you miserable on the couch, watching Downton Abbey on Netflix streaming because you're in no condition to watch anything you haven't already seen.

What I haven’t figured out is that if I'm the one dating the jerk, or if my husband is.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, it contains a good lesson in creating dramatic tension for me and all my other writer friends. In an early scene, the kitchen maid end up with a bowl of poison in one hand a bowl of chopped eggs in the other. She goes to the footman to give him the eggs and tell him to sprinkle them over the chicken that he's just taken up. He grabs the wrong bowl, she realizes after he's gone upstairs and she can't just go up after him because kitchen maids don't go into the dining room. As she's begging a housemaid to go stop him before someone eats the poison and she gets hung for murder, the footman comes down to ask which chicken dish he's supposed to sprinkle the stuff over. She takes the poison, gives him the eggs and disaster is averted.

The whole incident lasts only a minute or so and never comes up again. But it makes you care so much about what's happening on screen that it spills over to the less frantic scenes. Kind of like the mad rush to get to the first wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Now if I can only stop being in pain* long enough to edit my novel, I can see about adding a poison chicken scene.

*The doctor warned me that the Botox shots might give me a headache. I had a forehead ache for a day and a half, but not an actual headache. Then I woke up Saturday with the biggest sumbitch I've had in a while. I'm still not 100%, which is why I watched all 7 hours of Downton Abbey this weekend.**

**Best line Maggie Smith (as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey) has ever delivered: "What is a 'week-end'?"

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